Well, never thought I'd be here asking this. I've known my wife for 13 years (since I was 18), and been married for 12 with two great kids (8 & 10 plus a 14 yr old stepdaughter I've raised since she was 1); she decided to leave 3 days before Christmas. There was no "event" to leave over (domestic violence, abuse, alcoholism/drug addiction, gambling, infidelity). We both work, and I work 8-5 M-F, while she worked 3pm-12am for a retail store. Once I got off from work I'd go home and take care of the children until they were ready for bed (cook dinner, all that stuff). So, she didn't have many domestic duties (no desperate housewife here) and was by herself most of the time before work at 3pm. According to my wife, she says she left because she "needs her own life" and since she's going to be 37 feels like her life is going nowhere. I don't understand this point. I work for a state university and we planned on working for a few years to pay off my student loan debts and then she could attend college for her subject of choice (practically for free since I'm faculty). She quit her job and moved in with her mother (4 hours away) while taking the three children with her. She has no means of obtaining gainful employment (minimum wage is all she's getting with her education & experience), and is relying completely off her mother and step-father. I don't understand this... why leave a husband who cooks 5 days a week and is willing to help you make it through school? I don't think she's likely to finish college raising three kids by herself, and her mother is unreliable and moves every 3-6 months and has for the past 13 years (no joke, I have often wondered if they are running from the law or creditors). The odds on her staying put for 4 years while she goes to school (she's dropped out several times because she gets burned-out) are really low and approach the astronomically small range...


So, while she was still at home I begged and pleaded for her to stay and try to work this out for us, the children, and for our economic security. Between the two of us we do just fine but her income is more supplemental and mine is the main income (50K between the two of us in a small, rural state which is pretty good for this area). I've been leaving her alone (no text message, email, or phone "terrorism" from me), and every once in a while she calls me... while it's typically business of some sort, I've noticed that she'll stay on the phone for a while and talk about general things; almost like she misses me but not quite sure what to make of it. This makes me wonder if she's serious about divorcing or just having a midlife crisis of some sort... and she says it's officially a separation. I miss my wife so much that I'd do almost anything to have her come back and reunite our family. I'd go to counseling, take a second job so she can stay home (she says she's burned out from working all the time) I thought we were just working a lot and trying to buy our home... ignored some of the signs that she was growing cold towards me... guess I should have seen it coming but since we worked the schedule we did I rarely saw her. She also had many friends at work who where 18-22 and have no children or spouses, and I've wondered if hanging out around these younger people left her feeling old and bored... any suggestions?