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For many years I have been unhappy. Whether my husband realises exactly how unhappy, I do not know. But something clicked this week-end, and I realised I have been on this path for many many years. So I found this forum and found out about walk-away-wife syndrome, as I am sure many of you are already aware. It was pretty scary, but reassuring that I wasn't going mad.

There are reasons, which I won't go into detail here just yet, unless anyone thinks they're relevant, as to why I am unhappy with the way my husband behaves.

I really want a way out, or some way to in fact communicate that unhappiness to my husband without him going immediately on the defensive out of fear, or - as is the case 99% of the time - just ignoring me, or immediately misinterpreting it as 'nagging'.

I am probably partly to blame for putting up with the way he behaves for so long - but it has come to point now that I don't see why I should have to any longer. Call it a midlife crisis, or whatever you want. The trigger comes when you try and imagine what your life will be when you're 60/70 and you have nothing to show for your life other than unhappiness and regret.

I understand if there are any replies, they may be from husbands who have suffered from their wives doing this - my research shows that they don't see it coming. If there are, and you didn't - how would you have preferred your wife to have communicated this to you?

I don't mind, I would rather know what people think, so go right ahead, don't hold back. There may also be some people out there who have done it and think it's the best decision they ever made.

Any input would be welcome at this stage.

Background - married 8 1/2 years, together for 19, no kids.
 

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For many years I have been unhappy. Whether my husband realises exactly how unhappy, I do not know.

Background - married 8 1/2 years, together for 19, no kids.
Well, ZimaBlue, both of you together for 19 years, is a great achievement...

However, have you share your unhappiness with your husband? Did you tell him your feeling? I guess no, because you are not sure whether my husband realizes exactly how unhappy you are.

Many men, including me, take it as granted after long years being together. And you also cannot assume your husband must understand you just because of 19 years.

Share with him and talk to him about your feeling seriously.
 

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You refer to yourself as a possible "walk-away-wife," or having a mid-life crisis, so I assume you have no issues that most would call big issues, and your husband probably doesn't realize how unhappy you are. I had a walk-away-wife, so I know how it feels.

To answer your question about communication, I would have preferred my x wife had communicated her issues to me as seriously as they were to her before they became a problem. If a hurricane is brewing, don't act like it's light rain shower, because I don't pay much attention to those.

Also, I'm a very concrete person. I think my wife expected me to mind read, and interpret a lot of things, whereas, I take things as they appear. She said that after 18 years, I should have known what she needed, but shouldn't she have known me just as well? Shouldn't she have seen that I was laid back and was concrete. So, why did she not know what it took to truly get my attention. I also agree with KhienHan that I took it for granted after 18 years.

I mean, who expects to divorce after what seems like a normal 18 year marriage? Why not decide a mistake was made early on. If it takes 18 years, then there are surely a lot of good things that kept her hanging on. I guess us guys just don't understand the concept of; I'm a good provider, a good person, good father, and wouldn't cheat if a gun was to my head, do more than my share of the chores, yet somehow my wife still found a way to be unhappy.

I think the reason I didn't see it coming was because the things that she said made her unhappy wouldn't have even registered with me if she were doing them or not doing them toward me, so, I didn't see a problem.

ZimaBlue, if I seem a little edgy, it's not toward you, I'm just giving my situation and hope it helps.
 
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I am probably partly to blame for putting up with the way he behaves for so long - but it has come to point now that I don't see why I should have to any longer.
You shouldn't have to put up with it any longer. But you have for so many years - you've trained him to think it is ok. You've trained yourself to accept it - taking the easier path, the one of least resistance. So now you are thinking the easier path is just to walk away. It probably is the path of least resistance. Perhaps you could fight for your own happiness. Even if you lose the battle with him, you might learn some valuable lessons for your future happiness. You definitely shouldn't stay with the status quo. But what's the downside to giving it an honest try?
 

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You refer to yourself as a possible "walk-away-wife," or having a mid-life crisis, so I assume you have no issues that most would call big issues, and your husband probably doesn't realize how unhappy you are. I had a walk-away-wife, so I know how it feels.

To answer your question about communication, I would have preferred my x wife had communicated her issues to me as seriously as they were to her before they became a problem. If a hurricane is brewing, don't act like it's light rain shower, because I don't pay much attention to those.

Also, I'm a very concrete person. I think my wife expected me to mind read, and interpret a lot of things, whereas, I take things as they appear. She said that after 18 years, I should have known what she needed, but shouldn't she have known me just as well? Shouldn't she have seen that I was laid back and was concrete. So, why did she not know what it took to truly get my attention. I also agree with KhienHan that I took it for granted after 18 years.

I mean, who expects to divorce after what seems like a normal 18 year marriage? Why not decide a mistake was made early on. If it takes 18 years, then there are surely a lot of good things that kept her hanging on. I guess us guys just don't understand the concept of; I'm a good provider, a good person, good father, and wouldn't cheat if a gun was to my head, do more than my share of the chores, yet somehow my wife still found a way to be unhappy.

I think the reason I didn't see it coming was because the things that she said made her unhappy wouldn't have even registered with me if she were doing them or not doing them toward me, so, I didn't see a problem.

ZimaBlue, if I seem a little edgy, it's not toward you, I'm just giving my situation and hope it helps.
Southbound, so sad to read your advise and story. Sorry, do you mind to share with me, if you have a second chance, will you repeat the same thing to your ex-wife? Because based on your experience, it can give some hints and helps to ZimaBlue.
 

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I have been listening to this sort of thing here for 2 years and I'm baffled. WaW boiled down to its barest elements is "I'm silently fuming at you and hate you and won't cooperate with you in the least until you learn to be more obedient and do not only whatever I say but more importantly whatever I don't say and only think about in my own head but as long as I don't have to budge a single millimeter or take ownership in any way for anything least of all my own life and my happiness in it, we'll be fine'.

Because I finally had to spin up a fistful of google searches on psychology today and 20 other 'professional' websites and blogs about marriages and relationships. And in the final analysis the comments by and large were "You GO girl!!! You'd be amazed the change you can force on him..!"

Which I suppose is ok if you're planning on being the leader of a cult.
 

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If you think you will be around in your seventies and regret how your life progressed while in a unhappy marriage, be aware that you can do this alone, just as well.
 

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I have been listening to this sort of thing here for 2 years and I'm baffled. WaW boiled down to its barest elements is "I'm silently fuming at you and hate you and won't cooperate with you in the least until you learn to be more obedient and do not only whatever I say but more importantly whatever I don't say and only think about in my own head but as long as I don't have to budge a single millimeter or take ownership in any way for anything least of all my own life and my happiness in it, we'll be fine'.

Because I finally had to spin up a fistful of google searches on psychology today and 20 other 'professional' websites and blogs about marriages and relationships. And in the final analysis the comments by and large were "You GO girl!!! You'd be amazed the change you can force on him..!"

Which I suppose is ok if you're planning on being the leader of a cult.
I feel similar in having to do all the research. If one has to be a psychologist to know how to be in a relationship, how can that work? If my x wife was acting normally, why didn't I catch on to what she wanted? I'm not a bad guy. It wasn't my life's mission to make someone miserable, just the opposite. I didn't wake up every morning thinking, "How can i make my life wonderful regardless of how she feels."

i was raised to be very logical-minded, which i thought was a good thing, but perhaps not so much in a relationship. I suppose if someone had asked me to list things that would make my marriage a fairytale, I could have put some things on a list, but just because I didn't have them, I felt like "so what," this is real life. Why would I be unhappy.

Not so many years ago, I often heard it mentioned that people get in trouble because they expect their marriage to be like the movies, but it seems like that is what people think is normal today. Sure, there are marriages like that of SimplyAmoras, but just because we don't all fit that category, should we all be miserable? i don't think so.
 

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The whole idea that someone walks away when "there's no truly major reason present" is one I can't accept. I think there *is* a major reason! "I feel worthless, ignored, and helpless" is a pretty dang GOOD reason to make changes, in my opinion.

I think that what leads up to that is a basic discomfort with confrontation. To avoid discomfort, some people avoid dealing with those topics to varying degrees. One person might listen, say all the right things, and promptly forget the promises they made. Another might behave in a way that discourages conversations on such topics. And so on...

Zima, what I hope you can understand is that you're both being avoidant. You said you don't know if your husband knows how unhappy you are. This tells me that you have backed off when he gets defensive and have never really gotten to core issues when they matter.

You need to make changes, but is there a reason you can't start with taking action at home - before walking out? If you'd like to find that happiness, I would encourage you to adopt a couple of practices for at least the next four months before deciding to chuck everything:

1. Start requiring yourself to be honest with yourself about your feelings rather than trying to stuff them inside.

2. When something makes you unhappy, find a way to do something about it every single time. That doesn't mean to go criticize your husband. It means that you need to evaluate which one of these methods will restore the level of happiness you need:
--- Changing your own perspective about the issue
--- Giving a clear behavioral response that lets you feel better without hurting anyone else's rights
--- Having a conversation

For right now, it might be a good idea to tell your husband, "I have something important to talk to you about, and it's probably going to be a difficult conversation. When can you find 30 minutes in your schedule today or tomorrow so we can sit down together?"

When it arrives, start off with by repeating that you recognize this will be hard for him to hear and for you to say. Tell him you're sorry about creating discomfort, but that it's a necessary pain - like cleaning a wound before applying a bandage, because you're unhappy and thinking about leaving the marriage.

Don't explain why you're unhappy at this point. First, take a look at the reaction you're seeing in your husband. What does his posture look like? What facial expression do you see when he's not speaking? Does he appear closed off? Does he look like he's trying to shrink into the cushions? Is he wearing a mask of stoicism to hide the way he feels?

You'll need to be sensitive to unspoken signals of his discomfort and when you see them, offer him reassurance and positive regard until he can get back to a mind set that allows him to really hear you. Examples of reassurances:

-- I know you want me to be happy, and I trust you. I know that you don't ever try to hurt me.
-- I know you are strong emotionally. I envy that about you. I'm not feeling strong right now, and need your help.
-- You're a great provider, and I appreciate that. I'd like to ask for your help in providing something that you may never have thought about before.

You MUST create safety in order for your husband to feel safe enough to listen to you, because he senses an attack and protects himself. Whether you're really attacking or not is irrelevant. If he thinks one is there, then he's going to self-protect even if his perception is wrong.

Once you've created a good zone of safety, you can address the problems you're having. You may have to stop to recreate safety sometimes, and it can take a lot of practice to have even one healthy conversation. With enough practice, you can create an intimate connection that allows you both to find connection and harmony on an ongoing basis.

As you're addressing problems, you MUST be aware that criticizing HIM or blaming him removes safety and drives a wedge in between you. This means if you want to say, "I feel unimportant because you ignore me so much," you must reframe it to keep blame out. "I feel unimportant these days. When I try to say something and you say I'm nagging you, my thoughts make me believe that I'm worthless to you. Am I worthless to you?" Notice how "my thoughts" are making me believe instead of what he does? This can take the attack out of attacking a problem.

I hope this helps you start approaching your man in a way that can help the two of you hang on to something that has been reasonably good for a long time.
 

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Everyone has their dealbreakers.

But everyone also has a bit of a responsibility to firstly know what those are, and communicate them to your spouse.

And yes, things can change over time. Because we change as people. Priorities change, too.
 

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The whole idea that someone walks away when "there's no truly major reason present" is one I can't accept. I think there *is* a major reason! "I feel worthless, ignored, and helpless" is a pretty dang GOOD reason to make changes, in my opinion. .
I see what you mean, but isn't there a point where one should consider whether the typical person would find the reasons valid, and if not, shouldn't we look within ourselves an determine if the problem is more us than them? One doesn't usually get sent to prison for going 2 miles over the speed limit, and wouldn't most feel that was making too much of the situation?

For example, i like to sing. I like karaoke or getting with people who play guitar and letting it rip. I would have enjoyed it if my x wife would have joined in, but singing wasn't her thing. So, should I have pondered on that over the years and convinced myself that i was unhappy and said to myself, "She must not love me because she won't even try, and file for divorce?" I think that would have been a bit off.

I don't know everyone's situation, and I'm not trying to throw slurs at anyone, I'm just expressing my situation and my views. To be honest, some of my wife's things were actually in a similar category as the singing thing. :confused:

Everyone has their dealbreakers.

But everyone also has a bit of a responsibility to firstly know what those are, and communicate them to your spouse.

And yes, things can change over time. Because we change as people. Priorities change, too.
I agree, but if someone were asked to make a list of deal breakers before they married, i wonder how many would actually list the things that they often end up leaving over?

I know people change. I thought people "settled down" a bit as they got older instead of putting it in high gear; that's the examples i saw as i was growing up. Heck, if my x had told me she wanted a lot of vacations and such when we were 25, it might have made sense, but why go for years without it seeming like a big deal, and then it become a big deal when we're 40?
 

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OP, I think you should share with the rest of us what exactly the issues that you are having with your husband. I think they would be relevant in order to recommend some future course of action to either try to save your marriage or to help you move on with your life. We've all had diverse experiences ranging from spouses with no sex drive, spouses with too high of a sex drive, spouses who are doormats, spouses who are stubborn, aggressive, lazy, workaholics, drinkers, smokers, prudes, etc, etc... You get the point. I would hate to try to give advice about something unknown that may end up being too benign if your situation is very serious or too over the top if your situation is actually something that might be easy to fix.
 

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OP, I think you should share with the rest of us what exactly the issues that you are having with your husband. I think they would be relevant in order to recommend some future course of action to either try to save your marriage or to help you move on with your life. We've all had diverse experiences ranging from spouses with no sex drive, spouses with too high of a sex drive, spouses who are doormats, spouses who are stubborn, aggressive, lazy, workaholics, drinkers, smokers, prudes, etc, etc... You get the point. I would hate to try to give advice about something unknown that may end up being too benign if your situation is very serious or too over the top if your situation is actually something that might be easy to fix.
True. The title reads "wal-away-wife," and I just define that as a wife who walks away for petty reasons like my wife did, but the OP, and many others, may have more serious issues.
 

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You have been with this man for 19 years so obviously there was something about him that you loved at one time. We all change as we age and we begin to value different things as we grow but how is he supposed to know your feelings and/or values have changed unless you tell him? Pardon me if I am too blunt but I personally feel that leaving your husband without allowing him to fight for you and your marriage is not only cowardly but extremely selfish. Would you want to be treated that way?
 

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There is something that I call "Nearest Human Syndrome" (NHS) in which a person with general problems and issues tends to blame these on the Nearest Human.

As a child there is a tendency for people to blame their parents when things go wrong in their lives. "If only my parents understood me!" "It is my mom's/dad's fault that I am miserable!" "If only they had done x, y, z, everything would be wonderful!"

My wife has NHS. Every-so-often she will come home or I will come home from work and even before I am in the door she will say: "What the hell is wrong with you? Why are you in such a foul mood?" Which often caused an argument, as I had not been in a foul mood.

After several years I cottoned on to the fact that my wife would do this when she had had an argument with a work mate,a woman in a shop, etc.

She would bottle this up, let in rankle with her all day, and let rip at the Nearest Human later on, which of course, is me, as we live together with no children.

Yet she genuinely believes that it is all my fault.

I learned to ignore these attempts to goad me into a fight.

OP, do you do this? Do you blame your husband for stuff that happens that are not really his fault?

There's also Blame Seeker Syndrome when a person cannot just accept that stuff happens and needs to go NHS and blame the Nearest Human for whatever stuff has happened.

My mother had a theory about this, she mentioned to me years ago that some parents were setting their children up for this when a child is clumsy or just trips up as it is not yet used to walking, the parents will chastise the chair the child hurt itself on saying: "naughty chair! You hurt x!" they will then sometimes pretend to punish the chair.

This, my mother theorised, makes children seek out something, or someone, to blame, when stuff goes wrong, later. And guess what? If there's nobody else but husband or wife nearby, why, it is the Nearest Human that gets the blame!

It's possible your husband does need to change his ways. But if he were a mind reader, he'd have done this years ago.
 

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Interesting. Here is a thread that was started with essentually no information about what the issues are. No statement of facts. No discussion of conflict and yet advise is being given.......

OP. If you would like considered advice, perhaps you can enlighten us on what the real problems are?

Unhappiness doesn't necessarily go away with the dissolution of a marriage if the marriage or partner isn't the root problem....... You may just find yourself unhappy AND alone.
 

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I understand if there are any replies, they may be from husbands who have suffered from their wives doing this - my research shows that they don't see it coming. If there are, and you didn't - how would you have preferred your wife to have communicated this to you?

I don't mind, I would rather know what people think, so go right ahead, don't hold back. There may also be some people out there who have done it and think it's the best decision they ever made.

Any input would be welcome at this stage.

Background - married 8 1/2 years, together for 19, no kids.
After being with someone for 19 years, it's almost inevitable that you focus on their bad points while ignoring their good. Over time the constant internal dialog focusing on his faults becomes compelling and causes you to predict a negative future for him.

Your thoughts rule your feeling. If you choose to continue to allow yourself to indulge in your negative thinking eventually you will have nothing but negative feelings
 

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I see what you mean, but isn't there a point where one should consider whether the typical person would find the reasons valid, and if not, shouldn't we look within ourselves an determine if the problem is more us than them? One doesn't usually get sent to prison for going 2 miles over the speed limit, and wouldn't most feel that was making too much of the situation?

For example, i like to sing. I like karaoke or getting with people who play guitar and letting it rip. I would have enjoyed it if my x wife would have joined in, but singing wasn't her thing. So, should I have pondered on that over the years and convinced myself that i was unhappy and said to myself, "She must not love me because she won't even try, and file for divorce?" I think that would have been a bit off.

I don't know everyone's situation, and I'm not trying to throw slurs at anyone, I'm just expressing my situation and my views. To be honest, some of my wife's things were actually in a similar category as the singing thing. :confused:



I agree, but if someone were asked to make a list of deal breakers before they married, i wonder how many would actually list the things that they often end up leaving over?

I know people change. I thought people "settled down" a bit as they got older instead of putting it in high gear; that's the examples i saw as i was growing up. Heck, if my x had told me she wanted a lot of vacations and such when we were 25, it might have made sense, but why go for years without it seeming like a big deal, and then it become a big deal when we're 40?
I love the examples you used. My belief is that in these walk-aways, what happens is that when there isn't a dialog between two people, then the one with the "problem" is left to comfort and solve the problem themselves. This is fine from time to time, but when the same problem arises repeatedly, their own perspective is likely to change as they have an internal dialog that shifts the meaning of the situation from "Karaoke just isn't her thing" to "Karaoke's just one of the many ways she ignores me."
 

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I love the examples you used. My belief is that in these walk-aways, what happens is that when there isn't a dialog between two people, then the one with the "problem" is left to comfort and solve the problem themselves. This is fine from time to time, but when the same problem arises repeatedly, their own perspective is likely to change as they have an internal dialog that shifts the meaning of the situation from "Karaoke just isn't her thing" to "Karaoke's just one of the many ways she ignores me."
You are probably right. I think its sad that this kind of thinking is used mostly in relationships and that people can't see how illogical this line of thinking is . I could be wrong, but I hope our leaders aren't making decisions based on this kind of thinking. My current boss is a woman. She is very energetic and more emotional than most male bosses I have had, but I see no difference in her business decisions. They are all based on logic and gets the job done.

I know that relationships and business are different, but if a person is capable of that kind of thinking and decision making, it's scary that it might spill over into other decisions they make.
 
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