Your wife is not your wife. She is married to you but does not belong to you. Like you need to be reminded that in this day and age. She has her own dreams, desires, goals, aspirations, frustrations and fears. You should feel honoured that she has chosen to spend part of her journey with you. Honour her decision by being her cheer squad, pit crew and curator of a safe place for her to cry, laugh, bare all, shrink or grow.
She may be the mother of your children but that does not make her your mother, wash your own dirty undies and hers. Together you create family but she is not bonded to you by blood. Your bond is born from attraction which grew into love. That bond is broken easily by actions and behaviours which are unattractive, like checking her messages or criticising how she drives. Strive not to be ugly of thought and action, for attraction turns swiftly to repulsion. Who'd want to have more sex with someone that repulses them? Split the chores, the school runs and cooking irrespective of who earns more; no ones job is more important or demanding when it comes to running a household together.
She is free to talk to whomever she wants, go wherever she wants, and like you, do whatever she wants that causes no harm to others (and preferably self). If that makes you uncomfortable then you now have something to fix in yourself. We all have some things to fix in ourselves. Anyone who tells you they don't has way more work to do than you. Phew!
Seek not to control her in any way shape or form otherwise what you fear the most may come to pass and the accountability for that falls upon you fella. Own it. Grasping at love is your invisible hands choking the relationship to death, strangling the joy out of life. Even if you have tiny Trump hands you will cause irreparable damage. Open your hands and heart and acknowledge in yourself that which is broken and you'd like fixed. Give yourself permission to seek the help of a professional fixer, so many guys now do. Think of them as trained mind mechanics (who will bulk bill 8 visits in a year provided your GP recommends you).
If for whatever reason she chooses to leave you, be grateful for the time you had together and say goodbye with the good times in your heart and her safety, freedom and happiness as your number one priority. You haven't failed nor are you a failure, attraction has disappeared and that's completely reasonable and nothing to do with those Dad jeans you wear.
You might find love again elsewhere but you have to learn to let her go quickly and with respect and dignity. Get those tools from the pro's not your mates at the pub. Always speak of her respectfully, especially in front of the kids, even when you're burning up with feelings of being hard done by. These are your feelings and no one else's. Dissolve them by going easy on yourself and her (that's being compassionate) and get a bit of outside help. Remember you loved and you laughed and that makes you lucky; some people never get to have that. It's over, it's ok, you'll be ok. You are a decent man so do what decent guys do; start again but a wiser version of you. Life is sweeter when you consciously remove the bitterness. Grog and drugs won't get rid of it, they just change it's flavour for a bit; vic bitter flavoured bitterness is still bitter. It's best to wash it out the right way, again professionals can talk it through with you. Start at your G.P.
Your wife is not your wife, she is your equal. She is curious and funny, smart and worldly, quiet and introspective, artistic and family orientated, career focused and kick arse, she is all or none, everything and then some and probably a little bit more you don't know about. She is she and always will be herself and free. Walk taller knowing she likes being around you but never take that for granted. Every morning when you wake up next to her, give thanks for the chance to go another day in her company. Make it a bloody good day, for her and you.
Andrew Sidwell February 12 2017.