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  1. #1

    How do I keep my wife?


    I've been married for 5 years now, and I've never realized it, but I've been abusive to my wife. I've been emotionally abusive mostly, but at times (during very heated arguments) I've also been physically abusive. I honestly did not realize what I was doing was physical abuse. Not using this as an excuse though, I just didn't realize it. I've never hit her, but I have used my physical strength to stop her from going to a different room in an effort to talk about things. This seldom/never worked positively, but I felt we had to discuss the issues we had, while she wouldn't. This has not happened in a long time.

    Now, the emotional abuse has been ongoing for a long time, but as I do some reading I realize that a lot of how she's acted to me has also been emotional abusive. That said I do not feel emotionally abused. I can easily put it behind me. Hopefully if I improve, she will too.

    Now, she says that the five years of our marriage has had no good times, and that she wants to seperate for a while because she cannot trust me. This came out of the blue. She was fine one day, then we had an argument, and she just said that she will not take any more abuse. That's good, I don't want her to be abused. Sadly, it actually took this situation to make me look at myself, and realize how bad I've been to her.

    My question is, how do I keep us together? I'm going through Dr. Weisingers Anger Work-Out Book, as well as The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing by Beverly Engel. I want to be the husband she wants and deserves, but I also want to be with her only, she is an amazing person. Do I just give her time to work out feelings on her own? Do I try to help? I want to go to couples counseling, but she won't right now. How do I keep us together, and show her that I am trying to make the changes I have to make?

    Thanks in advance,


  2. #2

    How do I keep my wife?

    This is not something you're going to want to hear, but there's really nothing one person can do, alone, to keep a relationship together. That takes two people, both willing to commit to doing the work to make it happen. If your wife feels, at this point, that she must put some distance between you and herself, there's little that you can do. You can't change the past, and you can't erase past hurts. You can only concentrate on yourself, doing the work to become the person you want to be.

    Perhaps, if she sees you making the effort to change, and making progress in doing so, the problems in your marriage can be resolved down the road. For right now, though, if she's determined to separate the best thing to do, I'd think, is to let her go and give her some space and time to heal (and to work on herself). In the meantime, you can put your efforts into what you need to do for yourself and your future.

  3. #3

    How do I keep my wife?

    I can understand the being apart thing. And I blame myself 100% for this. I really don't want it to come to this though. Primarily because right now our lives are so intertwined that it makes it so difficult. Difficult on me mind you, not her, and I know that right now my feelings don't really matter. It's difficult because we are working different shifts with work, and we share one car. The usual schedule is I take the bus to work in the morning, she will take the kids to daycare for the afternoon, then come to my work, I will take her to work, keep the car, then pick the kids up after I'm done work. She is then working for the evening.

    I honestly don't even see how a schedule like this can be broken up...that is without adding a second car into the picture. Anything can be done if it has to be, but I also want to stay together for the kids sakes (note: I've never been abusive to the children, she feels I'm a good father, as do I). I love them all so much, and I just want to make our life happy again. I want to salvage what I can before there is a routine of being apart. I feel that if we are apart I will not get the chance to show her that I really want to be a different person, and show her the improvements I'm making.

  4. #4

    How do I keep my wife?

    Sometimes, there has just been too much hurt or damage done in a relationship to get past it and continue.

    However, whatever the outcome of your marriage, it may benefit you to participate in a program such as "New Directions" (not sure if this exists outside of Canada under that name) for domestic abuse -- first, because you will learn a lot from it, and, second, because if nothing else that will demonstrate to your wife that you are serious about taking responsibility for being abusive.

  5. #5

    How do I keep my wife?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Baxter
    However, whatever the outcome of your marriage, it may benefit you to participate in a program such as "New Directions" (not sure if this exists outside of Canada under that name) for domestic abuse -- first, because you will learn a lot from it, and, second, because if nothing else that will demonstrate to your wife that you are serious about taking responsibility for being abusive.
    How do I find it in Winnipeg?

  6. #6

    How do I keep my wife?

    Try one of these for information:

    870 Portage Avenue
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    R3G 0P1
    (204) 784-4070 tel
    (204) 772-7998 fax/téléc
    Org. - Klinic Community Health Centre

    Family Centre of Winnipeg
    #401-393 Portage Avenue
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    R3B 3H6
    (204) 947-1401 tel
    (204) 947-2128 fax/téléc
    Org. - Klinic Community Health Centre

  7. #7

    How do I keep my wife?

    Thanks, I will call them today and see what programs they offer.

    If anyone has any other suggestions on how to help with my problems, I would appreciate it. I will try anything to show her that I am serious about this. Also, is it unfair for me to ask her to give me a chance regarding this? I know she has given me chances before, but I've never actually looked at myself, and realized that I need to seek help. So now that I have realized this, and want to change (I truly don't want to be that kind of person), is it fair for me to ask her for a chance to show her that? Right now she doesn't seem interested in giving it at all.

  8. #8

    How do I keep my wife?

    Nothing wrong with asking for another chance but as you said she's given you those before -- I think you can expect her to be skeptical and that you are going to have to prove yourself with actions, not words.

  9. #9

    How do I keep my wife?

    I know, and I fully expect to show her instead of just telling her. This is now the focus of my life. I'm thinking about it all day everyday..."How can I show her I mean this?" It's hard to think that the only girl I've ever truly cared about, has been so hurt by me, to the point that she may not want to be with me. I'm trying to show her every day right now, and I will start a group soon. The hardest thing to deal with though is the "tone" of hatred in her voice when she does talk to me. I'm staying calm (some of the reading I've been doing is already helping with that), but it's hard to understand how she would just one day not-care about our relationship anymore. Maybe I could mention that she's fought with an eating disorder, and had issues from her past that she's never dealt with. I don't know if that makes any difference or not. I know it doesn't change anything I've done, but it may be a factor in her feelings. She is eating normally now, but the underlying issues were not really dealt with. Could this be a factor in her anger towards me?

  10. #10

    How do I keep my wife?

    delta sierra,

    It looks like you have reached step 1 (Recognition). That is a good thing. I have never been in your situation, but here is some advice that I hope can help. Write your feelings down, tell her in a letter how much you love and care about her and how you recognize now what you have done. Put it on her pillow and then never talk about the letter. Start working extra hard to do extra things around the house to help without being asked and do not talk about the problems unless she wants to. And then never lose your temper or raise your voice or put a hand on her during this type of discussion. If she wants to leave in the middle of it, let her go.

    Damage has been done and it hard to get past. Healing takes time. Just show her that you love her by doing all the extra little things, thank her daily for all she does for you & the kids, become a better husband & father than you ever have been.

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