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trial separation (?)

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trying2makesense posted 3/11/2014 13:24 PM

We have been married for 7 years, together for 15. We have 2 young children, a daughter (5) and a son (3). At time of disclosure we had been trying for a 3rd child for over a year.

On Dec 27/13, after putting our children to bed, my husband told me he wasn't happy in our marriage, he no longer had feelings for me and that he had "almost" had an affair. I asked him if he wanted to go to counseling or if he was planning to leave. He said he wanted to work on things but was clear that it was for the kids and that he didn't know if it was possible for him to have feelings for me again. I was shocked just from this initial bit of information, I knew our relationship had issues for a while. I had asked him to go to counseling after our son was born. I was struggling with the lack of help at home, the lack of conversation or affection, but he refused, he said counseling doesn't work. So I accepted that for now he wasn't ready, but that we loved each other enough to get through it, I never dreamed of going outside the marriage and trusted him completely.

After going for an hour long walk with the dog, I came back and asked about what "almost" meant. He said that he'd known the OW for 2 years and had been attracted to her, but had only been seeing her for about a month. He said he has feelings for her but it hadn't gone past kissing. I asked him to stop seeing her, he said he would. I asked him if it was someone from work, he said it was.

So the next day we booked an appointment with counsellor for the following week. She wasn't specifically a marriage counsellor but I figured we needed to start somewhere.

I also told him I was going to go through and get rid of the baby stuff we'd been saving, since we wouldn't need it anymore. This upset him but I told him there was no way I'd bring another child into such an unstable relationship. It broke my heart to get rid of those things, but I had to, it was a reminder of my false sense of security and of my hope for the future that now wouldn't come true.

We began counseling but she seemed more focused on how he was feeling about our relationship and didn't really even touch on the affair. But at that point even I wasn't sure that's what it was.

Then a week later, I unplugged his phone from the charger and a message notification popped up: "thanks for your help today, I am thinking of you always." It was the OW. I texted her back, just asking her not to contact him again, then I deleted her contact info from his phone. I confronted him. I asked him how he could be working on our relationship if he is still in contact with her. He apologized, but was angry I deleted her info, he said it should have been his choice and that I had no right to make that decision for him. Next counseling session (week later) I found out he was still talking to her, the counsellor seemed just as surprised and suggested that he should stop contact with the OW (after I had stormed out of session).

At home I told him he could leave or stay, but if he stayed he had to be committed to our relationship and if not he should leave now. He stayed and over the next few weeks I watched him mope around the house, lose weight, wouldn't look me in the eyes, very moody. That is when I realized the extent of emotional involvement of the A; he was grieving, he loved her. Then I received the phone bill indicating almost 400 min of conversation to her number over a 3 week period. My heart broke again.

I needed to know everything, where they went, what exactly happened. He said they didn't go out outside of work except for 2 days before Christmas he went gift shopping with her for her 8 year old son. They had kissed for a while in the car. He planned to start a sexual relationship with her but the next day a friend of his from work, (who's wife had an affair and left him for someone else), confronted him and urged him to work on his marriage.

I was upset but ok, until the next day when I was looking at the rocking horse he had brought home for the kids for Christmas. He said a woman at work had given it to him for the kids because her son had out grown it and she wanted to give it to someone who would take care of it because it meant a lot to her since her son loved it so much. It dawned on me that it was from the OW, I asked him and he admitted it was. This hurt me more than anything, how dare he bring a gift from her for our children into our house? All of our Christmas pictures of the kids have either them riding it or it in the background. I spent my lunch break at work deleting pictures of my children at Christmas.

After that I began to push away, I needed him to show me he wanted to make this work. I felt so far I'd put in all the effort only to be getting nowhere. I felt sick every time he went to work because it felt like he was just going to her. So I told him I needed him to start looking for another job. Even if he wasn't talking to her, he sees her everyday so it felt like it wasn't over between them, it felt like it was just on hold in case our marriage doesn't work out. I also said if he didn't want to find a new job, we should start a trial separation because it's too hard for me to deal with day in day out.

After a couple weeks of him not even showing interest in starting to look for another job, I asked him why. He said he didn't want to quit. He liked his job there and if he quit it would just be to buy himself more time with the kids and he would resent me for asking him to quit. So I asked him if he was done trying to work on things and he said yes. He said he tried but he still doesn't have feelings for me and even though he hasn't been in contact with her because he was trying to keep our family together, he can't stop thinking about her. He left last night. I asked if this is a trial separation, he said he doesn't know.

I am so angry. 15 years of commitment to him and I get 2 1/2 months of trying to work on our relationship?! He feels so strongly after 1 month (supposedly) with someone else that he is willing to let go of someone who has loved him unconditionally AND throw his family away?

We have an appointment with a new counsellor ( an actual marriage therapist) the day after tomorrow. I made the appointment almost 2 weeks ago, he says he will still go. Not getting my hopes up though, would take a miracle at this point to salvage this.

Any experiences with trial separation? Anyone that it has helped? Just feel like there's nothing else I can really do at this point.

[This message edited by trying2makesense at 2:01 PM, March 11th (Tuesday)]

Skan posted 3/11/2014 14:00 PM

Honestly, the only thing that I think a trial separation will do, given the information that you've conveyed, is to free up his time to go from buddies to f-buddies with the OW. If he hasn't already.

My advice to you is to go see a lawyer and file for a legal separation with the end goal of settling all of your finances/custody for a divorce. If he isn't willing to work on the marriage while he's in the house, he most certainly will not out of the house. So nail his ass legally so that he has to provide for you and the children, and so that any money he spends whoring around is accounted for so that you can claim a reimbursement for the 1/2 of it that is your joint marital funds.

And I would cancel the MC appts. You have to actually want to save a marriage to get anything out of MC, so why waste your time and money?

Faithful w/Love posted 3/11/2014 14:12 PM

He said he tried but he still doesn't have feelings for me and even though he hasn't been in contact with her because he was trying to keep our family together, he can't stop thinking about her. He left last night. I asked if this is a trial separation, he said he doesn't know.

LOL, I got that shit also. Honey, he will be back but the problem is that he may try to cake eat. Go back and forth about his feelings and this that and the other.

I really think that if you put it out there that you will not longer accept his manchild ways and that you had enough and this is about you and the kids now and being safe, it may kick him in the ass.
If I would have stuck to the 180 and not been so caught up in his drama with xOW I could have knocked him off the fence.
A separation was only good for us to get my bearings. But, now being back in the house his attitude is back to the "this isn't going to work" blah blah... I gave him to much time by himself and now he is far gone into the ME ME ME... he is not in the A but he is into a new way of life thanks to the A and new thinking pattern.

Don't put up with SHIT! You deserve so much better sweetie, I just don't want anyone to go through the torture that I have.

Dreamboat posted 3/11/2014 14:13 PM


I am sorry you are in so much pain and feeling so confused. And I am sorry that your WH (wandering husband) is acting like such a selfish jerk.

If sounds like when you started pulling away you have started to 180 him without even realizing that is what is was called. If you have not read about it yet, then here is a link:

Your WH has his head up his ass and he may or may not still be in the A. He certainly wants to still be in the A! And he also wants to cake eat -- he wants OW and wants his family. He is trying to figure out how to make that happen.

If you do separation (S), then YOU need to treat it as if it is a divorce (D). Even if D is not what you want. Many unremorseful WS use S as a means to continue the A while stringing along the BS (betrayed spouse). Do not allow yourself to be strung along.

If S is what he thinks he wants, then give him S, but make it real. That mean that he is not allowed in your home anymore, he is not allowed to hug or kiss you, you will not be chit-chatting with him, you will not share a meal with him, he pays CS (child support) and he pays SS (spousal support), and he only gets visitation for the kids. Try to find a sample separation agreement for your province, or a generic one (the internet has load of them). Fill it out including the numbers for CS (look online for a CS calculator for your province). After you fill it out, present it to him and tell him that you want him to sign it and get it notarized. Whether he actually signs it or not is irrelevant, but tell him to sign it shows him that YOU mean business.

If you feel strong enough then I also advise that you consult a L. A downloaded S agreement from the internet does not really carry any weight in the court, but a L can get get you a court order for temporary CS, SS, and exclusive use of the home. If you do not feel strong enough to do that right now, that is ok. It took me almost a year to find the strength for that.

And last but not least, hefty bag his ass. What I mean by that to pack all of his clothes, toiletries, and any other stuff of his. If you have a spare box, then you can use that. If you do not have any boxes, then a hefty bag does a fine job. Pack his shit and put it on the front porch. THAT also sends a message that you will no longer put of with his stupid manipulative crap anymore.

He can have OW or he can have his family, but not both. You gave him the gift of allowing him to choose, and he chose the OW. As painful as that is, you need to accept that is where his head is right now. He may "come out of the fog" and "get it" and realize what a freakin idiot he is being, but he may not. You cannot wait and hope that he gets it, you have to assume right now that he will not get it because after 2.5 months he DOES NOT get it. Show him that you are not his back up plan.

Stay strong. Try to eat. Try to get some rest. The the innate joy that your children bring you carry your thru the tough moments.

(((more hugs)))

rachelc posted 3/11/2014 14:16 PM

He's still in the affair. Does she have a BS you can tell?

180 time...
Tell him new job/NC with OW or marriage. Tell him there will be no trial separation but a divorce if he doesnt' comply.

trying2makesense posted 3/11/2014 15:03 PM

Thank you Dreamboat for your words of encouragement. I know I do need to keep moving forward for myself and also for the kids. Looking for a sample separation agreement and CS calculator is an excellent idea, would not of thought of that. I also like the idea of 180, didn't know there were actual guidelines for that, and I absolutely believe that if I act strong, even if I don't feel it right now, I will become stronger in the long run. Thank you so much for that.

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