Early in your marriage, you often believe that this relationship is the most important thing in your life. You safeguard it like the jewel it is. However, as time goes by, sometimes we start to take our marriage for granted or it can start to suffer. Over time, there may be talk of a separation or one of the spouses moving away. Initially, we may not panic about this, especially when the conversation comes to nothing.

And it can go a long time without anything really changing. The marriage is still struggling, and yet both spouses stay where they are, until one day one of the spouses announces that he is leaving. And the other spouse may not have the reaction he expected. In fact, he may not feel anything at all. She might explain, “For the last year and a half, my marriage has been kind of horrible. I think my husband has had a mid-life crisis. Nothing I do is enough anymore. He thinks being married limits him somehow. way”. For a while, she just complained about this while a lot of hot air was blowing, but she didn’t do anything. So we continue to fight and generally be unhappy. Then, last night, she announced herself, in great dramatic style, that she was leaving me. She said that she had found an apartment and that she couldn’t take it anymore, well, maybe I can’t take it anymore because to my surprise, I don’t even feel that upset about it and I really don’t understand why. . I almost feel like I don’t care, but that can’t be right. I know that I still love my husband. I know that ideally I would like it to work. But I don’t even know where to start. Things have been bad for so long that I don’t know if there’s any hope. Why are my feelings so closed off like this? I think if my husband ever sought a separation or divorce, she would be terribly upset. But I don’t seem to be. Why?”

Well, there are a couple of possibilities. First, sometimes it’s hard to believe that this is actually happening. You’ve stuck with the status quo for so long that you may be taking a sort of “I’ll believe it when I see it” stance, which would certainly be understandable. This kind of reality can be very difficult to understand, until it actually happens.

Another possibility is that, like many people, you suspect that a break will be a relief. When things deteriorate so badly that there’s really nothing but tension and fights, taking a break can definitely feel like a release of air. You may just want a break in all the drama.

Finally, reality may not have hit you yet. This is a huge change and adjustment and, speaking from experience, you really can’t anticipate what it’s going to feel like until it actually happens.

I definitely learned that your feelings and perceptions change with the process. One day you might prefer to be apart and think that you have really improved your situation and the next day you might find that you desperately miss your husband and don’t want to be apart for one more day.

Both perspectives are completely normal. You are expected to have wildly swinging emotions. I doubt you would go through the whole process not caring at all. But you won’t know that until you take things one day at a time.

Since he hasn’t moved in yet, it’s very hard to predict how you’ll feel once he does. But since it’s still around, you might want to take advantage of that proximity to fix a few things. I think it can be vital to agree on how often (and by what means) you will communicate and see each other. Of course, this should be a flexible arrangement as issues arise. But the reason I suggest this is because it is very common for couples to drift during separation. And before you know it, you realize you haven’t spoken to your spouse in a couple of weeks. And then one of you begins to suspect that maybe your spouse is into single life or dating someone else.

It is better to avoid these misunderstandings. The more they can agree now, the better. What you are feeling is perfectly normal and does not necessarily mean that you are headed for divorce or that you are no longer involved in your marriage. It may just mean that you need a break or that you don’t believe this is happening yet. From my own experience, your feelings may change once he actually moves on or once you’ve been alone for a while.

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