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Grieving And Clueless

Question:

Anne, I have been married for 22 years to my wife who I am still very much in love with but she has recently moved out, she says she has not loved me for a long time and has just been going through the motions for the sake of the children. We have two daughters that are older now; 19 and 17. She doesn’t even want to try counseling though I do. I am lost and probably need help for myself. I am very depressed and clueless how or what to do.

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
  • ‘Anne’ bases her responses on her personal experiences and not on professional training or study. She does not represent herself to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor or professional helper of any sort. Her responses are offered from the perspective of a friend or mentor only.
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Answer:

The coming apart of a marriage can be especially difficult when one partner is left behind unexpectedly by the other. The partner who leaves has had time to come to terms with any grief she may feel and gets to leave on her own terms. In contrast, the partner who is left behind is taken by surprise by the extent of the damage to the relationship, and doesn’t have time to process through his loss before it hits. It’s called shock, what you’re experiencing. It’s called grief. I feel for you. Marital counseling is in general a good approach to take when a relationship is having difficulty. In order for it to work, however, both parties have to want to be there, and have to be willing to do the work necessary to fix what has broken in the relationship. It isn’t a hopeful sign if your wife isn’t willing to go for counseling. Counseling will be a good idea for you (as an individual), however. Your pain, “depression” and “cluelessness” are normal reactions to a very difficult situation. You are grieving. Counseling can help you to move through your grief, maybe a little faster, or at least more comfortably (as you will not be completely alone in your grief). Good luck.

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