My 2nd wife of 5 years moved out 5 months ago over issues regarding our parenting differences relating to her two children ages 14 and 17. She is very low-key and I am very intense. Although, in the past months I have learned to approach adverse situations in a much more calm and acceptable fashion and she knows this, as do my 3 children, age 9, 14, and 17.
I helped to raise her 2 kids, day in and day out, for the past 5 years as their own father has not been very active in their lives. Now my wife says that the negative impact I have had on them, due to my past approach in trying to teach them to be accountable for their actions and develop self-responsibility, is cause for her not to be with me. She fears they will not visit her if she is with me, nor even bring potential grandchildren to visit down the road. Her daughter has even questioned her as to how she can still be married to me after all that I did to them.
She says that she loves me, but must put her children first. And I understand that. But, I have also said to her that when I married her I meant it to be for life, and in good times and bad. Since she is the most special person/woman I have ever met, I would wait for her as long it takes. I feel, (from my own experiences, and also talking with grown step-children since she moved out), that as her "children" grow up and move out and become parents, their feelings of "hatred" towards me will fade and at the very least we will have a civil relationship. At that point my wife and I can be together again in a better, stronger relationship.
My wife and I still see each other once or twice a week to talk about the past week, the kids, and us and to make love. Recently, she has said that she needs time to find herself and does not know if we have a future together. I have asked her to not make a decision so final as she is in an admittedly confused frame of mind. I have backed off to the point that I do not call her or talk to her unless she initiates the communication.
Unfortunately, another voice in me says that the longer we are apart the more distance will grow between us and she will eventually move on.
My friends tell me that I should just tell her goodbye and get on with my life, but I feel that if I do that I will lose any chance of being together again with the most beautiful, and compassionate woman I have ever known.
From your experience with others in this type of situation are there any ideas or suggestions you could give me. -Not Giving Up
Dear Not Giving Up,
As a parent and a wife, I understand how difficult of a choice this must have been for your wife. I don't think you are looking at this situation from the correct viewpoint. You don't need to solely fix things with your wife. You need to handle the upset with her children if you ever hope to reconcile the relationship with her. A mother's love is said to be the strongest there is. Don't force her into a situation of choosing you over her children's affection. You will never win.
From your letter it seems like you still have a lot of soul searching to do. You need to take some responsibility for the situation you are in, and make some life-changing decisions. This time apart may be the perfect opportunity to confront some demons you may be hiding. If you're ready for the challenge, make sure to let your wife know what you are doing. No communication will only leave a vacant spot like you said. Don't call her too frequently either. Just let her know that you take her concerns seriously, and you are working on handling these problems. If your heart is in the right place, and you are honestly trying to make changes, your chances of getting what you desire are pretty high.
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