Imagine your married.
You've been married for a long time; you cannot remember a time before it, though you have books and photos telling you such a time existed, and you can't imagine the situation ever changing.
Then one day you arrive home and your wife says she wants a separation, "to find herself". You reluctantly concede, and she moves out.
Years pass with occasional hopeful meetings, longing glances from both parties and even occasional brushes of affection.
Then she tells you she is considering a divorce, to go her own way wholeheartedly.
You, stricken, tell her you don't want that, that whatever your problems, your history, we can work it out.
Again she says she is considering divorce but hasn't made up her mind.
In despair you ask her has there been someone else; she tells you she has had several flings but nothing lasting
In desperation you tell her you don't care about the others, that you love her and want things to work.
She says she can't go on on what you give her to live on.
You promise her more.
That she wants to be free to see other people.
You eagerly agree.
That she wants to have a say on who you see and what you spend money on.
Confused, but hysterical with grief and anxiety you agree.
You both return home to separate rooms.
She's home, but somewhere on that road back you lost something important.
Your self respect.
And you can barely look your children, your friends or your colleagues in the eye.