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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I have been reading on this forum for the past week or so, i never envisaged i would be posting on a site like this, but here i am.

My story is a long but short one, in essence like many others out of the blue (to me anyway) my wife simply walked out and was not prepared to talk or give any specific reasons for her departure.

The question i have for the group is how do you deal with the constant thoughts of what you could have done to save the marriage if you had know or been given the opportunity to make the changes and adjustments that were required. I now realise through counseling and very long lonely nights that some of the signs must have been there, but i simply didn't notice!

In truth, i was happy coasting along thinking everything was fine, when clearly it was not. I do not take complete responsibility for the problems as i know i could have addressed them if i had known.

That boat has simply sailed and now i have to deal with what is left, me.

The sad thing is we worked well together, but something just clicked and the light went out!

It is still very raw with me and i am constantly thinking about it and punishing myself, i seem to be in a spiral and not functioning very well :(
 

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Sorry you are here with us but welcome.

How to deal depends on the situation. If she won't even communicate your supposed failing all you can do is self reflect. Did you do all you possibly could to be a good, strong and attractive husband. What could you have improved. Then you get to work on those things. Not for her, but for you.

The 180 is commonly suggested as the way to deal with WAW and manage to move on.

Why she has done it is important if there is to be a hope of reconcilliation down the road but step one is look to yourself and don't beg and plead.

I am sure one of the more experienced guys or gals will be along to help you soon. I ma still muddling my way through myself.

Like I say shame you are here, but being in the situation you are, finding your way here could be the best thing you have done since she walked.

Good luck.
 

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I'm sorry you're here anon. I and many others with walk-away spouses know exactly what you're dealing with. It's agonizing to think back on this discussion, or that argument, and that one time she really wanted to do something together and I was swamped with work, etc...that if you had just done x, y, or z differently, you'd still be happily married.

The only thing I can do when I find myself dwelling on those thoughts is to push them aside and focus on something else. Remind myself that it's in the past, there's nothing you can do to change it, and no matter what "epiphanies" I have, there's nothing I can say to my walk-away that will get her to change her mind anyway.

Don't beat yourself up. At the end of the day, your wife made no attempt to work on these issues herself. She could have sat you down and talked about it, demanded counseling, or a host of other things. She apparently did not think you and her were worth that effort. She's a quitter. She took the coward's way out, instead of honoring her commitment and putting in the required work. She is far more responsible for the failure of your marriage than you are. It's easier said than done, but don't beat yourself up and waste time focusing on someone who acts this way.


Now, what were things like before she left?

Were you arguing more often? About what?

Growing apart, as if she had "checked out" of the marriage?

Any red flags of another man in the picture (new friends, more nights out, secrecy with phone/computer, increased texting, more attention to appearance, weight loss, etc)?

Has she already made it clear that she wants a divorce, or is she just looking for space right now?

Are you guys still talking at all right now, seeing each other, or is she just cutting you off completely?

Typically a walk-away spouse is hesitant to jump unless there's something better on the other side of the fence. This could be another man, or it could just be the allure of a new, single, independent life. Finding out what that is will go a long ways in helping you understand what happened, and what (if anything) you may be able to do about it.
 

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The question i have for the group is how do you deal with the constant thoughts of what you could have done to save the marriage if you had know or been given the opportunity to make the changes and adjustments that were required. I now realise through counseling and very long lonely nights that some of the signs must have been there, but i simply didn't notice!(
rsersen's post is very good and I concur with everything he said.

As for small adjustments you might have made....well I was beating myself up about those but in the end I came to realise that she was on a certain trajectory and nothing I did would have made much of a difference one way or another.

She will be telling herself that she was forced out of the marriage, but the truth is that she made a CHOICE. She could have done something to improve the marriage but instead she waited for you to do something.

She didn't even tell you that she wanted you to do something, she just expected you to be a mind reader.

And when you weren't a mind reader she decided - yup, took an ACTIVE DECISION - to walk out as soon as she had all her ducks in a row.

And as rsersen says, she has a fantasy right now of a life with another person or of some great "freedom" that she is going to enjoy and that will solve all her problems. And reality just can't compete with a fantasy.
 

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Don't beat yourself up, because we all have faults. My wife gave me a list of my issues, and when I addressed each one with a game plan, she then dropped the I love you, but not in love with you bomb. This was the one thing I could not change. My wife kept her feeling quiet until it was to late, then it was my fault for not seeing the signs. I believe that no matter what I did, the result would have been the same. Something came along, that told her she was not happy ( in my case, it was a toxic friend) and she started believing it. My wife has an image of marriage that she got from a chick flick, and she knew I would never come close to that. I would look into the 180, and take this time to focus on you. I can not change what I had for lunch today, nor can you change your past. Look toward tomorrow, and prepare for it today. It sucks, but it will get better. Just keep your head up and pushing forward, and know there are a lot of good people on here willing to help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies so far, some interesting thoughts...
The funny (irony) things are:

I did my best for her and the children (obviously not enough)
We wern't communicating very well for a few months (I thought I was giving her mental space, some issues there... and carried on trying to be everything to everyone and obviously failing badly)
I was self improving slowly (eating better, gym, quit smoking, stopped drinking and new clothes - she equated this to me having a affair! and she then thought that I didnt want her! so the appearance thing was me)
I looked at the 180, but she has done that to me, emotionaly and physically shut me out
Before the split, we had happy days and down days, however, having her mother stay for several weeks before was toxic!
We are talking (ish) but it is mainly about the children, not the issues surrounding the relationship
I have suggested MC to resolve the issues, but i am not confident this is something she wants to do. I have been to IC to at least try and identify how i feel and how i can address some of my own issues.
I did feel like a mind reader, i guess in truth we both felt that way.
I have been reaching out to find out what she belived the issues were and try to resolve them, but so far nothing. (a perfect 180!)
I know i cant change her, the only person i can change is me, but it is so hard.
Idealy i would like to resolve this, but from what is happening at the moment, that doesnt seem to be on her agenda...
It could be seen that there is some light at the end of the tunnel, however, the active decision to leave and all that entails has left a huge path of destruction that simply cannot be easily resolved.

Anon
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I guess i was happy just being in the relationship, not rocking the boat. she was building up issues and not discussing them.
now the blame has been shifted onto me for not realising there was a problem.
so without knowing what the issues were, how am i supposed to address them? i guess i never will??
it is so difficult when all you can think about is what went wrong, but have no one to talk to. to walk away feels like such a waste, but ulitmately it has been taken out of my hands...

Anon
 

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I guess i was happy just being in the relationship, not rocking the boat. she was building up issues and not discussing them.
now the blame has been shifted onto me for not realising there was a problem.
so without knowing what the issues were, how am i supposed to address them? i guess i never will??
it is so difficult when all you can think about is what went wrong, but have no one to talk to. to walk away feels like such a waste, but ulitmately it has been taken out of my hands...

Anon
I'm in exactly the same boat, Anon, if that is any consolation at all..plenty of us here.

Have you read about Walk Away Wife syndrome?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
what is the walk away wife syndrome, do you have a link?
her childhood was not good and caused many problems later on, i guess the fixer helper in me was strong.
my main issue is being the one who has been cast aside (fired i suppose) and left with no answers just guilt, shame and some anger.
i sit alone in complete confusion while she is being supported by family and friends and appears not to give one thought about the contract we made or the reality of the situation.
i am hurting a lot and can not find any consolation in this situation. we had our life planned out and our future happiness together has been discarded at the flick of a switch.
i guess if i didnt love her so much it wouldnt hurt this bad, i know she wont be hurting, just repainting history and not taking any responsibility for her actions.
I want to get better but the pain is stopping me moving forward and i cant see the light at the end of the tunnel...

Anon
 

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what is the walk away wife syndrome, do you have a link?
Google it. But start here: Divorce Busting® - Walk-Away Wife Syndrome - Wife Ending Marriage

Then get Michele Weiner-Davis's book


i guess if i didnt love her so much it wouldnt hurt this bad, i know she wont be hurting, just repainting history and not taking any responsibility for her actions.
That's exactly what she will be doing. But do you know what? That only delays the pain. WE can only kid ourselves for so long, but one day she will wake up and realise what she has done. That may be too late - you may have moved on by them - but it will happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
no strangely enough i didnt know the extent of the issues until after we married. once we were married i did my best to support her and provide everything she needed, it feels like a real kick in the teeth that i held true to my vows when i could have walked away at certain times.
they say love is blind, i wonder if i imagined the whole thing??
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Anon,

Did you convince yourself that fixing her issues would earn you her love?
Re-read your question, no i believed that supporting her would mean we would love each other equaly, the good the bad and the ugly. it looks like we were coming from different places in that respect.
 

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Re-read your question, no i believed that supporting her would mean we would love each other equaly, the good the bad and the ugly. it looks like we were coming from different places in that respect.
Emotionally broken people often take out their anger on their partners. They often have some form of PTSD - which has taught them that harsh punishment comes as a result of screwing up - so they learn to blameshift at a very young age.



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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
wow, reading the stories in here is a real eye opener.
in some ways i feel so sad for everyone going through this, it helps sometimes to think about other peoples situations and try not to focus on myself.

i am personally struggling to come to terms with everything that has happened and that it is perceived as all my fault, there are so many genuine and honest people on here who freely admit that (as I) either didn't realise there was a problem or simply hoped love and commitment would be enough.
The sad thing is that so many of us have tried so hard to stay true to the relationship and make it work. the majority of our partners seem dead set against it and act cold.
I wonder how we end up with people who start off loving each other and act so differently when something goes wrong or their expectations aren't met?

Anon
 

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Well, my ex did the same thing - blamed me for everything and then used that as an excuse to pick up and walk away from the relationship to some other dude. Sadly, she thinks she is right on the money. that she is the righteous one. If only I did not do this or that - she would not have been forced into this or that...
 
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