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  1. #1
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    Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    My wife of 10 years has decided that she wants out. She is absolutely resolute. We have had a great deal of financial difficulty the last 3 years, and for the last 5 years, I have been involved in trying to launch a business and it hasn't come through yet. I'm 46 and she is 37.

    Two and a half months ago, she started back working for a company that we used to work for together. We haven't worked there in 5 years. About a month ago she started to change 180 degrees like a totally different person. She started being cold, mean, and detached. She suggested we separate our income because she was too stressed about money. About two weeks ago is when she told me she wanted out. A week after that, she told me that is back in touch with a man she cheated on me with over 8 years ago. A man who works for that company but, I believe lives out of the country. She tells me that's not what it is but admits that being back in touch with him has been very exhilerating. She tells me we got married too young and she has felt trapped. She wants her youth back and working at that place and being in touch with that guy makes her feel young again. She needs to leave to find herself and to be alone and separate so she can be free and be fulfilled. She says she has felt smothered and trapped and that she hasn't been truly happy in years and that neither have I. She just has to do this for her, she says.

    She says she knows she is being selfish but she just has to do it. Her family is encouraging this as well. They have never fully accepted me for a number of reasons; divorced, child, wrong religiion, older, etc.

    We have definitely had our difficulties along the way with her family and with her getting adjusted to being a stepmom - she never wanted children. Sex and intimacy has been extremely infrequent in the last 3 years. But we also have had a very deep spiritual connection and a deep friendship to go along with our love. We still hugged and kissed and loved our time together. Admittedly, we had both gotten quite lazy about "working" the marriage. She has always felt that you shouldn't have to "work" at it. She doesn't like to communicate - she prefers to just bruch things under the rug. She says I over-analyze everything. Anyway...


    What's so strange is that just very recently - within about 3 weeks before she told me and even after she started back for a while, she was excited for US about the new job. She was happy to have the financial stability and was supportive of my need to keep trying this new company. We even had a couple of passionate interludes (including a VERY passionate love-making session) and she told me several times how attracted she is to me after all these years still and how excited she is about our future. Then boom - with whole change took place over maybe two weeks. It was like a light switch - almost scary.

    She says she is no longer in love with me and she acts like her moving out is a big party. We even had to attend a group party last weekend with friends who didn't know and she was texting the OM during dinner enough that the other women there noticed and called her out on it. It was the next morning she told me about him after swearing to me there was no other man.

    I am really struggling - up and down with my emotions. I don't want her to leave and all of our friends don't want her to as well. They think she is having a manic depressive episode and will regret this. But she is adament about being "free" and living alone. She thinks she has total clarity. I have read a bunch of posts on here and this whole thing is just frightfully too common. I could still really use some support and input. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Re: Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    Welcome to the forums. I wish it was under happier circumstances.

    That certainly seems quite out of character. It is obvious the OM plays a big role in this, but unless she has a history of manic-depression, I would explain her behaviour as a result of the former, and not the latter. Does she have history in that respect? Still, it would only explain what is going on in her mind for a bit - by no means does that mean justification.

    The words she direct at you are probably more to convince herself she is doing the "right" thing for herself, rather than for you. Obviously, no matter what her motivations, you need to take her words with a pinch of salt. Both the bad and the good.

    Because your relationship had become "normal", it is easy to imagine life to be more exciting with someone else. And at first it may well be, but it is doubtful such a thing will last, even if she is manic-depressive (it would accentuate the highs and lows, but otherwise it could well be a "regular" midlife crisis). The highs cannot last, and when she hits a low, she may well be wondering what she has achieved, how much damage she has caused, etc..

    You can't stop her from doing what she is doing, but you can certainly try to slow her down a bit. You can try and keep things civil, try to at least have some interaction with her. It is fruitless to push for answers, or for things to calm down, since she will respond in a very antagonistic manner towards you, and that may feel like she is ripping out your heart for fun.

    Spend some time with your friends. You need some real life emotional support, and no excessive amount of worrying will achieve much for you; as tempting as it is to think that enough thinking will net you all the answers, you must resist that temptation. I am not saying you should not give a thought to it, but you do need to spend some time away from it as well; even if it is something as mundane as fishing with your child on a Sunday afternoon.

    What are you otherwise doing to cope with the situation? Are all your friends mutual friends? What about your child? How old is he / she, and how does he / she handle the situation?
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  3. #3
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    Re: Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    Welcome to Lifesupporters TryingToMakeSense. Wish it was under better circumstances but most people come here for reasons of the heart or other life crisis's. You are not alone and we will do all we can to help you. It might be to just listen but you have lots of caring ears here and plenty of soft shoulders. I don't think I can add much to what Vautrin has said. I don't know how receptive you wife would be to a talk at this point but you could try just sitting down with her and see where it goes. Otherwise I guess you need to just let this situation play out and see where it leads. After she is on her own for a bit she may realize what she is leaving behind. Hang in there and feel free to vent here any time.
    The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office. (Robert Frost)

  4. #4
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    Re: Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    Quote Originally Posted by Vautrin View Post
    Welcome to the forums. I wish it was under happier circumstances.

    That certainly seems quite out of character. It is obvious the OM plays a big role in this, but unless she has a history of manic-depression, I would explain her behaviour as a result of the former, and not the latter. Does she have history in that respect? Still, it would only explain what is going on in her mind for a bit - by no means does that mean justification.

    The words she direct at you are probably more to convince herself she is doing the "right" thing for herself, rather than for you. Obviously, no matter what her motivations, you need to take her words with a pinch of salt. Both the bad and the good.

    Because your relationship had become "normal", it is easy to imagine life to be more exciting with someone else. And at first it may well be, but it is doubtful such a thing will last, even if she is manic-depressive (it would accentuate the highs and lows, but otherwise it could well be a "regular" midlife crisis). The highs cannot last, and when she hits a low, she may well be wondering what she has achieved, how much damage she has caused, etc..

    You can't stop her from doing what she is doing, but you can certainly try to slow her down a bit. You can try and keep things civil, try to at least have some interaction with her. It is fruitless to push for answers, or for things to calm down, since she will respond in a very antagonistic manner towards you, and that may feel like she is ripping out your heart for fun.

    Spend some time with your friends. You need some real life emotional support, and no excessive amount of worrying will achieve much for you; as tempting as it is to think that enough thinking will net you all the answers, you must resist that temptation. I am not saying you should not give a thought to it, but you do need to spend some time away from it as well; even if it is something as mundane as fishing with your child on a Sunday afternoon.

    What are you otherwise doing to cope with the situation? Are all your friends mutual friends? What about your child? How old is he / she, and how does he / she handle the situation?
    She does indeed have a history of manic depressive bouts. Some may even say bi-polar, but she refuses to consider such things. She just thinks things shouldn't be so hard and seeks answers in life changes instead of looking inside.

    She was absolutely euphoric when we moved out of our old house after 9 years and absolutely adored our new home. She went on and on about how we don't fight as much and how she just loves our new life. Then this almost one year in. I think she is inclined to start to feel life is lacking once the "shine" wears off of new things, situations, and/or events. I have written her numerous poems and letters along the way encouraging her to find the joy in the little things. She usually responds for a time.

    Her mother has been a horrible influence over the years. Her mother's mother mistreated her terribly and her mother has mistreated both daughters terribly. Even when we were just friends, I saw my STBEXW literally collapse to the floor in abject fear and sadness over what her mother was telling her over the phone. And yet, this is whom she seeks advice from now.

    Yes, almost all of my friends are mutual, though I have some friends in the business world that are mine. All of our mutual friends think she is probably manic and going through a midlife episode of some kind (even she thinks she may be). But we all know there is nothing that can be said to change he mind. She admits it might be midlife but is adamant that she must go through with it.

    Look, I haven't been perfect. I have been lazy and critical and have even felt unattracted to her at times. But I'm 10 years older and have been through this once before. I know all normal marriages have such cycles and those feelings are usually a red flag back to myself that I need to re-ground and re-connect to my Source and re-dedicate to the marriage. And it always works. She is just not inclined to look inward. Her mother has bashed her self-esteem so much that she can't stand to think something might be her fault.

    On the other hand, I am one of those that always looks to blame myself, just as I am doing with this. "If only I had done this better or that, she wouldn't be leaving." That's what my heart thinks. then my brain thinks this would have happened no matter what and would have happened no matter who she was with. I don't know.

    I do know that right now, if I try to reach her or even suggest how I can do better, it comes across as groveling and desperate and is a major turn-off to her. I have come across the "180 rules" on the internet and I am trying to follow all 33-34 rules in there but it's tough.

    Thank you for your input, very much. I hate to lose her, but I do think that all I can do is let her go and try my best to move on.

  5. #5
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    Re: Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    Quote Originally Posted by TKDLady View Post
    Welcome to Lifesupporters TryingToMakeSense. Wish it was under better circumstances but most people come here for reasons of the heart or other life crisis's. You are not alone and we will do all we can to help you. It might be to just listen but you have lots of caring ears here and plenty of soft shoulders. I don't think I can add much to what Vautrin has said. I don't know how receptive you wife would be to a talk at this point but you could try just sitting down with her and see where it goes. Otherwise I guess you need to just let this situation play out and see where it leads. After she is on her own for a bit she may realize what she is leaving behind. Hang in there and feel free to vent here any time.
    You have no idea how much your kind words mean to me right now. She is absolutely unreceptive right now, so talking is out. The only thing I can do is show her a brave face and give the impression that I am moving on and I am OK with it. She will talk about practical things like the timing for the move, Christmas, and how to tell my daughter but that's it. We still need to make a final decision on who is moving out.

  6. #6
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    Re: Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    Quote Originally Posted by Vautrin View Post
    Welcome to the forums. I wish it was under happier circumstances.

    That certainly seems quite out of character. It is obvious the OM plays a big role in this, but unless she has a history of manic-depression, I would explain her behaviour as a result of the former, and not the latter. Does she have history in that respect? Still, it would only explain what is going on in her mind for a bit - by no means does that mean justification.

    The words she direct at you are probably more to convince herself she is doing the "right" thing for herself, rather than for you. Obviously, no matter what her motivations, you need to take her words with a pinch of salt. Both the bad and the good.

    Because your relationship had become "normal", it is easy to imagine life to be more exciting with someone else. And at first it may well be, but it is doubtful such a thing will last, even if she is manic-depressive (it would accentuate the highs and lows, but otherwise it could well be a "regular" midlife crisis). The highs cannot last, and when she hits a low, she may well be wondering what she has achieved, how much damage she has caused, etc..

    You can't stop her from doing what she is doing, but you can certainly try to slow her down a bit. You can try and keep things civil, try to at least have some interaction with her. It is fruitless to push for answers, or for things to calm down, since she will respond in a very antagonistic manner towards you, and that may feel like she is ripping out your heart for fun.

    Spend some time with your friends. You need some real life emotional support, and no excessive amount of worrying will achieve much for you; as tempting as it is to think that enough thinking will net you all the answers, you must resist that temptation. I am not saying you should not give a thought to it, but you do need to spend some time away from it as well; even if it is something as mundane as fishing with your child on a Sunday afternoon.

    What are you otherwise doing to cope with the situation? Are all your friends mutual friends? What about your child? How old is he / she, and how does he / she handle the situation?
    Oh yes. I am very introspective and spiritual, though I must admit it's hard right now to do the purely spiritual thing which is to lovingly let her go in joy and with her the best and support her. I really don't want her to go - I look forward to having more moments of strength, but it only just started. I know I will get there.

    Anyway... I have joined a group therapy support group which starts sessions in three weeks - wish it were tomorrow. I have also picked up four new books to read. I have been calling my mother and talking with her as well as my sister (they live far away) and I do have a good network of friends who have been very supportive in letting me lean on them. The weird thing is that they are mostly friends with her as well. They think she has lost touch, but they can't just abandon her. IT's awkward for all of us.

    Now I need to figure out who should move out.

  7. #7
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    Re: Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    What do I do about who should move out? She wants out ASAP, and it seems like she is being coached by her Mom to have little of no contact with me so I don't talk her out of anything. As an aside, they still want to have a normal Christmas get together with her family and bring my daughter over. Everyone there but my daughter and her sister's daughters will know it's over. I just don't know if that's a good idea.

    Anyway, she wants to move to another city almost an hour away, which would be closer to her work. Really I think she just wants to escape. Yet, she wants to maintain a relationship with my daughter - which I support for my daughter's sake - and she has said she would love to stay in our house.

    Well, initially, I thought, "heck no, this is your thing, you get out." Now I'm beginning to realize how difficult it will be to keep up the house and take care of our large dogs (walks, feeding, cleaning up the yard, etc., which she does none of now). Where we live is a good 30 minutes from our best friends as well, and if I move out and get an apartment, I may have more freedom myself, I travel alot for work and it's closer to the airport and I wouldn't have to board our dogs. Plus, I think it would be a reality check for her - she just thinks this whole thing is a big party and she's just going to be free as a bird. The crippling thing for me is that I was counting on my dogs to help ease my loneliness and that would be a big loss for me on top of losing my STBEXW. I just don't know...

  8. #8
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    Re: Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    Well, as to who should move out, I am of the mind if I was the one to ask for the separation/divorce then I should be the onto leave. You need the dogs and any other comfort you can find. She seems to think she already has some comfort elsewhere. I guess you need to take into account finances and logistics of your daughter's activities and who does the most to get her where she needs to be. You have a routine within and around your house. She is the one that wants out so she should be the one to make the most changes, IMHO.
    The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office. (Robert Frost)

  9. #9
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    Re: Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    I agree with TKDLady on the moving out thing. You can use it to buy some time, since it is bought while married, and hence any sale should be approved by the both of you. Do what you feel is right. If the mortgage is in both your names then her defaulting on the payments could pose some serious risks for you as well.

    I am not sure your wife is aware of the ramifications of her actions. If she has a history of such behavior (and it is always tricky to say such a thing on the internet, because we get a particular viewpoint presented, and thus it is easy to think it is true), then things may well pan out in a similar manner as they have in the past. As such, you are not compelled to declare the marriage over, until you feel it is over.

    Since your daughter is at least ten years old, I'd be very wary of putting her through Christmas with her stepmom's family. She'll know something is amiss, and it is simply a dreadful position to be put in as a child (it is even excruciating for an adult). If your daughter wants to talk to her stepmom, let her. But you should also make it clear that she is not compelled to do anything for her stepmom unless she wants to.



    Joining a support group is an excellent idea. You are not the first to live through something like this, nor will you be the last. It is painful, because a lot of dreams are lost, not to mention the anguish and hurt you must be experiencing; sometimes there is a lot of comfort to be had in the thought that others are in a similar position, not to mention you may found a lot of emotional support in others like you.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  10. #10
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    Re: Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    Quote Originally Posted by Vautrin View Post
    I agree with TKDLady on the moving out thing. You can use it to buy some time, since it is bought while married, and hence any sale should be approved by the both of you. Do what you feel is right. If the mortgage is in both your names then her defaulting on the payments could pose some serious risks for you as well.

    I am not sure your wife is aware of the ramifications of her actions. If she has a history of such behavior (and it is always tricky to say such a thing on the internet, because we get a particular viewpoint presented, and thus it is easy to think it is true), then things may well pan out in a similar manner as they have in the past. As such, you are not compelled to declare the marriage over, until you feel it is over.

    Since your daughter is at least ten years old, I'd be very wary of putting her through Christmas with her stepmom's family. She'll know something is amiss, and it is simply a dreadful position to be put in as a child (it is even excruciating for an adult). If your daughter wants to talk to her stepmom, let her. But you should also make it clear that she is not compelled to do anything for her stepmom unless she wants to.



    Joining a support group is an excellent idea. You are not the first to live through something like this, nor will you be the last. It is painful, because a lot of dreams are lost, not to mention the anguish and hurt you must be experiencing; sometimes there is a lot of comfort to be had in the thought that others are in a similar position, not to mention you may found a lot of emotional support in others like you.
    The house we live in is a rental, so no sale would be involved. We just have another year on the lease agreement.

    One of our friends thinkgs the only chance for recovery is if she stays in town and stays in the house. We'll need to discuss more.

  11. #11
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    Re: Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    It is hard to make a call on these things, but letting her stay may be giving you a slightly better chance of salvaging things; plus getting a new place of your own may well mean you won't be constantly reminded by every item in your home of her. How such reminders will work on her mind is really hard to tell.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  12. #12
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    Re: Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    I wish there was a "how to" on how to deal with the aching pain I experience most of the day. I know it will pass eventually, but this is the really hard part.

  13. #13
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    Re: Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    As difficult as it is, try to do things you (used to) enjoy. Go fishing, spend some time with friends. Go and exercise; the more demanding the activity the better.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  14. #14
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    Re: Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    Quote Originally Posted by Vautrin View Post
    As difficult as it is, try to do things you (used to) enjoy. Go fishing, spend some time with friends. Go and exercise; the more demanding the activity the better.
    After reading the thread, i second this advice. Keep busy.

  15. #15
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    Re: Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    Trying to stay busy. We have my daughter for Christmas one last time before my STBEXW moves out on the 30th. She lives with her Mom and StepDad mostly and I have visitation. I hope that fact softens the blow. My STBEXW and I have agreed to spare my daughter the "news" during Christmas - we will sit down with her next visit.

    We are tying to stay "friendly" through all of this. I still think she is at least partially manic-depressive and all of this is an extreme reach to get her youth back and look outside herself for happiness. We all know it doesn't work that way. She is absolutely bent on all of this and refuses to see a counselor - even just by herself and just for herself. I can't make her want to put in the work to address her own childhood and life baggage. I think there is still the woman I know in there somewhere, but I don't see her ever having the strength to look deeply inside and deal with what she sees - she has always avoided that and tried to brush things under the rug. I am wired teh opposite way - I know the impact my childhood had and I know I need to continuously be aware and work on self-improvement. I am seeing a counselor and participating in a support group.

    As much as I will ache when she is gone and as much as I wish she would sincerely work at it, I know that I deserve to be with someone who is as committed to the marriage as me and who is willing to do the work - and the joy! - to grow WITH me, together. I deserve someone who won't cheat on me and who will give their all to the marriage, not just when it's easy and convenient. I want to share my life with someone and it may take a looooonnnnnnggggg time to find the right one, but I know I deserve it.

    Not looking forward to move out day - I imagine it could be quite very painful. Strangely, we are talking about having dinner together as friends that night to make it a bit easier on both of us. Stay tuned...

  16. #16
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    Re: Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    First off, manic depression ad bi-polar is exactly the same thing. Second off, it is unclear what causes bi-polar disorder. It is not the result of bad childhood experiences, but rather it seems that some people are genetically more predisposed to it than others.
    People who suffer from this disorder have to live with it, just like colourblind people have to learn to live with their colourblindness. Guidance can help, but there is no cure. Just like a colourblind person can be made aware of his colourblindness, a bipolar person can learn to notice the signs, take some medication to reduce the swings, but there is no cure in either case.

    What tends to happen when someone hits a good spot, that these people think they know it all, feel like they can take on the world, and often dismiss criticism out of hand, as they believe they are completely in control of themselves. During such an episode it may be very hard to make them see what is actually going on.
    There are several markers out there which can point to the mindset of a bipolar person at a particular point in time, such as sleeping patterns, various behavioral patterns, but these differ from person to person, so one has to know the person themselves, before one can somewhat reliably know what is going on.

    I am not sure if your wife is bi-polar or not, I can't judge that on an internet forum. There is a group of people who use any mental illness as an excuse to engage in whatever appalling behavior, as if a mental illness takes away personal responsibility for one's actions. Bi-polar is "popular" in such cases, as cause and effect / outcome can easily be confused in the eyes of the observer as well as of the bi-polar person themselves.

    Either way, your wife is responsible for her actions, and if you feel you have had enough, you have had enough. Try to make the best use of your time, and not mull too much about matters these days.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  17. #17
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    Re: Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    As much as I will ache when she is gone and as much as I wish she would sincerely work at it, I know that I deserve to be with someone who is as committed to the marriage as me and who is willing to do the work - and the joy! - to grow WITH me, together. I deserve someone who won't cheat on me and who will give their all to the marriage, not just when it's easy and convenient. I want to share my life with someone and it may take a looooonnnnnnggggg time to find the right one, but I know I deserve it.
    Well said, and my thoughts exactly, minus the cheating. For the better part of the past few years I've been hugging a woman who pulls way from me, wanting to kiss her so passionately but all I get is a peck, and where sex is an unfrequent act with little else but an orgasm. My wife is clearly not in love and has not been for a while now. The great "reconnection" summer I thought we had was her "faking it until she could make it" and just "trying". I suppose that explains the swtich in September.

    She will be moving out soon to live with her parents, and moving out of our home to her apartment at the end of January. I do not plan on being around for moving day. That will be way too hard. Hell, I don't even know if it will be a good idea for me to keep our house. The reminders of her I can handle, since I see it as a house and some consistency though the breakup, but financially, I am not sure it's a good idea to stay.

    Best wishes with your situation. As someone mentioned, we are not the only ones who have gone through this, and will certainly not be the last. You're fortunate to have support groups in your area. I'm in a small town, but am fortunate to have family and friends to lean on.

  18. #18
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    Re: Wife of 10 yrs is leaving

    Quote Originally Posted by canguy View Post
    Hell, I don't even know if it will be a good idea for me to keep our house. The reminders of her I can handle, since I see it as a house and some consistency though the breakup, but financially, I am not sure it's a good idea to stay.
    Protecting yourself emotionally and financially, especially in this economy, is a smart and necessary step.

    Quote Originally Posted by canguy View Post
    You're fortunate to have support groups in your area. I'm in a small town, but am fortunate to have family and friends to lean on.
    That is great news! When you get down to it, family and friends are the best support group to have!

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