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The Separation Affect

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Cmerain posted 7/14/2014 22:28 PM

While in the process of reconciling, did any of you consider a temporary separation to figure things out? If so, was it helpful or did it do more harm than good? For those who didn't, do you wish you had separated while sorting things out? How do you feel separation affects reconciling?

DisappointedDude posted 7/15/2014 00:19 AM

My wife and I were actually already separated when she told me. I was extremely angry at her for a couple of weeks but also felt completely alone since I was living by myself. It was hard to get through.

Then we went through this phase where we were really close to each other (and had more sex than ever...). We decided to move back in together at that point. I later realized that was a mistake. The initial phase of closeness+sex didn't last forever. Afterwards I was resentful and angry. I needed to do a lot of soul searching on my own. It was then that I wished we had remained separated.

I don't know what it would have been like if we had. I remember at one point expecting her to divorce me (before DDay) and I was ready for it. I was OK with it. We had distanced ourselves from each other over the last few months and I had come to terms with living alone -- I even enjoyed a lot of things about it.

After all is said and done, though, I'm glad we decided to stay together. Perhaps if we had remained separated, I would have filed for divorce on one of my bad days and we would be through. I'm glad we are not.

tl502 posted 7/15/2014 03:37 AM

I have often felt like I might have healed more quickly if we had S. We both felt like D was more likely at the time though. By being together all the time, we were able to work on our problems more intensively.

Summerluv123 posted 7/15/2014 07:53 AM

Since my last D-day, WH and I have been S. It was nice to have alone time to think without having to deal with him dealing with his feelings. We both started IC during the last 3 weeks and have been able to come together and have frank discussions about what has happened in our M and with his A's. Lots of truths have been revealed mainly I think because WH finally felt I was not in attack mode.

Having the time alone has let me figure out what I want and that I do love him and I am not ready to give up yet. We have decided that we are taking this very slow and we are dating. Only hugging, no sex at this point. We are talking about him moving back in mainly due to financial reasons, but also so we can really get to know each other.

I hope we can start MC soon and will be able to get the tools we need to have better communication and intimacy.

whattheh posted 7/15/2014 10:54 AM

We did not separate and this worked for us. We also used no counselling which wasn't easy but worked best for both of us.

Some people feel the need to separate and some don't. I think that the faithful spouse should drive the decision to have separation or not.

I've read that separation will slow the length of the healing or reconciliation if desired when there is little or no contact during the separation though.

[This message edited by whattheh at 10:57 AM, July 15th (Tuesday)]

LydiaE posted 7/15/2014 11:40 AM

In retrospect, I think a short separation would have helped tremendously.

WH was impossible to be around and time away from his wife, kids, and emotional support would have given him a reality check. He should have earned his way back into the family.

I think it would have been healthier for me too, as I found it difficult to withdraw emotionally. I think hysterical bonding can be a disastrous thing for some people. I regret it, even several years later.

greenear1975 posted 7/15/2014 12:47 PM

I can so relate to this topic. My WW and I have been trying to R since DDay in mid May. She's just swayed back-and-forth, confused, getting advice from everyone. She's just an empty vessel acting on whatever the person she thinks she can trust that day. We've both now hired attorneys, I'm drafting the SA, our attorneys are ready for a battle royal and we're wondering "what the f#$k are we doing"? We sat and talked for 5+ hours last night on whether this can be fixed now, or do we need to fix ourselves b4 we fix us? She's got a high-priced attorney she can barely afford even the retainer for. I sat in my attorneys office all morning working thru a SA outline for her attorney to review. I had a whole notebook ready to go thru everything this AM, but I just glazed over in a fog and just started crying right there at their conference table. Luckily my attorney is close friend's embarrassing. I believe we need some time apart, but I'm afraid the details of the SA are going to drive the final nail in the coffin on our M (we are going to disagree on too much and have a really tough time amicably working things out, even if just temporarily). We also can't afford 2 households on just my income. In the State of NC, adultery is a bar to alimony unless I stay long enough and the A is considered condoned in the eyes of the law. I may have already screwed myself by trying everything possible the last 8 weeks to save my M and keep my family from falling apart. I just wish she'd wake up, but she says she checked out of the M several years ago and was just going thru the motions w/o communicating ANYTHING. She's never been able to express feelings (particularly good feelings) until recently thru intensive IC. She's just not there. I have to start healing myself with, or without, her. I so wish she'd just "get it" and start the hard work to R, but she's so numb and has built up walls and resentment that are not going to go away overnight. I hoped my offer to R even after the A and massive financial infidelity would have proved my love for her, but it wasn't enough. I so wish there was a way for me to trial/temp separate w/o any legal ramifications. Its such a hard decision.

justme1264 posted 7/15/2014 12:53 PM

I remember our MC saying choosing to separate while going through recovery usually had negative results on the relationship. It sounds like you both are living together still and in reconciliation. Maybe talk about this with your MC?

We separated because of her choice initially for wanting a divorce. But once I filed for divorce, she started going to IC, and realized her mistake, we still remain separated. Our separation mostly has to do with the lack of trust and previous separations. I think the only advice I can give is if you do separate it should be for enough time to really figure out if you can trust your WS enough to live back together. Separating takes a big toll on you as the BS. It means you have to move, detach, separate bills and income, and all sorts of other crap. It is taxing on your energy. But, once the dust settles, being alone is beneficial and gives you a sense of power over a powerless situation. Your spouse will have to earn you back, with their actions and proof of remorse. '

Just my two cents.

seethelight posted 7/15/2014 13:11 PM

In retrospect, I think a short separation would have helped tremendously.

WH was impossible to be around and time away from his wife, kids, and emotional support would have given him a reality check. He should have earned his way back into the family.

I think it would have been healthier for me too, as I found it difficult to withdraw emotionally. I think hysterical bonding can be a disastrous thing for some people. I regret it, even several years later.

I resonate with the above words.

At other times, I wish my wayward had actually moved in with the OW to get a good dose of who she was and how incompatible the two would be.

I was really shocked by his choice of OW because she did not seem to be his type at all and I really doubt he would have been happy being with her in a real relationship.

She was flashy but not really attractive, even he admitted that, eventually, and she was extremely high maintenance.

Worse, I could not believe the way she insulted and disrespected her husband publicly and in emails and texts, and revealed so many personal details about his body and sexual skills

Also, I think I might have liked being on my own, and more likely to file, if we had formally separated and the children had gotten used to daddy not being around full-time.

So, it's possibly true that separation more often leads to divorce because the faithful spouse gets used to being on their own.

Cmerain posted 7/18/2014 23:16 PM

Just wanted to take the time to thank each of you so very much for sharing your experiences and suggestions. Truly means the world to me. Thank YOU.

realitybites posted 7/19/2014 06:47 AM

Each person and relationship is different. We separated but it was a real true separation. My WS was still very foggy and our MC at the time told me right in front of him that "he is getting ready to leave".

So I let him go. But told him once he left he was not to come back and forth, to give me the keys, garage door opener and to call first before coming to see the kids.

And then I went total NC. I needed to do it. I was angry, sad, embarrassed, ashamed then back to angry. I did not answer texts, calls or emails for the first few days or weeks. I would listen to the messages later and he would be crying and begging to come back and then switch to mean and evil and saying some pretty bad things. Glad I did not take him back right away as he then stayed in the mean and evil phase and it was all my fault of course....

We stayed separated for 6 mos. Wasn't easy but was by far the best thing I did for ME.

KatyDo posted 7/19/2014 11:44 AM

Want to reply because I am just at about the halfway point of my temporary separation. We called it an experiment, to see what changed, and I guess another way of putting it was a trial separation. I decided moving out completely was too much but leaving temporarily was important.

I will say that I am glad I did it because it meant something concrete changed as a result of the EA. Even though DDay was a year ago, because we were caregivers I felt too trapped to do much about it. It wasn't actually the affair that was the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of my deciding to leave (it was his anger) but I knew I wished I'd had the strength to make some kind of stand when I discovered the EA.

After about four days being on my own I desperately missed him, despite everything. I felt so alone in my temporary sublet, and called him. Since then, we are in touch every few days or less. We have talks about what is happening and what may happen in the future. I really and truly don't know what will happen. He knows that we are considering a more formal separation and even divorce, as well as the possibility of attempting to reconcile.

It was his remorse on DDay and beyond that kept me staying, plus his IC work. However there have been setbacks, and I feel ambivalence from him about the importance of the marriage. He has given his mother precedence over almost everything in the past four years, and I tried telling him that the marriage is in danger as well, and deserves some attention (his mother can well afford good quality care). However, he continues to choose her care as the utmost priority while our relationship remains in jeopardy. I did draw a line there, and haven't been in a caregiving position since the separation. If there is no marriage, then I have no motivation to provide care to his mother...But I digress...

He has asked for a week of no contact, because for him the contact we do have makes him feel as if not much has changed. His personality is such that he could always go longer without feeling the distance between us. So I am prepared to do that for both our sakes. I think if overwhelming responsibilities continue for one of the partners, then it is hard to comprehend what is happening as there is no time to think. For my part I have had lots of time to think, read and reflect.

My advice would be to make good use of the time if you do separate, and convey the seriousness of it. Otherwise the spouse might view you as simply "on vacation." I remember reading that if you take such a step and the partner continues to act poorly then you have your answer.

To my mind I thought there would be major gestures to ask me to come back, but I am getting mixed messages instead. I still have three weeks. This weekend his mother is going into care, so we'll see how that changes things. I am also preparing for the worst mentally, which has meant lots of sadness and grief. I just can't believe someone who loved me would allow things to get this far without stepping up to try to make things better. I guess what is meant to be will be. I feel with the trial separation I have done all I can to indicate the seriousness of what's happening, and take back some power in terms of my own boundaries.

KatyDo posted 7/19/2014 12:32 PM

Wanted to say too, that separation was the only way I could find of healing my anger. It just needed space to be...

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