Are you willing to do the inner work you need to do to possibly save your relationship?
“My wife has recently told me she is no longer in love, will stay for 6 months to a year for proper closure, but does intend to divorce eventually. For a week or so I tried to talk her out of it, into going to counseling, etc… but have given up on that for now. She says it just didn’t work, she’s not in love any longer. She’s about to turn 50 and says she’s spent her entire life living for a man and just wants to live for herself. I’ve offered freedom and independence without divorce, but that doesn’t seem to be her goal. Should I just give up and work on filling up my life with new meaning?”
Aaron, there are a few issues for me to address in this question.
She’s about to turn 50 and says she’s spent her entire life living for a man and just wants to live for herself.
This statement indicates that the two of you had a codependent caretaker-taker system, where she gave herself up to care-take you. This is a system that grinds down the love until there is nothing left, especially for the caretaker.
The problem is that she is going to take herself with her. She wants to believe that her end of the system will heal by divorcing you, but this is not true. She wants to leave because she doesn’t know how to take loving care of herself when you are around. She likely feels a pull from you to fill your emptiness, and she just wants to get away from it.
I’ve offered freedom and independence without divorce, but that doesn’t seem to be her goal.
Freedom and independence is not yours to offer. This is something she needs to learn to give to herself. Even if you try to support her in her freedom and independence – which indicates that you have not supported this in the past – she has to learn to support her own freedom and independence.
Should I just give up and work on filling up my life with new meaning?
This is the statement that needs the most attention.
Yes, you have to give up on trying to change her, but not give up on healing yourself. It’s not just about filling up your life with new meaning, but it’s mostly about learning how to take loving care of yourself.
You have an opportunity in the next six months to a year to become a person who is no longer needy, no longer pulling on her energetically to fill you up with her love and attention. You have an opportunity to possibly heal this marriage by learning and practicing Inner Bonding so that you can learn to love yourself rather than continue to abandon yourself.
Just as your wife has abandoned herself to care-take you, you have abandoned yourself, which is what put you in the position of being empty and needy.
Aaron, if you want to have a chance at saving your marriage, then you need to learn to fill yourself with overflowing love so that, instead of needing her love, you have love to share with her. If you do your inner work and learn to love yourself, she will feel the difference in your energy. When she feels your genuine love rather than your pull on her for her love, she might change her mind about getting a divorce.
Of course, there are no guarantees. But even if she does leave, you will be in a much better position to create a new, loving relationship.