Wayne in La Ronge writes:
My wife and I are separated right now but live in the same house. We have two boys one is 13 and the other is nine. I just need to know if my family is going to fall apart or is there a chance of us getting back together and how long do you think that would be? She is seeing someone that is 16 years younger than her. He is 22 and she is 38. I am desperate to win her heart back. Please help me.
“I’m very sorry, but it looks as if there are more struggles ahead for your family. Even though all of you are living under the same roof, your wife’s actions are creating a level of tension that will continue to disrupt what was once a happy home.”
Although her ultimate happiness is up to her, not you, your wife hasn’t been happy with your marriage, or many aspects of her life, for a couple of years now. It is almost as if she is rebelling against everything she believes has been holding her down or back. Again, this is not your doing, it is hers.
For the time being, she does find joy and solace with her younger man. He makes her feel free and alive. This is an affair, but not one that is going to last forever. Currently, she is using her affair as an escape and an emotional band-aid. While there are aspects of this relationship that do make her feel better, there are also some aspects that make her feel worse. You have a very conflicted and confused woman on your hands, and it is going to take her awhile to sort things through and figure things out.
It is hard to be separated and still living together. I know there are family and financial reasons at play, but it is very challenging to try and live independently while still sharing common space. Because of this arrangement, your wife is not fully experiencing the impact of what life really would be like if she were to more fully separate from you and the boys. Right now, you are being as accommodating as you can, and it is essentially working out favorably for her – but maybe not for you in the long run.
I know you love her, and that you want what is best for your family, but things aren’t going to calm down and come together quickly. You can’t “win back” your wife’s heart – you have to allow her the freedom to discover that she wants to give it to you. Even though it will be hard and painful, withdraw a bit from her and focus more on yourself and your kids. It is only after you have come to terms with the fact that your marriage, as you know it, is over that your wife seems to find that spark of interest in saving it once again.
This is going to be quite the chaotic year for your family, but things should start to settle down sometime in November. Prepare yourself for the worst, my friend. Even though you ultimately can keep your family together, your marriage is going to remain troubled for quite some time.
I’m very sorry.