July 2015, a time I will never forget. A time when all the pain in the world came to my door. My wife sat down next to me and said “Are you happy?”. An innocent enough question at face value, I replied “yes, maybe not as much as I should be, but I have you, the kids and that makes me happy”. She said she wasn’t. It was out there in the open at last. Cue four weeks of intense discussion, tears and much soul searching, ending with her saying that she needed, wanted space.

We went on holiday, for a week to the caravan, we went for a weekend festival, all five of us. My wife and I sharing a tent, but not one kiss, cuddle or truly kind word passed between us, the genie was out of the bottle.

Maybe I should have said, well on you go, go out there and find what your looking for. I’ll stay here, with the kids, and when you’ve had time we can talk. Instead I did what she asked me to do and moved out, back to my mums house 25 miles away from my family. It was heart wrenching stuff, the grief, the feeling of loss, but I held onto the fact we had, on the surface, a good marriage. We were a good team, we could work this out and find out how to put us back on track.

As I continue, you will see this was a fantasy, her mind was made up and as I would discover further down the line another person had moved into her heart, giving her attention and emotional support. He was filling the spaces left behind by me.

How it came to be

17 years ago I met my wife, both out with friends, the spark was there (man it was strong) and we chatted for hours oblivious to all around us. 6 weeks later we moved in together, bonding and missing work for days on end. We married and set up a new home, it was the best times I can ever remember.

Three years later our first child arrived, a boy and a fine one at that, four more years and our first princess arrived followed the next year by our gorgeous second daughter. Seven years, three children and things couldn’t have been better. We had good jobs, a lovely new family home and coping well with the new challenges a family can bring. There were some issues with post natal depression, the change in social lifestyle and the ever present financial juggling but on the whole it seemed we were doing just fine.

So that’s the condensed starter for ten, I didn’t realise at the time but my wife was not happy, she never said so, she just wasn’t. It was now 2010.

We went along with life, holidays when we could, a caravan for us and the kids to get away, new cars, house renovations, but we were slowly moving apart. I didn’t see it. My wife got absorbed with work and studying for a Masters Degree, found interest on Facebook, I was no longer the man she loved with all her heart, her handsome husband, her driving force to better herself and keep achieving her goals. I became more isolated in the home, concentrating on the kids and on her. My friends drifted away, my interests wained and I became lost.

This was the beginning of the end.

Starting Over

So after 3 months of my wife asking for space I’ve accepted that means forever. Not some time to assess our relationship or find a new path together, but two separate lives. Space has a new meaning for me. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be in my head, but I’ll cover that later, maybe. There were no arguments, no affairs, no massive gulfs in our lives, we just stopped being who we were, what attracted us in the first place. So after 17 years, three kids and piles of shared life pains and gains its done. I’m gonna try and set out where I’m going from here as well as how I got to this place. This is for me, its November 2015, by 2025 I’ll have worked it out…maybe.