Honey, I Want A Divorce: When A Woman Decides to Leave

when a woman decides to leave

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

Below is an email from a reader who explained that she is going through a divorce, and that the divorce was HER decision. She asked me if I could give her some advice for when a woman decides to leave. In other words, how does one deal with the immense guilt of leaving your husband, when HE didn’t want the divorce? (or didn’t know it was coming.)

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“It would be so much easier if I could stamp him as a cheater, alcoholic,  slacker, loser, abuser. But I can’t! He has been a good father to our children, a loyal husband as far as I know, and a good provider for our family.  I am in therapy for all the feelings including guilt. The fact is, this has hurt him and ripped his heart out (those were his words).”

I have a few thoughts for when a woman decides to leave:

First, the fact that she has fessed up like this, admitted what’s really going on,  taken responsibility for what she’s done, and is seeking a therapist’s help puts her so far ahead of the game when it comes to healing.


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In lots of cases like this, I see both men and women who take the guilt they have about leaving their spouse, and spin it. What I mean is, they somehow start to blame the other person, and then become angry at the other person, and then they turn into a nightmare for that person by being cruel and vicious. What they are really doing is taking the hatred they have for themselves and putting it on the other person to try to alleviate their own guilt.



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When a woman decides to leave, here are some common feelings she might have:



It’s an awful feeling to live with, and in my opinion, such a waste of energy and time! Guilt serves no productive purpose, so just stop it right now. Even if a person’s husband/wife has some serious flaws and  there’s an obvious deal breaker such as abuse, cheating, drinking…whatever it was, people who decide to leave feel incredibly guilty for a long time–because of the kids, or just feeling like they are abandoning this person. If this is you, please re-evaluate what guilt is doing for you. I’m sure it’s nothing good.


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Guilt can also make you settle financially in your divorce in a way you wouldn’t have settled had it been the other way around. You might accept less child support, give him the house, do whatever it takes monetarily to appease your guilt. And it won’t work. You’ll still feel guilty.

Guilt can also make you hate yourself, which is so totally unhealthy. Please get help if you feel guilty and it isn’t going away. You have to find a way to get rid of the guilt and regain self-love. Otherwise, you will never be able to move on.


When a woman decides to leave, fear might set in. “Will I be OK financially? Will I have to sell the house? Will my kids be OK? Will I be alone forever?” Fear is normal, and everyone fears change. That doesn’t mean you aren’t doing the right thing. I bet if you asked anyone who has ever made a huge life decision if they were scared, 100% would say fuck yes!! Fear is normal, but try to turn it into a positive, meaning fear can drive you to hard work, good decisions and success.


Just because it was YOUR decision to leave, that doesn’t mean you aren’t hurting just as much as he is. Some people feel like maybe because they initiated the divorce that they don’t have the right to feel hurt, like they’re not allowed to miss him, or to grieve or cry or be upset. Maybe they feel like if they express sadness to someone, the person will say, “Well, this is what you wanted, isn’t it?”

Listen to me. You have every right to mourn your marriage if you are the one who decides to leave. It’s healthy to feel and process those emotions.


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Some people who leave might feel like they are doing something wrong, like others are judging them. I say if they are, that’s their issue. There is no shame in leaving a situation you feel is toxic and their certainly is no shame in trying to have a happier life. Every divorce situation is unique, and no one knows what the person is going through behind closed doors. I personally think if a woman decides to leave, there must have been a pretty good reason because no one wants to get divorced. It’s a last resort.


“Am I doing the right thing? What if I regret this later and try to get back together with him and he’s already met someone? What if I can’t make it on my own? What if the kids end up screwed up because of me? Am I being selfish? Can I make this work?” Sound familiar? This is your non-productive guilt playing into things.

I am going to say this about doubt. Currently, I am madly in love with my spouse. I would never in a million years break up with him unless I was absolutely sure it was the right thing. Get the picture? If you were truly happy, divorce would not enter your mind. Ever.

Have confidence in your decision. The best thing I can recommend for doubt is to get a piece of paper and write down all the reasons the marriage isn’t working. Don’t show it to anyone, just keep writing and look at the paper every time you are wondering if you are doing the right thing. Include things like, “The night he did this…” “The time he told me…” “How I felt the night after so and so’s wedding…” Be specific.

 Now onto the positives you might want to think about if you are the one leaving:


1. Your kids will be better off with two divorced parents who get along, then a household with no love, lots of fighting and coldness. They could grow up mimicking what you and your ex have in your relationship. They could think that is right. Or, they could see each of you in good, healthy, happy romantic relationships with other people. And, they could grow up mimicking that!


2. Leaving someone takes guts. Be proud that you are doing what’s right for your children and yourself, and that you left and didn’t take the easy way out by staying, maybe because he has money, or because it was comfortable.


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3. Ask yourself this. Does your husband really deserve to be with a woman who doesn’t love him anymore? Doesn’t he deserve better? Your leaving him opens the door for him to possibly find love with a woman who appreciates him and wants him. And, I bet down the road, he will realize you did a good thing for everyone.

4. People always say “live in the present,” and although I am a huge fan of that, there is one instance where living in the future might benefit you: during a divorce. Living in the present during a divorce is stressful, but if you focus on your goals, and the life you are trying to create for after the divorce, the divorce might seem more manageable. Think about why you are doing all of this. If you stay, you know what to expect in the future. If you leave, it’s scary, but if you know whatever happens it will be better than what you have now, then you are doing the right thing.


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I have a good friend whose husband blindsided her, and left her for another woman who he married two minutes after the divorce was final. I have said to her often, “Sometimes I feel like you are lucky because you didn’t have a say in this.” Sometimes it’s easier to be the one who was left versus the one who left. When something happens to you, you have no control. So, there’s no guilt.

In closing, divorce is very painful for both people, regardless of who left who. There’s really no way around that. But in the end, what ends up happening is, who left who doesn’t seem to matter much anymore, and both people go onto their own paths in life. What matters the most is how well the parents co-parent because that will have an effect on how the kids’ lives turn out.

Like this article? Check out, “9 Signs of a Healthy Romantic Relationship


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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

277 Responses to “Honey, I Want A Divorce: When A Woman Decides to Leave”

  1. John

    It is very sad when a woman decides to leave her husband, and it would make sense if her husband is very abusive and Cheating on her. But if she just decides to leave just like that, then maybe she prefers to be with another Woman instead which seems to be happening a lot lately.

  2. Gloria

    Many people hurting and so many others lashing out at strangers bec. of their own hurt. We see only the details posted here. The sharing perspectives is good. Guilt is something we learn not something we feel only because we are guilty, way too many parents used it to raise their kids. My husband was raised w/ lots of guilt. I was taught to process things differently. He recently admitted he married me & stayed because of guilt, 17+ years. No children. He has wanted divorce 4x but we stuck it out.

    We are both so good at protecting the “marriage” that we are not who we should be as humans. How sad for this to have happened. We have love but never grew together, we do not disrespect or have other issues. But when we communicate honestly we both know this is not healthy for either. I developed serious health problems a few years back from the stress and am ready to leave. We have gone to marriage counseling many times. We have bought books, read websites, done the exercises…together trying to make something into something we are not. We even do the exercises from the other persons perspective. Communication is there. We each need peace. Try to look beyond the changable things and issues. Look at yourself in a new way, examine your persoanality and that of your partner. Non religious counselors are good for this.

    Here is what we do; we accept the hurt, we forgive ourselves, we go to counselling to find out how we can both be in a healthy place marriage or no marriage. We discuss infidelity/sexual needs to make sure that isn’t added to our problems. We don’t blame the other but we sometimes discuss the circumstance (get tissues). It isn’t our issues, it is the basic foundation of our marriage. We use what tools we have (friends/family are bias but can be good support) to reach that goal. We accept that this is a process. One thing I’ve learned is that many people saw what I did not & a part of me was hurt they didn’t tell me. The first counselor I visited alone for “stress” advised me to see an atty. that my marriage has some serious issues and might not last a couple years. I left in shock & stayed in counseling since. I practice more forgiveness and appreciate that I’ve started on this journey. Hopefully my husband and I will be happier humans at the end of this process no matter the outcome.

    If you are Christian (as I was raised) practice compassion not judgement for the journey of others. Pray that they have the strength to find their own way. I no longer practice but cannot accept that a loving God would want us to live a life like this nor present such a false reality to children, others, our selves and God. God loves you for who you are no matter, love yourself and be strong enough to do what is needed.

  3. Jason

    Every story is different but what I’ve noticed in my life is this. happens too often:

    People who have affairs often try and cover up the dirty business and blame the spouse. It’s defense mechanism, obviously. It’s a mindblowingly painful thing for a man to have images of his sweet and loving wife in the throes of passion with another man. To know that the same night they were kissing and reading story books to their children, this same “wife” had been out giving a blow job to her tennis instructor. That she had had him in our home.

    The issue with women is this.. they get bored and restless. They don’t know how to maintain the ‘good girl’ image and be fulfill their naughty desires with their husbands at the same time. Some married man comes along, pays them attention and compliments, and before you know it they are sexting and talking bad about each other’s spouses, how they were meant for each other, etc. They will do anything and everything to protect their image. Those of you here in deep affairs know what I am talking about. It’s a real corruption of the soul and really just fueled by lust and soulmate feelings, all of which pass with time. So many women go through this process because they think their husbands ‘won’t change’ even though they themselves have not made any indication of what the change is. Women always feel like they are doing everything.. job, kids, home.. and that they deserve to be treated like a queen. Question is.. are you treating your husband like a king? Don’t complain about neglect or lack of romance if your loving husband becomes the ‘boring’ husband during your affair. Affairs reshape the mind, rewrite the history and everything else.

    Women often defend women in these cases, and it is really appalling. As if women are the only ones with feelings that count. Or those feelings count the most. Do right and love the one you are with. You made a commitment, kids need their parents to be whole unit. Don’t leave a marriage just because some of the spark is gone. Put down Eat, Pray, Love and talk to your husband. I mean really talk .. about all the things you’ve always wanted to say but didn’t dare. That is your greatest challenge. Same goes for guys – I’d give them the same advice. Cheating husbands don’t get off the hook.

    Be kind to those you love. Life is not just about unrelented passion and joy and feeling ‘alive’. Affairs are a fantasy and even if you wind up with your affair partner, the same stuff will most likely come rolling back down later on. And if you get cheated on, you can’t complain. Be truthful in life.. it’s the best policy to harmony and love. And passion.

  4. Frank

    My wife handed me divorce papers with no prior discussion (we were in counseling) and left 3 hours later to live 6 hours away. She spent 15 minutes with our college age kids. She refused to talk to me, and told me to direct all questions to her lawyer.

    No violence here, by the way, although there was plenty of arguing.

    The result: both kids immediately took my side; I urged both to call their mother. one did, and the other (who commutes to college and lives with me) has had no contact with her after over two months.

    Aim for some degree of decorum, or it will bite you.

  5. Just a guy

    I have never commented on a blog before, but I thought i would in this case. The advice I would give is much different than I ever thought I would share. You see, you were my ex-wife. We were married for 25 years with two beautiful children. We were happy… I chose the word “We” carefully. Through deed and declaration, both of us shared our feelings for one another. We both worked, we had a nice home, good friends, and a family that loved us. That fateful night several years ago,I found that my wife was having an affair with her best friends husband. I never thought this would happen, but it did. I thought I would break, but I didn’t, I thought I would snap, but I didn’t. I thought I would just get up and leave, but I didn’t. I spend 8 months working to reestablish our marital relationship to no avail. My ex was simply unwilling to let go of the other man. Truth be told, he was also married… to my ex’s best friend. After eight months I could bear no more. Through both secular and professional counseling, I found that there was nothing more I could do. I decided to give her exactly what she wanted. At the time, I felt that it was the end of my life. The end of a story with nothing to follow. The dreams I had for my future simply vanished like smoke in the air. After some time alone, I found a wonderful woman. She had many of the same fundamental values that I had. We were in similar situations and found a level of comfort with one another than I had never experienced. We are now married and have enjoyed our first anniversary. I now have a life plan, funds to support it, and a larger family than I had before. I no longer speak to my ex. I probably should, but I simply find it too painful. I feel robbed of the dreams I once had. I think that if I could talk to her, I would thank her.
    You contemplate going with this other man or working things out with your husband. I truly believe that you even considering this places you far outside the boundaries of marriage. Be honest, be clear, and be fair. Look at life without blinders and realize that happiness is not found at work, it is not found at home, it is not found in other people. Happiness is found within. When we look to others for our satisfaction, we soon loose sight of who we really are. Some are never able to get that back.
    While my ex left, and I moved on, she is still stuck. I wish her well as she works to find the answer she so desperately seeks. It is an answer she must find on her own. No friend can share it… no therapist can give it… it is as clear as the nose on her face. The only way to move forward is to walk through he debris you created. It will be painful to you, your husband or your ex, and your children. What your family needs are strong parents. They can exist in a marriage or out of one. What they cannot do is exist in desquise.

  6. Gone

    I can say I sympathize with a lot of you on here. My husband and I were best friends for several years before we got married. I’ve known this man for 18 years and we have been together 15 of those years. Just 8 months ago I found out he had been cheating on me for 2 1/2 years. I had been taking care of my father for 5 years because of his health. My father passed away in October of last year and I found out about my husbands affair 5 months later. I wanted him to leave and I wanted a divorce then. But I prayed and knew that I had made some mistakes in this marriage as well. I did not like to be open about my feelings and how I felt. I waited on him constantly and should not have done that either. We went to counseling and learned to communicate and express our feelings in a constructive way. But he has anger issues and still becomes defensive when he is caught in a lie. Which he does quite often. He is a pathological liar and a amorous narcissist. He will not accept accountability for any of his wrong doings. He started flirting with another girl at work and when I confronted him of course he became angry and lied. I heard it myself and so did another employee. I feel like divorce is my only option for happiness. I do not want a divorce and I have tried desperately to save my marriage. I cannot do this to myself anymore and have him beat me down emotionally. I am less than when I am with him. I do not want to feel like I do not matter anymore. I am done. And I think I am going to be okay….. I think I have traded in any amount of guilt that I might have or had and found my spine!

  7. josh ferry

    Such bullshit, falling in love with somebody else isn’t some uncontrolled emotion that dictates your life, it is a choice. When you have a good husband, who loves you and the kids, partners with you, considers you, supports you, and hasn’t screwed up, drinking, cheating etc…. you do have an obligation to do the right thing. Adults don’t just arbitrarily succumb to their emotions, love is a choice. A new relationship is not worthy of the time, effort, blood sweat and tears of the one your in, if it is productive and supportive. How nice to just fall in love and forget everybody else. True love is a choice, a choice to do the right thing, the responsible thing and the only thing that the children care about. They don’t have a choice, they are victim to the adults choices, and I guarantee, if there is no abuse, and there is love, and there is security, they don’t want you to fall in love with somebody else. They will remember who left who and why, even 30 years later.

  8. Janice

    Mine is a little different. We’ve only been married a year, he’s on these dating sites asking to “hook up” with other women, pretending to be single. After I caught him the fourth time, I told him I want a divorce. he’s refusing. I mean, he’s adamant. I have to wait a year for a divorce in MD law’s eyes, but he won’t leave the house. He also said that I was on the phone this week for an hour, so i have done him wrong and he wants half of everything I have!
    Reading this blog, I understand that he’s now trying to turn it around on me, and say he’s the victim, and he has proof with that one-time conversation on phone records. I have a year of proof from the dating sites, but somebody out there is filling his head with nonsense.None of that matters, i just want to move on with my life. i want nothing from him. I don’t know what to do at this point. We have no kids, I can move, but he’s fighting the divorce. This is going to be long and drawn out for nothing. He was pretending to be single, I give him that, now he wants me.

  9. floop

    The worst thing to do is the sneak attack, which my wife pulled on me. She handed me surprise divorce papers and was gone 3 hours later, telling me and the kids (who got a full 15 minutes of discussion before she left) that she would never return to our area, and was moving across the state to her mother’s house.

    The kids (college age) aren’t happy with her, the one who commutes has had no contact with her, and I’m assuming she’s aiming for a high conflict divorce, because she told me not to talk to her, only her lawyer. I’m finding all kinds of old financial records in the attic that will hurt her financially – I would never have looked there had she been civil and courteous. Not knowing what is coming, I need to prepared for any possibility. That approach will make it tough to co-parent (college kids still need help) and set you up for an agonizing litigation. And you’ll teach your kids a lesson in immaturity.

  10. Jessica H

    You men who feel you are blind-sided by your wife’s request for separation/divorce… if you truly were the great communicator, wouldn’t you know how she was feeling? If your relationship was ‘good’, wouldn’t she care for you enough to not seek the attention from another person? Men that are reading this, WAKE UP and take the posts as lessons to work on your marriage, discuss the small things before they become big things. No one cheats on a spouse because they are madly in love with them, they cheat because something is missing. I have cheated, and I have been cheated ON, so there’s no judgement from me. Oh and for you Christians, please let me know how a Christian man who prefers to pleasure himself while watching other women/porn in secret over making love with his wife is not adultery. Looks like I’ve got God’s ok here. I can forgive but I’ve learned my lesson. I am out and I’ll “blind-side” my husband. Wake up time.

  11. Susan

    I have been married 10 years and I want a divorce. I love my husband so much it hurts to have to tell him I am leaving. We have been fighting for 4 years now, since my dad died, and even more so for the last year, since my mom died. Mainly it’s because I need more sex and intimacy. I feel so lost without my parents and I need that human contact and he can’t seem to find it important enough to give it to me. He says he loves me but doesn’t have a sex drive any more. He is in his mid 40’s and healthy,It seems the more I ask about it the more he holds it back from me. I can’t take it any more!!!! We use to make love almost every other day for 5 years.. then excuses happened all the time. I’m too tired. My hip hurts. Maybe tomorrow. Then that never happens. I am frustrated and refuse to keep pleasing myself when I am married. If I have to do everything myself, why should I be married?? Help!

    • Anon

      Susan- Wow, I can’t believe what I just read. Are you seriously telling us that you want a divorce over sex??? If so, I’m absolutely shocked. I’m really sorry to hear about the loss of your parents, but that should not be an influence over your committment in your marriage.

      Have you discussed your wants/needs with your husband? Have you communicated how you feel with him. Does he understand that you need more intimacy? When was the last time you were open and honest with him? And why is this his “fault” or “problem”? It doesn’t sound like you have been very compassionate either. In other words, if he is unable to perform (which does happen to men nowadays), then that is a problem for both of you, and not just you. Perhaps he may need to see his doctor. Or, it could just be that his sex drive is waning at his age. Men supposedly peak at an earlier age than women, so this is natural.

      In other words, based on your information, it does not appear that he loves you any less today than he did 10 years ago. Likewise, you don’t mention that you love him any less that you did 10 years ago. If the one and only issue in your marriage is sex, then this is easily addressed. Why are you so quick to throw in the towel? Where in your marriage vows does it say that it is acceptable to divorce someone because of a lack of sex drive? What if this situation was reversed? Do you think he would leave you for someone else or is he the type of man that makes a commitment and sticks with it?

      What options have you tried so far? Maybe spice things up a little bit….toys, role playing, different times of day, different rooms, or new cities/states, etc. can be a new way of introducing something fun and enjoyable for both of you. Yes, sex can get to a point in a marriage where it is routine and boring, but it doesn’t have to be. There is so much more to a marriage than the bedroom.

      But based on the information you’ve provided, it seems like communication, or lack thereof, is a deeper issue than sex. Perhaps this may be a place to start and reignite that intimacy that you so desire. Who knows, maybe he’s missing it too. You won’t know until you open up and allow yourself to become vulernable to him again. Don’t make the mistake of hardening your heart, as you will always ask yourself “but what if…..”

  12. ashley

    I have been married for 14 years. I am a christian who has never cheated until now. The last 4 years I looked my husband in the face and told him to start dating me more, I needed more love and passion….or i would have an affair. He tried for awhile but it went back same old stuff. He is an amazing guy. Great father. My family loves him. Only thing is he isn’t being the husband that i need. I feel horrible but he was making me so depressed. I am very attractive. I dress nice everyday too and take care of myself. My husband isn’t into pornography or anything like that. He works hard and allows me to stay home. I dealt with my feelings for years because of all of this. It just kills me that I don’t have any passion in my marriage. He doesn’t kiss me…only during sex once a week. He says he is always tired cause he works. But once we got married when he wasn’t working….it was the same then. I cried myself to sleep so many times in our marriage cause I want to be desired. I desired him. Now what? I fell in love with another man. I didn’t plan on it. This guy is my dream guy. My husband and I have 3 kids. What do i do?

  13. Sarah

    Reading this post and the comments here has been quite therapeutic for me. I am a very traditional woman and believe until death do us part. My husband and I were together for 5 years before we married and have been married for 4 years now. We do not have any children, but it is something that I recently decided I wanted to do. He has been completely unsupportive on this and I don’t think he wants kids AT ALL. I know him very well and he has many issues, including borderline personality disorder and depression. He has been unmedicated for several years now, and the the fallout from that has been brutal for me. His erratic mood swings and careless behavior have hurt me greatly and I have cried over his hurtful actions and words more times than I can count. Even his mother has no idea how I am able to tolerate his difficult personality. Another huge problem with him is that he is a 33 year old spoiled trust fund kid who spends money like its nothing. For example, he buys himself a new $60k car every few months, spends thousands modding it, and then gets bored with it and buys a new one. This has been a drain on us financially but he feels entitled to it. He does work very hard in his job and earns very good money, but he spends it without regard and like a child would (toys, cars etc) and saves NOTHING.

    The past year or so his behavior has reached a fever pitch and I have repeatedly asked him to get back on his meds. He won’t do it and the level of emotional abuse that I am enduring is something I can no longer do. I have hesitated leaving because I care deeply for him and up until recently I had no job and no way of supporting myself if I left. Now that I have started working and feel better about myself, I really think I have to do this. I have to leave for my own mental well being. I have become situationally depressed due to his mood swings and having to constantly walk on eggshells to avoid one of his temper tantrums. This has been one of the hardest things I have ever gone through and have no idea how someone who says they love someone else could behave this way. I have had the patience of a saint for many years and he snaps at me and his parents over any little thing that doesn’t go his way. I want to move on in my life and start a family, but not with him. No way would I bring an innocent child into this chaotic home. I don’t believe in cheating but I know I deserve better and know that once I do something for MYSELF (rather than worrying about his reaction) that better things (and someone else) will come my way.

  14. Brian

    This blog is very enlightening. Apparently it is very common for women to have the same screwed up mentality and actions as my ex has. I have been scratching my head trying to figure out what makes a woman leave a loving husband and father for no good reason. I still don’t understand, but at least I can see from this blog that many other women have the same twisted mentality. I wonder if there are any nice girls out there who would stick by there man through thick and thin till the end. I guess not many as they are likely married and will remain so.

  15. Natalie

    Ive been with my husband for 24 yrs, married 11yrs. I feel like ive been the one growning apart… i dont think i can be in this marriage any longer.. He is a great father to our 19 yr old son and has been a wonderful husband to me but i just dont feel the same towards him anymore. We had a big fight 4yrs ago and we had a disagreement 6 month ago and told me he hasnt trust me in the past 4 yrs all because of me texting a guy friend. He thought the worse of me… he took off his wedding ring and told me he was done. I thought i could make it work but his sister in law kept asking me about him not wearing his wedding band and when i told her why, she asked me what was i still here…so i started asking myself and the only thing stopping me is my son. So, i started shutting myself down and he doesnt even try asking me whats wrong , we havent been intimally together in 2 months. And all i think about is i want out. But how do i tell him.?

  16. Pen

    If I may, I think one of the words that’s confusing people is the word “good.” As in, he is a good man. No one is perfect, so it can’t mean that he is/was a perfect man. I think what is trying to be communicated by “good” is that overall he’s a kind and decent person who commits no crimes, is not an addict, does not fly into dangerous rages, and holds down a steady job. When “good” stops equaling “good enough” is when, I think, the bad habits, few though they may be, remain. Resentment sets in and then these few bad habits come to signify, in our minds, bigger issues. For instance, if you repeatedly ask him not to track mud in the house and he won’t stop and only cleans it up when you note it to him (again) and then does so with attitude – well, after years it grates. When a marriage is in trouble is when she stops asking him to clean up the mud he’s tracked in for the 9,000 time. She’s tired of the attitude and so cleans it up herself. He knows she does this and still doesn’t change. At that point she feels taken for granted, taken advantage of, and like a drudge – not like the pretty, sexy wife he used to open doors for. He’s still a “good” man, but these small bad habits have contributed to the marriage dying by a thousand tiny cuts. When it all comes crashing down, he may say, “I had no idea you were so angry about the mud! Geez!” But, it’s not angry about the mud. To make it about the mud is to diminish all of it and that’s when it seems pointless to even try to talk it out. It’s exhausting, and we’re already exhausted from cleaning up mud for years.

  17. Mrs V

    All the posts on this blog have been so helpful and I have read and thought about everyone as I try to make sense of my own situation

    I have just returned to my husband because I cannot stand the deep pain and heartache of obligation and guilt. Over the last year since our marriage broke and I left. he has been constant in his fight to get me back. Many times , weekly, daily, he has said that I am the key to his happiness. That his life is no longer worth living, he feels he will die, he is in “living bereavement” he has panic attacks in the night, cannot sleep, cannot stop crying, sends me flowers, asks me to meet him because he has premonitions he will die. Reminds me by text that our wonderful home and our life we built together is destroyed that he will never give up trying to reconcile, that he will try till the day he dies. The comments are extremely sad and endless. He says he will forgive me, he has learnt and wants to try again, he wants to put everything behind us and to travel and be happy. So after a year apart and 6 months living with a guy who is my “missing part”. I cannot bare the guilt any longer. My husbands constant communication has finally broken me down. My ” guy” is distraught but is trying to understand. I am distraught but cannot fight it any longer.
    Last night was the first night I spent in the marital home in the spare room and I have 4 nights until he comes home from a business trip. My home feels alien now and I feel numb inside and just “quiet”. I feel I have lost a wonderful man who makes me so incredibly happy because I have too much guilt for my husband. I have been to counselling, read books, talked to friends, been to therapy. Yet I am back here. The moment my husband calls me or sends me messages I go into a submissive apologetic mess. Goodness knows what will happen when he comes home. I wonder if he will tell me he is happy now he has the ” key to his happiness” back. So as a wife, who promised to honour my marriage vows I sacrifice my happiness for his ?? We have been together for 23 years but my love for him stopped about 2-3 years ago, before that I adored him but he was a bachelor in our marriage, selfish and totally took me for granted He is a good man not a bully or a drunk. What’s happens now, well I just don’t know. I cannot share his bed and I don’t love him the way a woman should love her husband. Maybe it will be him that realizes I am not his key maybe he will be eaten up with suspicion and mistrust and see that he cannot live like it and therefore will break the marriage again for himself. I have walked away from my guy, my hope for true happiness so that a husband of 23 years can be happy.

  18. Justin

    Ive been married to my best friend for the last 13 years im 40 she’s 37 and have three beautiful kids. I’m not a drunk, I don’t hit anything or anyone and I’ve supported all of her ambitions to include her persut of a PHD.We’ve had rough patches both made some stupid choices but made it thru, never back stepping. Every move made for the better. But now she wants a divorce. Why? Because she ” lost that feeling” can we go to counseling honey? NO!! Can we try and talk about it? NO! It’s over, people change! That’s all I get from the person that I’ve loved and side by side moved mountains with! No room for compromise, no way of opening up dialoge. NOTHING! I’ve lost everything that has been the center of my world! I dont have the ability to be a part of my kids daily lives anymore. I miss out on the simple things with them that so many people take advantage of, I’m now living in a rented room because I don’t want to commit to a lease with the hope that my wife will call me any minute and say she loved me and that our marriage is worth fighting for. I lost everything and all for what? A feeling??? I’m tired of my kids crying every time they see me because they want me to come home! And all I can say is ” it will be OK” because I’m not going to put this BS on my wife in my kids eyes, I live minute to minute. I feel 2 inches tall and am so lonely that I’ve contimplated suicide but thank Yoda that my kids keep me in the game.
    So all of you people on here that are dumping worthy spouses, think about this, your selfish fantasy isn’t worth crushing someone else’s world. if your looking for excitement buy some Legos Or better yet seek out adventure that you can share with the one person in this world that would love you compleatly flaws and all… As for me, I’m here, dedicated to my family, fighting for my marriage all alone with my soul and spirit on her chopping g block. I’ll give up when the gavel drops. until then I’m just going to suffer this and love my wife while she’s at her worst. Because that’s when love and respect really matter!!And if she gets the divorce, I’ll be super dad and hope for the best .and buy some Legos …,,,

    • Greg

      God bless you Justin. Your story is a mirror image of mine.. The bottom line is unfortunately God hasn’t been placed first in the marriage by the leaving spouse. In fact it’s doubtful He has entered the leaving spouse mind when deciding divorce..We live in a narcissist/corrupt western world where God has been removed because the narrow path He presents for us is too damn hard for many to follow.. Hence why the 50% divorce rate.. Look at the world today!! Seriously look at it! Open your eyes! God doesn’t like ugliness.. Justin ,like my self stay on the narrow path with God. You will make it thru this, like myself..

    • Mifsudco

      Dear Justin,

      I wish I know you. I wish I can talk to you about this stuff. I am a 28 year male with the same problems as you. My wife told me that she doesn’t love me anymore, she doesn’t have any feelings anymore for me. she says that she is so happy living apart.

      When I take the kids in a coffee bar, I see them looking at other table with a hole family and they get so said. I get also very said. I fight for our marriage as long as I can not only because of the kids, but because thats the RIGHT thing to do.

      God bless you and your family. Be strong stay strong!

  19. Mon

    Together for 11 years, married for 10 (husband forgot about the anniversary), 6yo child. My husband’s excuse for not being a good husband or partner is that his father didn’t treat his mom nice. And nobody told him he treats me like shit. It wasn’t all that bad. Just not good. He wouldn’t wear the ring, wouldn’t hold my hands or kiss me in public, wouldn’t talk to me at parties, was just a jerk, not a man. Never touched me, even though I asked so many times and said how important that was to me. Sex was good for him, blah for me. The whole life was about him. We would stand in front of the mirror, naked, and he would only look at his own body and say what a great body he’s got. And then pinched a bit of my skin to show me that I have half an inch of fat on my belly. Oh com’on! I was just joking! Yeah… 11 years of jokes just made me tired and very vulnerable. And just out of boredom I joined an online dating site and started talking to a few people. But one of them was special. He was interesting and showing a huge interest in me, in how I felt, etc. I liked talking to him and we met. And when he stood behind me, put his arms around me and held me really strong and rubbed me for 10 minutes, I didn’t want this moment to end and almost cried. This was 9 months ago. We’ve been seeing each other since then and started to want to see each other more and more. Last month I told my husband that our marriage stopped working for me. Since then he started to see a therapist (before he said he wouldn’t ever see one) to help him change for better. He tries really hard to make it work. He’s nice. He’s good. But I feel absolutely NO physical attraction any more. None. I agreed to give him a chance and promised to stop any contact with my ‘boyfriend’. But I love my boyfriend 🙁 I don’t want to go through a divorce because of the child but then, should I stay unhappy? Should I let go of a man who I feel so great with? I’m so lost 🙁

    • Mike

      After 27 faithful years and being a loyal and constantly in pursuit chasing a unrealistic dream of pleasing my wife and giving her anything she ever wanted and putting up with the most horrible treatment, my wife and mother of our three teenagers, Anna, texted me from her yearly trip to Wyoming with our kids to horseback in Yellowstone, devastated my life and destroyed our great , healthy family. She texted me of all things that she wants to divorce me, she would not talk to me and wanted me to be moved out of our famys home when she returned the following week. I was floored.
      There was no talk about being unhappy or miserable just constant reassurance she was happy and all was good. I had just put her through five years of college to get her nursing degree after 20 years of being a stay at home mom, her dream. I worked two jobs and busted my ass to get us bye and she proclaimed happiness. After agreeing to give her space for two months and seeing a great marriage counselor, who’s idea with my wife for me to take a vacation so she had space . I did. When 60 days ended and we talked and seemed to be moving forward , she changed the locks and called the pice and fed false rest orders saying it’s so she gets the kids , she handed me divorce papers and a restraining order all at once and threw me outike trash. I have been told by all our friends and family that I am the best father and husband and kind and sensitive they have ever seen. I say that so its not just me proclaiming my very dedicated and endless pursuit of constantly being willing to change and do what my wife needs also be the best father ever. Now living alone and away from my kids I am miserable and devastated. My once Christian non lying wife destroyed me and blindsided me. She still refuses to tk about her issues, she said her reasoning was she is bitter and angry but doesn’t know exactly why.
      My once very healthy and productive teens boy 19, boy 17 and girl 13, are devastated to say the least. They are so broken it hurts my heart to even think about it. There entire ice mom promised she does not “D” we didn’t use the word. After two months of seeing a shrink she destroys her family and tosses me out because it’s ok to end ratio ships and pursue Love again and get tingly feelings.
      I am just sick my wife and my partner could betray me and my family and destroy my children’s trust and take their father away.
      I am refusing to divorce as I made a vow to her and before God and family and friends to love honor till death do us part. I will not sign any divorce papers. Yes in family court I was badly discriminated against and lost my rights, home, arms, kids, family , dog all because she wants out. I get to have my kids visit every other weekend and not stay the night.
      I wi never understand how any human being could be so selfish and self centered to destroy a family and devastate her own kids especially when they need both parents the most.
      I will never forgive such a un loyal act.
      Shame on women who even think this is ok to just quit.
      If I felt no more tingly feelings and was frustrated and had thoughts of leaving I would have years ago. Those thoughts come.
      But you don’t destroy people because your bored.
      If you put 10% of the effort and thoughts into actually pleasing your man as you do betraying him things would last forever like God planned. Read the bible. Especially how God hates divorce and to do what she’s doing is an abomination to him. I pray judgement comes to all wrong doers that fake marriage. Promise to stay together no matter what and then have kids then bale.
      Shame on all of you un loyal and betraying worldly flesh serving Judases . Adultery is wrong and destroying innocent people’s lives to better yourself is sick. If our corrupt family judges would step up and lead it would change. A long time ago if a woman did this she would be stoned to death. I think divorce is wrong unless there is physical abuse or a spouse is hurting children or cheating.
      Everything else can work. I would welcome my wife back with open arms at anytime and forgive her anything and would not have to discuss this past six months. Even thou her lust has got the best of
      her. I am 6’3″ 215 lbs in good shape and have been told by many of my friends including guys that I’m very handsome.
      I just don’t understand such worldly disloyalty and such chosen damage to our wonderful kids who are suffering so bad.
      Do not get sucked into the world ways. Seek christian counsel and never give up. Quit holding your spouse responsible for your happiness. Please pray my wife , Anna , wakes up.

  20. Rach

    I find it interesting that the men on here seem to be largely bashing women and calling them horrific names. If this is how you treated your wives, it comes as no surprise to me that they left you. No woman, I do not care what mistake she has made, deserves the emotional abuse of being called a slut or whore. We are all people, all fallible, all broken. We make mistakes. ALL OF US. Not one single person is immune to this. Sometimes the mistake we make is the person we choose to marry. Sometimes our lives are broken into a million little pieces by the abuse, neglect and lies in our marriages. And I worship a God who is all-loving, fully and completely merciful and forgiving, and who I believe gives grace even in the face of the horror of divorce when HE deems it to be the best (and sometimes only) decision. This is not a decision for anyone else to make. It is between the person and God and you harsh critics out there had better shut your mouths lest you be judged for your slanderous, malicious hearts! Shame on you for playing God!

  21. JUDY

    my situation is exceptionally complicated. I married my husband when I was 25 and he was 26
    We have two daughters a 1 year old and a 6 year old. My husband also has a 10 year old son. Prior to our marriage I knew his history of physical abuse with the previous baby mama. He never showed me that side.. never. We had the perfect life. Everyone was jealous of our marriage. In October fir his birthday he dissappeared for 3 days. . He had never done that. A few days later he confessed to his drug use. I stayed but than he stared to act irrational and threatening. That was the last straw. I left and took my girls. During our seperate I put a restraining order because of my fear. During ou r seperation he confessed more. He had sexual relationship s with other females and was continously cheating on me throughout ou r marriage. I was hearthe broken but I was okay. I don’t know why but I was fine. During our separation I started dating a guy who knew everything because I tol him. After hearing so many rumors I decided to file But he stopped me. Now I am back home and my kids are so happy. He is trying to change and I see it. The problem now is being here I fell out of love with this man and there are days I regret my decision. He is financially spoiling me but its done my feelings changed. How do I tell him I want out when I am not sure neither. I still think about the other guy. He treated me like my husband never has. What do I do? ?? I am so confused but I am not because deep down I want a divorce. I am 31, a nurse, and pretty. He had me but he lost my heart and I feel like i am forcing it now and he knows it.

  22. Lisa

    I didn’t go through all the comments so this may be redundant.
    I used to judge people who had affairs and left their families. I
    always wondered why people didn’t leave their families first and then find someone.
    Well now I understand why.
    I did it. I was faithful for 25 years of marriage and NEVER was looking to have an affair. I wasn’t looking and it just happened. I fell in love with another man and he with me.
    What brought me to this website is the tremendous guilt I am feeling for leaving my husband and essentially my grown sons, daughter in law, and my unborn grandson. This article has helped me tremendously and I will begin counseling tomorrow.

  23. Paulette

    So glad I found this blog today. I have been married to the most wonderful man for 34 years, a Saint, a Martyr: kind, generous, selfless, loving. So what is wrong with me? How could I possibly be contemplating destroying everything we have built through the years? Two years ago, our 2 month old grandson passed away and my whole world was turned upside down. It was also the year I turned 60, so lots of soul-searching was involved.

    A year later, I sought the help of a therapist to deal with the grief, but therapy quickly turned to my marriage. What I have come to realize is that I have not been in love with my husband for over 20 years, possibly longer. We currently are just two people living under the same roof. We get along well enough, but we don’t connect at all anymore. He has also been to a few therapy sessions and recently – twice – has offered to “suffer whatever consequences” in order for me to be happy. (He also admitted that he has known I have been unhappy all these years.) I am much happier when I am away, visiting family or friends, or when he is away on business; yet I cannot seem to take the next step, actually making a move to separate.

    How can I do this to him? To us? To our children (though they are both grown)? How will I be able to separate our “things”, pack them up, who gets which dog? Isn’t it better to just stay in an amicable relationship rather than risk so much pain at this stage in life? On the other hand, longevity is a strong family trait, so can I really live like this for possibly the next 30 years? Seeing that others have gone through exactly how I feel is so helpful. The guilt is eating me alive.

    With regard to the comments about putting God first in the marriage, I will also throw this in. My husband is a “cradle Catholic”; I am a convert. His religion & practice thereof has always been at the top of his priority list. In fact, at his insistence we dated secretly for over two years before we got married because I had been married before. When I finally proposed and he accepted, he went to visit his parents to tell them about his decision but left me behind. Once he told them, he called me & told me they wanted to meet me. The therapist asked me if I had ever felt treasured by him, and I had to admit that I have not, and now I wonder if his parents had questioned his decision to marry a divorcee, would he have backed out? Long story short, the other morning I woke up at 5:45 a.m. to a dog fight, wondering why he was not breaking it up (we sleep in different rooms and have for years), when I discovered he had left for 6:30 a.m. Mass about an hour early. In our town, you can reach about 5 Catholic churches within 5 minutes. It struck me that if he had shown only a fraction of the devotion to me that he shows to his rituals for his religion, we might be in a much different place right now. I’m not blaming him, just saying that even putting God first doesn’t guarantee happy endings.

    Thanks for listening. Going back to therapy next week!

  24. B

    I am so glad I found this. I feel exactly this way. My husband actually said to me at one point “I’m ‘trying’ to love you.” I heard, “I don’t love you.”
    I emotionally divorced myself from the marriage, which had been a back and forth of me trying to earn his love.
    When I started distancing, he started trying to change. Now 8 months later, he’s “desperately in love with me,” but I don’t love him. I think he’s a wonderful father and has been (in the last 6 months) a good husband. But it’s just not enough. The bond was cut for me, and I’m left with the guilt of “tearing out his heart” and ripping apart our family in addition to all of the guilt that I’m feeling because of my strict religious upbringing.
    I guess I’m just glad to know I’m not alone.

  25. SD

    I have been married for 21 years to a good man but have always felt like I wasn’t a priority in the relationship. We have 3 children (teenagers) and both have good jobs. I tried to talk to him many times over the years but felt he didn’t hear me. 10 months ago I told him I wanted a divorce. He had a “wake up call” and asked me to go to marriage counseling. I ended up in an emotional affair that turned sexual and he just found out. While I was spilling my guts over my affair, I learned that he was recently arrested for solicitation. I want to leave but feel so torn about tearing my family apart. My husband wants to work on our marriage but wants me to be able to show love and affection (had sex with each other once in six years). I don’t know if that’s possible for me. What do I do?

  26. Zach

    It is so sad when someone decides to destroy a marriage, especially when it is a family unit. When a woman decides to leave, usually it is a mixture of despair inside the marriage with hope outside of it. Primarily all leavers, male or female, are driven by selfishness.

    Statistics shows that 80 percent of couples that are unhappy report being happy 5 years later, while 95 percent of relationships that start
    as affairs fail.

    So, women looking for solutions of their marital problems outside the marriage are likely to find single motherhood instead, while those deciding to work it out with their husbands are likely to find happiness.

    From my experience, divorced at age 31 after a 9 year marriage, she left for another man. I filed. Now in my 40-sand remarried, I experienced exactly the same thing at 7 year itch with my second wife, only nobody left nobody or cheated. At year 12 we are closer than ever.

    So, ladies, my experience tells me tough it out with your hubby. Those who dont are single moms. Nobody needs your husband’s kids. Men
    prefer young to old, childless to moms. It’s just life. Dont leave to find out your dating value is zero. And yeah, another piece of stats. If you cheat,
    85 % of men will file.

    • Mifsudco

      I agree with you 100% Zach. Me and my wife are separated for 7 months now and it was all her. I didn’t want any of this. I wanted to go counseling and try to see why we weren’t close anymore. She doesn’t want to know about it. She told me that she wants a divorce and soon she will file for it.

      I have made the last 7 months researching about our situation. I found a lot of books and great marriage counselor. I am doing this because I love her, but also because we have two kids and they want to see there mum and dad together again.

      I will keep on trying until I can, even after the divorce. I will hold on as much as I can.

      The books that I read are :

      Hope for the Separated – written by Gary Chapman
      5 love languages – written by Gary Chapman
      The Bible, New Testament
      His needs, Her Needs – written by Willard F. Harley
      Love Busters – written by Willard F. Harley

      I must add here that, This is the hardest thing I have ever did in my life. Loving someone when you know they are cold and don’t care about you. I know that if I didn’t read The Bible, I couldn’t hold on like i’m doing.

      Because she has hurt me in ways that no one can hurt me. Imagine you go and live in an other country, have to learn an other language. Work your ass off to save for a house then after 7 years she wants a divorce and have 2 kids so I can’t leave the country. I am so so angry at her. I feel like slap her in the face and when I don’t have the kids I feel so so lonely. But I know that there is a better way to handle this. All the books are helping me find my self and understand my self and my wife.

      I know for sure that if she changes her mind and she finds the will to work on our marriage I know that we can save our marriage.

      I INCOURAGE ALL OF YOU TO READ THE BOOK (5 LOVE LANGUAGES) you will learn so much.

      If someone of you guys has read some of the books that I have mentioned, Please reply to my comment. I would really appreciated.

  27. Tiffany

    I am feeling very guilty for wanting a divorce from my husband of 17 years. He is a good man and does the best he can to provide for our children and me. I love him so much but fell in love with a woman. I have never looked at a woman before. I don’t know how it happen. I have always been against homosexuality, but I love this girl. I feel devastated and keep asking myself who am I. I’m at a lost.

  28. TheHonestTruth

    Well with so much more women Cheating these days would certainly do it. And now that so many women are very high maintenance, independent, selfish, and very spoiled, would be another good reason.

  29. Anonymous

    Zach – You couldn’t be more right. Excellent and very insightful post. I’m not sure why so many people think that the solution to their problems is to run away from their problems. Is this what we were taught as kids? Is this what is portrayed as acceptable behavior? Is this what we teach our own children?

    I often wonder how relationships would fair if we were taught to behave differently. That is to say, if a greater value and emphasis was placed on the longevity and sustainability of the relationship, would we put forth a greater commitment in maintaining the viability of that relationship? And I’m not just limiting this discussion to romantic relationships. We encounter numerous relationships in our lives daily….family, friends, co-workers, bosses/subordinates, waiters/waitresses, salespeople, the person in the car next to you on the street, etc. What would happen if we, as a community, were just a little bit less selfish and egocentric, and instead focused more on strengthening those relationships in our lives? Do you think we would see things differently? Do you think we would honor our commitments? Would we, as a community, be more accepting of each other and less critical of others’ faults? How about our romantic relationships? How would those fair? Could we actually understand that this relationship, above all others, is the pinnacle of our lives. It is the one relationship that requires the most strength, courage, dedication, and determination to maintain?

    Do you think it is ever possible for humanity to comprehend that the most precious and valuable attribute we have is the ability to give and receive love?

  30. Betrayed husband

    Last year at about this time my wife of 13 years left me. She had started an emotional affair with a salesman that comes into her work twice a year. During the course of 2 months she left me a few times only to come back apologizing a few hours later, I left once for a few weeks as I couldn’t take it and during that time she drive 4 hours to met him one night and they did have sex. I had no idea pain could be this intense. There were times I didn’t eat for days. I couldn’t concentrate on work. I was a complete mess. My wife and I ended up getting back together and although it’s been rough at times I believe we are on the right track. We’ve read about the five love languages and we’ve gone to marriage counseling. I truly believe this point in our marriage was a test. The new love feeling wears off no matter who you are with. Your strong feelings for your new guy will wear off someday too. That doesn’t last. If you really want to experience true love you must not let yourself give in to the temptation of a “hit” of the new love feeling. Chemicals are present in your body when you experience the “newness” love that acts like a drug. If you are a slave to that drug you will never know the high you can obtain from true love. As soon as it wears off with one partner you will hang around until another ignites that feeling again and repeat the pattern indefinitely. True love is not easy, it takes work, commitment, and compassion. Those of you who say you have no good reason to leave such as alcoholic, cheater, abusive, etc. are throwing away a your chance at true love just before you begin to see it. A good quote to live by is on the great days I am committed to my husband, on the bad days I am committed to my marriage, on the horrible days I am committed to my commitment. There will be bad times in every marriage when you want to give up, you must tell yourself this will pass, if you never experience bad times you can’t appreciate the good times. This last year has opened my eyes to how special my marriage is and how important it is to maintain the intimacy and communication. I know it is hard to resist that newness feeling, which is why you must have boundaries to protect yourself from developing those feelings for anyone outside your marriage. Hopefully this opens someone’s eyes and makes them think a bit deeper about their decision.

  31. Don Draper

    These postings have clearly proven to me that the modern day women is perfectly fine with destroying marriage and has no sense of values or guilt. Something went very wrong in western society. Once women became no longer dependent on men, they see no reason to honor any commitment. I fear for the future and its no wonder that the western world’s birth rates are falling to an unsustainable rate. Very sad. I thank feminism, hollywood, and the media for this.

  32. Gary Ridegeway

    Asking American women to deflate their egos is like asking a cocaine user to stop. In both cases the most likely response will be an incredulous stare, followed by anger or rage. Because in both cases, the short term benefits are so intense, and the long term looks very far away. The American woman is raised to be an entitled princess, and she’s taught from kindergarten how much better she is than stinky boys. The message gets reinforced in high school, when their SMV begins to really take off, further reinforced when colleges offer all sorts of goodies to her and her gal pals (but not to sexist oppressors) even further reinforced in college thanks to “women’s studies” courses, sororities, and so forth.

    Asking a 25 year old women, who has been showered with praise, affirmation, and special privileges all of her life just because of what’s between her legs is simply going against her entire world view up to that moment. I just do not see how that is supposed to work.

  33. kim

    I have been with my husband for 20 years, married for 18. We lived together for two years, then were married 7 months after our first child was born, we have three in all. Life with him has never been great, we have had some good times but few and far between. We have always had financial problems, due to the fact that he has never been able to hold down a job for very long, so we have always struggled to pay the bills. So I would go out and get a job . Not long after he would quit his or loose his job. He even refused to watch our kids , so I had to pay a babysitter. He said that he wasn’t going to be the babysitter. Their his kids! I stayed. Finally after a few years I quit my job, it had become difficult to care for kids and work too. He found a job, and things was somewhat OK for awhile. He then began to drink beer, with a new friend, it started out a few then as time went on it increased and became more often, during this time he was also having panic attacks. So I stayed. Then he was forced to quit his job, the drinking got worse, and so did his behavior, he would have these fits of rage that he took out on our kids and me, he would threaten to leave or kill his self he would yell and scream at us ,calling our children horrible names, he told me he had no use for me while he sat and continuesly opened and closed a cabinet door ,like he was some crasy person. ,but I stayed. Then he got to where he was paranoid, thought something bad was going to happen, he wouldn’t go any where by himself wouldn’t drive a car unless I was with him. I thought he needed professional help but he refused, things got even worse when I went back to work, had no choice, he wouldn’t even attempt to get a job. He started accusing me of cheating, but iI have never, thought about it , yes I have. I’m human and I have needs just like anyone else, but I did not act on this. Sex was not something I wanted to have with him anymore , it became a chore, and a tool to get him to shut up.Then out of the blue he quit drinking and all of the behavior that he had magically went away. U would think that this was a good thing, but let me remind you that this behavior went on for over 6 years, I found myself being very angry,and resentful, he put my kids and I trough so much pain , I thought he needed help , what kind of woman would I have been to leave when he needed me. I felt so betrayed by him , I feel guilty that i left my kids in this situation . it was like he was just doing it for kicks then he got bored so stopped. He stayed sober for 8 months then began to drink again but its different so he says because its whiskey and he doesn’t act the same as he did with the beer. That is true but as I said before , I think a lot of it was put on . He still treats me as if I’m cheating, though I’m not, I don’t love this man anymore, I m not attracted to him , I most definitely don’t want to have sex with him, he has hurt me and our kids, and he want work he watches us struggle and nouthing sends him into action. I don’t view him as a man anymore, a man takes care of his family and does whatever it takes to do so. So why should I feel guilty for wanting to end the marriage, that’s never been a marriage to Begin with.

  34. Anon

    She feels guilty because she is a jerk, no better than a man leaving his wife for a young hot fling. You create trust issues for life for your ex husband, and severe psychological issues for your kids for life. Brave you are. Spare me

  35. Deano

    I have to say that I did not realise that so many women feel this way about there husbands after many years. I’m going through divorce now and my wife completely took me by surprise. 2 days before we made passionate love (what I thought) on my birthday and writes in my birthday card ‘you are 1 in 5 billion’. Then 2 days later she tells me shes not been happy for 2 years and wants a divorce. Shocked is an understatement! I have no choice but to go along with it and the divorce is nearly through now. So after loosing 60% of my house that is 1 year from being paid off and 50% of my £1m pension I do wonder what the motive was for my soon to be xwife for 1) getting married in the first place and 2) the divorce. She is making shed loads of money out of the divorce and will never have to work a full time job, never has. In fact she has been a kept lady whilst I work a 60 hour week for the rest of my life. mad! My point is that if this is so common then why why why are we not informed of this risk before we got married. I, for one, will never get married again. I’m just not prepared to give up so much and have it taken from under me just because she is ‘not happy’. Try working a 60 hour week, doing the house work at the weekend and looking after the kids whilst I go to coffee with my friends, and then you’re understand what unhappy is!

  36. Roberto

    I blame Walt Disney. The Prince-Charming-izing of the American Female. When will women understand that men are not the verbalizing, romance novel reading schmucks that women fantasize about? Most ment, at least the ones over 40, have based our lives on a simple 3 point creed: Work hard, be honest and take care of your family. That’s love to us. Sure it sounds boring as fuck, but consider the alternatives. You want to get a better appreciation for you what you have, go visit a woman’s shelter. Go to Family Court and see what rotten husband really is. Your husband is loyal, hard working, a good father and does his best to take care of you. Isn’t this what you would want for your daughter. Holy midlife crisis Batman!! Before you pull the trigger on your marriage, ask yourself- “What am I running to?” “What am I destroying and why?” I just can’t believe we live in a world where you do everything that can possibly be expected of you and the person you are with throws it all away and is expecting to be absolved from their guilt. Wow, how selfish can you get. Good riddance!! I swear, I hope he starts banging a hottie within a month and is thrilled to be with someone who actually appreciates all of the traits you took for granted and, probably, exploited.

    • Jackie Pilossoph

      While I really do believe in a lot of what you are saying, and I respect your opinion, are you really setting the bar that low for men? In other words, if they don’t beat their wives (the women’s shelter comment) then that’s good enough? I get what you’re saying. I really do, but men (and women) have to go above working hard, being honest and taking care of their family. When you say “I do” you are also committed to nurturing your romantic relationship. If there is a disconnect in that department in a marriage, that’s a valid issue.

  37. Roberto

    Although I appreciate what your saying, my main point, and what angers me the most, is that this person fails to see and appreciate what they have in that they have a good, responsible, hard working, family man who cares for his children. I’m sorry, but the simple fact is that there are a lot of people, both men and women, who would take that to the bank all day long and be happy with that return.

    O.K. romance to women is a big deal. I get that. This is why the same female/romance centered movies get made every year and the only man you’ll see is in the theater is the poor bastard on a first date. (By the way, Eat, Pray, Love is actually a form of torture in some cultures.) But, is it really fair that a woman expects all of the things that I note as important and on top of it all thinks that her marriage should be as hot and heavy as the day she met her husband? On top of everything else, should it be his job to be Julie McCoy the love/romance cruise director to keep her feeling like she’s the only one?

    If a man wants sex, a woman can simply say, “I’m too tired”, but a man has to find the time, energy and creativity to keep the romance alive!?! Really… is this what every women truly expects from every poor bastard working 50-60 hours a week? To this all I can say is, ladies you better pray that the female robots from the Stepford Wives never get invented because, if they are, you will no longer be worth the risk or the effort. You’re simply making this too complicated. I am sorry, but you are.

  38. Scott

    My wife left me and our 2 teenage children 6 weeks ago because “she didn’t love me anymore”. I have to tell you – I am absolutely devastated. I never saw this coming – she even admitted to me I was a great father and an excellent provider for the family and her. I’m 34 now and we started dating in high school when I was 15 years old – I thought we had a great relationship – we did lots of things together and I supported her endeavors like trying to start a business even though it destroyed us financially. We have a very large home in an expensive area, I have a 6 figure salary, and I don’t fit in any of the categories of bastard – im not a drunk, drug addict, abuser (physically or verbally), I don’t work long hours, don’t travel all of the time, etc… on top of that she basically stopped almost all communication and won’t tell me where she is. She has flat out denied she is cheating on me several times and has also refused my offers of marriage counseling. I’m not saying I’m perfect – I have flaws but what really hurts is that she says the problems she has with me are fixable, but she doesn’t want to wait. I went to see her at her work one day out of desperation just to see if she would talk somewhere – she drove away from me like. I was some kind of stalking homocidal maniac. I had to take a loan out of our 401k just to get money for an attorney – 5 grand to start and $250/ hour if I use that up.

    At this point I’m filing divorce only because I found out how jacked up the law is – I could be responsible for alimony even though she straight up abandoned our entire family. And I’ve lost my very best friend in the entire world. Right now she said she doesn’t want alimony so I’m trying to protect what I have left so my daughter can finish her 11th & 12th grade at the same high school with her friends and achievements and hopefully o don’t have to sell our home to survive. That tears me up knowing that could happen.

    For ladies that leave – know that for a man in completely devastates them. I can’t focus at work, I crashed my car because I was distracted, I cry myself to sleep at night, I stopped eating and even had thoughts of suicide, sometimes I lay on the floor in a fetal position and just cry – it’s the worst thing that ever happened to me. Before this I was a very normal sort of guy that quit crying about stuff when I was 10. I’ve gotten misty eyed at the occasional movie – or from severe pain, but that’s it my whole adolescent and adult life.

    It’s not right if you have to “find yourself” as my wife said. When you are a mother and wife in a good family – that is who you are.

    I hate to say it about my wife – but right now she is a terrible person. Her actions are hurting an entire family and what I don’t really get is what is so horrible about her life that living on someone’s couch and working around the clock at a supermarket is better?

    • Jackie Pilossoph

      This email was heartbreaking. I’m so sorry. I truly feel for you. Please don’t be upset by this suggestion, I am only trying to help, but have you considered therapy? I really think you need the support right now. She has traumatized you. You are in very bad pain and in shock probably. Please consider seeing a therapist. I know many men who were in your position who benefitted greatly from a few sessions. I will be praying for you and hoping things get better. And, you are not a psycho for driving to your wife’s workplace at all. She is abusing you by shutting you out like this. Be well.

  39. Scott

    Thanks for your prayers and advice. I have an appointment with a counsellor next week.

    I’m just a mess right now.

    • Jackie Pilossoph

      I think counseling will really help you. You won’t be a mess after some time passes. Continued thoughts and prayers that you begin to thrive and gain peace and happiness again.

  40. Roj

    So, I’m separated 11 months. I think there’s two sides in most divorces the leaver and the left. The left get to process the rejection and the leaver the guilt. You can’t play each other’s part for each other. My ex and I have chosen compassion for each other’s role, but with boundaries. And it feels a much kinder way to separate.

  41. Ashley_Matt

    This is the 2nd time that I’ve came across this site and it gives me a little bit of relief. I have been married for who years but this marriage just seems so off. I married at 21 to my husband that was 20 at the time. I am active duty military and I’m pretty sure most people know that most military marriages fail. Anyway let’ me get to the point. Just recently a few weeks ago, I admitted to my husband that I’ve been thinking about someone from the past and now ever since then it’s been complete hell. This person from the past I believe we have very strong ties and I believe that he is my soul mate! My college sweetheart. Back 5 years ago he had got fired and had to move back home to get stable and I was just left without him. I got up and joined the Army and we were really on our separate ways. There I met my husband and I am convinced that these feelings for my college sweetheart never went away me and him have talked the past couple days and my face use lit up we were catching up on life. He respects my marriage as he should and I am proud that he does but it is so clear that we still have feelings for each other. I explained to my husband everything that has been going on and these ties that I have with this man and how my husband is not my soulmate, and it has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I am getting out the military next summer and I suggest to my husband that we separate so that I can have some time to myself and see where I want to e in life. No I’m not using this time apart to sleep around, but I truly need to find this deep connection that I have with my college sweetheart that I don’t have with my husband. I told my husband that this might make us stronger. We have a 10 month daughter and part of the reason I’m terrified of splitting up is because of her she deserves us both and I’ve been beating myself up so bad about it. If we didn’t have a baby this whole thing wouldn’t be so hard on me. But I need prayer. My college sweetheart advised me to pray as well. But we are meeting up soon to catch up some more and enjoy life because we miss each other dearly. Me and my husband had. A quick courthouse marriage and that was it. He has been wanting to give me the wedding I deserve but I cringe every time he talks about it and I tell him no. He deserves so much better I am such a piece of shit for this but I fantasize about having this big pretty wedding with my college sweetheart!! I feel terribly wrong. But I have to do what I have to do. Life is too short to be trapped and unsatisfied….

  42. LynzzLou

    I was in the process of breaking it off with my 10 year partner and figuring out how to I could resume the responsibility of taking on the house payments solo when I found out I was 8 weeks pregnant.
    Birth control doesn’t always work :/ and being a runner, I never had a regular period, I was lucky if I got it 3 times a year, so I never thought a thing about being pregnant.

    However, my parents, very very conservative, insisted we get back together for the baby’s sake and make it work. Actually, I shouldn’t say insisted, my mother told me I would be disowned and disinherited if I didn’t marry my baby’s father.
    I gave in, and we were married when I was almost 6 months pregnant. I live in VA, so no witnesses are needed and we literally made a phone call, went to some lady’s condo, who married us to 75 bucks. Then went to the courthouse and filled out the paperwork.

    I cried. Bawled actually. I wasn’t in love with this man any longer, we could barely tolerate each other. I was afraid of my hurting my parents. Now, I have a four year old and the most unhappy marriage. I haven’t been intimate with him since we conceived, which was the only time in 2010 we were intimate. I was young and naive and believed, maybe I could do this for the baby’s sake.

    He’s not a bad mad, he is not a bad father, he has a great job, but we are not compatible, we don’t get along, we can’t be in a room together for more than 5 mins before we are arguing.

    I want a divorce. I want my son to be a role model for my son and show him what a happy healthy lifestyle is, and right now he is not seeing that. He’s grown up with a mom and dad who live completely separate, even when under the same roof (we live on opposite sides of the house).

    Family argues, how could you be with someone for so many years before the pregnancy and not realize you were not compatible?

    My answer is honest, he was military at the time and for the first five years we dated, I only saw him once a month for a few days or a week at the most.

    I bought a house in NOVA, put him on as an owner with me (big mistake) and he moved in and he left the military and became a contractor. Well, within the first year of owning that house, I realized how incompatible we were. While we had fun hanging out and doing things when we only saw each other a few times out of the month, when it became a full time commitment, in the sense of seeing each other every day and living together, it was awful.

    Young, naive, stupid. I now couldn’t just break up because of the house and my parents were even furious then because I had bought a house and lived with a partner while not being married.

    I don’t feel guilty for wanting to leave. Even for my son’s sake, because the relationship between his father and I is non existent and I don’t want this to be his grounds for thinking this is how marriage is 🙁 I hurt terribly for my son. I always imagined I’d had a happy marriage and a beautiful family one day, and that I would never new up in this situation.

    I am also someone, who before my situation, hated divorce, because
    of my upbringing, I thought it was wrong. But now that I’m in my situation, I can understand why people do and I have learned, I cannot judge peoples’ situations. It’s hard and nothing is black and white.

    Does this make me a terrible person? 🙁

  43. Cedric

    AMEN!!!!!!! finally someone who feels the right way! I am not the one who asked for the divorce, but my wife (very soon ex) did as she fell in love with a douchebag from the gym. We had a perfect marriage, no flaws, barely never argued… I was the perfect husband… Too perfect I believe and with the reality of being parents with 2 young children, the life was just not as exciting as the gym dude could offer… She destroyed everything she had, everything I had, everything the children had… For her own little pleasure… There’s no excuses for that. If there were issues in my marriage, at least I would’ve like knowing about it! Even today, she cannot tell me what was wrong with us… She just says that maybe she fell out of love since she has fallen for someone else… Anyway, my point is: “leaving a healty relationship for something completely unrational is selfish and you deserve being judged”. This is the new thing… People say that you need to think about you, you deserve to be happy, blablabla… What if you don’t know what happy is? What if you have personal issues that has nothing to do with your marriage? Is it worth destroying everything for the quest of something you don’t understand or know about? On my end, It’s crual, I know, but I find pleasure seeing she is miserable and has a hard time dealing with the guilt and the judgment of others. And the life with her presumed lover isn’t that great after all! That’s the price to pay to a selfish act… an act that has hurt too many people that didn’t deserve it.

  44. LGM

    Jackie, really wish I could talk to you. This article is so me. Married for almost 16 years, 2 sons (ages 9 and 11) but I have wanted out for years. It’s just not working for me and I don’t think I love him anymore. But I stay for the kids. I reallllly want to leave him, have been talking to all my friends about it and mentioned it now to my parents. I work part time and cannot afford counseling. But my severe guilt keeps me from telling him I want to leave. I am terrified of hurting him and the kids.

  45. Unreal

    Nothing hurts more when your wife walks out of a marriage for another man. Before all this, she stopped going to church for about 2 years and pretty much stopped having sex. I thought maybe she was just in a phase, but now I know. She just got bored of the marriage and gave up. We been separated about 4 months and we have a 5 year old son. It’s so sad and tough to get over.

  46. Morgan

    I’m sad to see how many comments are maliciously directed towards the womrn who arenlooking to start a new life. I am 26, married for 3 years, together for 8. We have a 3 year old son and I’ve been contemplating leaving since shortly after his birth. The first 2 years of his life, my husband checked out. He felt no love for the baby (which is normal for some men) but never said anything to me about it. He just acted like it had nothing to do with him. I quit working to raise our son and he made all the money. In his mind, it was solely MY job to take care of our child and all household chores. He had complete control over the finances but was terrible at handling money. He maxed out my credit cards and stopped paying them. From the time we wete dating, he would not allow me to go out or make friends. I met him almost immediately after moving to a new state and didn’t know anyone and basicallybstill don’t. I never got to leave the house and so developed major anxiety about stepping off property. I didn’t leave my house for over a year. Inhold anlotnofnresentment towards him for taking away so much of my life. We met when I was 18. I now have clinical bipolar depression which I am seeking help for. I am recovering from having absolutely no self-esteem and a lot of self hatred. When my son was 4 months old, it was football season and I was waiting for my husband to wake up so I could take my first shower in 4 days. He got up at 1, and left to go watch the game at a friends house after yelling at me because he had more important things to do. For the last year, because I threatened to leave, he has made a great effort to be a good dad, and he is. There is so much more that was done to me emotionally that I don’t even want to get into. We’ve done therapy and I’ve said I’m leaving several times. Every time I do, he says all the right things and does all the right things, for a time. It always returns to the way it is though so when I told him this time I was done, of course he said he was a different person now. He wants me to try again. I was the only person in our relationship for so long, I don’t even want to. I feel horrible for wanting out when he doesn’t but I just don’t think I have it in me. Henqas never physically abusive, he shows his affections monetarily (which I hate but that’s how he loves), he is very stable, and lately he’s been a good father. I just can’t get past our past. For a long time, the only time he gave me attention was because he wanted sex, which I have a strong aversion for now, but I let him have me anyways. I’ve let myself die in this relationship. I’ve become someone I don’t recognize. I cheated to feel like I mattered to someone. I’ve made mistakes, obviously, but how much punishment is a person supposed to take before pulling the trigger? I’m not in love with him and by staying I’m doing him a disservice. I love him and always will because he will always be my family but that’s as far as my emotions go. I want to leave to I can rehabilitate myself but still feel guilt about my decision. Everyone has their own story so people who come on here to make the women feel lime crap, please try and remember you aren’t omniscient and you have no idea what these people are going through, so please just keep your opinions to yourselves.

  47. Michael

    Hello all, my name is Michael and I originally posted in February 2015 after being blindsided and told ” i love you but don’t think I’m in love with you anymore”, when I posted last year I was very upset and angry after my loving wife and best friend of over 27 plus years went to her sisters on her yearly sister get together with our children , in Cody Wy, where she texted me she wanted a divorce and wanted me to leave and on and on, she refused to talk to me. Well I was ruined. But now I’m just updating as it might be helpful to a lot of women who are contiplating doing such a horrible and selfish mistake and destroying innocent good people and mainly them selfs in pursuit of self happiness or false choices to think you fell in love with your kind and sexy boss or coworker who thinks the world of you and gets you because your in love.
    I have now lived alone for 20 months and am getting better daily , I see a great female shrink who has her doctrine and use to teach other Drs. She was our marriage counselor at first then turned into just my counselor many years ago . Prior to the divorce. So she got to watch from five years prior to now.
    Anyways, my wife who I treated like a queen and did everything asked and meet her halfway flipped out. I truly believe just before turning 50 that she had hormonal changes going on and a mid life reality check and crisses leading to her choice to betray and force an unwanted and unnecessary divorce which I go this day would never agree to or sign one piece of paper. The judge literally had to and did take my family , wife, kids, home, dog ext ext all because my wife forced it. I am still in shock how wrong our court system is and so unfair and discriminating to good men and great fathers who have never been to court or have never had a call to police on them and have lived a life dedicated to helping others and taking care of his family. Because my wife wanted her divorce and was willing to lie and say she thought I was going to kill her, because she did the worst betrayal of all, and I would imagine a person doing such evil and self serving deeds at the cost of her family and children’s happiness and her husbands , that any one doing such betrayal would think , oh my god he’s going to kill me, after a life of vowing to not be able to destroy innocent children and her husband , the courts threw me out , took my kids and gave her everything. Well now 20 months later since her wonderful texts. My three teenaged children are messed up and so damaged and literally do not care for their mother . They have said some of the worst things about her I could ever imagine. I IMMEDIATLY correct them and tell them that we all make mistakes and we need to give her grace and love. I never and I mean never bash my children’s mother to them or say bad things to them about it. I do communicate my pain and explain a lot of how I feel but to help them understand how we respond to adversity and our natural reposes to loss.
    My oldest teen moved out of her home because he ” couldn’t stand to watch what his mother has done to his father and their family”, my second teen quit church and youth group and started smoking we’d and has been caught by school security and says, ” he does it to stop the pain from the demise of our family” and the reason he now drinks at 17 is because it quenches the pain from divorce. Oh yah he was MVP of the varsity baseball team and is such a great natural athlete and has been his whole life , winning championships and being on all star baseball teams and winning many great awards in math and science. Since this choice , he quit baseball and football this year , his senior year, he could play for many colleges. But quit.
    My only daughter and the baby hurt the most is turning 15 and has gone from straight A’s and being the youth leaders right hand girl and from singing in the youth quire to completing quitting church and actually doing drugs and drinking because it helps her deal with the sad thoughts.
    My children are so messed up and I am trying to help them and take them to counseling and I drive my daughter to school every single day and pick her up after school and things are getting better for all three kids but man they are forever changed. I cry myself to sleep some nights think g about their pain.
    My now exwife, is very depressed and has started drinking again after 23 years of sobriety , she was dumped by the new man she fell I. Love with two weeks after are divorce was final . She then had another relationship which failed in a matter of months. Now she is all alone and a single mother to our children but can’t function from real depression and unhappiness now that she knows what it is.
    She quit her job because her lover was her boss and started working thirty miles away.
    She sends me emails and calls and leaves messages but I do not answer them and have to turn them over to my lawyer who turns them over to the police because she has a no-contact order on me but she keeps trying to contact me. The courts and law make them mandatory five years because she lied and said she thought I was going to kill her. She can’t get it dropped.
    I am destroyed and live nine blocks away so my kids can come here any time. Also so I can still be their dad.
    My wife single handedly destroyed a great Christian home and family , destroying a testamony of a great example of what a family should be like to destroying our family’s reputation and all our friends are very kind to me and visit often and ignore her and have shut her out for destroying our family because she wasn’t in love with me anymore.
    Funny thing she is now !
    And not in love with the new guy who was so kind and sweet and was her soul mate. I am not able to comprehend ever taking her back as I deserve to be treated better then that and the thoughts of my now ex wife having sex with her lover will destroy us as I would not be able to keep my tongue. Also I would never trust her and it would create such stress and fights, I don’t want her anymore. Yeah I love her but now I’m not in love with her.
    Please ladies , please, really stop and think about my 100% true story before destroying your family, marriage, and integrity . It hurts all friends close to you and does so much damage. Why did you fall in love with your husband??? Have you really told him your needs? Honestly?
    Have you tried to let him please you? Have you really caused most problems by withholding intamacy or disrespecting and belittling your husband.
    I beg you to learn how to change and most important how to communicate. Why would you vow to love him and vow to stay forever , then after having a family , take it from us guys? And destroy us for loving you? Rethink your choice. For crying out loud get help , and stop destroying men committed to wife’s and wanting nothing more then to raise their family and be together for life.
    Are there any good women left who aren’t capable of such horrible and self serving choices. Are you really going to destroy four of your love ones life’s to what be with another guy who isn’t capable of making you happy, he will fail, like your husbands, you felt the exact same way when you married . Please rethink it. Give it God .
    Please pray for my family . I can’t remember the last time my happy go lucky kids have smiled since I had to move out of our home? Or laughed?


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