Doesn’t she know how much I love her?

My wife left me to go off with my best friend and to say I feel terrible is an understatement – I feel crushed. Our two children are with me and I’m keeping going for their sake but I just keep going round and round on what I could have done to make her stay – and what I can still do. Doesn’t she know how much I love her? If I could only make her understand it, maybe she’d come back. How can I tell her I love her and the children need her and she has to come back to us.

I’m sure you’ve told her and I’m sure she knows. Sadly, while you may think the force of your own love and need should change another person’s mind if only they could feel it, the truth is that she has her own feelings and needs and that’s what she’s listening to, not yours. You can certainly make it clear that for the moment the door is open and you’d welcome her back but you may have to accept that while you still love her, she has made another choice. You and the children would be far better off dealing with what you’ve got – a home with the three of you who need to make the best of it. And there is a lot that is good and hopeful. You have them and they have you. They are the ones who really need to hear from you how much you love them and that you will be there for them, whatever happens in the future. They also need to know that none of this is their fault and that though Mum and Dad will not be living together, she still loves them as you do, and will be in contact. And you need to shift your focus from the need to make her listen to you and return home to letting her feel she can be in contact with them without your putting pressure on her.

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