I’m separated from my ex of 27 yrs, but still keep in regular touch, she has asked me to remain friends.
Over the years my ex feels that I’ve let her down too many times and has collected all of these thoughts together and is now very resentful of me.

She also tells me that she loves me but that I’ve hurt her too much for her to ever give me a second chance (I’ve missed birthday parties, sulked, etc. No violence and no infidelity).

She has told me that she has switched off her feelings for me and has pushed them deep down inside herself but then in the next sentence will tell me that she feels sad when I leave her apartment and that actually I should still be there but thats the way it is.

She seems to be living in the moment and has no thought for the future, or responsibility.

I’ve noticed that she seems to be skipping across the top of her emotions and does not try or think of anything that could have a deep thought to it.

When I ask her questions that require her to think about a feeling, she becomes very upset and cries.

She tells me that she loves me only when she is upset, otherwise, when she is operating on a shallow basis she tells me to leave her alone and that she does not want me.

I know that I have hurt her and would like to help.

I have changed for the better and she recognises this, but is still too scared to give me another chance as she says that I could revert back in a second.

I realise what I’ve done and have tried everything to show her how much she means to me.

I know that this is all my fault, but she seems to be giving me mixed messages.

Does she love me? Should I continue to try to help? How can I help, if any?

What will happen to her if she does not release her emotions?

A: Thank you for reaching out to me. It is evident that your ex-wife is experiencing very conflicting feelings about your relationship. Research indicates that women are more likely than men to initiate a divorce and/or separation. While there are various reasons cited for this in current literature, it is likely that in the case of your relationship, your ex-wife was dissatisfied for quite some time. You cited some of her various grievances in your email to me so it appears that she has clearly indicated to you sources of her discontent. That being said, your ex-wife needs to make a decision. Since it appears you are attempting to make necessary changes and work through the issues in the relationship, she needs to decide if she is willing to do this. If she is open to the idea, I would recommend attending couples therapy with your ex-wife. Couples therapy can provide tools to address issues such as this and will also provide a means through which your ex-wife can explore her feelings about the relationship and whether or not she is truly ready to call it quits.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck,

Dr. Mimi