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My husband of seven years moved out in April. I had gotten up to tend to our new daughter (we also have 6 yo twins) and noticed his cell was lit up. There were non-work related flirty texts from not one, but two married co-workers on the phone. When I asked him to explain he blew up and left saying he wanted space. He promises nothing is going on with either but has not apologized and removed my access to the phone bill.
I was shocked. He is a quiet, calm man and we have always been close. Or at least I thought. We have had our ups and downs but it’s all standard marriage gripes not anything dramatic. Now, he refuses to move back home, work on the marriage or even make a decision and it has now been five months. He comes and goes with visiting the kids but does nothing to help care for them or our home.
On Saturdays it’s as though he is gone for the weekend (stays the night, is affectionate, pays attention to the kids etc.) unless I bring up the separation. Then he says he doesn’t want to be married but has yet to file.
I love him and am trying with every ounce of strength in me to be patient, and to give him time and to keep hope alive that our marriage can survive. Am I being an idiot? Or can a 32 year old man have a mid-life type crisis? Very confused…
We’re sorry. We know this separation is difficult. And the future, uncertain and scary. Maybe we can shed some light on his feelings and intentions.
This could be a mid-life crisis. So what does that actually mean? Usually a mid-life crisis is when someone looks at their life and says, “Is this how it’s going to be for the rest of my life? Is it going to be the same old boring stuff, day in and day out?” When someone starts thinking along those lines a crisis sets in. They call it a mid-life crisis because it typically happens around mid-life, usually somewhere between 40-50. But it can happen earlier.
But just because he moved out, and you think he’s changed, doesn’t mean he’s having a mid-life crisis. It could be just that he’s questioning the relationship, and wondering if he still feels committed and in love. That’s not necessarily a mid-life crisis but it’s definitely a crisis for him, and for you. And of course, your kids.
It’s fine to be patient and give him time, but the two of you need to start working on these issues as soon as you can. The longer it goes, the more disconnected he’s going to become. Talking together with a couples counselor would be a good place to start. But you can only ask him to do that. Actually, you can urge him to do that. Hopefully he’ll oblige. But in the end you can’t force him to do anything. If he won’t work with you to resolve whatever issues need to be resolved, then you’ll have no choice but to pick up the pieces and move on.
Kate, remember, as sad as this might be—it’s too soon to tell yet—you still need to be strong for your kids. We encourage you to surround yourself with people who love you—close friends and family—to help you get through this difficult time. We hope that your husband will come to his senses and realize that he’s made a mistake, but if he doesn’t, we’re confident you’ll have the strength to put together a new life for you and your kids.
Take care of yourself, and feel free to ask us as many follow up questions as you’d like. Leave a question, or a reply, in the comments section below.
All the best,
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