My wife and I separated this past summer. We’d had difficulties for years. When we told the kids, my daughter reacted strongly and took her anger out on me.
I had a bad feeling the moment they left - that I should’ve run after them, told them to stay, and worked my butt off to fix the problems. I didn't.
I spent the summer lonely, afraid, confused, sad, and angry. I wanted to call my wife and talk to her, but I thought she’d scream at me.
Little did I know she was going through tremendous pain and sadness about was happening. I just thought she was having fun with her family and friends.
I missed her, realized I needed her, and that I love her. At the end of summer, she informed me that she was filing for a legal separation, that our marriage was over.
I’ve tried to reach out to her, but she’s closed the door. I’ve emailed, expressing my love and regrets, and asking for forgiveness. She’s past the mourning stage and I’m just starting.
I messed up the most important part of my life. I feel huge remorse. I want her to love me again. I’ll cherish her for the rest of my life.
I was mean, insensitive, and neglectful to her. What do I do?
It’s not over till there’s a divorce and she’s truly moved on, but there’s no question you left things unsaid and undone for too long. And that’s given your wife time to reassess her own life and needs at this time.
Here’s what you must do – let her know that you’ve recognized how you let her down, that you’re going to go to counselling to find out how to change your own behaviour and attitudes, and that you love her and dearly want to work on being together again if she’ll give you that chance.
Be prepared that she likely won’t trust this change in you, so say that you’d like six months to prove yourself to her, while apart. You’ll see a professional therapist and would hope to see her from time to time while going through this.
Then, if she’s willing, you two would go to marital counselling, to re-start a life together.
Meanwhile, you must also see your children and be particularly sensitive to your daughter’s anger. Even if you don’t get back with your wife, you need to re-establish a relationship with each of your children.
My daughter has a little boy whom I adore. She has a female friend who I feel is interfering with my relationship with the little guy and my daughter.
I live out of town, and this person’s always around when I get there. She tries to take over, and is overbearing. She also hates my daughter's husband, although she pretends otherwise.
My relationship with my daughter and her family is suffering. I cannot take this person aside – in their small town, all hell would break loose.
Talk to your daughter privately by phone, at a time when this person’s unlikely to be around.
Tell her how much she and her son mean to you, and that you travel there to have time with both of them. But unfortunately, this other person often intrudes. Ask if you two can arrange a day on your own, outings to a nearby park, and visits to your place for which you’ll help with transportation if needed.
My long-time friend’s had a messy separation. I heard they parted but didn’t know details until his wife revealed the background. I contacted him and expressed my regrets. He didn’t stay close, we met only occasionally.
Recently, he accused me of being a lousy friend, thinking I knew everything long ago.
I’ve apologized, explained I knew nothing and was minding my business. I’ve left further messages of apology. No response.
We have a long history, and normally he’s a terrific and smart person whose friendship I value. What do I say or do to get him to forgive me?
Missing My Friend
The emotional reaction to a break-up is sometimes transferred to innocent others whom people feel let them down. It’ll take time, and some more attempts at contact, for him to get past this.
Don’t push too hard, just periodically suggest getting together casually. Don’t attempt a huge discussion; just being together would be a start.
Tip of the day:
Seeking counselling about your contribution to a marriage’s failure may win you a second chance.