Advice for "My Wife Wants to be Separated"

I am the pursuer, the chaser, the one still in love. My wife wants to be separated and is the distance, the leaver, the one “figuring things out.” We are separated in the house, as she does not have a job. We are two months into no hugs, no intimacy and no interest emanating from her whatsoever. But, since she doesn’t have a job and I’m not looking to “kick her out,” what to do? I am seeing a therapist to help deal emotionally, but financially? Daily? I am stuck and looking for ideas to help me move on. Any suggestions?



You are in a very difficult situation. I’m so sorry. What I would like to know was how the two of you got here. Were you shocked by her wish to separate? Were things deteriorating and you knew it but didn’t want to face it? Were you fighting a lot? It would help to know.


I also want to bring up another possibility—could your wife be having an affair? I hope not, but I want you to open your eyes and consider that.


I have two pieces of advice that I think might help you.


  1. You need to have a heart to heart with your wife and lay the cards down on the table. You should tell her she needs to be upfront and tell you the real reasons she wants to separate. As difficult as the truth might be to hear, you need to hear it and she needs to tell it. Ask her, “What are you figuring out? If you still love me? If you still want to be married to me?”
  2. The second thing you should do (especially if she refuses to give you any real reasons for her actions) is put a timeline on things. I don’t think anyone should be expected to sit around and wait for someone else to “figure out what I want.” Especially if she is unemployed. So, you need to say, “If we are still doing this by ___(pick a date), you need to move out and find employment.


I know you love her, and I know it is scary to think of getting divorced, but from the outside looking in, she seems serious in her thoughts of divorce. So, you need to prepare yourself for that. How do you do that? By moving on with your own life as much as you possibly can. What I mean by that is, focus on your children (if you have any), your career, and your friends. Life is way to short to sit around waiting for someone to decide whether or not he/she wants to be with you. Because if she doesn’t want you, in time, you will experience the gift of meeting a woman who does. I’m not trying to simplify things—getting your life together takes time, hard work, difficult work emotionally, grieving, and healing. It takes courage.


Again, I don’t know the details, but I can tell you that I am someone who wouldn’t wait around. I would get to the honest root of what’s going on with your wife, I would encourage her to gain employment, and then I would focus on the thing I can control: me. I would make a good life for myself and my kids.


Best wishes. I hope it works out the way you want it to.

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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Guy Grinning is a blog for men facing divorce and dating after divorce. It's kind of like hanging out with your platonic female divorced friend and hearing her perspective on your divorce and your love life issues.

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