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Struggling with Separation

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I’m really struggling with my marriage separation right now. My wife gave me an ultimatum to stop drinking or else we would be separated and I chose alcohol. I moved out of state and soon after wised up, and quit drinking and started going to AA.

I pleaded with my wife to give me another chance, but now she says she needs to heal and focus on herself. I’m trying to give her space and time but I miss her so much and have realized the magnitude of my decision.

I’ve sent flowers for our anniversary, chocolates and have been writing a hand written letter every other week. I have gotten no response.

Is there any hope or should I move on? I don’t know what to do. Everyday is a constant struggle and I am literally fighting back tears all day everyday. I really don’t know what to do.

I keep thinking about the worst possible scenario and I don’t know if my wife will ever contact me.

Could you please help me? I’m struggling so much.


Struggling with Separation

Answered by on -


I deeply admire your commitment to sobriety. That needs to be your focus. As you begin to recover and work through the steps, your wife will need to reevaluate her life. Give this time. She has to cope with the fact she was second choice to alcohol. I understand the pain and desire to reconnect, but both of you need time to settle. Right now investing in your own self-care is the most important work. Both of you need to be healed well enough on your own to do the work necessary as a couple. It isn’t simply a matter of reconnecting — the two of you will need to have a road map about how to find each other.

Take care of yourself for now, and when you’re ready — a good couples therapist, particularly a therapist who knows about the recovery process, should be helpful.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Struggling with Separation

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Struggling with Separation. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 19, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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