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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10547
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My wife has asked me separation and I am just devastated,

Customer Question

My wife has asked me for a separation and I am just devastated, and don't feel I have a purpose in life anymore.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice in a Q&A format. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. I am very sorry that your wife is asking for this separation, I can understand how distressing this can be for you. May I ask, what is your specific mental health question that you would like an answer to in regards ***** ***** situation?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Not sure about a mental health question, I want to know what I can do to try and get her back and repair the pain and convince her I can change.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Do you feel separations work?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

Unfortunately getting someone back is not how psychology works as she has to choose to come back on her own. Remember you are the only person in control of your own actions and behaviors, just like she is the only person in control of her own actions, meaning that she has to choose to come back and repair this relationship with you. At this point it would be best for you to focus on what you can control and that is your own treatment and personal growth. This is why you may want to consider showing her that you are going to overcome these issues that led to the separation by going to therapy and working on yourself systematically. If you show her that you are working towards this than maybe she will choose to return to the marriage. But you have to focus on yourself and your own healing because that is what you have control over at this point.

Separations can definitely be effective in repairing a relationship if they are done right and that means both partners have to focus on their own healing, and also keep the lines of communication open (usually once a week or every two weeks) to gauge how the other is doing and you are feeling about each other and this process. Couples therapy can also be done as well during this time even while you are separated to help enhance communication and connection.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
She says she still love me and said she will do the counseling but needs distance too, and that she is not making any promises. She said she think all things can be repaired, but she is not certain that they go back together again, and that they don't fit the same way so they become somehing new in a way....??? Whats that mean?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

It sounds like your wife is conflicted and not sure about the future with you. She still has feelings for you and wants the marriage to work, but is not sure if it is possible. The best thing you can do is to give her the space she needs because if you try to pressure her than it will only drive her away more. You need to focus on your own healing right now

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
i have minimal chances of getting her back. I just don't know how i can make her feel comfortable with me changing. She has hardened her heart against me. I could tell her I'm going to end my life, and she would just scoff at it! :(
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

I do not believe you have minimal chance of getting her back, you just need to respect her wanting space from you and focus on your own healing. If she sees that you are making progress and have overcome some of the problematic issues that led to the separation than there is a good chance you can reconcile with her. But the choice to reconcile is hers alone and you have to respect that

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
but if we are separated, how do i demonstrate to her I have changed?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

Well this is where you are meant to keep the lines of communication open, but briefly like once a week or once every two weeks. Also if you both agree to couples counseling than she can see that you are changing.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
She did say she feels like i might change only until the time i cap off again. How can I get her to believe that I have changed for good. Only time will dictate that, no?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

Time will show if you have changed for good, but if you really start to work on your treatment that will show it too. And this can mean entering into individual therapy, group therapy, psychoeductional classes, volunteering, etc...all of these actions demonstrate and effort to change.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
don't call her or text her anymore right? Maybe she might think "hey he's not chasing me anymore" hmmm wonder whats up? does that work too?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

I would definitely not call or text her especially since she has asked for space from you. I know that is going to be hard, but you definitely do not want to push her away, especially during this fragile time. She may start to wonder more about you and what you are doing, and that means she is thinking more about you and missing you, which could translate to her wanting to reconcile.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ok this is just super hard, I sit here all alone while her and my step daughter are at a Hotel, and then going to Chicago for two days tomorrow. i leave for Mexico tom AM to stay with a friend of mine for a week, this will be SUPER hard to do. She says Im to much of a control freak.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
i just wonder if i should start looking for a new companion, cause it feels like this is going to end up sideways.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I'm 57 and she is 40, that age difference could be problematic. She might also be going through a mid life crisis.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
i guess if I'm bothering her while she is away, i am still in some way trying to control the outcome of this situation, right?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

I will not lie to you, this is going to be very hard and you are going to have to be patient. Remember you are giving her space and focusing on your own life and healing, which is all you can control right now. I would not recommend looking for a new companion because you would just be setting yourself up for failure as you already believe there is no hope...you have to keep the hope that this marriage can survive if you want to give it any chance for the future. The age difference could be a factor but again that is outside of your control and you have to focus on your own healing and treatment as that is the area you can control.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ok doc, I will pull back and leave her alone.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

I truly wish you all the best and I hope you both will be able to reconcile in the near future. Good luck with everything.

*Please do not forget to leave a positive rating at the top of the page so that I can get credit for helping you. Thank you, ***** ***** appreciate it.

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