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Matt,

It is a great honor to have you respond to your article here on TAM.

I love your honesty and the words honestly are not coming to me about how I feel.

I hope that I represented your ideas truthfully here.

If it is not you Matt, then I apologize
 

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Oh boy.... This is going to get interesting.

First question Matt: Why did your wife leave you?

Second question Matt: You mention "affair" in your post to Marduk. Did your wife leave you for someone else?

Third question Matt: Is the whole persona and stories made up and you are writing your opinions as first person?
 

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I answered this in two other posts above.

He was married before he married me. He had a job, was a good father, spent time with his wife, and did a lot around the house.

When we dated, he did the same with me.

He had a very good job when we married. But did went into the rest of the negative things from day one of the marriage.

I don't know why except that he must not have really cared. Though he says to this day that he is madly in love with me. :scratchhead:

Yes he visits me all the time, calls me, etc. and always says this.

His kids are so pissed at him over it that they hardly speak to him. But they are in constant contact with me.
I was answering your question not looking at the other answers you were giving to other posters.

So he was a good and loving man and checked out of his relationship with you and you have no idea why??

Not sure how we could ever come up with that answer if he and you don't know.
 

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So, here's the whole thing--a major secret to helping our spouses maintain emotional health, and feel secure in their partnerships with us because we are demonstrating, to them, trustworthiness:

It might be a glass by the sink, it might be where you throw your shoes, or it might be the way she feels when you're out together in social situations, or something else.

But there is something that matters to your partner, that DOESN'T matter to you. And because it doesn't matter to you, you don't take it seriously, and the act of doing so makes your wife feel disrespected. Because you are the kind of man who does this, you likely do it about MANY "little" things in your relationship. All these things that makes her crazy and overly emotional, and you a rational male.

And because you think she's irrational, you tell her she's wrong. You do it over and over and over again.
You have excellent insight into how small things can become like a dripping tap in a marriage - eroding trust and emotional connectedness.

Thank you for taking the time to post here. :)
 

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Oh boy.... This is going to get interesting.

First question Matt: Why did your wife leave you?

Second question Matt: You mention "affair" in your post to Marduk. Did your wife leave you for someone else?

Third question Matt: Is the whole persona and stories made up and you are writing your opinions as first person?
1. "Why did your wife leave you?"

I have a very good relationship with my ex-wife. The final 18 months of our marriage was miserable and we slept in separate rooms. The first year post-divorce was miserable and we had some words.

Today, we get along very well. Just a few hours ago, she came over to bring a couple toys for our son, and we sat in the kitchen and talked together for an hour about something school-related for our second-grader.

She is a kind, smart, talented, educated, successful professional. And she's a VERY good mother.

In the context of divorce (which I hate more than most things), I am very blessed that she is who I have to work with RE: our son, who has another 11 years or so before "legal" adulthood.

She left because of the metaphorical dishes.

That's why I write this stuff. MOST divorce isn't abuse and addiction. There are certainly a lot of affairs, but those happen because of the "dishes," too.

We were just two decent people who grew apart over a nine-year marriage. The same kind you see all the time.

We were struggling but I didn't fully realize it. I lost a job in 2010 after the '08 crash (layoff, not firing). It was tricky to find a job because I had been a newspaper reporter, and there were no more jobs available in that industry. After 18 months of unemployment, I got a good job in corporate marketing. Things were starting to get a little better.

Out of nowhere, she lost a parent. We just got a phone call one night.

All the years of the "little things" piling up, combined with the grief of losing her dad, it all just broke under the weight. She stuck around for 18 more months, but it was dead.

But make no mistake. If I'd tended to the "dishes," none of that would have happened.

2. While I was still reeling from the emotional fallout of the separation, I eventually learned she was seeing someone and it hurt. I wouldn't call it an affair. But it felt the same, so who cares?

3. No. It's all true. I would hope that would feel obvious to anyone reading. It's too specific to make up, and too boring to warrant making up.

But that's the point, isn't it? Marriages don't end from a dramatic violent act. They die from a million tiny pinpricks.

I tell my story, because I've come to believe it is the typical American (I'm American--I have no idea how it works in other cultures) divorce story. I tell it because it's so average and so typical that I think a lot of people can relate to it (that question was long ago answered--well before the "dishes" post got popular), and I'm always hopeful that a few guys here and there will read it, and see themselves in the words, and make some changes before it's too late.

My parents split when I was 4. I grew up 500 miles away from my father, only seeing him on school breaks.

I got divorced when I was 34, and even though I see my son 50% of the time in a cooperative shared-parenting agreement, the first 6-12 months were the worst days of my life.

Conclusion = Divorce is bad.

This is my little way of trying to help. Some people say it does.
 

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I was answering your question not looking at the other answers you were giving to other posters.

So he was a good and loving man and checked out of his relationship with you and you have no idea why??

Not sure how we could ever come up with that answer if he and you don't know.
I am not looking for an answer as to why he checked out. I think I know.. he checked out because he wanted to. He married me so he could check out. Even though he says he loves me, he does not really care about me. That is the bottom line.

I brought it up here not to discuss why he did what he did but to discuss what is a valid reason for leaving a marriage.

I stated that I was only looking at the issues of no help at all with household and children and spending no time with his wife. Is that enough for the wife (or a husband with a similar wife) to divorce? Or is the leaving spouse, the WAW/H a person lacking in commitment and selfish?
 

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I'm trying to just patiently read through this thread, but you're killing me just a little bit too much to go on.

Hi. I'm Matt. I'm the author of the "dishes" post that had almost NOTHING to do with dishes despite the tricky headline to the contrary.

Sorry for the rope-a-dope. When I wrote it in five seconds and hurriedly hit Publish like I do twice a week during work lunch breaks, I didn't know anyone who wasn't my regular (and not very big) audience would read it.

The post isn't about "dishes."

The post is about how men seem to have a tendency to think about disagreement with their partners this way: "She is upset about something petty again, focusing on this thing that doesn't matter and demonstrating zero gratitude for all of the things I do for her. She is being irrational. Since she's irrational, she's wrong. Since the thing she's upset about doesn't matter, I'm not going to care about it either."

After years of that, your wife stops wanting to have sex with you, starts wanting to have sex with someone else, might go do it, and will likely file for divorce regardless.

That is the cold, hard, truth.

The post wasn't about me, personally, or about my wife, per se. I just like to tell first-person stories to illustrate ideas I think about.

I didn't think a sane adult could really believe that a wife would divorce a husband over a glass by the sink. But strange things happen, I guess.

So, here's the whole thing--a major secret to helping our spouses maintain emotional health, and feel secure in their partnerships with us because we are demonstrating, to them, trustworthiness:

It might be a glass by the sink, it might be where you throw your shoes, or it might be the way she feels when you're out together in social situations, or something else.

But there is something that matters to your partner, that DOESN'T matter to you. And because it doesn't matter to you, you don't take it seriously, and the act of doing so makes your wife feel disrespected. Because you are the kind of man who does this, you likely do it about MANY "little" things in your relationship. All these things that makes her crazy and overly emotional, and you a rational male.

And because you think she's irrational, you tell her she's wrong. You do it over and over and over again.

Moving forward, when you leave the glass by the sink, or your shoes thrown wherever, or crack on her in front of your friends even though you're "just joking," THAT makes her feel pain.

It's not Leave Glass By Sink = Hurt Feelings because dirty dishes hurt feelings.

It's Leave Glass By Sink = Hurt Feelings because I've told him a bunch of times this hurts me and he's still doing it which means he's hurting me on purpose which means he doesn't love me which means I don't feel safe and can't trust him and have to leave.

I wish that wasn't how it worked. If we all felt the same about things, relationships would be easier and less complicated.

Your lack of respect for her feelings is what hurts her and why she wants to leave. NOT the silly "little thing" you're arguing about.

The lesson in all of this is super-simple: Care about the little things she cares about BECAUSE she cares about it.

You don't have to agree that leaving a glass by the sink is bad. But you DO have to agree that repeatedly hurting your wife is bad.

Just because you don't think it SHOULD hurt, doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. It HURTS. Like if she told you she fantasizes about your friend Craig because she heard from one of his former girlfriends that he's packing a huge one and their entire relationship was one long orgasm.

Maybe that would hurt your pride and ego. Maybe when you saw your wife smiling at Craig at future parties, that would HURT you, even though she didn't think it was worth feeling hurt over.

A glass doesn't affect you. Cool. That doesn't mean it doesn't affect her.

The apples-to-apples comparison is not to say, if she doesn't respect your desire to drink beer and watch Thursday Night Football, then she doesn't love you.

The apples-to-apples comparison is to compare a thing that hurts one spouse with a thing that hurts the other.
I think that it mostly spot on. Where I struggle is when someone grabs a gender and applies it like it does not happen on both sides.

My wife and I have both gone through cycles of taking each other for granted.

But we have many saying it is mostly a male problem, and many saying it is a mostly female problem, when the truth is ALL people take their partner for granted, some worse than others, it borders on hypocrisy and enables America's favorite pastime: victim hood.

And then you have what you have here, which is what many of theses threads, with decent starts, end up: finger pointing at the sexes when all of us are, to a greater or lesser degree, @$$holes.

Welcome to TAM.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
 

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1. "Why did your wife leave you?"

I have a very good relationship with my ex-wife. The final 18 months of our marriage was miserable and we slept in separate rooms. The first year post-divorce was miserable and we had some words.

Today, we get along very well. Just a few hours ago, she came over to bring a couple toys for our son, and we sat in the kitchen and talked together for an hour about something school-related for our second-grader.

She is a kind, smart, talented, educated, successful professional. And she's a VERY good mother.

In the context of divorce (which I hate more than most things), I am very blessed that she is who I have to work with RE: our son, who has another 11 years or so before "legal" adulthood.

She left because of the metaphorical dishes.

That's why I write this stuff. MOST divorce isn't abuse and addiction. There are certainly a lot of affairs, but those happen because of the "dishes," too.

We were just two decent people who grew apart over a nine-year marriage. The same kind you see all the time.

We were struggling but I didn't fully realize it. I lost a job in 2010 after the '08 crash (layoff, not firing). It was tricky to find a job because I had been a newspaper reporter, and there were no more jobs available in that industry. After 18 months of unemployment, I got a good job in corporate marketing. Things were starting to get a little better.

Out of nowhere, she lost a parent. We just got a phone call one night.

All the years of the "little things" piling up, combined with the grief of losing her dad, it all just broke under the weight. She stuck around for 18 more months, but it was dead.

But make no mistake. If I'd tended to the "dishes," none of that would have happened.

2. While I was still reeling from the emotional fallout of the separation, I eventually learned she was seeing someone and it hurt. I wouldn't call it an affair. But it felt the same, so who cares?

3. No. It's all true. I would hope that would feel obvious to anyone reading. It's too specific to make up, and too boring to warrant making up.

But that's the point, isn't it? Marriages don't end from a dramatic violent act. They die from a million tiny pinpricks.

I tell my story, because I've come to believe it is the typical American (I'm American--I have no idea how it works in other cultures) divorce story. I tell it because it's so average and so typical that I think a lot of people can relate to it (that question was long ago answered--well before the "dishes" post got popular), and I'm always hopeful that a few guys here and there will read it, and see themselves in the words, and make some changes before it's too late.

My parents split when I was 4. I grew up 500 miles away from my father, only seeing him on school breaks.

I got divorced when I was 34, and even though I see my son 50% of the time in a cooperative shared-parenting agreement, the first 6-12 months were the worst days of my life.

Conclusion = Divorce is bad.

This is my little way of trying to help. Some people say it does.
There is a point about how a ton of small things can eventually erode people's feelings for each other. But there is also a point about people shouldn't allow small things to affect them that profoundly if they truly are small things.

Was the tea cup a metaphor for larger issues? Were you generally a bad husband who rarely helped around the house and who would leave things where ever you felt like it. Or did you do your fair share but sometimes didn't live up to her requirements?

It it was the former then I can see how it eventually eroded the marriage. If it was the latter, then I think it was on her to adjust her expectations.

Same thing with the story about The Masters. If you hardly ever spent time with her and never took your child to the park, then she has a point. But if you were a present father who spent a bunch of time playing with your child, then I think it was very rude of your wife to expect you to go to the park during The Masters. Even if you weren't a great spouse, asking someone to go the the park during The Masters (when they know it is important to you) is really just someone trying to pick a fight.

The way people take your stories is directly related to their own experiences. If we are from a marriage where the spouse is absent and not pulling their weight, then we understand why your wife left. If we are from a marriage where the spouse is OCD about many small issues and we feel like we can never please them, then we feel like she left for the wrong reasons.

Were you really that bad of a husband?
 

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I am not looking for an answer as to why he checked out. I think I know.. he checked out because he wanted to. He married me so he could check out. Even though he says he loves me, he does not really care about me. That is the bottom line.

I brought it up here not to discuss why he did what he did but to discuss what is a valid reason for leaving a marriage.

I stated that I was only looking at the issues of no help at all with household and children and spending no time with his wife. Is that enough for the wife (or a husband with a similar wife) to divorce? Or is the leaving spouse, the WAW/H a person lacking in commitment and selfish?
Well if they check out and breach vows then obviously that's as good a reason as any to leave a marriage. I imagine I would. Every circumstance is going to be different
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How long where yall separated before she started seeing someone else?

Were yall separated to work on your issues or just pending a divorce?
 

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This is my little way of trying to help. Some people say it does.
I think it helps a few who read and relate to it, and I think that's a wonderful thing. I've read a good bit of your blog... it's strangely cathartic and painful for me, as the story of your marriage and divorce is very similar to mine. It's almost like reading my own ex-husband's words. I'm sure neither you or your wife are bad people... just human.

Welcome to TAM. How did you find our little fire-storm of a thread?
 

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I think it helps a few who read and relate to it, and I think that's a wonderful thing. I've read a good bit of your blog... it's strangely cathartic and painful for me, as the story of your marriage and divorce is very similar to mine. It's almost like reading my own ex-husband's words. I'm sure neither you or your wife are bad people... just human.

Welcome to TAM. How did you find our little fire-storm of a thread?
I emailed Matt and invited him here. :grin2:
 

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Well if they check out and breach vows then obviously that's as good a reason as any to leave a marriage. I imagine I would. Every circumstance is going to be different
What is the difference of checking out right after the wedding or slowly checking out over a long time? It's checkout, out way or the other.
 

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I think that it mostly spot on. Where I struggle is when someone grabs a gender and applies it like it does not happen on both sides.

My wife and I have both gone through cycles of taking each other for granted.

But we have many saying it is mostly a male problem, and many saying it is a mostly female problem, when the truth is ALL people take their partner for granted, some worse than others, it borders on hypocrisy and enables America's favorite pastime: victim hood.

And then you have what you have here, which is what many of theses threads, with decent starts, end up: finger pointing at the sexes when all of us are, to a greater or lesser degree, @$$holes.

Welcome to TAM.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

Right.

I get the "sexism" thing thrown at me a little, because I am guilty of believing it's a predominantly male problem.

And I use He and She, and Husband and Wife, as if it can't be true in a gender-reversal way or same-sex relationship.

This is another thing everyone used to me knows, but millions of strangers did not.

I'm happy to share my thoughts on that, though.

First and foremost, I DO believe men and women are GENERALLY different. You know. In the same way astrological personality profiles are generally accurate.

Absolutely, I know there are always exceptions. And there are plenty of same-sex couples. And there are lots of cultural things that influence all of this stuff between someone raised in a liberal household in Connecticut vs. someone raised in a super-conservative environment in Oklahoma.

I think men and women are different in the same way we make "It's a Boy!" stuff blue and "It's a Girl!" stuff pink.

It's not ALWAYS true. It's just MOSTLY true.

Because I'm a guy and a husband, and because I put a lot of stock in the relationship psychology sub-genre of "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus," I try to keep things in the first person, and I tend to default to writing them in a He and She sort of way.

I'm a husband who messed up on all this stuff, so I'm writing for other guys who might also be messing it up. There are aspects of the female experience I can't fully appreciate or understand.

Because I don't know what it's like to be a woman, wife, girlfriend or mother, I try to be very careful about saying anything that might be interpreted as a life tip for women.

I see all these men say: WELL!!! Women should [blah, blah, blah]! It's not fair!"

And I find the entire notion annoying.

I know there are a ton of great guys out there. I'm so confident in the "Great Guy" that I write stuff that results in thousands of strangers calling me and my son's mother the most vile names in the English language based on reading a tiny bit of one blog post. And I do so with purpose, trusting the "Great Guy" to see through all the noise, recognize himself, and begin a journey of self-reflection and growth that can lead to a bunch of really good things, instead of a bunch of cliche' things.

I want people to accept responsibility for their lives and marriages.

I want guys to give and love unselfishly.

I see so many guys (usually from the Red Pill-swallowing Manosphere, or the MGTOW crew) with their laundry list of cliche' accusations they throw at women in conjunction with a bunch of psychobabble words they made up to characterize most women in pretty horrible ways.

They've all seen it so many times, they're convinced this is just "the way women are."

And I don't see it that way.

I see a group of men holding onto the whole Don Draper "I'm the man, so you will do what I want and not question me and blow me once you're done cleaning up the kitchen" mentality, and wondering why women are responding negatively to it.

And my whole thing is: If you figure out all of this stuff I'm talking about and you start making your wife feel loved, safe, cherished, desired, pursued, etc., NONE OF THAT CRAP will happen in the first place.

I'm asking men to go first.

I'm asking men to be great husbands and fathers proactively.

I think that will make most marriage problems disappear right away.
 
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