Hello, I’m a mid 40’s father of 2 teenage boys that has recently separated from my wife after 23 years. The marriage was over long before we separated but this story isn’t about that. 8 months after separating I met a girl that I clicked with it was so natural and seemed like we were made to be together. Both of us had been through hard times. This story and my motivation for this post is to get advice on how I might be able to make this relationship work because after 18 months it seems to be falling apart. It’s so complicated but I’m going to attempt to simply things without going into too much detail.
The girl I met has had a very traumatic experience, just under 2 years before we met her partner and father of their 14 year old daughter committed suicide in the family home. Things had been bad for a while between them and her and her daughter had moved out to her parents. I know that she discovered him but she has never gone into any detail about this. In the honeymoon period our relationship was very hedonistic, and very exciting. We both knew it would be a difficult ride but were always thankful that we’d found each other, common souls with difficult pasts that hopefully could navigate the rough seas together.
She feels she has dealt with her past but neither her nor her daughter have gone through any counselling or had any professional help. In the early days of our relationship we made a pact that we would always talk about problems in our relationship (even the simplest relationships encounter issues and ours is laden with lots of baggage). This hasn’t happened and open communication about emotional issues is something she as chosen to not talk about. I love this girl but how can I make it work if she won’t ever talk things through. It’s really frustrating and has led to so may issues, once I ended the relationship a few weeks back. She desperately wanted us to try again o I agreed but over the weeks things have got worse. We never seem to resolve anything and I’m left feeling like it’s just me trying to hold us together as she ignores everything that is difficult and pretends all is ok when I know from experience this is making us become more and more distant.
I think this might be some sort of coping or self protection thing but I can’t have the conversation either. I’ve suggested bereavement counselling but that was ignored also. Recently she seems to have systematically shut me out. Why this is happening now I don’t know. She seems to avoid getting into anything other than surface level conversations with me, has stopped having lengthy telephone calls with me (which we always used to do as we don’t live together) and seems to shy away from spending time alone with me. This is all really difficult for me as I so want to make it work but suspect either her past or maybe both of ours is making this impossible. In short (I appreciate the irony given the length of my post), I need advice on what to do please…