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Parallax - Advice

December 16, 2002

The Right Steps

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At some point in life people step onto Love's dance-floor and take a chance at romance. Some choose one partner and dance the same dance with the same person for the rest of their life. Some choose different partners every time the song changes. Some even cut in on couples before the music ends. So how do you know when you've got the right steps? As our love gurus explain, 'It takes two to tango, but not everyone can tango.'

Solo steps.
The music is over.
 Date: 12/16/02

Last chance?
Time to change partners.
 Date: 12/16/02

Three's not company.
Three's a crowd.
 Date: 12/16/02

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Solo steps

Dear Conversely,

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After fourteen weeks of marriage, my wife suddenly told me that she no longer wished to be married. We had been together for just over two years. I moved out of the marital home and in with relatives. Despite initial attempts on my behalf to get her to talk, I have refrained from contacting her for almost two months, and she has only contacted me briefly, regarding money. I don't want to fall into the trap of begging her to reconsider. Knowing her, that would make her even more determined to never get back with me. If I give her space (which I'm trying to do) is there a good chance of reconciliation?

Her view:

Dear Spaced Out,

It's hard to say. However, it sounds as though you really have no options right now. She has left out of the blue, and my guess would be that she is seeing someone else. That is usually how these things happen so suddenly. If that is the case, begging and pleading will only serve to add humiliation to your injury.

What you need to do is give her some time to run her course—whatever that course may be. And it could be anything from boredom to being in love with someone else. Don't give her 'forever' though: eventually you will need to move on as well.

I think you should be a little bit angry here. It's simply not right to end a marriage in a shroud of mystery, leaving you walking on eggshells. At the very least, she owes you a cursory explanation. Oh, and you should ignore her financial request. It seems rather baseless, unless there are children involved.

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His view:

Dear Spaced Out,

The fact that you offer no hints as to what might have gone wrong makes me think you have no clue (which is bad), or you do know, but haven't yet analyzed this knowledge (which is probably worse).

The two solutions you have considered give the impression that you are treating this like a minor crisis. But I doubt that 'giving her space' alone will fix what to me appears to be a disastrous meltdown. Begging her to reconsider won't help either, as you have already concluded.

If you know why she left, you'd be better off trying to address the cause of her departure than hiding in your relative's house. If you have no idea what her problem is, then you need to tighten that belt and reinitiate your attempts to speak to her. Refraining from contacting her is not going to do you much good.

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