Q: My wife recently left me. She told me that she wanted to find her path. She believes that she is an empath and she wants to become a holistic healer. I told her that she could do whatever she wanted but she feels I am an hinderance to her plan. I pressed her if there was more reason for this decision. She said that we didn’t have a good connection. We almost talk an hour or more every night. She told me that she loved me two days before she left. I didn’t see this coming. I am still in a state of shock.
I tried several times during the last two weeks to get her back but every time she talks to me like I am a stranger. I tried to ask her to go the therapy together but she doesn’t want to do that. She told me that she is no longer in love with me and she wants to separate. During thanks giving she send me a text asking if I had a nice thanks giving but I cant figure out if this is a form of trying to get back together. Could you give me some advice?
– Submitted by Kaveh, 41, Walnut Creek , California – United States
A: Dear Kaveh,
I am so sorry to hear about your situation. It is obvious that you are still reeling from your wife abandoning the marriage and I’m guessing from the tone of your letter that it was unexpected. I’ll share my thoughts with you.
She has most likely been thinking about this for a very long time. She has simply not communicated this with you. She does not want to get back together with you and clearly does not wish you make the marriage work. This is evidenced by the fact that she has not agreed to go to therapy and…oh, SHE LEFT. I understand how painful this is (and truly, I do), but you cannot remain in a state of denial here. If she is still contacting you, it does not appear to be out of a desire to repair the marriage. She might just be “checking” on you to make sure you’re okay. This is, of course, very selfish, a bit cowardly, and extremely unfair to you. When a person leaves a relationship, they need to cut it off clean, and cut it off quickly. When we drag things on and send mixed messages it only confuses everything and leaves the other person feeling unsure and even more confused.
A NOTE for any of my readers: If you leave a relationship, the kind and fair thing to do is to sit down and at the very least have a conversation with your wife, husband, partner, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Explain to them how you are feeling and whether or not there is any room for changing your mind. If not, ask them to respect your decision and make it clear you are not going to change it. If you are unsure, be amenable to counseling and give it a shot. Once you make this decision to leave, LEAVE! Don’t linger, call, text, email…asking if the person you left is okay. OF COURSE THEY ARE NOT OKAY!!! They are likely in severe pain and emotionally devastated from you leaving them. So, be kind enough to allow them time to heal properly and move forward. When you communicate after leaving someone it only keeps the wound fresh, constantly adding insult to injury. Eventually, instead of your partner respecting your honesty and kindness (for being direct), they will HATE and resent you and lose all respect for you, because you were selfish and did not only opt out of the relationship (which hurt them) but you keep coming back to do it over and over again. Everyone understand????
Okay…so back to you Kaveh. Again, I am truly sorry for your suffering. It sounds like she wants a divorce. It does not seem like she wants to get back together. Unless you want to fight it (which may be futile and won’t be healthy for you), then I would advise you to move forward with the divorce. Once the paperwork is completed, make it clear to her that she should no longer contact you, at least for a little while. It is possible to resume contact and become friends in the future, but only once you have both emotionally healed…and that takes time. So in case you are still in denial about what is going on (and believe me, I understand the shock and pain)…if she wanted to be with you, SHE WOULD BE WITH YOU. It really is that simple. Try not to hear and believe what you want and what is not real. If she asks you how you are doing, trust me, she is just doing exactly that. There is nothing between the lines. I am truly sorry, dear friend. Perhaps you can pursue counseling for support to help you through this difficult time. Take care of yourself. Time will heal and things will get better.
– Dr. G.