Prevent Your Divorce: The Walk Away Wife Syndrome

Prevent your divorce; don’t fall victim to the walk-away wife syndrome.

The Walkaway wife makes plans to leave her marriage well in advance of actually filing for divorce. Michele Weiner-Davis explains this process, including the wife’s preparation, timing, emotions, etc.  Most importantly, she offers methods for how you can prevent your wife from walking away from you. Men need to know that it’s not too late to prevent their divorce, but that it’s easier to save your marriage if you stop the problem early on.  Husbands, either way, pass this video onto your wife so they can avoid making the mistake of a lifetime.

Full Transcript:

Did you know that two thirds that are filed in our country are filed for by women. I think I know why: The Walk Away Wife

In the early years of marriage, women seem to be the ones who are the relationship care takers. We’re the ones who are looking at our love watches. “Have we spent enough time together?” “Have we talked enough?” “Are we close enough?” And if the answer is yes, all is right in the world. But if she thinks that the relationship isn’t connected enough, she will pursue her partner for more emotional closeness, more time, more talking. And if he does that, then great, but if he doesn’t, her complaints will spill over into every other aspect of their lives. She’ll be telling him, “you’re not a good bread winner. You’re not there for the kids. I feel like I’m a single parent. You’re such a slob.” I’ve never met a man, when his wife complains, he wants to spend more time with her. So he goes off into a further direction away from her, and when that happens, she says to herself, “I am going to get out of this marriage.” She plans her exit strategy.

With every woman it’s a little bit different, but her exit strategy can take months, even years for her to implement. It’s often when the youngest graduates from high school, or she goes back to get some training so she can support herself in a new higher paying job, or maybe it’s when she meets a new man who can woo her or court her away from her marriage. In any case, while the plan is being implemented, she isn’t saying anything to her husband, meaning she isn’t complaining anymore. And when she isn’t complaining any more, guess what he’s thinking, “everything is okay!” So he goes on with business as usual, until D-Day comes. She says, “I want a divorce.” You know what he says, “I had no idea you were unhappy, why didn’t you tell me?” And when she hears him utter these, it almost nails the marital coffin shut, because she cannot fathom how in the world this guy doesn’t know she has been unhappy for so long when she thinks she has been doing everything to get through to him. When a woman thinks that she has done everything to get through to her husband, what it really means is that she’s said everything to get through to her husband. Very often women rely on words rather than actions to get through to their men. And so when she announces that she’s getting a divorce and she’s already been to see a divorce attorney, guess what, that’s an action. And for the very first time her husband really gets what’s in her heart and in her head, she’s leaving. Now the really heart breaking part about all of this, this is the first time when so many men realize how much their wives mean to them, how much their kids mean to them, how much they want to keep their families together, and they will do absolutely anything to make that happen. So what are they doing? They’re calling marriage counselors, they’re going to marriage seminars, they’re going to bookstores and buying every self help book imaginable, which is good for book sales for me. They even go back to church and temple. Men develop male friendships and talk about their feelings, something that they almost never do. They are totally changed people. Now often times their wives see these changes in them, but you know what they think, “too little too late. Where were you when I needed you.” Or sometimes they think, “I don’t really trust that, if I let my guard down, we’ll be back to square one in a week or two.”

What I want to say to women is that when these men finally understand the importance of marriage and family, they are making profound real changes. They are transforming themselves into the husbands you’ve wanted them to be. If you do get a divorce, they’re going to make someone a really great second husband. They’ve gone to school on your relationship. Don’t leave now. You’ve finally gotten through to your man, because you’ve taken an action.

What I want to say to if you’re a man listening to this, two things. One, these women have been building a wall around themselves. I call them the walk away wives. It’s to prevent hurt, it’s hard to crack the veneer of those walls, so prevention is the most important thing. In terms of prevention, spend time with your wives. Talk to your wives. When they’re asking for more emotional closeness, heed their urning. If you don’t you’ll find yourself really wondering “what am I going to do next,” when your wife is walking out the door.

The second I want to tell you if you’re a man watching this, it’s never too late. Even if your wife says it’s over, it’s not over until it’s over. Even as I say that, I want you to know, 10 percent of the people who divorce actually end up remarrying each other. So if you’re feeling desperate because your wife has just said that “I love you, but I’m not in love with you anymore,” or if she said, “it’s over and I don’t care what you do, just stay away,” don’t give up hope. There really is a way for you to turn things and to get that walk away wife to start walking back to you and to your marriage.

About mwd27

Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW is an internationally renowned relationship expert, best-selling author, marriage therapist, and professional speaker who specializes in helping people change their lives and improve important relationships. Among the first in her field to courageously speak out about the pitfalls of unnecessary divorce, Michele has been active in spearheading the now popular movement urging couples to make their marriages work and keep their families together. She is the author of seven books including her best-selling books, DIVORCE BUSTING: A Step-by-Step Approach to Making Your Marriage Loving Again, and THE SEX-STARVED MARRIAGE: A Couple's Guide to Boosting Their Marriage Libido. Michele's work has been featured in major newspapers such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and magazines such as Time, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Essence, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Woman's Day, Men's Health, New Woman, and McCall's. Michele is a marriage expert on Redbook's advisory board, and She has made countless media appearances on shows such as Oprah, 48 Hours, 20/20, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News, CNN, and Bill O'Reilly. Michele's Keeping Love Alive program aired on PBS stations nationwide. She recently completed a reality based show for the BBC about helping couples save their marriages. Michele maintains that her true expertise in helping couples have great relationships is derived from first-hand experience. She and her husband have been married for more than thirty years.
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  • Susan Christy

    What about the walk away husband? A lot of this sounds like what my husband did! He didn’t get emotional n want to talk. He complained about stuff, was angry at me as well as kids and the last few months he got quiet stopped complaining n I thought WOW we are finally getting along everything is alright! Then I got the speech after I noticed changes in his behavior. I had to pull it out of him! He was going to wait to tell me after our daughters graduation from college. He wouldn’t say I love you or hug me anymore. We seperated n after two months he decided he was the happiest he’s been in a long time. He said he was filing for divorce n he did right away. My heart is broken but I’ve managed to move on after being w/ this man for 30 years. I’ve been learning about myself n learning to love myself n going to church n going out with friends! No more controlling husband I’m my own person! I will be a wonderful spouse to a new non controlling man who loves me for who I am now n what I look like!

  • Richard

    This describes my wife and me perfectly.u00a0 Two weeks ago she said she’s done, loves me but isn’t in love with me, and doesn’t want to pursue counseling unless it’s to figure out how to break it to the kids (5 and 8 years old).u00a0 Ironically, we’re still each other’s best friend, we’re getting along great (still living in the house together).u00a0 She said all of the great stuff we had together was real, but that in order to feel those good feelings she had to ignore all the resentment and pain she’s felt for years as a result of not getting some of her emotional needs met, and she just can’t ignore that pain and resentment anymore.u00a0 Do I show her this video, to let her know there is some hope?u00a0 As of now, I’ve told her I don’t think we should split but that I understand why she feels the way she does.u00a0 I told her I’m prepared to let her go when she’s ready, but that in the meantime I’ll just continue being the best father, husband, and person I can be.u00a0 She says she’s seeing the changes she always wanted to see, but she feels like they’ve come too late.

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  • lola

    What happened, Richard? Did you guys make it? I’m thinking of leaving my husband and starting to shut off emotionally and stop complaining, etc. In spite of that, I’m rooting for you, a stranger on the internet 6 years in the future. I hope you all made it.

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