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Hello Dear TAM Friends! It's me! Your sometimes moderator, always charming, questionably wise, Deejo.

I've been around these parts a long time. I cannot possibly convey how much I have learned and observed from others participating here. So, as a member of the community for over a decade at this point, feel like it's only fair that I disclose some more fat to chew on.

On Saturday, August 29th, my marriage of just over 2 years fell victim to Walk Away Wife Syndrome. Spouse was staying at family's new house with her daughter. She called me and informed me that she would be moving out the following day, and there would be a moving truck at our home between 8 and 10 am.

My only response to her declaration? "Okay. Do me a favor and let me know once you're done. I'll be out."

What precipitated this huge rift? Couldn't tell you. Honestly. What responsibilities were mine in contributing to the issues? Again, don't know. And that's not a cop out. I can say that we had 2 'fights' in the preceding 3 weeks. Both effectively precipitated by her. One regarding my desire to take up sport shooting, which would entail becoming a firearm owner. She was adamant that she did not want a gun in the house, despite my assurances of security. I pointed out that I had consistently supported the activities that she wanted to pursue; primarily joining and fronting a cover band. Knew she always wanted to do it. Knew it was important to her. Got to go to bars and watch drunks line up to strike up conversations with her between sets. Knew all of that would be par for the course, and of course was confident in the solidarity of our relationship. None of those idiots stood a chance with her. But ... at times frustrating as well. Only one incident where I was watching and letting her handle it, as some guy continued to creep up on her personal space. She looked over, saw my face and my start to approach, and she immediately spun around and walked away from the chump. So yeah ... support.

The second revolved around sex. She is post menopausal. Libido absolutely cratered. We continued to be intimate because she deemed it was important ... but that started to eventually drop off as well. She told me that she always remembered something I had said to her at the beginning of our relationship, when of course we couldn't keep our hands off one another. We talked about sexless marriages, and that I had been in one, and had no intention of ever being in a sexless relationship again. What stood out to her was when I commented that in general, 'when a woman doesn't want to have sex, it isn't that she doesn't want to have sex, it's that she doesn't want to have sex with you (meaning her male partner). So, she felt compelled to state that quite to the contrary, she just didn't want to have sex ... with anyone. She followed that up with, "I don't care if I ever have sex again. I'm fine with maybe once a month. I just don't need that. Frankly I don't need any of that romantic stuff at all." The way she said it, was like she was annoyed. So ... I calmly responded with what I call the MEM Clause. I said calmly with no agitation,"That's fine. I love you. I believe you love me. I value our marriage and the relationship we have. The house, the kids, that's all important stuff. I'll just get those needs met elsewhere."

At which point she flipped. Of course. Thats the purpose of the exercise.
She had also become very anxious with her business, which was shuttered for months as a result of the pandemic, and would pretty consistently highlight to me, her need for 'space' and 'alone time'. She was extraordinarily distracted at almost all times. She would indicate that us being together all of the time was "too much". She does suffer from clinical depression and takes medication regularly. It was well managed. She also suffered sexual trauma at the hands of a family member for a span of 3 years when she was young. Married 3 times previously. I was/am husband #4. Everybody has baggage, I was prepared to deal, we never had much issue talking about or addressing ours.

Up to this point, you could count the number of disagreements or arguments we have had over the course of our six year relationship on one hand. She made it apparent that she was not happy over the ensuing days and suggested counseling, because, her words, "to have a successful marriage, obviously you have to work at it." Turns out that phrase wasn't intended for me, but for herself. So ... I found a therapist, and made an appointment. The appointment was a month out given the lockdown/distancing circumstances. Suffice to say, we never made it to the appointment.

Recognize that the natural inclination in these parts will be that there is someone else. Most of you know that I am no babe in the woods on that front. I sincerely don't believe there is. She wasn't going out. She was rarely if ever on her phone, and I of course verified that by looking at the phone records, all of which are under my account. She wouldn't even think about having using a burner. She loses her primary phone enough as it is.

So what do I ultimately think led to the downfall of our seemingly solid bond up to even just several months ago?
She got bored. I don't say that cynically or accusatorily. I simply believe that there are LOTS of people not cut out for marriage ... and I married one. I flat out honestly believe that she had likely been fighting against her nature likely over the last year telling her that her life would be far less encumbered and complex, were she not burdened by all of the constraints that are a simple fact of being married, or partnered over the long term.
Also confirmed with her that ours is the longest relationship she has EVER been in. None of her previous marriages lasted much over a year. In my own over-confidence or arrogance depending upon how you look at it, I simply presumed that she had tried to make the best of bad choices in partners previously. And of course, I believed it would be different with me.

It was. For a little while.

No doubt, the reasons she chose to completely blow apart her marriage are justified and make absolute sense to her ... and to her alone. I have been caught at every moment since trying to address peoples questions of "What happened?" To be honest, I haven't wasted a lot of time thinking about it. I really haven't. What I did consider was the fact that she had taken the time to find a new place, enroll her daughter at a new school, all while externally, continuing to play happy family (which we were) with myself and my kids. I found these lies of omission to be stunning. We had seemingly moved past (in my mind) the incidents highlighted above, and had even gone on a dinner date and had a great time. But through all of that ... she already knew she was out.

So consequently, I haven't wasted a lot of emotional energy on pondering the how's, why's, or what if's. Am I an emotional wreck? No. I'm a pretty practical dude at this point. We have been no contact save for some touch points surrounding the kids. No questions, no pleading. I did inform her that after the end of this month, we will need to have a discussion about respectfully dissolving the marriage. Given her behavior, I have no desire to reconcile. Nor do I believe does she ... given that she signed a 1 year lease on her rental.

Sorry for the wall of text, if you've hung in there. But ... I know the boards, and simply got wordy to address any potential thoughts, or questions.
 

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@Deejo

I have known you for forever, and I am sad that your marriage is ending like this...but at the same time I'm glad that you are seeing it realistically and clearly. It's too bad she is a person who isn't capable of a long-term, intimate relationship, but it certainly does look like that's the case.

Regarding the firearm, first I'll just say that I am a shooter myself and enjoy it both as a sport and as an exercise of my second amendment rights. But I do understand people who are hesitant to have a gun in the house and overall think that two mature adults could reach some agreement that was mutually acceptable.

Regarding the reduction of libido/lack of sex, well you made it clear from the beginning you would not be in a sexless relationship. Now, I'm a "woman of a certain age" and I can attest that "horniness" changes with perimenopause and menopause--but to my mind, the desire to be close, to be intimate, to be connected with another does not. I mean, yeah, the urge and itch isn't as demanding, but the wish to be deeply and closely connected on all levels? That doesn't go away ever!

So I am sorry that you are discovering this after two years, but I'm proud of you for the way you're handling it. This has little or nothing to do with you and is 100% her and her issues that she hasn't faced. You are collateral damage. Nonetheless, it is still a loss and it still hurts, and for that, I am truly sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
WOW!

Sorry and ugh are about all that comes to mind immediately....

She really does need a warning label now doesn't she?
You know Conan, at the end of the day, deep down I always knew this was potentially in the cards given her history. But ... I certainly thought I'd see it coming and that we would be able to mitigate. At least that would have been my intention. I couldn't have imagined that hers was 'Get out, quick, and quiet.'

Honestly, just the degree of how utterly bizarre this played out has contributed to my ability to not feel compelled to fix, address, or define any of it. I'm sure she has her narrative for her friends and family of why she needed to do this, I just can't imagine what it is; unless it is as simple as the likely truth - she just couldn't handle it.

Frankly part of me feels sad for her. I'm sure everybody knows someone who will go on and on about how they want love, passion, and commitment in a long term relationship. But the simple reality is that they are also incapable of pulling it off.

If I find out that in fact I was an absolute and complete sucker, and that there is someone else, I'll certainly disclose that too. And if there is, I really need to reevaluate my instincts or her capacity for duplicity. But again, no intention on my part to waste a lot of energy trying to figure that out. Infidelity on her part was never a factor in her previous marriages. I always teased that disclosure out while just in the dating process, and she was no exception.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@Deejo

I have known you for forever, and I am sad that your marriage is ending like this...but at the same time I'm glad that you are seeing it realistically and clearly. It's too bad she is a person who isn't capable of a long-term, intimate relationship, but it certainly does look like that's the case.

Regarding the firearm, first I'll just say that I am a shooter myself and enjoy it both as a sport and as an exercise of my second amendment rights. But I do understand people who are hesitant to have a gun in the house and overall think that two mature adults could reach some agreement that was mutually acceptable.

Regarding the reduction of libido/lack of sex, well you made it clear from the beginning you would not be in a sexless relationship. Now, I'm a "woman of a certain age" and I can attest that "horniness" changes with perimenopause and menopause--but to my mind, the desire to be close, to be intimate, to be connected with another does not. I mean, yeah, the urge and itch isn't as demanding, but the wish to be deeply and closely connected on all levels? That doesn't go away ever!

So I am sorry that you are discovering this after two years, but I'm proud of you for the way you're handling it. This has little or nothing to do with you and is 100% her and her issues that she hasn't faced. You are collateral damage. Nonetheless, it is still a loss and it still hurts, and for that, I am truly sorry.
You know AC, at the time she brought up the sex bit, and I actually hope to explore this on the board; we had already NOT been intimate for about 2 months, and I was fine with it. She was doing hormone replacement, and had experienced vaginal soreness, without us having any kind of sex. I hadn't given so much as a whiff of a complaint. I was fine. But ... I believe the fact that we hadn't had sex for some time was weighing on HER. She felt guilty, or anxious, or whatever ... and it manifested as resentment against me, despite the fact that I was not complaining about frequency. It was odd, and given that this has now happened to me twice ... really has me wondering if this happens in other relationships, or I'm doing something really, really wrong.
 

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You know Conan, at the end of the day, deep down I always knew this was potentially in the cards given her history. But ... I certainly thought I'd see it coming and that we would be able to mitigate. At least that would have been my intention. I couldn't have imagined that hers was 'Get out, quick, and quiet.'

Honestly, just the degree of how utterly bizarre this played out has contributed to my ability to not feel compelled to fix, address, or define any of it. I'm sure she has her narrative for her friends and family of why she needed to do this, I just can't imagine what it is; unless it is as simple as the likely truth - she just couldn't handle it.

Frankly part of me feels sad for her. I'm sure everybody knows someone who will go on and on about how they want love, passion, and commitment in a long term relationship. But the simple reality is that they are also incapable of pulling it off.

If I find out that in fact I was an absolute and complete sucker, and that there is someone else, I'll certainly disclose that too. And if there is, I really need to reevaluate my instincts or her capacity for duplicity. But again, no intention on my part to waste a lot of energy trying to figure that out. Infidelity on her part was never a factor in her previous marriages. I always teased that disclosure out while just in the dating process, and she was no exception.
I concur with your assessment about infidelity.

Nothing surprises me much anymore but her pattern is simply that of an inability to grow in a LTR.
 

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What has happened to you twice? Wives leaving the marriages?

It was odd, and given that this has now happened to me twice ... really has me wondering if this happens in other relationships, or I'm doing something really, really wrong.
 

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Wow, Deejo. Just, wow. You are #4? Holy cow batman, lots of baggage right there.

I understand the MEM clause... never had to use it, don't know if I could go that route. I agree, in your spot, it's clear you need to cut to the quick. Unilateral decisions involving a poor outcome for the other party can't be negotiable.

Best
 

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I am sorry deejo, but you did say you dont know why it is happening and then proceed to tell us why.
The two things that struck me immediately were 1) your threats to cheat, very wrong and not cool, and 2) wanting to shoot for sport. I am not sure if thats shooting targets or animals but if its the later then I couldnt live with a man who did that, and there is no way that I would agree to have a gun in the house either. Thats just me, and yet you didnt listen to her when she expressed those concerns.
Having said that ,she clearly has her own issues as well, not wanting sex was not easy for you, but from what you said you are not blame free. Maybe you just were never suited. Marrying someone who has already been married 3 times and none of them lasting more than a year was a MASSIVE risk, statistically the marriage had almost no chance of working. I have no idea why you thought it was a good idea, it was actually inevitable going by her past history.
 

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The only thing I thought about with another person in her life, if she played in a band, she may have met someone through THAT path (although with Covid shutdowns, probably has NOT been playing out since March, no?)
Very sorry that you had this happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What has happened to you twice? Wives leaving the marriages?
Hey MM, both of my spouses went cold on sex. I've posted a lot previously, my first wife developed a full blown aversion to me. She would get anxious presuming I was going to pursue sex if I so much as reached out to hold her hand.

Wife2 never had any hang ups about sex at all. Things changed after menopause ... which I fully accepted and understood. Did we need to be intimate 3x a week? No. Was I going to be ok with being intimate bi-monthly? Nope. But I never hounded her over this. We had discussed it a few times, and I believe by virtue of those discussions she knew it was important to me, but really didn't want what I wanted, felt anxious and guilty about that fact, and turned it on me.

All supposition on my part of course. I'm open to other interpretations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The only thing I thought about with another person in her life, if she played in a band, she may have met someone through THAT path (although with Covid shutdowns, probably has NOT been playing out since March, no?)
Very sorry that you had this happen.
Last gig was in late February, and there were literally about 7 people in the bar. So yeah, band pulled the plug at that time. She misses it. Definitely was an outlet for her no doubt. But I was at most of the gigs, and she has otherwise always been respectful in her dealings with her admirers, or would smile and throw her arms around me and give me a kiss when I'd approach to clearly send the signal she wasn't available.
 

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What's funny, not haha funny mind you, is Mrs. Conan and I have a fiery relationship with heated arguments too numerous to count. We also make each other laugh really hard and are passionate and affectionate every day.

Maybe her lack of ability to have a confrontation and work through issues contributed?

Easier for her to run away than work through unpleasant disagreements?
 
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