Hello Red –
I can really use some guidance as I’m feeling extremely lost. I came back home after a deployment to a hurt wife who later divorced me. After four months apart, we’re back to living together but she has a boyfriend and at times things are strained. We both still love each other very much… after ten years and a child we have a bond. I feel that we’ll end up together again, but there are times when I lose sight and push her away because I’m hurt. Everyday it’s a struggle to get out of bed as I just wish the pain would go away. I can really use some help here and any direction is better than where I’m going now.
Franklyn in Plymouth
I’m feeling your pain and I would love to be able to erase it, but the truth is, it’s going to take some time and more than a little work.
There were issues brewing between you and your wife before you left, and with everything that happened while you were away… well, it just got to be too much for the woman. Hence, the divorce.
I know you still love her a great deal. And you’re right; she still loves you. Nevertheless, you need to pick yourself up and dust yourself off. It’s time to clear your head and start working through the pain.
There is a very real possibility of getting this relationship back on track, but first you must deal with your own issues, and your ex-wife must deal with hers. Each of you has a great deal of pain, anger, and guilt that really needs to be processed. Ideally, each of you could have some individual sessions, and then consider joint or family sessions.
Your living arrangements need to be defined and agreed upon. There is too much fluctuation in the nature of this relationship. Currently, you are allowing your ex-wife to take advantage of you, your hope, and your guilt. Not knowing what each day brings and where you stand isn’t helping you; it’s hurting you.
Your ex-wife really doesn’t know what, or who, she wants at this point in time. Again, counseling will help her figure these things out.
As for you, you have some more pain and painful decisions to make. Things aren’t just going to come together nice and smoothly for you. You need to find your inner strength, prepare to stand alone, and get back your self-esteem and self-respect.