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KimberlyF
KimberlyF, Longtime Relationship Expert
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Relationship expert for almost three years with JustAnswer.com
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How do I support my wife through the change of life She ...

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How do I support my wife through the change of life? She seems to think we can not go on together.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  KimberlyF replied 7 years ago.

HiCustomer Thank you for asking your question on Just Answer. The other experts and I are working on your answer. By the way, it would help us to know:

-How long have you been married?

-Do you mean she thinks your marriage is over?

-How long has she been going through the change?

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Please reply as soon as possible so that we can finish answering your question.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to KimberlyF's Post: We have been together for 15 years.We raised 2 of my boys and one of hers together. I waited for 10 years to ask her to marry me so we have only been married for 5 years. Both of us had been through 2 marriages before which ended pretty ugly, so I waited for so long to be sure that I was sure and that she was sure.

When she first told me she was tired and done, I believed it meant we were done. Now I am beginning to think she means she is tired of having taken care of everyone elses needs for 54 years and that she is done doing it. That she has decided to explore what,who she is and do for herself. I don't think it means she needs to do this alone. I can understand this. I think most couples who have been together for a while, when the children grow up and leave, hit an age where they begin to deal with mortality and who,what and where they are going. I think it is up to the partner who is not going through this to have the patience, compassion and support for the partner who is going through this, to be there until they get through to the other side. I don't think it means they need to seperate to find themselves. Since I am older, I went through this a few years ago. She was always there for me. Now I just want to be there for her, but she keeps telling me that she does not need to be repayed for her love and support. I don't look at this as a payback, but as something a partner should do. It doesn't seem fair to trough 15 years away.

I don't know that I can be sure of when this has started for her. The complication in this scenario is that we are 2500 miles apart. Nearly 3 years ago, as we antisipated the graduation of our last child, we decided that we wanted to move back to Washington state from Ohio. We agreed that I should come here first to get work and a place to move to and that she would follow after the graduation. She was hit by a car a month before the graduation 3 months after I had come here to secure our place. She has been going through litigation and her lawyers and she have decided that she should stay in Ohio until it is over.
In the past 3 years, due to anxiety and loneliness, I have questioned whether she could deal with the litigation from Wa. I have gone home several times and she has traveled here through the time. In the past year, my anxiety and lonliness intensified my questioning of the case. What she didn't tell me was that she began to think to herself that she was doing something wrong. The more I asked the more she believed she was doing something wrong until she finally told me she was tired and done.
I went home immediately to talk face to face and with the intentions of staying by her side until the litigation is over. She told me she needed time to think and that she couldn't live with me right now. I came back to Wa to maintain my job in the hope that we can work this out, I wanted to keep the security I have worked so hard for in the past 3 years. I finally have a job where I was going to be able to tell her she doesn't have to work any more if she chooses. That I finally feel as an equal and a provider. We both have worked for our entire time together to provide for the boys, now I want to provide for her.
I am thinking I will continue to work here until just before christmas, then I will apply for emergency family leave and go home, this will secure my job for 6 months to maybe a year. I am torn between keeping the security and feeling as if I should go back to Ohio to be closer. It would mean a 10 to 15 thousand a year cut in pay and if there to long, the loss of the job I have now.
This whole thing really stinks. My love for this woman is unending and I am torn between love and responsibility.
Expert:  KimberlyF replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for replying to Just Answer Bobby!

You have half the battle won by just making sure you will be there for her now that she needs you but doing it 2500 miles apart is not good for any marriage. Patience is going to be your virtue right now. If she says she needs time to think about what she wants and if you push her that may end your marriage. She has had a life altering experience with getting hit by a car, she may think that life is too short and she wants to live life to the fullest, you're going to have to show her that you support her no matter what she wants to do. That is a good idea to take a leave and work on your marriage but only if your wife agrees with you to take that step. If you push you may push her away and you definitely do not want that. Your love for her may but the only thing that get you too through that. She has some legal obligations right now so let her handle that and you stay in Washington and work and then by the time Christmas comes around maybe she will be ready for the two of you to try the living in one place together thing. Ask your wife if it is okay for you to take a leave around Christmas time and see what she says but don't ask right away give her a month or two to work on her litigation back in Ohio. You can still have love and responsibility all at once you just have to work throug h the marriage first. If the men and women serving in Iraq can be away from their wives and husband the two of you can do it and still have a healthy marriage. Love brings people through the toungest of times and I think with the love you have for her it will do the same. I hope things work out for you and if you still need more help from me please do not hestitate jsut click the reply button it is free.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to KimberlyF's Post: I appreciate what you have said so far, but it brings up another issue with this situation. Whenever I ask her what she wants me to do, she always responds with, "I won't tell you what to do. Do what you think is right. I don't want to tell you what to do and have it come back to me "

By the way, she is a social worker for pregnant mothers and I am a co-occurring therapist for chemical dependency and mental health working on an indian reservation. We both went through school together up through our MSW's while we were raising the boys. She is a very proud, stubborn, independent African American, I am native and white. we have struggled through many obstacles through the years.
Expert:  KimberlyF replied 7 years ago.

Thank you fro replying to Just Answer Bobby!

Although interracial relationships and marriage is doubly hard in this day in age it is not impossible. I myself was in an interracial marriage and it is hard and still not alot of people accept it but that shouldn't hold anyone back from being with the one they love. Love has no boundaries and that includes color. What you need to ask yourself is "Am I willing to wait for her as long as it may take?" If you are willing to answer that with a yes then that is what you have to do, it seems like she is not ready to make that big of decision and again that may because she came so close death when she got hit by the car. People who go through that have a whole new outlook on life and how important or not important it is. It doesn't sound to me like she wants the marriage to end it just sounds like she want some time for herself. Don't take it to heart things right now for her are a little hectic with the litigation she has going right now and working and then coming to grips with what happened to her. Did you ever hear the saying it is so much easier to help someone else than to help yourself, your wife is the prime example she has a job counseling pregnant mothers but has so many issues in her own life. Just be patient and hope that she comes around and lets you back in. Don't give up so easily things will work themselves out and you will do what is best for the both of you. If you still need my help click reply and I will help as long as you need me to.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to KimberlyF's Post: Thanks for your insights. As I have said, I am a therapist and work with many. They have all given me pretty much the same feedback as you have, but for some reason it seems more acceptable when I see it in print.

My problem is coming to terms with the possibility that she may not accept that we can go on together. I went into a complete panic when I thought about it being over. I still get a hole in my stomach when I think about this. I feel as if she is ripping my heart and soul right out of my body. I was raised to be with someone and although I may have the education and intelligence to think I can go on if she decides we can't, my belief and emotions are reaking havoc with my rational thought. She keeps saying it's not my fault, that it's her's. I've asked her if she has met someone else and she responds by saying she doesn't think she was meant to be in a relationship with anyone, that she has not met someone else. Somehow, her telling me it is not my fault, isn't very comforting and it doesn't seem fair. We worked hard for many years to get the boys raised, improve ourselves so we could enjoy our lives together. To walk away from it just because she didn't tell me she was feeling as if she did something wrong isn't right. It isn't either of our faults, it was a life situation which has created this gap.

On another note, how did you get involved with this type of counseling? I have the credentials and years of experience and like you said, it's easier to help others than to help myself.
Expert:  KimberlyF replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for replying Bobby!

Yes you could help others on our site all you do is apply to be an expert and with your credentials you can help alot of people and in the mean time maybe get your mind off of your relationship problems and it may even help you heal if your wife does decided that the marriage is over. Good Luck to you Bobby and if you ever need someone to talk to me and the other experts are always here when you need us!

KimberlyF, Longtime Relationship Expert
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 750
Experience: Relationship expert for almost three years with JustAnswer.com
KimberlyF and 4 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for your time

How do I become one of the experts you are talking about?

I don't even want to consider that our marriage is over, at least not yet.

Once again, Thanks
Expert:  KimberlyF replied 7 years ago.
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