Sorry to hear about your troubles right now. Just wanted to ask a couple of questions after reading your posts. You don't have to answer them publicly, maybe just think about it and see what you come up with. :)
One of the first things you say is that you want to stay roommates - why? Sounds painful to me, or obsessive.
You claim the "lion's share of the blame" - why do you feel so guilty? Something you did, or just the way you handle things? Is this related to your thought about how you can't "give her" yourself? What, exactly, does that mean? In 5 years of marriage, have you not given of yourself to her? If not, why? If so, why do you say you don't know how?
You say she doesn't need you as much as she once did. I say that's a good thing. Need isn't a good thing to base a relationship on. Did she ever NEED you? Has she changed and grown from a needy person to a self-fulfilled person and you're feeling left out? Do you need to be needed? Is there something else you can base a new foundation on, like friendship or love rather than need?
You said you've tried "some" couples counselling. Doesn't sound like a huge effort to save a relationship. Try some more! And I agree with the other response that you should try some personal counselling. And keep at it. Don't just go for a while and think it's all okay, then fall back into old, established patterns. Go until you're really okay and this is all over and you're back on your emotional feet.
You say that she's given up because she didn't see any effort from you. Were you making an effort she didn't credit you with, or was there a lack of effort on your part until it was too late and now you're interested in saving the relationship? What effort are you making right now? Is it helping?
About talking: You say you can talk all day to your friends (are you neglecting her to do so?) but you freeze up with her. She might be wanting more than the "talking to a friend" kind of communication. Couples "talk" differently with each other than with most friends. What do you talk about with your friends? Why can't you talk to her? Fear - of what? Talking about the weather or your favorite hobby probably isn't what she's looking for. (well, there should be that kind of talk, too, but I hope you got the point.) If you WERE talking right now, what would you want to say to her? Think about it beforehand, make notes, practice it like a speach so you won't stumble on it so badly (but be prepared to be flexable when you're talking to her) - and then go talk to her. Tell her how you feel. Ask her how she feels. If she's "given up" then maybe she feels like SHE tried, too, and it didn't work. Where were you when she was making that effort? Are you only sad now that she's called a halt? What would happen if you both tried to work on it at the same time instead of one at a time and giving up? You say that "suddenly" you can't talk to her - was there a time when your communication was good? What is different now?
Lastly...you're doing a lot of guilt. Is that justified? Was there something you did to precipitate all this and now you don't like the consequences? Most people don't throw away 5 years lightly. What kept you together that long? Where did it go? Was there something that SHE did which made it all go sour? Is your entire relationship revolving around one event right now? Can you stop it from being that way? Guilt, fear, sorrow, anger...all normal aspects of losing a relationship you've invested 5 years into. But try to make sure that they are actual and not mere knee-jerk reactions of pain.
Most of all - there is a process to grieving. Allow yourself the time, energy, patience, and self-love to complete the process. You usually can't just skip steps if you want to come out the other side with some kind of understanding and emotional health. It takes time. Wanting to stay roommates with someone you can't communicate with SOUNDS LIKE the "bargaining" aspect (within yourself). Are there children involved that make you want to remain that close? Is it a financial decision (intertwined lives for 5 years probably means tangled monies)? Are you trying to be there to pick back up where you left off? Is it a way to asuage your guilt? It's hard to be objective whilst in the middle of turmoil. Meditate. I agree - write things down, talk to someone professionally, do whatever it takes to get things out of your system so you can figure out "where to go from here."
And just so you don't think I'm being insensative or harsh, my 8 year marriage ended last year, too. I was cheating on him (our sex life stank but the rest was pretty awesome) and he just couldn't forget. His heart forgave me, but his mind did terrible things to him about it all. We tried to "save" the relationship for almost 2 years before we finally let it go and moved on. Those were the worst 2 years of the whole thing, ironicly.
Most things happen for a reason...let that reason find you.
Edited 8/29/2003 3:59:27 PM ET by PARIAH27