Monday, 2 January 2012

It's Good to Talk

Dear Kate,

My wife has told me that she has been having an affaire; we have been together ten years and married for three. 

We met on our first day at university in the UK and have been together ever since, moving to Ibiza five years ago. I knew we were in trouble but never in my wildest dreams thought that this would happen. 

I have asked her to go to counselling but she refuses saying her mind is made up that we are over. I am totally gutted, I thought we would be together forever and we had been talking about having children. 

The additional pressure is that neither of us have  found anywhere to stay and it is so expensive here that it may take a while and in the mean time we are stuck living in the same house which is making me feel even worse especially when she “goes out”.

Any pointers you have would be really appreciated 
Thank you
Bob (not my real name)

Dear Bob

Thank you for your e-mail and sorry to hear that Christmas and New Year have been so difficult for you. 

It sounds as if you have no hope of reconciliation with your wife and are going through the motions of having to accept the situation that you now find yourself in. This can be very difficult and often brings up uncomfortable emotions, disbelieve, acceptance and anger to name a few. 

These are all completely to be expected and it is important to acknowledge them and spend a little time on reflecting how they are influencing your every day life and behaviours towards yourself and others. They will pass in time so be particularly kind to yourself during these early stages of the break up.

On a more practical note, is there no way your wife can move out even for a short period of time to give you some space to process what has gone on. I wonder why you haven’t insisted on this given it is her who has created this situation; does she not have some responsibility to create a physical situation that is easiest for you both? 

I wonder whether there is something more that is stopping you from asking her to leave? Do you have some hope still that things are redeemable?  Or maybe one of you moving out signifies a much more real and physical end to the marriage. 

Whatever it is, it might be beneficial to ask yourself some questions about how to move forward in a way that is best for you.

It does seem like you were / are fully committed to this marriage having been together for 10 years and to have started talking about children must have been a big step for both of you.

There are lots of changes that happen in the first ten years after leaving university in your 20’s and the both of you have grown up together and maybe part of that growing up has brought changes in your views on the future which could never have been foreseen.

In time you will come to terms with the new future that is now in front of you and one day it will feel exciting and challenging to be able to make those choices but for now take care and focus on you and how best you can manage both the emotional and physical implications of your situation.

All the best

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