Ask Allie- Why Is My Wife of 17 Years Suddenly So Unhappy and Secretive?

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Dear Allie,

My wife of 17 years and I separated back in August due to her claiming she was unhappy.  I asked her if there was another person and of course she said no, but over the last two months, she has stated to me and our children that she wants to fix things but she shows no action.  Lately I have been checking phone records and she is getting calls at all hours of the night and two numbers in particular keep coming up.

My gut and intuition has told me that something ain’t right from the beginning.  She won’t even tell me what she is unhappy about and just keeps saying that she needs time and space and she moved out a little over a month ago.  Any help is appreciated.

-Husband Needing Advice


Dear Husband Needing Advice,

First and foremost, it is so tough to not know (or have any idea of) what went wrong in your marriage of seventeen years, besides that your wife is “unhappy.”  I can only imagine how hurt and frustrated you are.

When a partner stonewalls (i.e. stops communicating), it is a difficult situation because the partner wanting answers is inclined to press even further with their questions while the stonewalling partner is less likely to give answers the more they are pushed. With this being said, you have to look out for yourself, and if your wife is not willing to give you any answers, the first thing you need to do is decide if you want to try and work on your marriage (and whatever it is that has made your wife so unhappy) or if you are seeking closure.

Clearly your wife is hiding something but as to whether or not she is seeing another person- signs point to “possibly.”  Infidelity would explain your wife’s sudden unexplained departure from your home and the mysterious phone numbers at all hours of the night.  This would also explain why your wife is stonewalling you with no explanation for her behavior.  If she is cheating, she cannot explain her behavior (aka what is making her so unhappy) without being ready to tell the truth about her affair.  If the affair is still in the “new” stage and she is unsure of her future with this other man, she is probably not ready to let go of her bond with you yet either.  You are her husband of seventeen years- she has a strong emotional attachment to you plus children involved.  It is very possible that she is not ready to deal with the consequences of her actions.  This would explain her stating she wants to work on the marriage while showing no action towards working on it.  However without definitive proof, it is difficult to say whether or not your wife is 100% having an extramarital affair.

If you are unable to uncover the identities of the two mysterious phone numbers, there are other tools you can utilize to conduct your own investigation so you can find out the truth as to why your wife is being so secretive and left your marriage so abruptly without explanation.  You deserve to know the truth.

If closure is what you are looking for, it will come with time, whether or not you get answers from your wife.  Focus your attention on your own wellbeing and children, instead of focusing your energy on your wife and what went wrong.  Of course this is easier said than done but time always heals all wounds.  Best of luck to you.


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