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My ex and I shared a bittersweet moment recently. He's coming around off his mini mid-life crisis, and we've talked about what our relationship is. A committed couple, yes, but with a strange sense of detachment just underneath the surface.

He's scared of his emotions, so he keeps them distant. Maybe that's why he can be so cruel and so cold at times. It's easier to push what frightens us away than to embrace the potential pain of feeling too much.

I'm at the opposite extreme. Love fully, love hard, and love for the moment. Who knows what might happen tomorrow? Why waste time waiting for things to resolve into something comfortable? Make that comfort happen with a leap of faith.

So when the sunshine lit up his green eyes the other day, I couldn't help the smile that crossed my face, and I opened up to the wash of affection I felt. I put my arms around him and kissed his mouth.

The response lacked... something. What else had I expected?

"Just give me time," he gave an apologetic smile. "I care about you. I have feelings for you. I just need... time."

Time for what? If there are feelings and caring, why can't he acknowledge them? Why can't he sit down and talk about them, and why can't he just accept them?

I know why. He's not a bad man, just a very screwed up one. He has issues with abandonment, issues with expressing emotion, issues with trust, and issues with defining our relationship.

"It's not you," he moved away carefully. "It's me."

Oh, such famous words. "I know," I replied, and drew on my mask of you-didn't-hurt-me that lies and shows the world everything is fine.

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2 comments

  • Comment Link Guest Friday, 07 October 2011 18:55 posted by Guest

    This is Classic & Common: Guys tend to lose interest in their wives, and as soon as they do so, the wives need to figure it out and end up loving them more as they pull away. Thing is, this is the defining moment in your relationship when it's truly over. I know that's not a great thing to hear, but rather than read a few hundred pages of a story someone wrote, why not get the answer from a guy that just experienced this. Take it from me, there is no magical solution to this situation, I even tried counselling, and instead of trying to find answers on how to fix it, find motivation and strength to move on and leave this relationship behind. It will hurt in the beginning, but you deserve a life of happiness, and I'm afraid that no longer exists or ever will. Take care, Steve

  • Comment Link Guest Friday, 07 October 2011 16:22 posted by Guest

    I know the feeling. I just: I know the feeling. I just read an amazing book that was recommended to me on the horrors of an unexpected divorce. It's called "I Thought We Were Happy: Lessons My Wife Taught me on the Road to Divorce" by Jonathan L Lewis. (I found it on Amazon - couldn't find it on B&N). This guy is wide open with the emotional trauma of what he experienced going through a divorce he never saw coming.

    Has anyone else read it? I was blown away. It hit SO many buttons and expressed so many of the emotions that I went through. Guys don't normally expose their emotions. This guy does. It really helped me.