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Dear Lonnie,

I am very sorry for the pain in your relationship right now. You cannot force your wife to stay married unless you are in one of the few states without no-fault divorce laws.

However, you can make it clear to her that you are not willing to give up on your marriage.

It's Superficial to Think that the House is the Problem

You have never tried to rehab a house with someone! It is NOT superficial. A rehap project once almost destroyed my relationship.

You seem to imply that the house is the cause of most of your problems. That seems very superficial but if you believe that, SELL THE HOUSE. Doing so may also cause your wife to rethink and more clearly specify what about your marriage is causing her concern.

Even if she is not willing to begin couple counseling, I encourage you to continue to seek counseling on your own. At 32, you are facing a second marriage in trouble. Chances are, there are some relationship skills that you could benefit from.

She May Fear that You & the Counselor Will Gang Up on Her

Your wife may perceive marriage counseling as a place where she goes so that you and a counselor can gang up on her. If she sees that you are going without her and that it is having positive effects on you and your interactions, she may eventually open herself up to the possibility.

Fight for Your Marriage

Your marriage is the single most important relationship in your life. It is too important to let it dissolve without a fight.

A separation can be helpful if it has a purpose (i.e. what will you be doing to work on your relationship during the separation?) otherwise, it is too easy to slip into living as a single person and trying to have, "the best of both worlds."

Good luck Lonnie and kudos to you for being willing to fight for your marriage.



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