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Coping With Separation: Surviving the First Few Days

Several years ago, my relationship with my first husband ended, starting with an abrupt separation. It was the one of the most devastating experiences of my life. I survived those days, and it is my hope to help and comfort others who are going through a similar experience.

Basic Self Care

Breathe. Just breathe. In and out. Take some deep breaths. Pay attention to your body. Are you tensing your shoulders? Your jaws? Open up your hands, drop your jaw open. Just breathe deeply for a few moments.

Are you eating? Drinking water? Getting enough sleep? Make it a priority to take care of yourself so you can think clearly and make good decisions in the upcoming days.

Slow Down

You might have to make a few decisions immediately (see below), but many decisions can be put off until later. Don't make a big decision or choice that you might regret later. Take slow steps, and don't let anyone rush you.

Seek Help

Go to people you trust the most, perhaps people you have known for a long time. Quite often this is family, but it can also be trusted clergy or friends who will listen and support you. Don't share everything that is going on with everyone you know. Stay quiet a little bit and let things sink in.

Go about your normal day....or don't

If you are working and need to take a day or two off, go ahead and do that. For others, it might be better to keep your normal routine going, and process later on when you have some time off. Do what feels helpful to you.

Resist the urge to retaliate

Chances are, you are dealing with a huge range of emotions right now. This is not the time for desperate conversations, angry words, or pleading with your spouse. Things can change quickly. Sometimes separations end up being temporary. Don't say things you'll regret later.

This isn't the time for self blame

It will be necessary and good to evaluate the separation at some point. It will be good to consider the causes, and consider your role and responsibility. However, this is not the time to start despising or berating yourself. Don't start a pattern of self-hating speech, as that will not be of any benefit to you.


It's okay to cry if you need to. It's okay if you don't cry, too. People react so many different ways to these things. Don't judge yourself based on your responses. There is a wide range of "normal" in this situation.


If you are a person of faith in Jesus Christ, you have the God and Creator of the universe on your side. He is with you. He will never, ever forsake you. He will walk with you through the pain and grief. You can absolutely pour out your heart to Him in prayer. If you don't have words, He still hears your cries and knows the aching you feel in your heart. The Psalms can be a very valuable resource when you are going through the pain of separation. Some favorite passages in this situation include Psalm 69, 77, 80, 88 and 130. It's important to go to your pastor, priest or close Christian friends for support and prayer when you are going through a separation.

A few practical matters to take care of immediately

  1. Find a good attorney. This does not meant you are getting a divorce. It means you are attending to basic practical matters. If you know someone who has gone through a recent divorce, perhaps they can recommend one for you.
  2. Stay where you are (depending on the circumstances). It may or may not be a good idea to leave your home. If you are in any danger, you need to leave and go somewhere safe. Otherwise, it may be advisable to stay. An attorney can advise you on what is the best thing to do in your situation.
  3. Protect yourself financially. Depending on the laws in your state, it may be necessary to file for a legal separation. Getting a legal separation is not the same as getting a divorce. When I was first separated, my stomach turned at the very idea of divorce. I was separated for nearly a year, hoping that my marriage would be restored. However, it is vital to protect yourself financially from a spouse that may no longer have your best interests at heart. This is the one thing you should do as soon as possible. Again, it has no bearing on whether or not you ultimately get divorced. It protects both of you in the interim.

These are dark days but....

It is hard to comprehend at this time, but you have some very good days ahead of you yet. Hang on for the ride. It's going to be tough for awhile, but you can make it through this. Maintain your integrity, and you won't have regrets later on.

How about you?

Have you gone through a marital separation? Do you have any advice, or thoughts to add? Please comment below. I plan to add more hubs on the topics of divorce and separation soon.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2013 Karen Fritzemeier


Andy on November 13, 2018:

Two weeks ago my wife sent me a text message while on a girls weekend and said she wanted a separation...we have know each other 12 years and married 7. We have two beautiful girls 6year old and 2 year old. I noticed 8 months ago she started her disconnect and was talking to one of my buddies that I consider a emotional affair...I caught her and my trust was broken and then I started to smother a bit bit then she shown signs of love for awhile but then went cold this past October...I was devasted...we aren’t finiacialy stable for us to live separately so we are in the same house but separated...it’s hard because she is so cold towards me and angry towards myself and the kids...she says the last few months were only fake love and then the last 12 years was all about me. We are seeing a counselor and I am fully involved but she is half glass full...she is giving us 6 months to see if she finds her love for me again...right now it’s no love. I have changed dramatically to listen and be there for her 8 plus months ago but she still holds onto the past which wasn’t that bad in my opinion. I guess my biggest challenge is how I can work thru this in a positive manner. I am heart broken and sad.

Garik on October 09, 2018:

This is my first day being separated from my family and let me tell you oh my God this is awful this is bad and I'm so confused I am sitting in my car crying and don't know what to do, right now I just open my Google browser and I search what can I do to survive next couple of days, because right now it feels like I won't be able to survive without my kids and that is painful and that is the feeling that I never felt, my heart cries and I'm in pain right now and I found this article and I just want to say thank you for helping people like me to understand what they need to do to go through next few days until they find themselves and move on with their life, your suggestions really helped me little bit right now so I feel a little better thank you again

Robert weis on March 06, 2017:

I am living with my wife but we are separated,sleeping In separate rooms, Things were building up between us, until I exploded cursing telling her to get out etc, this happened on occasions,that day I seen her face I knew that was It.We have been together 24years married 17, and we have a 9yr old.I started to get help anger mngt,meditating writing journals.It's been a little over a month, a few weeks into it she said the door was open to fix, then it changed to I don't see myself with you, to I don't know how I will feel a month from now, then she was away on business came home and said she thought about and it's done she's not gonna stay for the house my son she has to do what is right for her she said.I'm very confused Its still fairly new.. What should I do

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on October 11, 2015:

I am glad this was helpful....it is so, so hard. I am hoping and will pray you can find some support in your new location.

Karen on October 10, 2015:

Glad found this information to help me cope with the pain of being abandoned after 20 years of marriage. We have just moved to a new area where i dont know a soul and he left us stranded here. I know he is having am affair with someone he dated when he was a teenager. It was so easy for him to leave while i am left in pain and emotional suffering so unreal i have never felt so hurt in my life!

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on May 12, 2015:

Tess, I'm so sorry I didn't see this sooner. I hope that things have improved for you since this was written some months ago. I apologize for not responding sooner.

Tess on December 22, 2014:

My husband and I have been together for nine years, married four this coming February. We have two children. He told me yesterday that he thinks we should separate and I'm totally crushed. He has always been very affectionate where as for me that doesn't come very naturally. He started to distance himself from me a couple of months ago. When I approached him about this he said it took him having to pull away from me to for me to show him affection. I love him more than anything and I've told him this but I don't think he believes me. He says maybe we just got too comfortable together and that not living together might reignite our love. I cheated on him three years ago and denied it for two years. He said he's still angry and hurt about that. I thought we had moved past it. He wants to see a counselor (for himself) and says he doesn't want to get a divorce. When he says he loves me but needs to figure out if he's in-love with me it's like a dagger in my heart. My worst fear is that he doesn't want to be with me anymore but is afraid to say so because he knows how much it will hurt me. I know this is my fault but I feel angry. Nothing makes sense and I can't stop crying. I feel lost, scared and alone. I don't confide in people very often so this isn't easy for me.

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on November 05, 2014:

It is an awful spot to be in. I am so sorry you are going through this.

brownie83 on November 05, 2014:

Hi ive been looking at all these messages im feeling really low at the moment ive left my wife after 3years we always argue non stop she hit me 2 years ago blacked my eye we went to buy the house we were renting but i pulled out she not got much money and that's all she cares bout is having a roof over her head she doesn't get paid much so i pay for everything and i feel so guilty for this but we will end up doing something nasty to each other if i stayed there. My first wife left me for another man and 6 months later i was married again i think i rushed in2 it she is 14 years older than me and doesn't like me going out anywhere with my friends as she don't trust me im totally feel like crap sorry to use tgat word

Lisa Marie on June 20, 2014:

Wonderful suggestions, sans the religious mumbo-jumbo.

Kevin on June 07, 2014:

Hi Ed, our war stories all seem to have similarities ... And yep, some serious emotional pain. (I have a couple of posts up above about two weeks ago) I'm not religious in anyway and this hub has a strong leaning toward Christianity, but what got me to peruse this site was the "HEADER", getting through those early days of separation, because I really thought I was headed for a TOTAL BREAK-DOWN and having kids and all, I just couldn't afford for this to happen. Anyway, in one of karenfritz's responses to me, she indicated writing had helped her. So guess what, I just started writing and writing some more, in the third person, in an attempt to be totally honest with myself and less subjective toward my wife and her (cruel) actions to date ... Ed I don't know where all this writing is going to go, but I tell you I've seriously unravelled a lot of truths I have hidden from myself, really stuff and actions I'm not particuarly proud of AND I certainly have been able to objectively delve into my wife's premeditated motivations pertaining to her actions to date. The influences of environmental conditioning dating back to her childhood, i.e. in her extended family, one out of eleven remains married, the rest are either cases of abandonment etc, that have resulted in divorce. In my extended family, my mother has just now passed on, but was married to my father for sixty (60) years this year, my sister thirty six years, myself until recently twenty one years and in my whole extended family, I have a single cousin who has been divorced once and currently happily remarried ... GO FIGURE ... My wife as of recently, I don't reckon has a chance of beating those environmental influences from her past. What do they say, we're a product of our environment. Anyway, I don't have answers for myself as of yet, but I have a jigsaw puzzle that I'm building with my writing, which is seriously helping me cope with some of the pain of what's happened, tons of introspection, there is plenty blame sitting right at my own doorstep, and insights of my previous partners psyche that I've just chosen to ignore over these many years ... Bottomline, the most difficult thing in the world to do, is be BRUTALLY HONEST WITH ONES SELF, I reckon and sincerely hope I come out of this whole thing a better person. Probably to late for me to have another go at relationships, I'm no youngster or oil painting for that matter, in great shape though (LOL), but if I understand how this whole thing landed up unravelling on me, maybe my kids will have the benefit of this knowledge, so they don't make the same mistakes I've made my whole life through ... Good luck Ed, karenfritz is right, I don't think the pain will ever leave me completely, but it certainly lessens in intensity with time.

Ed on June 04, 2014:

I've read through, and can relate to everything posted....I've known my wife for almost 25 yrs....We've been together the last 12, and have only been married since 2011...A while back, I went to her, and told her we needed to talk...I told her that we have slowly drifted apart over the last few years, to which she agreed...She informed me that she "loves me", but isn't "in love" with me anymore and needs her space and time...I told her that I would be supportive, if she felt that is what she needs..A week or so later, she informed me that she wants to move out...Again, I am being supportive...She can't move just yet, so she has been staying in the house with me and our 10 yr.old son...Now she is at the point that she doesn't want to give or receive affection...She also tells me that she is sorry for hurting me like this, but that she has no idea why she feels this way..She says she has no answers as to why she feels the need to separate right now...I'm totally devastated. I have always loved this woman from day one...I don't drink..I don't do drugs...If I'm not at work, I'm at home...She even said that I am the "perfect man"...I am just so lost at this point. I am on an emotional rollercoaster every day that is filled with so much pain and hurt...No shame when I say that I cry every day...

MBRB on June 02, 2014:

My wife decided Friday that I was to go live with a friend. She talked with them earlier in the day. Pretty much told me I could go that night or the next day she didn't care.

She tolded me she wasn't in love with me. But loved me as a person. She only married me cause, I loved her unconditionally.

2 weeks ago, I found out she has been talking to friends about our relationship for 6 months. That she isn't happy and I had to pull teeth to get her to talk to me. I asked her weeks before if anything was bothering her and she said "no just in a mood"

Right around that 6 month marker she talked with a friend who isn't the best judgment for relationships. Who runs at the first sight of trouble.

We had an argument that night and I asked her to please talk to anyone other then them. Someone who is married or a closer friend. She agreed that they weren't the best choice to have gotten advice from.

(It wasn't advice really they just talked down about me and did some comparing themselves to me. )

I found out that she has been talking to that same person about our relationship for the past 6 months. Also other friends. She stopped talking to me altogether about our issues. I was thinking things were going well. I worked on a few things and thought we were happy.

She told me she has been putting on a show for me that she was happy. (The last person she should be putting a show on for. ) She hasn't been talking to me saying she was afraid I would hurt her. And I thought that was crazy I would never raise my hand to her or have ever showed signs I would. I don't believe in violence. I'm a very honest upfront kind of person.

She also said she wanted to bounce ideas off people before coming to me with our problems. I said that's fine as long as it was a few days later not 6 months later. That a long time to deal with a problem that's going no where.

So.. now, I'm at my friends house with 1 of my dogs in a not my comfort zone trying to deal with this shock. Since there should have been more things to try before separation. Also longer then 2 weeks time to try to work things out since that's when I was told about everything all these issues.

She did tell me I have worked on all of them and its not crazy things. But more thank you's and being more positive.

But here I sit all pissed I have no say and have been shut out of my marriage and lied to for so long. She doesn't want to talk to me. How is that going to help. That's what got us to this point!

I stumbled across tthis looking for some helpful answers. I didn't mean to just go off. But I'm confused

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on May 30, 2014:

I'm so sorry for all the pain you are going through.

Lisa, I think counseling sounds like an excellent idea. Also the "Love Must be Tough" book by Dr. James Dobson is so helpful.


One of the best books I ever read about porn addiction and what it can do to a marriage was called An Affair of the Mind by Laurie Hall. I highly recommend that book. I also wrote an article on hub pages (see my profile to find it) about the reasons to wait on dating, which would apply to separation as well as divorce.

Carla on May 29, 2014:

Oh my I don't know where to start , I've been with my husband 7 years married for 4 , we have new baby girl 5 months old. We went through ivf to conceive her, it was tuff , my husband was there but not , he was physically there for support but emotionally absent , I'm packing up house now to move in a couple of weeks and my heart is breaking , but at the same time I haven't felt a connection with my husband for years, we rarely had sex and when we did I would make a comment like " that was so good" even though it was routine and plain. He's response has always been "mmm hmmm"

I just feel like I want someone would can connect with me on a deeper level, I know this next phase in my life is going to be so hard especially with a baby but I know deep in my heart I'm not in love with him. For years it was all about him , sport,friends hobbies ect and when we were "together " we watched tv in different rooms.He would take me to fancy places for dinner but there was no communication . I would look around the room and see couples laughing talking holding hands and we were just blank , he would be checking sport scores I would be twiddling my thumbs.our conversation were very mundane " how was your dinner?"

To top this all off he is totally dependent on his mum , she has been the core of many arguments as she loves control and has access to everything in our lives, from money to bills to where we go for check ups for the doctor.after having my beautiful daughter I just couldn't take the control anymore and began to speak up , they didn't like it and it has caused this break up as well as all the other things mentioned. I mean his mum wanted to be called mama ,she bought a whole nursery , pram car seat the lit , I told my husband this was overwhelming as it's was happening but his response would be "she the grandma she can do whatever she wants" or "she's just excited " he has NEVER stood by me in any disagreement with his mum , she always gets his support , while I stand alone, I just can't take anymore , my husband still thinks I've over reacted but I feel I. Just speaking my mind.

There sis also another red flag which I discovered when we were first dating , he is very into a creepy fetish , when I approached him he said it was a joke , so I left it, I was going to marry this guy, I had to trust him. But then a few weeks back I found he was looking at this porn again and it totally broke me , I asked again and the same reason as many years ago was given.it makes me question his sexuality and he refuses to talk about it. I think why is he using all this energy on this porn when he's hot a wife who wants to have sex and intimacy ? I'm just so disappointed , he looks great on paper , great job, works hard , business, owns properties ,plays sport , but on a deeper level he is absent . I'm so sad, I hope I cope.he says it's a trail separation but I don't know if I want invest the rest of my life in a loveless marriage , I will have to wait and see , only time will tell , the saddest thing is I had pictured a family of my own with a mum and dad , now I'm trying to picture it differently , it's hard I hope I can find someone who will love me and my daughter and be connect on a deeper level

lisa on May 28, 2014:

I have been with my husband 23 years and married 12...we have 3 children and he left me over Memorial Day weekend ....and doesn't seem like there is any faith of us getting back to where we used to be ...He stepped out of the marriage 2 years ago n I seem to not be able to get over that and it's killing our marriage .He has apologized and has went to certain measures to assure and show me that it was a mistake n that he loves me and wants me but I've been so stuck on not forgiving him that I have pushed him away and now finally going to counseling but I think it might be to late. ..All I want to is let the past go but I need help on how to do it and I still have the feeling that there is someone else now in his life and that influenced his decision to decide out of the blew this is the time. ...I am not giving up without a fight but I don't want to be hurt again and I don't want to be alone either.....He is my world and it's hard being strong for your kids and I'm still up in air at where I stand on this marriage ...he's not giving me answers just keeps saying that I need to focus on getting counseling because I need to let all this anger go...I just wish I knew if he was going to be there with me or not. ..how do I approach the question without being so harsh and demanding ....

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on May 21, 2014:

Maybe I should re-phrase that. The pain doesn't completely go away....it just gets easier with time. The acute pain doesn't last forever and the intensity lessens, thankfully. I felt the same way, Kevin. It was heartbreaking. There was a good book called "Love Must Be Tough" by Dr. Dobson I found helpful. Also want to say, you can always pray for reconciliation. All things are possible. She may turn around.....I pray she does. But may the Lord help you and bless you in this uncertain time.

Kevin on May 21, 2014:

Thanks Karen, but shooo I miss her ... This may be a bit cliche', but she is going to have to search a 1000 worlds and a 1000 lifetimes to find someone who loves her as I do.

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on May 19, 2014:

Kevin, you are exactly right. Someone once told me "Life can make you bitter or better." Take the higher road and you will see......the pain will not last forever. My separation was over ten years now, but it was still therapeutic to write about it and share with others what helped me. I pray everyone who has posted here can find support, friendship and faith to help them through. There may just be a beautiful life yet ahead....and you will be all the richer for what you have been through.

Kevin on May 19, 2014:


Thanks Msad ... I was kinda feeling I was the only one in the world inflicted with this human sickness, emotion. I've got this whole anger thing happening now, I don't know which is worse, it effects my kids. Anyway, adversity is either going to break me or make me a better person. I hope you cope and come out ahead.

Msad on May 16, 2014:


Going thru this pain and devastation right now myself, it hurts no matter male or female when your the one left behind. I feel your pain and hopefully someday happiness will return to our lives.

Kevin on May 14, 2014:

My wife of 21 years packed her bags and walked out on my kids and I six days ago. She sent me an e: mail to notify me of her intentions. The kids and I were totally blind-sided ... I have so much to say, but just don't have the energy ... besides I'm considered by few to be a fairly hard and tough guy. I consider myself to be a pretty hard and tough guy, to find out how weak I actually am. At 51 years of age, I'm an emotional wreck, totally not coping with this at all. Through the years, I've taken some hard knocks, but nothing like this. Just now I start sounding like a right wimp, but geez I didn't believe something like this could hurt so much. I mean us guys are supposed to be able to deal with stuff like this, apparently not.

Leanne on May 09, 2014:

My husband of 13 years told me last weekend he wanted to separate. We have two children, 12 and 10. In the past, we have said some hurtful words to one another (I hate you, why are we still together, we need to quit pretending that things are ok, etc...) all of this would be said after we would get into an argument about money, parenting, sex. However, we usually got over the verbal abuse and go about our daily lives. Well, last weekend, out of nowhere (no argument was taking place), my husband decides that he has had enough and wants out of our 13 year marriage. I am devastated. Yes , I have said hurtful things to him, things that I said when I was angry that I never should have. However, I am deeply, deeply sorry and the last thing I want him to do is leave. I have poured my heart out to him through text because he won't communicate with me any other way. I've even changed the way I am doing things just so I can prove that I love him and that I really do want our marriage to work. So far, nothing i say or do is working. He has cut all communication with me, all social activities we had planned to attend as a couple he is going alone. He told me I could not go. He has come home every night this week at the wee hours of the morning, and sleeping until I get the kids and myself off to work and school. Then he gets dressed and goes to work. This morning, he packed a few clothing items and bathroom necessities. I'm assuming my husband is not coming home tonight. I am at a lose!!!! What do I do??? I love my husband VERY much. I do not want him to leave. I'm scared...

Maria on May 09, 2014:

My husband kicked me and my kids out of the house 2 weeks ago.. He had another girl calling my phone saying they have been messing around.. We we're together for almost 4 years. What i did was turn to god. And nothing else. Yes the pain is unbearable! I sometimes feel lost and miss him.

Dona on May 01, 2014:

Almost all of these stories fill the blanks of my current situation. I have been in my marriage for the last 13 years and have been with him for 18 years. I have been through three other bouts of his infidelity. Each time he asked for my forgiveness and I have taken him back. This last and 4th time he again found someone else to be with in our marriage. We now have two small children and I fill like I am losing my mind. I have begged, pleaded and groveled for him to leave this person alone. In the meantime, he has given many gross details and concluded that she is his dream girl. I have tried to keep this embarrassment from friends and family but I can not stop crying. I cry at work or at the drop of anything. This time I expected him to come back to me since I told him that I want him and will forgive him. He keeps telling me NO. The fear has overtaken me of raising children and moving on. I have even tried to commit suicide to escape the deep pain. He talked me out of it and then told me that because I didn't go through with it, I'm playing mind games. I am a my wits end, I want to move on so bad and see light but my life seems so dark. I have tried to find some light and him coming around everyday this is killing me. I don't want to utter another plea but I just want him to come to his senses and come back. I am so confused, hurt and betrayed.

Terri on February 24, 2014:

My husband separated from me this past weekend after 29 years of marriage. I also feel so much pain. I can't stop crying, I can't eat or sleep. I asked if we could try to work on our marriage but he says no. So I know I need to get through this but I just can't seem to get my act together. This was such a shock to me. I keep hoping he will just walk through the door and say we can start over. To make it worse there was a time that I had these feelings and I wanted out. He begged me to stay and work it out and I did for our family even though I didn't want to. It took time but we made it through and I was able to be happy and in love again. But he won't give me a chance to make changes in my behavior. He just wants out. I have been told to let him go and leave him alone and I've been told if I still want the marriage I should fight for it. He holds all the cards because I really am afraid to do anything. I'm afraid if I do get myself together and move forward with my life and there is a chance he might change his mind that this might make him think I don't care. And if I try to get him to give us a second chance that he will not like that at all and push him further away. This is the hardest thing I have ever been through and the most painful. I wish I could just make it all go away.

SALJR24 on February 04, 2014:

Hi I recently separated with my wife of 15 yrs...I am lost confused and devastated....I don't understand how I as a man feel so much pain as to where she tells me she feels happy alone...one good thing about us we are still good friends and the communication is there I just don't understand how she can be so heartless towards me I have done everything and anything for my family one thing that kills me is that I am overweight and she is a fitness model but ive lost 80lbs in the past year but she seems to not care anymore I am in a world of pain and I don't see the light at the end of this very dark tunnel we have been together since she was 15 and I was 17 I can't give up on my family but I feel that she has

Jonesd4 on January 06, 2014:

My husband and I have been together for 16 years and married for 15. We have three beautiful children. Our journey of marriage started when I became pregnant after being together for 4weeks. I was told I couldn't get pregnant they were wrong. After finding out when I was six weeks pregnant he told his parents and then asked me to marry him, I of course said no but when I was 6 months pregnant I decided we should. As it was we were young and immature I was only 23 and he was 21. I thought it would be easy but it never has been. I don't expect him to be perfect or the marriage to be a fairytale, but still it's not what it should be and like many I have talked to I thought having more kids would help.(wrong) our kids are preteen sand teens now and one recently has been diagnosed with ADHD ( the youngest). I have struggled with him being an alcoholic and now he is abusing drugs (prescription) and to top it off he is taking my daughters pills for her ADHD Concerta. I have to hide them or he will take them it's sad. To top it all off we bought a house 3 years ago with his mom in her name we live in the main house and she in the in laws quarters not wired for 220 so no stove or dryer for her she uses mine. We started out doing well in this venture but it started to get out of hand about a year ago. His mother pays all the little bills elec water etc and we make the 1650.00 mortgage. While I love his mother dearly and appreciate most of the things she does it has definitely added strain as well. She is widowed and has very low self esteem so obviously she relies on him a lot. Not to mention the fact that she started acting like our live in maid, she didn't stop there she started opening my kids mail report cards etc. for awhile I tried to brush it off then I started to get angry and venting to him. Now it's all I can do to hold back. ( he is very defensive of her and puts her needs and feelings first) I am not blaming my failing marriage on her but it's sure not helping. Now it's to the point where I want to separate temporarily to give both of us space and time to see if we can rekindle what we had in the beginning which as I said was very stressful. I don't want a divorce but he is being rude unreasonable saying hurtful and mean things yet then he will text me obscene messages and inappropriate sex links. When I try to tell him I am angry and hurt and need space he says ok and then I found out he's been speaking with police and trying to figure out a way to kick me out so to speak. I feel in comfortable as it is as the house is in her name. I have asked several times to do MC but he declines for one reason or another. (Money, lack of willingness to open up etc.) I don't know what to do? Advise please would be appreciated!!

Brendan on January 05, 2014:

my wife is under serious stress at work and i in my job also ,, over the last few months she started to distance herself from me ,, this lead to me suffering a breakdown as she would not let me talk to her !!then my paranoia triggered something in her at christmas and on jan 4th she announced she was leaving us .. stating that she needed time away , but would still come home once a day to check on our children.I was devastated,, she was my childhood sweetheart and i will always love her ,, 30 yrs we were together,i hope someday she can get over her illness and be friends with me again..... but i would like any advice you can give to help heal the pain .thanks

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on January 02, 2014:

When I was going through my separation, it was so painful, just like that. One day at a support group, someone described it in terms of a death. Except there is no funeral, no cake, no flowers, no chance to say good-bye, no crowds of friends and loved ones coming together in a big group, helping to mourn the loss. For some reason, just hearing that analogy was a comfort to me. It is pretty much devastating as if someone had passed away. The grief is very real, and very similar. I am so sorry and know that I am praying for you today. There is nothing to do but to wade through, and there will be better days ahead. Praying for good support in your life, and for your children, and that you can reach out for it.

Juz on January 02, 2014:

I am also going thru this awful life changing event and still cannot come to grips that my husband has left me after 27 years and 3 beautiful children together...out of the blue and he is no longer in my life....how do I accept the fact that he appears to be handling this very easily where I am left in the foetal position most of the time....I just don't see a time that I won't miss him and love him and even want him back....where he appears to already made plans for his life without me ....no looking back seems to be his motto whereas I am still stuck in the life that we shared...

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on January 01, 2014:

Thanks Narelle, I'm so thankful you found it helpful.

Narelle on December 30, 2013:

Have just started this journey myself after my husband having another affair. Your advise is really helpful.

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on December 10, 2013:

Hi Mark, It is heartbreaking to hear about the grief you are going through. I attended this, and it really helped me with the pain I was dealing with. Might want to see if there is one near you. Highly recommended. http://www.beginningexperience.org/php5/index.html Praying for you and your family.

mark on December 10, 2013:

my wife of eleven years left me with my five kids one bright Sunday morning love her to death and 6 months later can't stop crying with counseling meds and all. my grief is overwhelming she wont talk to me even though she lets me see the kids i feel like i am losing my mind with pain it feels like a knife in my heart from morning till night even though i work full time may god have mercy on me and end my pain

Theguff on December 09, 2013:

Dear GG, I am so sorry to read your experience and all I can say is lets hold hands through this - me losing my husband and you your wife. There is always an ear on the other end of the line, so do write your feelings and people will respond and help in many ways. Lonliness is the killer, so make sure you try to do things out of the house. Where is 'here' ? COuntry ? My friends have been a great help but one of them said to me that the most important thing was to learn to depend on myself (something I have never had to do). So, I'm taking one tiny step each day and we'll see where that brings me. You're in my prayers, hang on in there , there are brighter days ahead . Theguff

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on December 09, 2013:

GG, I am so sorry for the pain you are going through. I had a few tears when I read your message. You are in my prayers.

GG on December 08, 2013:

My wife of 17 years just moved out couple days ago while I working far from home. I left work behind came home immediately to find an empty house. There was no warning and I thought my marriage was stable. We do not have kids. This has been devastating to me emotionally to me as I did not see it coming. I stumbled upon your writings looking for some help. Thanks, your words are encouraging. The first thing I'm having to do is breathe... I don't have any close friends here and feel devastated emotionally. This is the hardest thing emotionally I have ever gone thru. She was my best friend.

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on December 05, 2013:

So sorry you are going through this. It is a painful, very difficult time. I think it's important to have good support, such as a friend to call, or clergy. I found counseling helpful too. I haven't been in one of these groups, but have heard good things about them from a couple of friends. Perhaps there is one in your area? http://www.divorcecare.org/findagroup/search

I found when my husband moved out, it was one of the most agonizing parts of the process. I had lots of tears that week. Give yourself the space to grieve that you need.

Theguff on December 04, 2013:

Hi, have just joined as was looking for info on how to deal with a separation. I am going through such turmoil, as I asked for the separation, after years of hesitation. I finally plucked up the courage and felt such relief at that time, but unfortunately cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel now. My husband stopped speaking to me in May - NO communicatiaon whatsoever - and moves out of the house this week. I have been miserable with guilt since the beginning and am so filled with fear but I know in my heart we could not have continued. I need help with sorting out my emoitions, as he has got the bad end of the deal - moving out, visit rights, contribution for our son, and the bare hatred that he shows me is killing me. Over and over, I ask myself if I did the right thing - he did not treat me as a wife and enjoyed his life with 'the boys', made no effort to work at the relationship etc. So, does anyone have any advice for me on how to stop feeling so desperate and lonely ? Thank you in advance, TG

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on September 18, 2013:

L.T. So sorry about your situation. That sounds very difficult. It is fully your discretion how long you choose to wait. I also talked to people outside of the situation, such as my own counselor and pastor to get advice about timing. In my own situation, I saw that reconciliation was impossible after about a year of separation and attempts to reconcile. I had a measure of peace about moving forward and made good efforts to work on my own issues related to the marriage. It was still painful, still very difficult, but I had peace that I had done everything I could do. It took quite a measure of faith to move forward, even after the divorce was finalized. I wrote another article about waiting to date a year after divorcing. For me, that was also part of realizing fully that the marriage was over and that I had done all I could. https://hubpages.com/relationships/Dating-after-Di... I pray that you will find peace in the midst of your situation and I admire how you have worked to keep your marriage together.

L.T. on September 18, 2013:

I have been separated from my husband for the most part of this year. The longest period being two & a half months. Each time, he left me. There have been brief reconciliations & it was always as a result of my efforts. My counselor agrees that I have done everything possible to save my marriage. My husband resents me for making him go to counseling. I have seen an attorney to file for an uncontested divorce, but he has not signed. We have not communicated since our last separation about three weeks ago. I don't understand why he won't end the marriage since he has abandoned me. I hear your advise but I wonder how long must I "hang on for the ride".

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on August 17, 2013:

Thank you Pamela! I think there's a fine balance betweeen sharing too little and too much.

Pamela Mae Oliver from Georgia on August 15, 2013:

Very good advice; especially about not sharing everything with everyone you meet.

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on August 01, 2013:

Thanks Benjamin!

Benjamin Chege on August 01, 2013:

Good one

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on June 22, 2013:

Thank you Beata! :)

Beata Stasak from Western Australia on June 22, 2013:

Very useful insight, thank you for sharing:)

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on June 21, 2013:

Thank you Carly! I am hoping someone finds it just when they need it the most.

Carly Sullens from St. Louis, Missouri on June 19, 2013:

Your advice here is wonderful, accessible and doable. All of which matters when you are in the throes of heartache and looking for respite. Voted up!

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on June 19, 2013:

Thank you Angela. Yes, "survive" is a good word for it! I really appreciate your comment.

Angela Blair from Central Texas on June 19, 2013:

Excellent subject matter, advice and writing. For those of us who have traveled the road of separation and "survived" we can all testify that the advice you've given here is golden. Best/Sis

Karen Fritzemeier (author) on June 01, 2013:

Susan, Thank you so much. It truly is from my heart. One of those topics that I have been aching to write about for some time. My (now) husband also told me that was one of his favorite comments as well. I hope the article helps someone else along the way, as I had so much kind support when I was going through the experience.

Susan Ream from Michigan on June 01, 2013:

karen, this is a beautiful expression of your heart filled with practical and wise advice for those who will surely follow after you.

This one comment alone has the power to change the course (and save one so much unnecessary pain) of ones journey in the grief process ... "this is not the time to start despising or berating yourself. Don't start a pattern of self-hating speech, as that will not be of any benefit to you." Wisdom Karen and well said.

Thank you for opening your heart to share a very painful experience - May God use it to give hope to those in the midst. You are amazing. Voted up +++

God Bless YOU!


Karen Fritzemeier (author) on June 01, 2013:

Yes, in my own experience, it was quite difficult to think straight those first few days. It was pretty traumatic. I tried to think of things I would have liked someone to tell me (and I'm sure some of my dear friends and family must have advised me in a similar way). Thank you for your comments.

RTalloni on May 31, 2013:

You have some excellent input for anyone whose partner has abandoned their marriage. It would be a heartbreaking experience and the pain seems like it could prevent a person from thinking straight. Practical guidance with pointers on where to turn for more help would be hugely helpful in such a situation.

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