Dear Coleen: I’m lost without my wife and want to win her back


Dear Coleen

I have recently split from my wife. She’s my soulmate and I’m finding it very hard to live without her.

We’ve been friends for 22 years, together for eight and married for three. I have two kids from my previous marriage who live with me and a stepdaughter from my wife’s previous marriage.

Things broke down and we have separated because, over the years, we’ve had issues with my eldest daughter, who is 14. My wife and I used to argue over my daughter lying and deceiving us but, as time went on, I saw the lies and sided more with my wife.

Then, eight weeks ago, we had a major incident and I had to call mediation, her school and the police.

It was the straw that broke the camel’s back for my wife, who also struggles to cope with my jealousy issues, which are the result of bad past experiences.

In the end she just said she couldn’t give me what I wanted.

I worship the ground she walks on and don’t feel as if I’ll ever get her back, and it kills me. My worst fear is losing her to another man. I’ve begged with her to give me another chance, but she refuses couples’ counselling.

Currently, I feel very lonely and I’m sleeping on a friend’s sofa until I have enough money to rent my own place with my two children. But I just don’t want to go on without my wife.

Coleen says

It sounds as if you’ve had a pressure cooker relationship due to your daughter’s issues and your insecurities.

Your wife is probably worn out with it. Emotions are raw right now and I don’t think you should bombard her with pleas to take you back.

If I were you, I would create some space between you, so you can think about your self-esteem issues and what you can do to change the way you behave.

You also need to focus on your daughter, who has issues of her own. She’s at a very vulnerable age and all the traits she’s displaying show she’s hurting about something. Rather than marriage guidance, I think you need to focus on family therapy with your kids.

You’re going through some big things right now and, understandably, feel out of control. But it’s OK to accept help professional help – it’s not a sign of being weak or needy, it’s a positive step to changing things for the better.

In terms of your marriage, it’s easy to say you’ll change but doing it is harder and that’s what your wife will want to see if you have any hope of a reconciliation.

If you did get back together now and you were still insecure and you hadn’t made any progress with your daughter, the relationship wouldn’t last.

On the positive side, separation works for many couples because they’ve made a genuine effort to sort out the issues affecting them.

More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems


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