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TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2816
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
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my wife as left as of yesterday for a trial separation. Whats

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my wife as left as of yesterday for a trial separation. Whats the best way to react and not lose her for ever

CoachJenK :

Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

CoachJenK :

I am sorry to hear of this. I am sure it is painful for both of you. what are the circumstances around this separation?

Customer:

she says she as been unhappy for about two years, i don't think she tried hard enough to let me know this. we hit a brick wall about two months ago and started seeing a councillor. we went to times and she seemed disconnected. yesterday we went again and dropped this bomb on me. over the last two months i have done a lot of work on myself and have changed for the better everything she wanted me to change. She just keeps saying she tired and wants space

CoachJenK :

It sounds as if you have done some really great work and i commend you for that. I do think that giving her the space she is requesting will allow her to have the time to think and feel and get some energy back.

CoachJenK :

I know you want to do something...some sort of action to hang on, but often giving the room requested is the best way to go. Very hard for you but if you "push" she will distance herself further.

CoachJenK :

I am saddened to know that she didn't work on this together in therapy....will she continue with that during the separation?

Customer:

she and the therapist decided that we would stay apart for a month and then meet the therapist then.

CoachJenK :

and any contact during that time?

Customer:

the therapist recommended nothing, but the google machine said we still need something, so apparently I'm aloud to text her.

Customer:

like once or twice a day

CoachJenK :

I would probably recommend that twice per day could be too much...if she doesnt get the "space" she needs she will less likely be able to feel recharged. I might even wait until she reaches out to you.

CoachJenK :

and during this time you focus on you and getting yourself the support as you are now with me and continuing to do your own work.

Customer:

so how do i handle being physically sick about this. literally can't eat, keep anything down, can't sleep. What can i do, to keep that rope out of that tree.

CoachJenK :

I understand all of that and right now you are dealing with the shock of it all and so your system is in shock too. If you feel suicidal you must go to an emergency room.

CoachJenK :

I would get into individual counseling and push yourself to continue to do the "normal" daily things you do.

CoachJenK :

the first few days are the hardest and things will ease a bit.....

Customer:

i don't think I'm suicidal. i just love her so much and all i get back is that "I'm afraid of being alone"

CoachJenK :

I know you love her. And it is tough to be alone for any of us when we adore our spouses.

CoachJenK :

Let her have this time and surround yourself with others who comfort you.

CoachJenK :

drink protein shakes as that can be easier to get down than sold food. we must keep your strength up.

Customer:

is there any odds for this actually saving the relationship, or is it likely a long goodbye. we did both agree not to see anyone. i hope she honour that

CoachJenK :

If she holds up her end and comes back to therapy and she can have the time that she feels she needs then yes it could come back together. I like to think that where there is life there is hope.

CoachJenK :

If she says to you in a week or two that she wont return to therapy as she doesnt think it will help her to reconnect then we may be thinking it is over for her. But for now she has agreed to give it a trial.

CoachJenK :

but that is why I think the less contact could serve you better as it gives her what she is asking and she isnt critisizing you for being needy or afraid of being alone. does that make sense?

Customer:

sort of. is there anything i can say or do to reassure her that i am still 100 percent committed

CoachJenK :

i think she knows that already but if you need to say it again then i would the next time you have contact say to her...I am giving you the space you are needing, but please know i love you and am committed to you and to making things work.

Customer:

no communication seems like she would think i don't care anymore, and vise versa

CoachJenK :

then keep it limited and say something like what i suggested above so you can feel sure that you have communicated that to her.

CoachJenK :

I know it feels like no communication seems like it would indicate that but it really communicates more that you are respecting her need and may even allow her to miss you.

Customer:

I pry your right. thanks jen

Customer:

it just feels so wrong

CoachJenK :

I know how hard it is and i am here whenever you need some hand holding.

CoachJenK :

I know it feels wrong...I am sure you had the same reaction when the therapist suggested it.

CoachJenK :

what did your wife want around contact when he suggested that?

Customer:

nothing

CoachJenK :

so the texting is her conceding to your desire?

Customer:

i guess. she's seen me break down and not handle this very well.

CoachJenK :

I am just concerned that if she didnt want contact and then there is contact that she feels pushed and distances herself further.

CoachJenK :

it is a delicate balance for you

CoachJenK :

your strength may be appealing to her...as it sounds like she is down on you for what she believes is a fear to be alone.

Customer:

great, i guess i was right yesterday in thinking my feeling don't matter

Customer:

and I'm not afraid of being alone, I'm afraid of losing her

CoachJenK :

they do matter and that is why she agreed to the texts

CoachJenK :

yes I clearly know that

CoachJenK :

you love and adore her...I her you loud and clear.

CoachJenK :

*hear

Customer:

sorry. pretty defensive today

CoachJenK :

no need to apologize for anything...I can handle your feelings and it is okay. you are suffering.

CoachJenK :

I wanted you to know that I truly understand it

CoachJenK :

and hear how you dont want to lose her.

Customer:

well if you want to hear, then last night was the very first time in 9 years that she didn't say i love you or good night. slept maybe 20 minutes

CoachJenK :

that is devastating.

Customer:

how does one cope with rejection?

CoachJenK :

by understanding that she is going through something right now and this is not a statement about who you are as a man.

Customer:

Jen how on earth do I not take it the wrong way then and come to understand?

Customer:

Have you seen separations like this work out?

CoachJenK :

I know how hard that is but people usually dont just get up an ddrop a bomb like that unless they are going through something on their own.

CoachJenK :

I have.

CoachJenK :

and i have seen it when space is given.

CoachJenK :

when space isnt given the person requesting it tends to feel smothered and pulls away further and becomes angry that they are not getting the space.

CoachJenK :

and it is hell for you...no two ways about it!

Customer:

unbelievable. i guess this isn't a dream. f**k

CoachJenK :

and that is why you need to focus on you and keeping up your strenght and courage.

CoachJenK :

I know! It is a bad nightmare. I am so sorry.

CoachJenK :

do you have children?

Customer:

no, thank god, we have dogs that we treat like children though

CoachJenK :

and are they with you?

Customer:

yep

CoachJenK :

good. take long walks with them

CoachJenK :

your only task is to breathe and stay as calm as possible.

CoachJenK :

I would call the couples therapist for the name of someone for you to see on your own or I can help you with that.

Customer:

you don't think that she will just forget all the good stuff about us if i quite talking to her

Customer:

just move on i mean

CoachJenK :

I know it feels like that but it usually is the opposite...and if you are doing well she may wonder wow he is doing well doesnt he miss me?

CoachJenK :

if in her mind already she has movie on nothing will make a difference but I am not certain she feels that.

CoachJenK :

she is willing for the trial so we must take it as it comes but we cannot lose you in the process...the focus is all you now.

CoachJenK :

time for you to let some wind in your hair and just be you focused

Customer:

thats horseshit. the focus should be on us. sorry thats how i feel anyway

CoachJenK :

yes that is how it should be but you are not given any other choice but to focus on you

Customer:

man alive, this sucks, thanks jen, ill take what you've said to heart. might need you again. do i just sign in and search for you somewhere?

CoachJenK :

when you sign in and begin a new question put for CoachJenK at the beginning and it will come to me.

CoachJenK :

I know it sucks...I am here when you need.

CoachJenK :

If you would be so kind and take a moment to click on the rating tab and give a rating...

CoachJenK :

my goal is for you to feel supported.

CoachJenK :

I hope I have done that even though there is no easy or right answer here.

Customer:

i have been thank you.

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