My husband ask me for a divorce the other day. I am devastated. He said I’m not the person he wants to spend the rest of his life with. It’s over. We have been together for 5 years. When its good , its really good. But when its bad its miserable. He blames me for almost all of our arguments. I suggested counseling, separating,seeing a pastor. He refuses. The day after he broke the news, I noticed he took his ring off. I am so hurt. He said he is setting the stage. I feel like he is breaking his commitment to our marriage before we even file. Please advise me, how should I react? Thanks.
- ‘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.
- Anne intends her responses to provide general information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by ‘Anne’ to people submitting questions.
- ‘Anne’, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. ‘Anne’ and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
First, let me say that you have my sympathy. You’re confronted with a very difficult, very painful turn of events, and I wish you well in navigating yourself through them.
Generically, you can think of relationships in trouble as either being savable or not. To fall within the category of savable relationships, both partners must still want to save the marriage, and be willing to work to make the relationship work. There must be a continuing spark of attraction and loyalty in both partners or the relationship will fail. If that spark has extinguished in one or both partners, then the relationship is dead, and no amount of work by a single partner who still feels that flame will bring it back. One partner working alone cannot save a relationship.
It seems to happen often enough that one partner’s flame of attraction and loyalty dies out without the other knowing that this has occurred. The partner who is leaving has time to get used to the idea that their love is dying, and can grieve in their way, while the other partner doesn’t have this knowledge, and gets caught by surprise when the bomb ultimately drops. The leaving partner has already grieved prior to this event and remains cool while the left-behind partner goes into shock.
It looks to me that this pattern I’ve described is a fair approximation of what you’re describing yourself caught up in. If you agree, the right move is to accept that the relationship is dead and not waste time and energy trying to rekindle something that is already dead. Go scream and wail and cry (as you would at a funeral), and then figure out what your life will look like post-divorce. Get yourself a lawyer and look out for your interests. The world is ever-renewing, and if you give yourself some time, you will find your way.