The Midlife Spouse: Uncoupling From the Marriage

I hadn’t thought about this particular Moment of Truth, when I realized that my husband had truly “uncoupled” himself from his marriage, against my will, and by his choice, in a very long time. ((HUGS)) It’s a lesser known aspect, but no less important, if you will…

Last session a couple weeks ago she suggested I investigate “uncoupling” to see what I thought about that. I think it doesn’t speak about my situation. We did not come to a mutual agreement to separate and divorce. This is H’s doing, I am just forced to participate in order to protect myself..

The definition of “uncoupling” is to disconnect, or separate two objects that were once connected together. This isn’t Webster’s Dictionary, but me knowing the definition of this word. Not to hurt your feelings, nor discount how you feel, you’re arguing semantics at the moment, because yes, “uncoupling” does speak about your situation. This is your husband’s choice to do this, and you’re not getting any say in it.

You do not have to be in agreement to go through a time of “uncoupling from the marriage.” It only takes one person to initiate the uncoupling process, and the other has no other choice, but to release the connection, becoming disconnected. Oh yes, it can be fought, but at what cost? I can’t answer that, because I’m not you, and you’re not me. I know it cost me a great deal when I fought back, and it didn’t change one thing. My husband still uncoupled himself from me, completing a full emotional divorce.

The act of “Uncoupling from the marriage” still applied to my own situation, in spite of the fact we never physically divorced. My husband’s emotionally changed and skewed perception clearly put me on notice that we were no longer a couple, but now, “uncoupled” into two individuals, just as we were before we became coupled.

The only connection he could not break was the Marital Covenant that God had bound us into. The rest he shattered, broke down, destroyed, and guess what? I had to also deal with it, because everything he did, affected me.

I fought it at first, same as you’re doing now, but in time, I didn’t get a choice in what I wanted, because to my husband, it did NOT matter what I wanted–what mattered was what he wanted.

After fighting a fruitless battle, that included denial, anger, some bargaining, and then after I rock bottom, I finally let him go, because there was nothing else to do except to accept his choice to “uncouple” from me. There is no holding on, when someone is that determined to emotionally disconnect from you.

So, yes, it DOES speak to your situation–you’re not seeing the connection. You don’t have to agree with what he wants, but you were forced to disconnect from him, because he disconnected himself from you, pushed you away, destroying the marital bond you once shared with each other.

That’s a reality that’s going to take some time to accept on your part. He’s left emotional unfinished business with you, but that’s all on him, and not on you. He made a choice you didn’t agree with, and didn’t give you any say in HIS CHOICE, HIS DECISION to “uncouple” from you.

It isn’t right, but this is how it is, when selfish desires mean more than a life with a wife that would have done them good, and not evil for all their days. But that’s not what he chose, because he no longer had it in him to want what had worked for so many years, but now, for him, it no longer works. And yes, it has left true devastation in his wake. The damage is increasing, but he is paying for this, and he will continue to pay for his sin.

Read the book about uncoupling with an open mind, and not from a mind that dismisses this, simply because you didn’t agree with it. You don’t have to agree, but you will eventually learn to accept what he did.

It took me awhile to get my head around this same aspect, because I thought that since we didn’t divorce that this term didn’t apply to me. However, my mentor explained to me that it did, because to uncouple means that one of the two has to want to be undone/uncoupled, and that one of the two has to do what it takes to become undone/uncoupled. She also explained that he had to be free of me, to find out who he was without me connected to/coupled with him.

That was a hard concept for me to understand, because the “fixer” in me, really thought that he couldn’t do without me. That could not have been farther from the truth. Both of us were most capable of doing without the other, because relationships are not supposed to be based on dependent need (love because you need), but independent need (need because you love).

Some people call this time of “uncoupling” having “lost each other” or “lost sight of each other” for a long period of time. This kind of loss is not the same as what the midlife spouse experiences at the time they wake up to Self, what they’ve done, what they’re doing, what they’re losing, but it’s the kind of loss both people do NOT recognize at first.

Because they have drifted apart, life has gotten in the way, they’re letting busyness take precedence over their need to connect. These have to do with some of the other aspects that contribute to becoming “uncoupled” as well, because both people fall out of love with each other at different times. As people change, their needs, wants, and feelings will also change.

To expect someone to always stay the same is like scooping ice cream into a bowl, and expecting it not to melt. Change is a major part of life, that we must learn to accept, adjust, adapt, persist, and even survive. We learn to understand that people aren’t always going to think, feel, and be the same way for life. We also learn that love waxes and wanes, and sometimes dies, because our growth demands that we resolve the emotional issues of the past that hold us back from greater emotional fulfillment. And NO, those are not resolved by abandoning one relationship, and getting into another, that’s an outside mistake that creates more problems.

Greater emotional fulfillment is all about choosing to face, resolve, and heal the inside of Self, where all of life’s answers, and lessons are contained, and then growing into greater emotional maturity that yields peace within Self. We can’t reach our fullest potential, if we’re distracted by our spouse, who is insecure, and seeking to hold us back from our own growth.

The point is, this separation/uncoupling will serve a purpose that leads into your greater growth, regardless of whether he returns or not, and regardless of whether you choose to take him back IF he should return. In spite of where this journey goes, everything that happens has a solid purpose to be fulfilled. These things are all about growth that was never completed–not just in one person, and not just in both people, but in ALL people. What we need, will always come, right when we need it.

Lastly, God did NOT cause this to happen, nor does God condone this. Your husband did this/chose this path, and the emotional seeds for this time of eventual “uncoupling” were planted a very long time, before you ever met and married this man.

Once more, you’re not being punished for anything this man did, because you’re not the one who is doing it. Every person who makes a decision, affects the family around him/her, and the only choice anyone ever has is in how they’re going to chose to respond/react to a decision that has created change in their lives.

Punishment is a relative word because this means you would have had to have done something that warranted what has happened against you, when you didn’t. By your own admission, you did nothing to deserve this. I, too, was once in this place as well. When we don’t have the ability to truly separate what is someone else’s from that which is ours, we tend to blame ourselves for actions we didn’t ask for, but these happened against us anyway.

Time, and your journey, will help you create a proper emotional separation between that which is your husband, and that which is yours. As his motives become more clear, for good or for bad, you’ll learn that everything he did, had a solid root in how he felt, and what he thought. His decision to choose “uncoupling from the marriage” to the point of divorce, had nothing to do with you, and everything to do with him. Intellectually, you know, but it’s his move to “uncouple” from you, that is still being rejected by your heart. ((HUGS))

This is all food for thought–take what you need, and leave the rest as always.

Since 2002, Hearts Blessing has been a pioneer in the area of knowledge and information written about the Mid Life Crisis. The owner and author of https://thestagesandlessonsofmidlife.org she writes articles that help people learn more about this confusing time of life. The main goal of this site is to help people know and understand that no matter what happens, every situation works out to the good of those who love the Lord, and are called according to His purpose. :)
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