Divorcebusting.com

Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T"

Posted By: tom_h

Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 08/27/20 02:53 AM

Michele's analysis about the "Walkaway Wife Syndrome" fits my situation to a "T". Three days before our 32nd wedding anniversary, with a beautiful home and three well-raised children all at college age or beyond, my wife filed for divorce. Out of the blue.

There had not a peep prior. We had not gone to marriage counseling. She had not once said our marriage was in trouble. There had been tense times, to be sure, and I had undergone some very unique stresses for a few years from my biological family. But there was no significant issue, at least on the surface. I don't drink to excess, don't take drugs, don't gamble, have no addictive behaviors, and didn't womanize. I loved my wife openly and clearly, had long made it a habit of telling the children that "Mom is the love of my life."

She has hardly spoken to me since the filing 11 months ago last September. We have seen each other in person a mere three times. She has refused to talk, which hurts even more, because the "why" still makes me weep. I have a feeling that she is not talking because she doesn't want to take a chance that her will to divorce will weaken. For years she said we didn't communicate very well, yet after suffering in silence for years, she is committing that very same offense -- not talking.

I am a tender-hearted man. I still can't sleep more than 4 hours a night without sleeping pills. I had a heart arrhythmia which turned out to be temporary. I had other symptoms of stress such as extreme nighttime sweats.

We are (were) a Christian couple. The Bible says that marriage is made in heaven and we are commanded to try and make it work. The bible also says that if you are in conflict with another person of faith, and feel you can't communicate with that individual, you must find a third party who will help intercede. She did none of this.

So I'm trying to pick up the pieces. How do you take apart a home that has so many wonderful family memories? How do you subdivide possessions in a house that is the only home our three children even knew? How do you accept what is the ultimate rejection of you -- a woman who looks you in the eye (via an attorney) and says, "after knowing you for 34 years, 32 as your wife, I don't love you anymore and do not want to spend another hour with you"? How do you accept the death sentence administered to your marriage?

If there is any consolation to all of this, it's that Michele says that men in my situation make great second husbands. Because once we got to rock bottom we would do anything to save our marriages and be better men. She also says that marriages in this situation can be turned around if the woman is willing to talk for the first time. Sadly, that is not my situation. So I suppose it will be another woman who will benefit from Tom version 2.0.

Sigh. I would look forward to talking here on the forum with anyone and everyone. Men who are in the same situation. Women who walked away from their husbands. Anyone with a tender heart and a perspective. Thank you.
Posted By: Cadet

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 08/27/20 12:13 PM

Welcome to the board

Sorry you are here but you will meet some wonderful people here and get some great advice.

Yes first thing you should do is be sure to read the Divorce Remedy (DR) book by MWD
http://www.mcssl.com/store/mwdtc2014/
http://divorcebusting.com/sample_book_chapters.htm

and Michele's articles
http://www.divorcebusting.com/articles.htm

You may be on moderation now, post in small frequent replies and stay on this thread until you reach 100 posts
(for your thread, you can also post on other peoples threads to give support).
Especially on this Newcomers forum, where the posting activity is very active,
and your posts can quickly fall to the bottom of the page or even several pages down.
Keep journaling and asking questions - people will come!
Most important - POST!

Get out and Get a Life (GAL).

DETACH.

Believe none of what he or she says and half of what he/she does.

Have NO EXPECTATIONS.

Take care of yourself, breathe, eat, sleep, exercise.

Take the parts of this advice that you need and don't worry if I have repeated something that you have already done.

Here are a few links to threads that will help you immensely:

I would start with Sandi's Rules
A list of dos and don'ts for the LBS (left behind spouse)
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2553072#Post2553072

Going Dark
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=50956#Post5095

Detachment thread
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2538414#Post2538414

Validation Cheat Sheet: Techniques and tips on how to validate (showing your walk away spouse (WAS) that you recognize and accept his or her opinions as valid, even if you do not agree with them)
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2457566#Post2457566

Boundaries Cheat Sheet
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2536096#Post2536096

Abbreviations
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2553153#Post2553153

For Newcomer LBH with a Wayward Wife by sandi2
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2545554#Post2545554

Resource thread
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forum...ain=57819&Number=2578224#Post2578224

Stages of the LBS
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1964990&page=1

Validation
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=191764#Post191764

Pursuit and Distance
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2483574#Post2483574

The Lighthouse Story
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2484619#Post2484619

Your H or W is giving you a GIFT.
THE GIFT OF TIME.
USE it wisely.

Knowledge is Power - Sir Francis Bacon
Posted By: Cadet

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 08/27/20 12:14 PM

My suggestion is that I should move this thread to newcomers so you will get more responses.

Let me know that you understand this.
Posted By: job

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 08/27/20 05:18 PM

I agree w/Cadet. You would get more support if this thread was moved to the Newcomers Forum.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/09/20 12:01 AM

Originally Posted by Cadet
My suggestion is that I should move this thread to newcomers so you will get more responses.

Let me know that you understand this.


Of course, do whatever you think is best.

And i will begin posting elsewhere, as advised above.
Posted By: job

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/09/20 02:31 PM

Welcome to the Newcomers Forum!
Posted By: Cadet

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/09/20 02:46 PM

Just keep POSTING and one other bit of advice from Wonka
that I totally agree with.

Originally Posted by Wonka
Get DR/DB book. Keep this to yourself. DO NOT share this book or this site at all with your spouse. It is your playbook and not to be shared with the "opposing" team.

It is important to clear the search/browsing history from your computer on a daily basis to prevent the possibility for your WAS to stumble on the DB site and discover your posts here on DB. Erasing the search history will protect your posts and you as well.

We have seen too many Marriages blow up in pieces after the WAS discovers the DB site or DR book. Why is that? It is because the WAS thinks, erroneously I might add, that you are "manipulating" them back into the M.

Keep the DR book and DB site very close to your vest.
Posted By: ovrrnbw

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/09/20 05:54 PM

Hey,

sorry you're here.

Quote
She has hardly spoken to me since the filing 11 months ago last September. We have seen each other in person a mere three times. She has refused to talk, which hurts even more, because the "why" still makes me weep. I have a feeling that she is not talking because she doesn't want to take a chance that her will to divorce will weaken. For years she said we didn't communicate very well, yet after suffering in silence for years, she is committing that very same offense -- not talking.


I would let go of this. It is out of your control which means it should be indifferent to you. Use this type of judgment in all areas of your life.

Quote
We are (were) a Christian couple. The Bible says that marriage is made in heaven and we are commanded to try and make it work. The bible also says that if you are in conflict with another person of faith, and feel you can't communicate with that individual, you must find a third party who will help intercede. She did none of this.


Lots of LBS's turn to religion after BD. It smells of manipulation. People of faith forego third party help every day, outside of marriage even. But again, this is out of your control...

Did she commit to forever and go back on that commitment? Yes. Accept it. Move on and focus on how you can make your life great again.

Quote
So I'm trying to pick up the pieces. How do you take apart a home that has so many wonderful family memories? How do you subdivide possessions in a house that is the only home our three children even knew? How do you accept what is the ultimate rejection of you -- a woman who looks you in the eye (via an attorney) and says, "after knowing you for 34 years, 32 as your wife, I don't love you anymore and do not want to spend another hour with you"? How do you accept the death sentence administered to your marriage?


You do it as a person in control of oneself, with as much dignity and respect as possible. You accept her decision, give her the gift of love and listen to her. You also realize that it is not a death sentence. It can be a ticket to a growth, fun, and freedom - should you decide it.

Why are you unable to sleep, in your opinion?
Posted By: LH19

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/09/20 05:58 PM

Tommy,

I am sorry you are here but have come to the right place.

I don't know if you are familiar with the term "Grey Divorce" but the over 50 age group divorces have skyrocketed over the previous decade. It seems many people especially women wait until their children leave the nest and file for divorce.

You like most men think that because you provided, had no affairs or abuse that is a ticket to "happy ever after". They make have worked in our parent's day but is no longer the case anymore. There is so much more to attraction and keeping the relationship alive then most men have a clue about.

We are here to help and answer many questions you might have. My first question to you is as far as you know is there another man involved? Roughly 90% of the time this is the case.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/09/20 08:44 PM

Originally Posted by LH19
We are here to help and answer many questions you might have. My first question to you is as far as you know is there another man involved? Roughly 90% of the time this is the case.


I can't be certain but it appears there was no other man involved, at least up front. My ex is very traditional, an affair to her would have been a huge stretch; had I had an affair she would have filed for divorce, whether after 1 year or 32. And, while she refused to talk with me, she did send messages through two friends, during that first 60 days, that there was no other man.

However, it would not surprise me if -- during her decision process to divorce me without warning -- she had met a man who caught her fancy, and perhaps charmed her without either a date. This would have convinced her that life could be better if she left me, she perhaps could find a Prince Charming.

It's been nearly a year, it would not surprise me if she was already dating now, though. She is an attractive 60-year old who looks much younger than her years and is still slender. She will have read all the advice that recommends moving on and distracting yourself with new adventures and new relationships.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/09/20 08:46 PM

Quote

Why are you unable to sleep, in your opinion?

Why? Stress. Rejection. Just the usual. It's better now although in the past I was able to sleep 6-8 hours at the drop of a hat, now I can barely get through 4 without a sleeping pill.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/09/20 08:56 PM

Originally Posted by Cadet
Just keep POSTING and one other bit of advice from Wonka
that I totally agree with.

Originally Posted by Wonka
Get DR/DB book. Keep this to yourself. DO NOT share this book or this site at all with your spouse. It is your playbook and not to be shared with the "opposing" team.

It is important to clear the search/browsing history from your computer on a daily basis to prevent the possibility for your WAS to stumble on the DB site and discover your posts here on DB. Erasing the search history will protect your posts and you as well.

We have seen too many Marriages blow up in pieces after the WAS discovers the DB site or DR book. Why is that? It is because the WAS thinks, erroneously I might add, that you are "manipulating" them back into the M.

Keep the DR book and DB site very close to your vest.

Thanks for this advice. But she has been gone for nearly a year (I just found the DB site a couple weeks ago). So I''m not worried about her looking at my search history; she's been out of the house all this time. She might already be a member here at DB, but ... I guess I can't worry about that!

But since I consider the possibility of salvaging my marriage to be hopeless, I guess I need to know which book will be most valuable. To quote Michele, I will make some woman a great second husband, and I'd like to know which book will be most helpful in teaching me the lessons I need to learn.
Posted By: Rose888

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/09/20 11:34 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h


There had not a peep prior. We had not gone to marriage counseling. She had not once said our marriage was in trouble. There had been tense times, to be sure, and I had undergone some very unique stresses for a few years from my biological family. But there was no significant issue, at least on the surface. I don't drink to excess, don't take drugs, don't gamble, have no addictive behaviors, and didn't womanize. I loved my wife openly and clearly, had long made it a habit of telling the children that "Mom is the love of my life."

She has hardly spoken to me since the filing 11 months ago last September. We have seen each other in person a mere three times. She has refused to talk, which hurts even more, because the "why" still makes me weep. I have a feeling that she is not talking because she doesn't want to take a chance that her will to divorce will weaken. For years she said we didn't communicate very well, yet after suffering in silence for years, she is committing that very same offense -- not talking.



I'm sorry you are in this situation.

The two statements I put in bold seem to contradict each other. Not communicating well is a significant issue. Have you considered that your wife might not be talking because she has given up trying to communicate with you?

Do you have any specifics of what your wife felt was not working in the communication between the two of you? You mentioned wanting to improve yourself for your next relationship. Given what you've shared here, I would start with exploring what was wrong with the communication in your marriage--thinking from your wife's perspective as much as you can--and learning better communication habits.

Also, have you read up on the Five Love Languages? What is your love language? What is your wife's?
Posted By: Steve85

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/10/20 01:24 AM

Tom, welcome to the forum. There is no don't about it, these things are stressful and extremely difficult. You are still struggling after a nearly a year. Because it is so difficult. I talk to LBS all the time, and while limbo (the state between being divorce bombed and the situation finally being resolved) with an IHS is difficult, I think those that are left immediately and have a very obstinate spouse who refuses to even talk is worse. So I know what you've been through has been awful.

You're going to be alright, and you'll even be better than ever! You mention your Christian faith, now is the time to lean on it. You seem knowledgeable of the Bible. So you probably know Romans 8:28. This will all work out for the best. Believe it!
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/10/20 04:45 PM

Originally Posted by Steve85
Tom, welcome to the forum. There is no don't about it, these things are stressful and extremely difficult. You are still struggling after a nearly a year. Because it is so difficult. I talk to LBS all the time, and while limbo (the state between being divorce bombed and the situation finally being resolved) with an IHS is difficult, I think those that are left immediately and have a very obstinate spouse who refuses to even talk is worse. So I know what you've been through has been awful.

You're going to be alright, and you'll even be better than ever! You mention your Christian faith, now is the time to lean on it. You seem knowledgeable of the Bible. So you probably know Romans 8:28. This will all work out for the best. Believe it!

Thank you for the pep talk and words of advice. I'm aware of the passage in Romans but I've been using Philippians 4:13 for the past year.

And yes, I appreciate your insight. The hardest thing was that she refused to talk. After all those years!

For one, I think she was afraid I would talk over her, which was a legitimate concern of hers -- before the divorce filing. Yes, I was the dominant male and no doubt that is one thing that she wanted and loved at first but rebelled against after so many years. The second reason she wouldn't talk -- I'm guessing here -- is that she knows she doesn't have a good answer to why she didn't try to work things out years ago; why she didn't do the decent and proper thing and get us into counseling; why she wasn't honest and open and tell me at least once that "our marriage isn't working out."

All I thought about those first 2 months -- when I wasn't thinking that it can't be true -- was talking with her. So yes the pain was excruciating.

So I do have a question -- one bit of advice I received, from a fellow who had been married a couple times, is that the divorced couple should still go into couples therapy, even after the divorce is final, because that is the only way you learn what you yourself did wrong from the other gender's perspective. Sure, we might be in therapy ourselves, but only the biased perspective is discussed. It takes the other side's view, even if it's hard to listen, to understand how we impact others. So ... even though my ex won't talk now, should I try and convince her to go into therapy once the divorce is final?
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/10/20 04:59 PM

Originally Posted by Rose888
Originally Posted by tom_h


There had not a peep prior. We had not gone to marriage counseling. She had not once said our marriage was in trouble. There had been tense times, to be sure, and I had undergone some very unique stresses for a few years from my biological family. But there was no significant issue, at least on the surface. I don't drink to excess, don't take drugs, don't gamble, have no addictive behaviors, and didn't womanize. I loved my wife openly and clearly, had long made it a habit of telling the children that "Mom is the love of my life."

She has hardly spoken to me since the filing 11 months ago last September. We have seen each other in person a mere three times. She has refused to talk, which hurts even more, because the "why" still makes me weep. I have a feeling that she is not talking because she doesn't want to take a chance that her will to divorce will weaken. For years she said we didn't communicate very well, yet after suffering in silence for years, she is committing that very same offense -- not talking.



I'm sorry you are in this situation.

The two statements I put in bold seem to contradict each other. Not communicating well is a significant issue. Have you considered that your wife might not be talking because she has given up trying to communicate with you?

Do you have any specifics of what your wife felt was not working in the communication between the two of you? You mentioned wanting to improve yourself for your next relationship. Given what you've shared here, I would start with exploring what was wrong with the communication in your marriage--thinking from your wife's perspective as much as you can--and learning better communication habits.

Also, have you read up on the Five Love Languages? What is your love language? What is your wife's?


Well, this could be a long answer, but let's address only one thing now, the matter of love languages. I have no doubt that she will claim that I was either deliberately, or unwittingly, dismissive of her love languages. But that cuts both ways. She would be so mired in her pain that she would not realize that she was clueless about mine as well.

Yes, our marriage was muddling along but when we took our vows 30 years ago we both took those vows seriously, e.g., "for better and for worse" and "for richer and for poorer" and especially, "til death do you part." So I never, ever thought she would walk out. I would have never done it myself, either.

Yet ... had she told me a year prior, or 5 years prior, that our marriage was in trouble I would have done anything to keep it. Truly anything. As Michele said in one of her columns, when the beloved wife walks out, or is a few minutes from doing such, the husband is truly at the lowest ebb in his life and CAN make the changes that his wife thinks are impossible.

I didn't tell you what the love languages are yet ... I thought you might want to comment on the above first.
Posted By: LH19

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/10/20 05:08 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h
And yes, I appreciate your insight. The hardest thing was that she refused to talk. After all those years!

So you make this statement but then you kind of answer it below.
Originally Posted by tom_h
For one, I think she was afraid I would talk over her, which was a legitimate concern of hers -- before the divorce filing.

This is more then likely why she didn't want to discuss it with you.
Originally Posted by tom_h
Yes, I was the dominant male and no doubt that is one thing that she wanted and loved at first but rebelled against after so many years.

What is your definition of a dominant male? Why do you think she rebelled after so many years?
Originally Posted by tom_h
The second reason she wouldn't talk -- I'm guessing here -- is that she knows she doesn't have a good answer to why she didn't try to work things out years ago; why she didn't do the decent and proper thing and get us into counseling; why she wasn't honest and open and tell me at least once that "our marriage isn't working out."

Why was it her job to get you in counseling? Odds are if she wasn't happy you weren't happy either. My guess is she gave you hints but you didn't hear her.
Originally Posted by tom_h
So ... even though my ex won't talk now, should I try and convince her to go into therapy once the divorce is final?

For what purpose? If you do some reading you will understand what you did wrong in the marriage.

Tommy for us to help you we need to understand more the dynamic of your marriage.
Posted By: Rose888

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/10/20 06:11 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h


Well, this could be a long answer, but let's address only one thing now, the matter of love languages. I have no doubt that she will claim that I was either deliberately, or unwittingly, dismissive of her love languages. But that cuts both ways. She would be so mired in her pain that she would not realize that she was clueless about mine as well.

Yes, our marriage was muddling along but when we took our vows 30 years ago we both took those vows seriously, e.g., "for better and for worse" and "for richer and for poorer" and especially, "til death do you part." So I never, ever thought she would walk out. I would have never done it myself, either.

Yet ... had she told me a year prior, or 5 years prior, that our marriage was in trouble I would have done anything to keep it. Truly anything. As Michele said in one of her columns, when the beloved wife walks out, or is a few minutes from doing such, the husband is truly at the lowest ebb in his life and CAN make the changes that his wife thinks are impossible.

I didn't tell you what the love languages are yet ... I thought you might want to comment on the above first.


It sounds like you are more interested in blaming your wife than addressing your contribution to the breakdown of your marriage and your weaknesses as a partner.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/11/20 08:30 AM

Originally Posted by Rose888
Originally Posted by tom_h


Well, this could be a long answer, but let's address only one thing now, the matter of love languages. I have no doubt that she will claim that I was either deliberately, or unwittingly, dismissive of her love languages. But that cuts both ways. She would be so mired in her pain that she would not realize that she was clueless about mine as well.

Yes, our marriage was muddling along but when we took our vows 30 years ago we both took those vows seriously, e.g., "for better and for worse" and "for richer and for poorer" and especially, "til death do you part." So I never, ever thought she would walk out. I would have never done it myself, either.

Yet ... had she told me a year prior, or 5 years prior, that our marriage was in trouble I would have done anything to keep it. Truly anything. As Michele said in one of her columns, when the beloved wife walks out, or is a few minutes from doing such, the husband is truly at the lowest ebb in his life and CAN make the changes that his wife thinks are impossible.

I didn't tell you what the love languages are yet ... I thought you might want to comment on the above first.


It sounds like you are more interested in blaming your wife than addressing your contribution to the breakdown of your marriage and your weaknesses as a partner.

Whoa, you guys and gals are a rough crowd.

I got a sense that this forum is meant to help others, and that help can come in a couple of different flavors. There is the kind of "help" where others will listen and be a new friend to others in grief; then there is the kind of "help" where others try to analyze you and fix your problems.

I don't think I'm ready for the latter here. I'm in therapy now and my counselor and I have been working on fixing me for 11 months. I can relate some of that, in time. But for now, on this forum, I think I need the former. The friend who listens. I'm hoping to find other men, like me, whose wives walked out and left them adrift, and who can provide some insight into the why and what to do. Also, I'd hope to hear from some wives who walked out on their man, and can give me some perspective as well. I'll get to analyzing what I did wrong eventually, I have lots of personal insights.

Does that make sense?
Posted By: LH19

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/11/20 08:55 AM

T,

I was trying to give you the why and the what to do by asking questions.

The why is because she was unhappy likely built up tons of resentment over the years. I've read once it takes seven positive interactions with your W to offset one negative interaction.

The what to do. Give her time and space and go out and live an amazing life.

It's literally that simple yet everyone here including myself early on doesn't get it.
Posted By: BenB

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/11/20 11:23 AM

If I were you, I would be grateful for anyone taking their time to offer any advice here. Yes, often times it might sound harsh but the advice I've gotten here is worth more than years and years of any therapy. No one here says things to be mean, we have all suffered in similar ways as you and today I am very happy for the veterans here posting on my thread and pointing out my sometimes ridiculous behaviour.

It has made me a better man. I've met therapists that only listen and that may help a little bit but this is just as much therapy for me. Group therapy you could call it.
Posted By: Mumin

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/11/20 12:19 PM

I view this place as a mix of group therapy and talking to the wise at a fireside.
Sometimes the group gives u a huge 2x4 and it might hurt but +90% of the time it's precisely what you need to hear but no one else dares to say.
Posted By: Rose888

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/11/20 01:51 PM

I donít want to analyze you. I want you to analyze yourself. And this is rooted in my core believe that we only have control over ourselves, and that the core principle in Divorce Busting is that one partnerís changes can change the relationship.

But I understand if thatís not what you are looking for, and I will leave your thread alone.

Best of luck.
Posted By: Steve85

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/11/20 01:59 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h
Originally Posted by Rose888
Originally Posted by tom_h


Well, this could be a long answer, but let's address only one thing now, the matter of love languages. I have no doubt that she will claim that I was either deliberately, or unwittingly, dismissive of her love languages. But that cuts both ways. She would be so mired in her pain that she would not realize that she was clueless about mine as well.

Yes, our marriage was muddling along but when we took our vows 30 years ago we both took those vows seriously, e.g., "for better and for worse" and "for richer and for poorer" and especially, "til death do you part." So I never, ever thought she would walk out. I would have never done it myself, either.

Yet ... had she told me a year prior, or 5 years prior, that our marriage was in trouble I would have done anything to keep it. Truly anything. As Michele said in one of her columns, when the beloved wife walks out, or is a few minutes from doing such, the husband is truly at the lowest ebb in his life and CAN make the changes that his wife thinks are impossible.

I didn't tell you what the love languages are yet ... I thought you might want to comment on the above first.


It sounds like you are more interested in blaming your wife than addressing your contribution to the breakdown of your marriage and your weaknesses as a partner.

Whoa, you guys and gals are a rough crowd.

I got a sense that this forum is meant to help others, and that help can come in a couple of different flavors. There is the kind of "help" where others will listen and be a new friend to others in grief; then there is the kind of "help" where others try to analyze you and fix your problems.

I don't think I'm ready for the latter here. I'm in therapy now and my counselor and I have been working on fixing me for 11 months. I can relate some of that, in time. But for now, on this forum, I think I need the former. The friend who listens. I'm hoping to find other men, like me, whose wives walked out and left them adrift, and who can provide some insight into the why and what to do. Also, I'd hope to hear from some wives who walked out on their man, and can give me some perspective as well. I'll get to analyzing what I did wrong eventually, I have lots of personal insights.

Does that make sense?




Tom, as a man whose W was in an EA and had said she was leaving, but never did, what I can tell you is that the support I got here, the advice, and yes, even the whacks across the knuckles were all invaluable to me and my mental health. One of the things this forum fights against is the victimhood dynamic. You've had 11 months to feel bad for yourself, but victimhood is something that will keep you stuck and not moving forward. This forum is about empowerment. It's about looking forward to becoming the best tom_h that you can be. Your W may come back one day. She may never come back. What you have is the choice to let her choice define you, or you can decide that no one....not even her, will cause you to live anything less than your best life! So yes, this forum can sometimes sting with the insights and analysis. But I can truly tell you, as someone that came to this forum looking for the magic bullet to fix my situation, that the 2x4s I got are why I'm still standing today. And I would have stood even if my W had followed through on her original plan to leave.

So tom, what are your hoping for here? Because if you came here to find out how to get your W to talk to you I'm afraid you may be disappointed. There is only one person that can make her talk to you...and that is her.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/11/20 04:26 PM

OK. I got a lot of replies and I'm thankful for all of them. Don't mistake things, I'm not especially fragile anymore, especially given the lapse of time. So Rose888, I don't want you to leave! But a number of you asked questions from different perspectives, and I don't know where to start and how to keep this thread focused.

Are any of you husbands whose wives walked out, especially without warning? At the moment I would like to hear those stories. Also, are any of you WAWs (or WASes)? Comparing notes would be very helpful to me.

As for what I did wrong, I have a good handle on it. Here's a synopsis. Basically, we grew apart. My ex is a very sweet sensitive woman, who wanted a traditional role and a strong husband. She really got the best of both worlds with me, I am a sensitive and gentle man but also am well-educated and technical and had a good career. But the stresses of being past age 45 really got to her. She was the full-time Mom and homemaker for 15 years, yet when she went back to work (my oldest was entering college and we needed the income) she began resenting me for not pulling my own weight around the house; yet, I was always a traveling man so I wasn't around a lot to do my share of the load. We had never communicated perfectly, yet it had gotten better over time. She will say I didn't attend to her needs, her love languages too, which are acts of service and affirmation. My bad of course. We were in mutual bad patterns, of course, as she didn't attend to my love languages either. As she began pulling back, as many as 10 years ago, our sex life plummeted, so did our touch, which is what I need as a sensual man. She also stopped appreciating me and all the effort I put into supporting the family (I earn far more than she) and being a great Dad to three demanding kids. Also, she was always afraid of, or reluctant to, engage in, sex. We had a heart-to-heart about this maybe 10 years ago, when I told her that about everything she didn't like about me -- grumpiness, curtness, not leaping up to help her with the dishes -- was because I was sex, affection, and affirmation-starved. Oh, she half listened and it was better for maybe a week or so. But she defaulted back to her normal MO soon after. She is not an especially sophisticated person so talking rarely fixes things for her. I know that sounds contrary -- she wanted communication but communication didn't work so well for her -- but it's true.

She would also say she wished I would do, on my own, little things. Like she gets out of the shower and sees that I made the bed. Like I volunteer to go to the grocery store with her. Like I volunteer to decide what to make for dinner, or have dinner ready when she gets home after me. Like I have a sleepless night and she wakes up to find out that, during the quiet hours when I couldn't sleep, I did some laundry. One of the divorce attorneys I spoke with said that my marriage began falling apart 20 years prior, as my ex silently began tallying up these little hurts, one nick at a time. After 32 years there were quite a large number of them! And she no doubt concluded I was beyond hope, that I would never, ever change. [She's wrong there, and Michele's article confirms such.]

We muddled along since then. Our youngest graduated high school in 2018 and frankly I thought we would soon begin to work on our marriage. The marriage wasn't poisoned. As I said in the first post, I don't womanize, I don't have any addictions, I don't gamble or take drugs, I don't waste money on cars or other toys. But I believe now that when that graduation happened, that's when she started planning her exit, an exit she had been contemplating for years. We didn't get anywhere in the marriage from June 2018 onward because she had checked out already. I was waiting for the right time to get away and try and rejuvenate things, she was making arrangements about secret bank accounts, getting counseling on how to divorce your husband in secret, and a whole lot more. D-Day was September 2019.

This is very consistent with Michele's articles about WAWs. That's why I'm here. Her articles were the closest thing to an explanation that I'd heard over 11 months.

If you asked my ex, I expect she might say that I was emotionally abusive; I found evidence that she might have concluded such. So I delved into it with my therapist about 9 months ago. We concluded that I was NOT emotionally abusive. Emotionally abusive men have anger issues, they are paranoid and always read their wife's emails and texts, and they are controlling. That was never the case with me. I never said a cruel word to her, never called her a single name, never said a single critical word to her about her appearance or figure. [I grew up in a broken family where that happened all the time so I was very sensitive to that.] That's a reason why I was so shocked that she served me divorce papers out of the blue.

In summary, what did I do wrong?

Didn't communicate well
Didn't attend to her love languages (yes, she'd told me about them)
From her perspective, wanted sex without the accompanying affection and romance and tenderness
An accumulation of little things over so many years -- e.g., not picking up after myself.

OK, ask away. I'll try and handle all replies.
Posted By: LH19

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/11/20 05:07 PM

Tommy,

There is really nothing to ask. You just described 97% of long term marriages. You weren't meeting her needs so she had no desire to meet yours. The marriage becomes unfulfilling for both parties involved. Usually its just a matter of timing in terms of who pulls the rip cord first.

That's why it's now important to separate the desire for the person, from the desire for resumption of control, stability, in your life. Your brain is telling you that getting W back will restore these things, but it won't.

So ask yourself, what do you want and why do you want it?
Posted By: BenB

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/11/20 05:19 PM

Tom, I can add that you won't find many waw's or ww's posting here. It's usually the LBS who find these forums. But a few exceptions would be if you read the threads and posts from sandi2 or AmyC.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/11/20 05:48 PM

Originally Posted by Rose888
I donít want to analyze you. I want you to analyze yourself. And this is rooted in my core believe that we only have control over ourselves, and that the core principle in Divorce Busting is that one partnerís changes can change the relationship.

But I understand if thatís not what you are looking for, and I will leave your thread alone.

Best of luck.

Rose, I don't want you to bail on this thread (or me), and I posted a long answer that will go some way toward explaining things.
Posted By: Taz

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/11/20 05:49 PM

Tom H,

My BD was coming home to an empty house after a weekend fishing trip about a year ago. The best advice you can get is on this forum from others. There are a handful of great posters here who give great advice. I know that going NC is the way to go. Just make sure that you seek help/advice before doing any thing questionable. In my situation it was working and my W finally reached out a week ago for the first time in a long while. Unfortunately I sent her an email on our anniversary a few days later which was a bad idea. I knew better but put expectations on our previous meeting and made a mistake. Always ask here before doing anything against the DB principles.

Taz
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/11/20 11:57 PM

Originally Posted by Taz
Tom H,

My BD was coming home to an empty house after a weekend fishing trip about a year ago. The best advice you can get is on this forum from others. There are a handful of great posters here who give great advice. I know that going NC is the way to go. Just make sure that you seek help/advice before doing any thing questionable. In my situation it was working and my W finally reached out a week ago for the first time in a long while. Unfortunately I sent her an email on our anniversary a few days later which was a bad idea. I knew better but put expectations on our previous meeting and made a mistake. Always ask here before doing anything against the DB principles.

Taz

Taz, thank you very much for this reply. Can you please tell me what the DB principles are, and whether they apply after the divorce is final, or it is hopeless to expect we get back together? Also, what does NC mean, it's not on the list of abbreviations I have.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/12/20 12:04 AM

Originally Posted by LH19
Tommy,

There is really nothing to ask. You just described 97% of long term marriages. You weren't meeting her needs so she had no desire to meet yours. The marriage becomes unfulfilling for both parties involved. Usually its just a matter of timing in terms of who pulls the rip cord first.

That's why it's now important to separate the desire for the person, from the desire for resumption of control, stability, in your life. Your brain is telling you that getting W back will restore these things, but it won't.

So ask yourself, what do you want and why do you want it?

Actually, I have given up on getting her back. It's been 11.5 months and she has been totally uncommunicative. What I need now, more than ever, is closure. Since she's not talking, I don't get real answers, so the input or perspective of others is most helpful. Michele's walk-away-wife-syndrome was the best thing I've read since D-Day. It explained so much.

What do I want? To be a better second husband to someone else. All humans are made for connection, but as a basically sensitive, vulnerable man, I need it more than others. This close to age 60, I do not want to grow old alone.

I have already been working on communication. Believe me, now I gush communication. My kids know that "all the old rules are gone" and while they are sometimes taken aback they like the new Dad. I talk of my fears and my feelings and it feels good to do so.

I do things to affirm the people I love (basically my kids and a few good friends) as well. My health is fantastic and I don't need to change my diet; but for example, my daughters were urging me to switch from cow milk to oat milk, and I did it just to please them. It worked! They love it! I didn't used to be that way.

It really is too bad. My ex will try and find another man and she will learn that most men are the same. She would have been better off trying out Tom 2.0 for awhile.
Posted By: harvey

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/12/20 01:03 AM

Originally Posted by tom_h
Are any of you husbands whose wives walked out, especially without warning? At the moment I would like to hear those stories. Also, are any of you WAWs (or WASes)? Comparing notes would be very helpful to me.


I think my situation is pretty similar. My XW asked for a divorce out of the blue in the middle of a move across the country. We had already started building a house down south and still had our house to sell up north. In retrospect, the out of the blue was because my XW had given up on the marriage probably a couple of years prior and no longer cared enough about the marriage to invest any emotion into it.

I wasn't a bad guy, bad Dad to our daughters, or even a bad husband. I got complacent after 17 years together. I own that. Whether I "deserved" to get divorced doesn't really matter.

It was very hard. I was divorced less than three months after D-Day. There may have been another guy (her current BF--who she claims she started dating a month after the divorce). Who knows. I can't control that either.

The advice I got here didn't save my marriage, but I don't think anything could have. Once she told me she wanted a divorce, it was full steam ahead. The advice I got here helped me immensely. GAL (get a life), detach (you have little control over the sitch), and 180 (fix the things that need fixing).

My daughters are doing well. My relationship with my XW is cordial. My GF and I just had our one year anniversary. We really complement each other well. She's astonished that my XW divorced me. smile My XW is seemingly doing well also. Life is good.
Posted By: LH19

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/12/20 01:52 AM

T,

Most of us here to get closure because the WWs arenít even really sure of the reason. I know in my situation I heard three different stories from three different people.

If you want to be a better second husband then read up on relationships and understanding women and how they communicate different then men.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/12/20 10:05 AM

Originally Posted by harvey
Originally Posted by tom_h
Are any of you husbands whose wives walked out, especially without warning? At the moment I would like to hear those stories. Also, are any of you WAWs (or WASes)? Comparing notes would be very helpful to me.


I think my situation is pretty similar. My XW asked for a divorce out of the blue in the middle of a move across the country. We had already started building a house down south and still had our house to sell up north. In retrospect, the out of the blue was because my XW had given up on the marriage probably a couple of years prior and no longer cared enough about the marriage to invest any emotion into it.

I wasn't a bad guy, bad Dad to our daughters, or even a bad husband. I got complacent after 17 years together. I own that. Whether I "deserved" to get divorced doesn't really matter.

It was very hard. I was divorced less than three months after D-Day. There may have been another guy (her current BF--who she claims she started dating a month after the divorce). Who knows. I can't control that either.

The advice I got here didn't save my marriage, but I don't think anything could have. Once she told me she wanted a divorce, it was full steam ahead. The advice I got here helped me immensely. GAL (get a life), detach (you have little control over the sitch), and 180 (fix the things that need fixing).

My daughters are doing well. My relationship with my XW is cordial. My GF and I just had our one year anniversary. We really complement each other well. She's astonished that my XW divorced me. smile My XW is seemingly doing well also. Life is good.

harvey, can you give me some info on how you did each of the three -- GAL, detach, and fix what needs fixing? It's been a year and I have some good things happening in my life but I am not recovered from this yet.
Posted By: Vapo

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/14/20 10:11 AM

Greetings Tom,

I am sorry for the reason you found your way here. It is really unfortunate, but on the orher hand you came to the right place to find answers. Most answers wil lcome in due time, there really is no point in forcing anything or getting ahead of yourself.

You said the separation was out of the blue and that your wife gave you no prior warning. I would venture to say that she did and that you just did not pick up on the clues. This to will crystalize in time as hindsight is always 2020.

I also find ti curious you calling yourself a man of faith, yet you seem ready to marry again. Is it not "till death do us part"?

You have been thrusted on this journey of selfdiscovery, obviously not by choice, but by circumstances. You have no other option but to continue walking and growing.

It is my firm opinion that you played your part in the demise of your marriage. Weather it was 10% or 50% or 80% is not all that important right now. What is important is that you contributed to the demise.

It is totally wrong to try and convince your wife to attend councling sessions, she will only resent you further. Right now you must give your wife time and space to perhaps start to miss you. But you must not keep standing still, you must move forward and grow. She might notice your movements and she might be tempted, but do not spoil it by contacting her or trying to have relationship talks with her. Her leaving is ample proof of that. Limit your interactions to children and finances and only if/when necesarry. From your posts it is evident that the children are old enough to maintain communication themselves.

Also do not badmouth your W to anyone and I mean anyone. The truth will surface eventually.

Do not go on a hunt for a wife number 2, you are waaaaay to damaged to think clearly now. Damaged attract damaged and you might attract someone in your life that is just as damaged if not more. You need time to heal and you need time to recover. Prior to 2 years of single life do not even attempt to date, you have to learn to be content and happy to be by yourself. Thinking that some else will bring joy to your life is a receipe for disaster. The only way you can be happy if you find happiness from within.

So immerse your self in work, your hobbies and kids. You are in for a looooong haul.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/14/20 08:10 PM

Originally Posted by Vapo
Greetings Tom,

You said the separation was out of the blue and that your wife gave you no prior warning. I would venture to say that she did and that you just did not pick up on the clues. This to will crystalize in time as hindsight is always 2020.
Oh, I've done a lot of self-reflection and now know the hints she was providing. At the time, however, I was clueless. Silly me, she told me 30 years earlier that she believed in her vows. And a man can't include, during the wedding anniversary dinner each year, a request to her "you still love me don't you" and "you still will abide by your wedding vows, right?"

I know fairness is not something to expect, but still over the 5-10 years when she was mentally disengaging, you'd have thought that she would have grabbed me at least once, or more than once, and said, "I'm thinking divorce! We need to do something!" Not just suffered in silence until it was too late.
Originally Posted by Vapo
I also find it curious you calling yourself a man of faith, yet you seem ready to marry again. Is it not "till death do us part"?
I am struggling with this, not surprisingly. I've been told by more than one Christian, and one pastor, that when the other spouse leaves or is unfaithful then a Christian should have no moral qualms about remarriage. I am still talking about this and the issue is not fully resolved for me yet.
Originally Posted by Vapo
It is my firm opinion that you played your part in the demise of your marriage. Whether it was 10% or 50% or 80% is not all that important right now. What is important is that you contributed to the demise.
I wholly agree with you here. And it doesn't really matter whether it was 50:50 or 80:20 either way. What's done is done, and she doesn't want to stay married to me anymore, in spite of 32 years together.
Originally Posted by Vapo
Also do not badmouth your W to anyone and I mean anyone. The truth will surface eventually.
That part really hurts. She is badmouthing me to her girlfriends, and I hear it from their husbands. I have very few friends for whom we were not all couples, so for all of my friends, their wives are friends of my ex. I expect I will lose every one of them; meaning they will go out with my ex and her new BF or husband, not me, as the years go by.

She also turned my oldest daughter against me last fall, although my daughter's anger has worn off. My other two kids have done their absolute best to not take sides.
Originally Posted by Vapo
Do not go on a hunt for a wife number 2, you are waaaaay to damaged to think clearly now. Damaged attract damaged and you might attract someone in your life that is just as damaged if not more. You need time to heal and you need time to recover.
Yes, I know this first hand. A very attractive divorced woman came on to me very strongly last fall, a couple months after I was served papers, and I ended it after three months. I have heard that there are a LOT of 50-60 singles out there, and most of them are pretty screwed up. I guess that includes me too, now.
Originally Posted by Vapo
Prior to 2 years of single life do not even attempt to date, you have to learn to be content and happy to be by yourself.
We're going to have to talk about this one more. A lot more.
Posted By: Steve85

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/14/20 08:28 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h

Originally Posted by Vapo
Prior to 2 years of single life do not even attempt to date, you have to learn to be content and happy to be by yourself.
We're going to have to talk about this one more. A lot more.


Why? Vapo's advice is straight-forward, and it is the same advice I gave you in the response to your post in my own thread.

Here is the thing tom_h, it is IMPOSSIBLE....ABSOLUTELY NOT EVEN A POSSIBILITY, to be happy and fulfilled as one half of a couple if you cannot be happy by yourself. This is the mistake so many married people made, thinking marriage and life-long commitment to another individual will fulfill them and make them happy, even though they were not happy and fulfilled as an individual themselves. What Vapo is saying that unless you take the time to realize that your own happiness is your own responsibility, you will be setting yourself up for another D with a new person in the future.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/14/20 09:02 PM

Originally Posted by LH19
What is your definition of a dominant male? Why do you think she rebelled after so many years?

She was an old-fashioned gal when we married in the late 1980s. She wanted to be a full-time Mom and she wanted a man who would be head of the household, earn the money, etc. She is college educated and is not a feminist per se but this role did not bother her. I didn't marry her strictly because she was so old-fashioned; I married her because of her fair and decent character, and her old-fashioned values like she believed that marriage was forever. [I guess I was wrong on that last part.]

As for why she rebelled, here's my best guess. She said a few times that I treated her like she was a piece of furniture. I've heard this before, in the media, so it is not just her words. I was a manager and leader in business by age 27, and we married soon thereafter, so being in charge is just so natural to me. I would have done anything to change that if I knew our marriage was at stake, but I never knew things were that grave. How did I blow it? For example, she once came up to me years ago and said, "we don't need the full cable package, you only watch one football game a weekend" but I was probably too dismissive when I replied, "It's only $19.95 and we can afford it, let's leave it as it is" and I would walk away. Imagine that happening once a month. Yes, I was that dumb, but so is everyone else somehow, someway.

I traveled a lot. A LOT. So I was exhausted when I got home on Friday night. I made no meals and did no laundry. I didn't go to the grocery story with her. It took me until Saturday afternoon, typically, to finish sleeping and finally relax. And on Saturday night, you know what I wanted ... She, of course, saw that as being used. Being a sex object. Of course that wasn't the case.

Millions of other women would know that; one told me (and her marriage was far worse than mine), "A woman has to the play the hand she was dealt. You were a nice guy, didn't philander about, devoted to her and the kids, she should have been thankful for what she had. What more could a woman ask for? A man with a great job, great enough that she doesn't have to work, who doesn't run around, doesn't waste money on hobbies, is devoted to the children. And he wants sex a few times on the weekend? Big deal!"

But to my XW that was not a small matter.

In another reply here on this thread I provided more examples of my complicity. Like I never lifted a finger around the house. Like I never attended to her love languages, service and affirmation. Like I never did little things like make the bed while she was in the shower, or plan a meal, or cook dinner without being asked. I never loaded the dishwasher.
Or offered to go to the grocery store with her. Stuff like that.

I don't want to make myself out to be an ogre. I wasn't! I did lots of little things to make her feel valued. For 20 years I brought her coffee in bed, because she liked to sip it in bed when she woke up. I was tender to her in touch, always, even though it was mostly not reciprocated. If she was on the edge of waking up on a weekend, I would lightly, gently, kiss her on the lips, with just enough oomph to say "I love you!" Who doesn't like waking up to a kiss from their beloved, one that gently lingers on the lips?

When the kids were young, I did her the ultimate favor each weekend. I would take them all out of the house on Saturday and/or Sunday morning so she could sleep late! Didn't matter what age, I'd bring the toys and the strollers and the diaper bag and get them away, until 10 AM or later, so she could have blissful sleep.

I also made a big deal out of Valentine's day, Mother's day, and her birthday. We would hand decorate poster-sized cards and give her breakfast in bed. I did lots of that stuff. I wasn't just preoccupied with myself. In other words, I honored her as wife and mother, and the kids saw it.

But my ex always suffered from some mild depression, so she didn't tally things that way. She just focused on what she thought I WASN'T doing, not what I was doing.
Originally Posted by LH19
Why was it her job to get you in counseling? ...
She talked about counseling for years. And, like an idiot, I was pretty dismissive. Mostly because I didn't have the time! My clients, and my bosses, would not understand if I couldn't take week-long trips because I had to sit down with a therapist on Wednesday afternoons! I did solo therapy once, during a job that didn't have big travel demands, and it did nothing for me. Nothing. I stopped after about 4 sessions.

But ... had my ex told me the marriage was in serious jeopardy, I would have done anything, including nonstop therapy, to make it work. In fact, I've been in therapy since last October and it's done wonders. But there was finally a good reason.

Too bad for her, Tom 2.0 is pretty damn good by now. He gushes communication and he talks about feelings and emotions. He raises issues that he held inside before and he is unafraid to be vulnerable.
Originally Posted by LH19
My guess is she gave you hints but you didn't hear her.
Yes she did. And that is a woman's way, I suppose, give a man 100 hints over 12 months and if he doesn't finally catch on she concludes he is beyond hope. That is not how I would have done it. And had she talked to one therapist, or marriage counselor alone, she would have learned that expecting a man to change behavior based on hints is not very effective. Imagine the flip side; we had a SSM (sex-starved marriage) and would she have felt it was fair that I divorced her because I hinted for 5 years that we weren't having enough sex?

One of the most hurtful things she ever did to me was almost refusing to renew our vows at our 20th. I thought it would be romantic! But she hemmed and hawed and two months went by, past our anniversary, and she claimed at the time it was because she didn't want it to look like a second wedding. She finally agreed to an intimate little affair with just our pastor, a couple best friends, and family, in a dark sanctuary with a single light on the altar. But I now think that her emotional resistance was the beginning of the end.

In the end, she has always been a conflict avoider. No doubt that is another reason why, 5 years earlier, she did not just grab me by the shoulders and say, "I'm going to spend a week alone! I'm thinking divorce and it scares me! When I'm back we need to do something significant to fix things!" Had she done that, I would have moved heaven and earth to keep her.
Originally Posted by LH19
Tommy for us to help you we need to understand more the dynamic of your marriage.

So I hope this is a start? There are other issues but these are the top level ones.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/14/20 09:10 PM

Originally Posted by Steve85
Originally Posted by tom_h

Originally Posted by Vapo
Prior to 2 years of single life do not even attempt to date, you have to learn to be content and happy to be by yourself.
We're going to have to talk about this one more. A lot more.


Why? Vapo's advice is straight-forward, and it is the same advice I gave you in the response to your post in my own thread.

Here is the thing tom_h, it is IMPOSSIBLE....ABSOLUTELY NOT EVEN A POSSIBILITY, to be happy and fulfilled as one half of a couple if you cannot be happy by yourself. This is the mistake so many married people made, thinking marriage and life-long commitment to another individual will fulfill them and make them happy, even though they were not happy and fulfilled as an individual themselves. What Vapo is saying that unless you take the time to realize that your own happiness is your own responsibility, you will be setting yourself up for another D with a new person in the future.
C'mon, Steve, I appreciate the comment, but you realize that lecturing someone into submission is not a way to teach! Let a dialogue happen, and then I maybe come around. But firm, table pounding from two who "know better" is not a way to convince anyone, let alone a techie, to believe in something.

And can you tell me how to find replies to my comments on other threads? Most forums have an index of them, but I can't seem to find it here at DB.
Posted By: SamCal

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/14/20 10:14 PM

Tom - you say you wish your W had been more direct with you, and then tell Steve you don't think being that direct (you say lecture but not sure how that was a lecture) is a way to teach....

Overall, your retelling of this is very dismissive of your wife's feelings. You list a lot of things that you did that you feel she should be grateful for, but - did you ever actually ask her if that's what she wanted? Love language stuff is very real and very helpful to read up on. If I saw my H putting in a lot of effort into stuff that I didn't exactly want/ask for, and if I saw he continued to do that instead of putting his efforts where I asked, I'd be put off, too. My H and I have struggled with this in the past. I likened it to: if I theoretically/metaphorically asked him to weed the front garden bed, and then I see he spends all of his time/energy/effort on doing the entire yard - mowing, edging, the whole shebang - but then I see he didn't weed the garden bed. So I'd say hey, you didn't weed the garden bed, which is all I asked for, and he would feel dejected and unappreciated because of the amount of effort he put in that I didn't "see." I see it, and acknowledge it, but it didn't help where I said I needed help. The majority of your posts read like this - you put in a ton of effort into a bunch of things and are confused when she isn't falling at your feet grateful. It sounds like over time she was pretty specific in terms of what she said she wanted with you, but you just didn't do it. Like others said, it's easy to be complacent. If you are aware of and speak to your SOs love language, its more efficient and makes a huge difference - it shows you're listening.

You say it's a "woman's way to give 100 hints" - is it a man's way to ignore them? Just because she didn't handle something the way you want her to doesn't mean it's not as valuable. See entire thing above and here is the flipside - she put a ton of effort into telling you something, but didn't do it in the way that you would have best heard it, so you both end up frustrated.
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/14/20 10:22 PM


https://www.divorcebusting.com/foru...ain=45226&Number=1899726#Post1899726


Originally Posted by SmartCookie
Some people think that a WAW is hard, angry, cold. In a fog. There's more to her than that.

4 years ago, a woman laid in bed at night, not wanting to wake up in the morning. There was no way out. She couldn't divorce him. He would have visitation without her there to protect them. He had never hit them, but he surely didn't understand how to care for them. He didn't even know who they were.

She couldn't leave. She had no job, no way of putting food on the table for the children she loved. She had been dependent for so long, & she trusted this man to provide for her. Now she lay in bed, wondering who he was, & how she got her. These were not the choices she would have made, if she had a 2nd chance.

She couldn't talk to him. He couldn't hear her. She desperately wanted to share herself with him. He had walls up. She couldn't penetrate them. He seemed so content to work, watch TV, eat & sleep. Why didn't he want more, like she ?

She felt trapped. She resented herself for letting him treat her this way for so long. He told her often enough, he was a good husband. She needed so much more from him. She tried telling him, for years she tried, then she cried, she begged, she pleaded, but he couldn't hear.

He was cold, hard, in a fog.

She tried everything, she read every book. She prayed her heart out. She tried to be more Christ-like. Figuring if she set the example, he would follow.

She knew it came down to two choices. Her children's happiness, or hers. She would sacrifice hers. She decided to stay, & raise the children, with this man who would never know her. When they moved out, so would she. Then she would salvage what was left of her.

She put her heart in a dusty old box in the top of the closet. It was easier. She didn't hurt anymore, she was numb.

When she finally quit trying, & tried to fill her hours with distractions, he noticed. His fog was lifting. He wasn't quite so cold, so hard. She didn't care. It was too late. She was numb. Her heart was in that box. She vowed never to take it out again.

She stumbled through her days, crossing them off in the calendar. Wondering how much longer she could live this way. Did her children see her unhappiness ? She wondered, are they better off with a single happy parent, or with two parents who co-exist ? The torment was eating her alive. What to do ?

By now, she wasn't sleeping. Wasn't eating. She pulled away from all of her friends. She was dying inside. She desperately wanted, needed to be loved, appreciated, noticed, cherished. She was a beautiful fragile flower slowly dying without water, sunshine & air.

When no one was watching, she cried. She cried til she ran out of tears. She wanted it to be over, she wanted the pain to stop. Everytime she looked at her husband, it reminded her of the pain. The pain that was consuming her. She turned to alcohol to numb the pain. Anything to make the pain go away. Her friends ask her why she's losing so much weight. She wonders, why can't anyone see that I'm dying here. She doesn't try to tell the man she shares a bed with, remember, he can't hear her.

She finally writes him a letter. She says she is done. They need to raise their children, & he's the only one who can be their dad. Now he's fully awake & out of his fog. He's scared. He had no idea how bad she hurt. He thought things were good. He's been living in a separate reality from her.

He says he'll change, he'll do anything, to make her happy. He says his family is the most important thing to him. She doesn't believe him. She's numb. Her heart is safely in that box. He tries, she watches. He tries some more, she watches. He's dying now. She's numb. Now he wants the pain to stop. She's numb. She wonders why did things have to go this far before he would hear me ? Now she doesn't want to talk to him. She's numb. Talking to him reminds her how much she used to hurt, she can see it in his eyes now. Her survival instincts kick in, at least she doesn't hurt now. She's numb.

The only place to go from numb is anger. He tries some more, she can see he's making changes. Now comes the buried anger. The anger that she wanted to express to him for all the years past. The anger she was afraid to show. He doesn't realize, angry is better than numb. He takes her anger. For 12 months he takes her anger. Sometimes he fights back, & when he does she goes numb again.

She's so scared to take her heart out of that dusty box. Numb is so much safer. Angry is so much safer. Does he know how hard it is for her. She knew the day that her children were born, that she would give her life for them. She just didn't know it would be like this.

Sometimes he tries to push her to heal faster. She's doing her best. He wants more from her at times. She's doing her best.

Some nights, the pain returns, & she remembers, & she just can't sleep. She's not numb anymore, and the anger is going away. She doesn't know how or where, but it is. She's so scared. Numb is safer. Angry is safer. If she gives in to her fear, to her sometimes overwhelming fear, everyone will call her a WAW. She wanted you to know.
Posted By: Steve85

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/14/20 11:14 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h
Originally Posted by Steve85
Originally Posted by tom_h

Originally Posted by Vapo
Prior to 2 years of single life do not even attempt to date, you have to learn to be content and happy to be by yourself.
We're going to have to talk about this one more. A lot more.


Why? Vapo's advice is straight-forward, and it is the same advice I gave you in the response to your post in my own thread.

Here is the thing tom_h, it is IMPOSSIBLE....ABSOLUTELY NOT EVEN A POSSIBILITY, to be happy and fulfilled as one half of a couple if you cannot be happy by yourself. This is the mistake so many married people made, thinking marriage and life-long commitment to another individual will fulfill them and make them happy, even though they were not happy and fulfilled as an individual themselves. What Vapo is saying that unless you take the time to realize that your own happiness is your own responsibility, you will be setting yourself up for another D with a new person in the future.
C'mon, Steve, I appreciate the comment, but you realize that lecturing someone into submission is not a way to teach! Let a dialogue happen, and then I maybe come around. But firm, table pounding from two who "know better" is not a way to convince anyone, let alone a techie, to believe in something.

And can you tell me how to find replies to my comments on other threads? Most forums have an index of them, but I can't seem to find it here at DB.


I certainly was not lecturing you into submission. Nor was I table pounding. But one thing I know for sure is there is no 100% fault in any of these situations. There is always things both spouses did or didn't do to get themselves to the point they are at. So yes, you have to learn to be happy by yourself if you are ever to be happy as 1/2 of a couple. It is your life. You can always decide you know better and ignore the wisdom Vapo gave you. But your chances of success in a new R without working on yourself first are very low.

Here is a link to all of your posts.

https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=userposts&id=41670

And here is a link to my response to you in my thread:

https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2903719#Post2903719
Posted By: Rose888

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/15/20 03:21 AM

You said you didn't want me to stay away from your thread, so I am going to take you at your word.

First, if you haven't already, go read Divorce Busting.

Second, based on what you have posted here, you are not a victim.

You and your wife were in a long-term relationship. You both had ways in which you were a good spouse, but you also both had ways in which you were not a good spouse. It eventually got to the point where your wife thought leaving was better than staying. So she left.

You don't agree with that decision, but can you put yourself in her shoes to the point where you can understand why she made that choice?

Can you accept that her responsibility to tell you exactly how unhappy she was is not greater than your responsibility to pay attention to your wife and not take her and her happiness for granted? You both failed. It wasn't like you upheld your end of the bargain and she didn't. Both of you contributed to the breakdown of your marriage.

I am not trying to lay on the guilt. I just truly, honestly believe that growth only comes when we acknowledge our own responsibility and focus on becoming better partners, regardless of whether our significant other is doing the things we need from them. (With the big caveat that one shouldn't stay in an abusive situation.)

It's not easy. I fail at it all the time, pick myself up, and try again.

But it's the only way to grow into a good partner.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/15/20 05:55 AM

Originally Posted by Rose888
You said you didn't want me to stay away from your thread, so I am going to take you at your word.
Rose, thanks, I don't have that thin a skin, but my first day I read a lot of posts that were sympathetic and commiserating so I was taken aback when none of the replies to my post were that way for me. So hammer away, it's fine.
Originally Posted by Rose888
First, if you haven't already, go read Divorce Busting.
Roger that.
Originally Posted by Rose888
You don't agree with that decision, but can you put yourself in her shoes to the point where you can understand why she made that choice?

Can you accept that her responsibility to tell you exactly how unhappy she was is not greater than your responsibility to pay attention to your wife and not take her and her happiness for granted? You both failed. It wasn't like you upheld your end of the bargain and she didn't. Both of you contributed to the breakdown of your marriage.
Yes, I accept the fact that responsibility cuts both ways. But it will take me awhile to accept that fact that there is mutuality, or 50:50 duality, when one spouse is blissfully living in what is admittedly a less-than-perfect marriage, while the other one is secretly plotting an exit and sequestering all the money in secret bank accounts, hiring lawyers in advance, etc. One person is acting honestly (even amid the crummy marriage) and one is acting duplicitously.

Today at least, I understand everything she felt, and everything she did EXCEPT filing for divorce without notice. Trial separation, counseling, even legal separation with dating allowed. Just leaving without turning back after 30 years makes no sense to me. I feel an enormous sense of betrayal. If her feelings during her 5-10 years of pain were legitimate, then can't my sense of betrayal, at least for awhile, also be legitimate?

My situation after nearly 12 months is that I've lost most of my best friends (their wives all adore my ex), and my social life has been pretty bland due to my singleness and covid. Until I saw the WAW syndrome described by Michele I still couldn't understand anything! So finding this place I was hoping to makes some new online friends and maybe find a few kindred spirits who could patiently see me through some new understanding. That's all.

I've had very few chances to vent. Most people don't want to hear it. My ex was no doubt venting about me to a small collection of girlfriends for years. Don't I get a chance? I know, I know, grow up Tom.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/15/20 06:11 AM

Originally Posted by Ready2Change

https://www.divorcebusting.com/foru...ain=45226&Number=1899726#Post1899726


Originally Posted by SmartCookie
Some people think that a WAW is hard, angry, cold. In a fog. There's more to her than that.

4 years ago, a woman laid in bed at night, not wanting to wake up in the morning. There was no way out. She couldn't divorce him. He would have visitation without her there to protect them. He had never hit them, but he surely didn't understand how to care for them. He didn't even know who they were.

She couldn't leave. She had no job, no way of putting food on the table for the children she loved. She had been dependent for so long, & she trusted this man to provide for her. Now she lay in bed, wondering who he was, & how she got her. These were not the choices she would have made, if she had a 2nd chance.

She couldn't talk to him. He couldn't hear her. She desperately wanted to share herself with him. He had walls up. She couldn't penetrate them. He seemed so content to work, watch TV, eat & sleep. Why didn't he want more, like she ?

She felt trapped. She resented herself for letting him treat her this way for so long. He told her often enough, he was a good husband. She needed so much more from him. She tried telling him, for years she tried, then she cried, she begged, she pleaded, but he couldn't hear.

He was cold, hard, in a fog.

She tried everything, she read every book. She prayed her heart out. She tried to be more Christ-like. Figuring if she set the example, he would follow.

She knew it came down to two choices. Her children's happiness, or hers. She would sacrifice hers. She decided to stay, & raise the children, with this man who would never know her. When they moved out, so would she. Then she would salvage what was left of her.

She put her heart in a dusty old box in the top of the closet. It was easier. She didn't hurt anymore, she was numb.

When she finally quit trying, & tried to fill her hours with distractions, he noticed. His fog was lifting. He wasn't quite so cold, so hard. She didn't care. It was too late. She was numb. Her heart was in that box. She vowed never to take it out again.

She stumbled through her days, crossing them off in the calendar. Wondering how much longer she could live this way. Did her children see her unhappiness ? She wondered, are they better off with a single happy parent, or with two parents who co-exist ? The torment was eating her alive. What to do ?

By now, she wasn't sleeping. Wasn't eating. She pulled away from all of her friends. She was dying inside. She desperately wanted, needed to be loved, appreciated, noticed, cherished. She was a beautiful fragile flower slowly dying without water, sunshine & air.

When no one was watching, she cried. She cried til she ran out of tears. She wanted it to be over, she wanted the pain to stop. Everytime she looked at her husband, it reminded her of the pain. The pain that was consuming her. She turned to alcohol to numb the pain. Anything to make the pain go away. Her friends ask her why she's losing so much weight. She wonders, why can't anyone see that I'm dying here. She doesn't try to tell the man she shares a bed with, remember, he can't hear her.

She finally writes him a letter. She says she is done. They need to raise their children, & he's the only one who can be their dad. Now he's fully awake & out of his fog. He's scared. He had no idea how bad she hurt. He thought things were good. He's been living in a separate reality from her.

He says he'll change, he'll do anything, to make her happy. He says his family is the most important thing to him. She doesn't believe him. She's numb. Her heart is safely in that box. He tries, she watches. He tries some more, she watches. He's dying now. She's numb. Now he wants the pain to stop. She's numb. She wonders why did things have to go this far before he would hear me ? Now she doesn't want to talk to him. She's numb. Talking to him reminds her how much she used to hurt, she can see it in his eyes now. Her survival instincts kick in, at least she doesn't hurt now. She's numb.

The only place to go from numb is anger. He tries some more, she can see he's making changes. Now comes the buried anger. The anger that she wanted to express to him for all the years past. The anger she was afraid to show. He doesn't realize, angry is better than numb. He takes her anger. For 12 months he takes her anger. Sometimes he fights back, & when he does she goes numb again.

She's so scared to take her heart out of that dusty box. Numb is so much safer. Angry is so much safer. Does he know how hard it is for her. She knew the day that her children were born, that she would give her life for them. She just didn't know it would be like this.

Sometimes he tries to push her to heal faster. She's doing her best. He wants more from her at times. She's doing her best.

Some nights, the pain returns, & she remembers, & she just can't sleep. She's not numb anymore, and the anger is going away. She doesn't know how or where, but it is. She's so scared. Numb is safer. Angry is safer. If she gives in to her fear, to her sometimes overwhelming fear, everyone will call her a WAW. She wanted you to know.

That sounds pretty much like my ex. [Maybe the two of you should get together.] Thank you Smart Cookie, this is what I had asked for.

In my defense, I will say that I wasn't emotionally abusive. I explored that long enough with my therapist because I had to know. Just HAD to know.

So tell me, how is it that you were so frightened to talk with him? To tell him, years earlier, that you were contemplating breaking up that beautiful family? Were you frightened of your ex? Afraid he would be angry or dismissive?

Because this is now hurting me big time. As my ex built up to her D-Day (or DB as y'all say here) she had convinced herself, and the girlfriends who were advising her, that I had anger problems. That when she served me divorce papers I would be furious. Never had she been more wrong. I was heartbroken. I was grief-stricken like never before. The night before she filed I still would have said that our wedding date was the best day of my life. And she didn't know that! All that pain (as you describe so well), accumulating over the years, had made her believe something that she ought to have known wasn't true -- perhaps because she fit me into a profile that said "of course he'll be furious."

I haven't been angry at her once. I think I have lived my Christian faith more purely since she filed than any other 12-month period of my life. Not that it's done any good, at least from the perspective of holding my marriage together.

It's so fascinating. Michele said in her first WAW article that the basically decent men who endure a WAW actually do truly change. They hit rock bottom and that change is possible only then. She also said that those men make great second husbands, because they are determined to not let it happen again. So for me at least, there is hope.

And lest you think there is no chance that we men can change, I saw an interesting example. The book "The Great Santini" by Robert Conroy is autobiographical about the author and his absolutely horrid father, a Marine Corps officer. Conroy wrote the book almost as payback for a dictatorial upbringing. But his father, when he saw the depicting of himself in the book, actually hit rock bottom and changed. Became a friend to his son. Conroy admits this.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/15/20 06:18 AM

Originally Posted by Vapo
Do not go on a hunt for a wife number 2, you are waaaaay to damaged to think clearly now. Damaged attract damaged and you might attract someone in your life that is just as damaged if not more. You need time to heal and you need time to recover. Prior to 2 years of single life do not even attempt to date, you have to learn to be content and happy to be by yourself. Thinking that some else will bring joy to your life is a receipe for disaster. The only way you can be happy if you find happiness from within.

So immerse your self in work, your hobbies and kids. You are in for a looooong haul.

So can we distinguish between "hunting for wife #2" and just dating? They really aren't the same, but you imply they are. I had far too much attention from another gal my age 90 days after the DB, and I did put an end to it after another 90 days because I did not like the thoughts I was having, but it was nice to have a date on New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day. Another high school friend, also divorced, made me dinner and I loved the attention and the goodbye hug!

But you're telling me this is not healthy? Human connection is not healthy? Please explain in more detail. Because I have received advice from other quarters that I should date my heart out, just don't make commitments. I've also had advice saying "don't do anything significant for a year" and that date is coming up quite soon. So is it one year or two? Dating forbidden or dating OK, just commitment and love are forbidden? I need more advice!
Posted By: Steve85

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/15/20 12:46 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h
Originally Posted by Vapo
Do not go on a hunt for a wife number 2, you are waaaaay to damaged to think clearly now. Damaged attract damaged and you might attract someone in your life that is just as damaged if not more. You need time to heal and you need time to recover. Prior to 2 years of single life do not even attempt to date, you have to learn to be content and happy to be by yourself. Thinking that some else will bring joy to your life is a receipe for disaster. The only way you can be happy if you find happiness from within.

So immerse your self in work, your hobbies and kids. You are in for a looooong haul.

So can we distinguish between "hunting for wife #2" and just dating? They really aren't the same, but you imply they are. I had far too much attention from another gal my age 90 days after the DB, and I did put an end to it after another 90 days because I did not like the thoughts I was having, but it was nice to have a date on New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day. Another high school friend, also divorced, made me dinner and I loved the attention and the goodbye hug!

But you're telling me this is not healthy? Human connection is not healthy? Please explain in more detail. Because I have received advice from other quarters that I should date my heart out, just don't make commitments. I've also had advice saying "don't do anything significant for a year" and that date is coming up quite soon. So is it one year or two? Dating forbidden or dating OK, just commitment and love are forbidden? I need more advice!


We are telling you that until tom is happy just being tom, he will never be happy being 1/2 of a couple.

You will get a lot of advice. The advice we try to give here is to help set you up for success in your next R. Whether that is with someone new, or with your W, if you don't work on Tom in the meantime then you are going to make the same mistakes, fall into the same trap, and end up in D court all over again.

It sounds to me like your W was miserable for decades, and only stuck around because of the kids and your religion. I see that all the time. I am very religious and active in my church. I've seen it a number of times where one spouse sticks around in a bad marriage until the youngest child is 18, and then they leave and file for D. I think rose was really on to something that suggests that you were missing signs that your W was unhappy. I think that is spot on because I can relate. my W was the same way. She was miserable. I just kept doing what I was doing and it wasn't until I saw tell-tale signs of an EA that I finally really understood just how unhappy my W had been.

tom, some of the best advice I got early on in my situation, when I too was grasping at straws to understand why my W was doing what she was doing (she was in an EA, when I confronted she immediately said she wanted to get a job, get her own place, and get a D) was that my W was simply trying to be happy. As Rose said, put yourself in her shoes. You many not agree with her methods, but her motivation is simply that she is doing what she thinks she must in order to be happy.

The other thing I learned from this same source was that I had no control over my WAW and whether or not my sitch ended in D or not. But I did have control over me and my own happiness. You say:

Quote
My situation after nearly 12 months is that I've lost most of my best friends (their wives all adore my ex), and my social life has been pretty bland due to my singleness and covid. Until I saw the WAW syndrome described by Michele I still couldn't understand anything! So finding this place I was hoping to makes some new online friends and maybe find a few kindred spirits who could patiently see me through some new understanding. That's all.


I see excuses in this paragraph. I see victimhood. What I can tell you is that where there is a will there is a way. We LBS loves to sit and stew in our juices and then claim "I am all alone". And I believe that is why the first bit of advice almost all anti-D experts give is to go out and GAL. I believe that is to prevent the above. I find it hard to believe that ALL of your friends are husbands of your wife's friends. I am sure, due to being involved in church like us, you do have several friends that are husbands of your wife's friends, but 100% of them? You even use the word most. So concentrate on the ones that are still around. Schedule time with them. I know I reconnected with an old friend that I hadn't talked to in years except at his parents' funerals. We have a mutual hobby in firearms and going to the gun range with him was cathartic beyond belief! Maybe firearms aren't your thing, but I have to believe that you have friends that you share hobbies with. So reconnect and engage in those hobbies!

And if by chance you don't have any hobbies.....go get some! The world is your oyster tom! One of my best lessons learned in my sitch was that my happiness is my responsibility, and mine alone!! Even though my W and I reconciled and are happier together than we have ever been, a big part of that was because I learned how to be happy without putting that burden of making me happy on her! Our dynamic is much better in the 2 years since our sitch than it was the previous 19 years combined.

As far as making online friends here...we are all your friend. I always like to think about Jesus when I think about true friends. One of my favorite accounts is when Jesus told Peter "Get behind me, Satan!" Many would have felt that was harsh and that a true friend wouldn't say that to a friend. But the harsh truth was that what Peter was saying was embodying Satan, and Jesus bluntly called him out on it. That is a true friend. A friend that tells you what you want to hear is no friend at all. So when someone says "Hey, go out and date your heart out" when you clearly are still hung up on your STBXW, that is bad advice. They say that because they are wanting to see you stop hurting. But it isn't good advice because in the end it won't accomplish stopping your pain, and it is patently unfair to women that you will date. So yes we are your friends, we want to see you get on with your life and be awesome and happy and healthy. But we aren't going to try to apply bandaids to a gaping wound that requires sutures. That is what dating would be for you right now.
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/15/20 07:12 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h

My situation after nearly 12 months is that I've lost most of my best friends (their wives all adore my ex), and my social life has been pretty bland due to my singleness and covid. Until I saw the WAW syndrome described by Michele I still couldn't understand anything! So finding this place I was hoping to makes some new online friends and maybe find a few kindred spirits who could patiently see me through some new understanding. That's all.

I've had very few chances to vent. Most people don't want to hear it. My ex was no doubt venting about me to a small collection of girlfriends for years. Don't I get a chance? I know, I know, grow up Tom.


I completely understand. Us old timers get into fix it mode. This is a great place to vent. Most likely, you will find other newbies here that will become your main support group.

Just know that we all arrived here in just as much shock as you. We all felt the pain. We were all confused.

Covid definitely makes going through this process more difficult. I made a whole new group of friends going through it.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/15/20 09:40 PM

Originally Posted by Ready2Change
I completely understand. Us old timers get into fix it mode. This is a great place to vent. Most likely, you will find other newbies here that will become your main support group.
So what's your story? Point me to your opening post if you please ...
Posted By: BenB

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/16/20 08:10 AM

You can click on any users name, then view profile, then total posts and go back to the very first one.
Posted By: Vapo

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/16/20 10:02 AM

Dating is a NONO, because you are looking for a quick fix, not unlike a drug addict. You want to use someone to feel better. That is wrong. For one, you are using another humen being while you are deeply confused and hurt. That in turn will also hurt the other person. And secondly it will stun your growth and development, because it might make you think that you do not need to grow and develop further. Trust me, you do. And A LOT! And the sooner you get your a$$ in gear, the better.

And do not expect for others to do the work for you, because it cannot be done. You have to work for you.
Posted By: Steve85

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/16/20 01:39 PM

Originally Posted by Vapo
Dating is a NONO, because you are looking for a quick fix, not unlike a drug addict. You want to use someone to feel better. That is wrong. For one, you are using another humen being while you are deeply confused and hurt. That in turn will also hurt the other person. And secondly it will stun your growth and development, because it might make you think that you do not need to grow and develop further. Trust me, you do. And A LOT! And the sooner you get your a$$ in gear, the better.

And do not expect for others to do the work for you, because it cannot be done. You have to work for you.


As a follow on, we've seen a lot of posters buck this advice.....only to come back and admit that the forum was right.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/16/20 06:22 PM

Originally Posted by Steve85
Originally Posted by Vapo
Dating is a NONO, because you are looking for a quick fix, not unlike a drug addict. You want to use someone to feel better. That is wrong. For one, you are using another humen being while you are deeply confused and hurt. That in turn will also hurt the other person. And secondly it will stun your growth and development, because it might make you think that you do not need to grow and develop further. Trust me, you do. And A LOT! And the sooner you get your a$$ in gear, the better.

And do not expect for others to do the work for you, because it cannot be done. You have to work for you.


As a follow on, we've seen a lot of posters buck this advice.....only to come back and admit that the forum was right.


OK, Steve and VAPO, now it's perhaps time to relate my dating story from awhile back. In sum, I came out OK but the gal was hurt. Here's the story. I'll put on my fire retardant suit for your responses but please wait until the end until you take out your flamethrowers.

I announced to a church group I belong to that my ex had walked out and that I was devastated. This was about 45 days after the BD, in late October last year.

A week later a lovely gal in the group, who I barely knew, said that she was trained in grief counseling and would like to help me in any way possible. Of course I bit. We were both about the same age, close to age 60, and she fit my "nice" and "attractive" profiles. She was a retired schoolteacher, already having put in 30 years and cashed out, so she didn't have a day job anymore, meaning lots of time. She was a divorcee, having separated from her husband three years earlier but the divorce had only recently become final. She had no children, which was a relief of sorts. [I have three if you recall my original post, from ages 19 through 25.]

Yes, I loved the attention. She listened. I cried my heart out, sometimes with my head on her lap after we had crossed the threshold of getting to know each other. We had dinner and she was very affirming. She too had some awful circumstances so there was a lot of reason to talk. For about 4 weeks, we texted constantly and saw each other maybe 2-3 times a week, sometimes just for an hour.

Not surprisingly, it turned intimate at the 4 week mark. She was the first woman I had touched, other than my STBXW, in 32 years. Admittedly, it was pretty incredible. My STBXW pulled some cr-p on me, convinced my kids to spend both Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day with her; damn that hurt. But this new gal spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with me so at least I wasn't alone. [There is a long backstory to this, as to why I'm estranged from my biological family, I'll spare you all the details.]

I had a date on New Years Eve -- nice. I had a date on Valentine's Day -- nice. We were seeing each other now about 3-4 nights a week. I had one child at home so I never spent the night, although I did come home at 5 or 6 AM a few times.

We were sympatico in quite a number of ways. I learned how to communicate with a woman because of her. I found myself saying things, and becoming vulnerable, in ways I never had. I am a tender romantic and sensual man at heart, and we both loved the touch we shared. We would do this for hours sometimes, not sexual, just touching and loving. It was something I had never done with my STBXW over 30 years, and it was marvelous.

Here is the scary part that perhaps will set off your alarm bells. I'm a romantic guy, it should not surprise you that after 90 days of this bliss I began to wonder "could I be this lucky so soon?" I began to have notions that perhaps, after my divorce was final, I might marry her. These were casual notions, and I was surprised to have them, but I had them nonetheless. We started talking about taking a cruise in October. Things like that.

But as February came to a close, I began to see cracks and other issues at the seams. She began to get a little possessive. When it looked like covid would bring my other two children home, she began to worry that we would never have time alone. Then, while I was cooking her dinner in my house one evening, she mused out loud, "I wonder if your children will like me." All of a sudden I realized -- I didn't want her to meet my children. I would be, in fact, embarrassed to introduce her to my children. And I believe that sometimes our visceral reactions about people are valid.

Here's why I felt that way. My STBXW was a classy lady. She knew how to dress stylishly, she knew how to set a table, she had manners and some culture. This gal friend of mine, while lovely and sweet, with considerable physical beauty, didn't have any of those. She lived in a duplex across town, that was basically 90% cluttered. The few times I'd stayed there (never for the full night but sometimes until 5 AM) she was pretty obsessive about the strangest stuff -- how I cleaned under my fingernails, how I washed her dishes, even how I used the soap and shampoo in her shower. I couldn't crawl into her bed unless I had cleaned my feet before they touched the sheets. She didn't have very good "mom" or "wife" qualities, if you understand what I mean. And now that we were 90 days into a relationship I was realizing this stuff.

I talked things around and looked things up, and came to realize that it was highly likely that she was OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). The clutter and the cleanliness structure is what convinced me. Also, in those 90 days I'd noticed a few other things, one in particular was that she took a LOT of prescriptions. There were maybe 10-15 containers. So I wondered whether she had not been candid about medical conditions, and that perhaps she was already in treatment for OCD.

Prior to these realizations, in March, I had been aware of what I thought was just quirkiness, but I needed her, I wanted the attention, I wanted the affection. Recall that the intimacy began about 90 days after the BD and lasted another 90-100 days. So I rationalized it as her just being quirky. It was nice to know that while a lovely woman had openly rejected me, thrown away our marriage, that I was still appealing to someone else.

But now my eyes had opened wider. We had been spending a lot of time together on the weekends, busy stuff, fun stuff. But being a little alarmed at what I'd learned, I hopped on a plane to see an old college friend (a medical doctor) and sent her a text that we wouldn't be seeing each other that weekend, that I had some soul-searching to do. For a week we didn't communicate, the ball was in my court anyway. When I reached out to her, finally, about a week after our prior communication, she was already in full retreat. My doctor friend, by the way, stiffened my spine about her, too -- "caution, caution, caution" he advised.

By now the covid lockdowns were in full gear. This gal has asthma so she was very cautious, and wasn't entertaining any visitors. We had a zoom call where she talked about how badly I had hurt her. She ended the call abruptly after 30 minutes. So I wrote her a letter telling her about my concerns about her medical condition, and asked whether I was correct. She never replied, just refused to talk for another 2 months. The relationship was over.

I wasn't devastated. I wasn't hurt. I had been through an important experience, one that I think was necessary after over 30 years with my STBXW. I had staggered and stumbled through a relatively brief romance and had learned more about the new, late 50s, single Tom. I got wiser as to what to look for. I knew more about my own tendencies, about my thresholds.

Yes I was vulnerable. But to me at least I needed a relationship like this one, where I could learn how to talk about feelings, about heartbreak, to ask agonizing questions such as, "am I really damaged goods?" I believe it has helped me be able to talk openly about stuff even here on DB.

The biggest lesson I perhaps learned is that, and this is a guilty admission, I think I am the type of man who is "in love with being in love." I explored that with my therapist dating back to my high school days and, being the tender romantic that I am, it's pretty true. So now I know, intellectually at least, to not fall into certain traps anymore. But it only came about because of this brief romance.

This relationship ended in late March. It's been six months. I am not worse for wear after it all. She is. I saw her at a church event last week and just tried to be pleasant, and she was on the verge of tears the entire time. I'm not proud of that.

So the both of you are saying that dating is a No-No, and relationships are a No-No. I still don't get it, especially the dating and getting out part. Once, while this gal and I were out at a club dancing (in February, pre-covid), another woman pulled my arm to dance with her because she thought I was dancing solo. My girlfriend glared and the woman said, "honey you'd better make sure that I know he's with you next time." I was flattered by the attention; what's wrong with that at this stage?

Well, that's it. I'd appreciate replies, even tough replies, to this. Don't hold back. [Fire retardant suit on.] I'm open to most any perspective.
Posted By: LH19

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/16/20 06:41 PM

T,

Dating is fine if you are upfront with the woman you are with. Be honest about your attentions. Many divorced older woman do not want to casually date. They are looking more long term.
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/16/20 10:36 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h
So what's your story? Point me to your opening post if you please ...

Start here:
https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2061092
There was a server crash and I believe my first thread was lost.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/18/20 10:23 PM

Originally Posted by LH19
T, dating is fine if you are upfront with the woman you are with. Be honest about your attentions. Many divorced older woman do not want to casually date. They are looking more long term.

I can see the point of the others, that dating might take your eye off the ball as you try to fix yourself. But healing is also important, and personal connection can be part of healing. I've heard that men commonly make the mistake of jumping into another relationship, and that might have been my situation -- in fact it probably was. But I did come to some realizations that I wouldn't have otherwise. And I wasn't looking for a substitute partner in the first place. I'm still not.
Posted By: Ginger1

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/19/20 01:41 AM

Using other other people to heal and come to realizations is just morally wrong if you arenít being honest way with your intentions.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/19/20 04:21 PM

Originally Posted by Ginger1
Using other other people to heal and come to realizations is just morally wrong if you arenít being honest way with your intentions.
Very true, I agree. But if you read the story above about my dating episode, I was never dishonest, I just didn't know.

I think whenever we go through a relationship and it ends, and we learn an important lesson about ourselves in the process, I suppose the other person can feel used. Perhaps the woman I dated feels that way. As I said above, I saw her for the first time after six months, just to say hello and see how she was, and she was on the verge of tears the entire time. I'm not proud of that.
Posted By: Steve85

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/21/20 07:54 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h
Originally Posted by Ginger1
Using other other people to heal and come to realizations is just morally wrong if you arenít being honest way with your intentions.
Very true, I agree. But if you read the story above about my dating episode, I was never dishonest, I just didn't know.

I think whenever we go through a relationship and it ends, and we learn an important lesson about ourselves in the process, I suppose the other person can feel used. Perhaps the woman I dated feels that way. As I said above, I saw her for the first time after six months, just to say hello and see how she was, and she was on the verge of tears the entire time. I'm not proud of that.


If your W were to do a 180 and want to come back, what would your answer be?
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/22/20 10:30 PM

Originally Posted by Steve85
If your W were to do a 180 and want to come back, what would your answer be?

Well now, that goes to the heart of my therapy, doesn't it?

For the first 90 days, I would have run into her arms sobbing myself. No question. I was even writing love poems and love ballads to her for the first 60 days -- I didn't send any of them, but I sure composed them. I was even having dreams in which she told me it was all a mistake.

About the 90 day mark, already in therapy, I realized that taking her back was not automatic. I viewed her walking out without notice, and some of the scurrilous accusations by her attorney, as acts of betrayal. Acts of treason. She also emptied out the bank account and took the best car that morning, and tried to starve me out of the house! [She learned a lot from her liberal friends about how to maximize her side during a hostile divorce. That's another story.] I've learned a lot in my few weeks here on DB, and might find it easier to forgive her, but I still fell betrayed. After 30 years!

Now, one year from BD / D-Day, I am very sobered by what has happened. Sandi's rules tell the LBH to judge actions not words, and my ex's actions in the 18 months she planned the divorce, and first six months after serving me, have been unworthy of the lovely Christian woman I married so many years ago.

First off, I would be suspicious that maybe "getting back together" was a ruse, that she wanted me to talk my heart out and let my guard down, all the while taping my words, so as to gain leverage in the divorce settlement. Very important given the crap she has already done.

Second, there would be so many "whys?" she would have to answer for me. She was completely wrong about me in so many ways (e.g., her attorney accused me of having anger problems and that she was in fear of her safety) so I would need to know the truth about that.

I would make a condition as follows -- we must go into couples therapy. I would need to be satisfied with the answers to my ever so many whys. Then, just then, we might be able to work on getting back together.
Posted By: Steve85

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/23/20 02:15 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h
Originally Posted by Steve85
If your W were to do a 180 and want to come back, what would your answer be?

Well now, that goes to the heart of my therapy, doesn't it?

For the first 90 days, I would have run into her arms sobbing myself. No question. I was even writing love poems and love ballads to her for the first 60 days -- I didn't send any of them, but I sure composed them. I was even having dreams in which she told me it was all a mistake.

About the 90 day mark, already in therapy, I realized that taking her back was not automatic. I viewed her walking out without notice, and some of the scurrilous accusations by her attorney, as acts of betrayal. Acts of treason. She also emptied out the bank account and took the best car that morning, and tried to starve me out of the house! [She learned a lot from her liberal friends about how to maximize her side during a hostile divorce. That's another story.] I've learned a lot in my few weeks here on DB, and might find it easier to forgive her, but I still fell betrayed. After 30 years!

Now, one year from BD / D-Day, I am very sobered by what has happened. Sandi's rules tell the LBH to judge actions not words, and my ex's actions in the 18 months she planned the divorce, and first six months after serving me, have been unworthy of the lovely Christian woman I married so many years ago.

First off, I would be suspicious that maybe "getting back together" was a ruse, that she wanted me to talk my heart out and let my guard down, all the while taping my words, so as to gain leverage in the divorce settlement. Very important given the crap she has already done.

Second, there would be so many "whys?" she would have to answer for me. She was completely wrong about me in so many ways (e.g., her attorney accused me of having anger problems and that she was in fear of her safety) so I would need to know the truth about that.

I would make a condition as follows -- we must go into couples therapy. I would need to be satisfied with the answers to my ever so many whys. Then, just then, we might be able to work on getting back together.


So you would be open to her coming back, even if not immediately. You are not ready to date. When you can answer "I wouldn't take her back if she were the last woman on earth" then I say go date like a madman.

You came to this forum lamenting the fact that she wouldn't even talk to you. To me you still have an attachment to her emotionally that you need to work on. Absence and loneliness are not the same thing as being ready to move on.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/23/20 09:41 PM

Originally Posted by Steve85
So you would be open to her coming back, even if not immediately. You are not ready to date. When you can answer "I wouldn't take her back if she were the last woman on earth" then I say go date like a madman.

You came to this forum lamenting the fact that she wouldn't even talk to you. To me you still have an attachment to her emotionally that you need to work on. Absence and loneliness are not the same thing as being ready to move on.

There you go, Steve, asking the tough questions. Thanks.

Whichever way things go, I have a great need for closure. I need to know the why. I need to know what I did wrong from her perspective. I would have those two needs whether I had written her off forever or whether I still harbored a tiny hope of getting back together.

As Michele said in her Divorce Remedy book, a divorce does not mean the end of the relationship! We have three children and will someday share the spouses of our children and 6 or more grandchildren! So I expect to be seeing her on a regular basis at some point.

But that won't happen until she decides to relent from her anger. She walked out with all the money and the best car, she taunted me (through her attorney) to file a motion with the judge to get my share, and at 4 weeks her attorney wrote a letter filled with so many lies, and so much hurt, that it almost put me in the hospital. We have virtually never spoken. I saw her twice in the first three weeks, then didn't see her until month 5 when she came over (with witnesses in case I was "hostile"!) to get some clothing. Emails are tense and terse. In the first 60 days I begged her (yes, that was before DB) to at least talk with me, and maybe we could divorce amicably without lawyers, using mediators. Not a peep in reply, except more B.S. from her attorney.

So there is a lot of ground to plough. I am Christian man, I am commanded to forgive, and I have. I was clear about that before the end of the second month to her, in writing. Yet, forgiveness does NOT mean I take her back! It just means I never hate, and let go of any anger and hurt. In my case, I just felt searing pain. I loved her too much to be angry. But is that love dead? But would I take her back? She is not the person I once knew, and the chances, at this time, would be very very small.
Posted By: Vapo

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/24/20 06:19 AM

Originally Posted by tom_h


Whichever way things go, I have a great need for closure. I need to know the why. I need to know what I did wrong from her perspective. I would have those two needs whether I had written her off forever or whether I still harbored a tiny hope of getting back together.



This will not be revealed just now and not easily. You have to let go of the need to know why. In all likelyhood you did plenty of thing wrong, probably some very wrong. You have to dig inside and own up to your mistakes. Then forgive yourself and start working on yourself to make a better you.

Originally Posted by tom_h

So there is a lot of ground to plough. I am Christian man, I am commanded to forgive, and I have. I was clear about that before the end of the second month to her, in writing. Yet, forgiveness does NOT mean I take her back! It just means I never hate, and let go of any anger and hurt. In my case, I just felt searing pain. I loved her too much to be angry. But is that love dead? But would I take her back? She is not the person I once knew, and the chances, at this time, would be very very small.


See, this is what I have a problem with. You call yourself a Christian man, yet you cannot wait to date other women. What part of :"In sickness and in health, for better or for worse..." did you not understand?!? This is the worse part, in case you are wondering. "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder". You are married and it is time to start behaving as one.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/24/20 12:31 PM

Originally Posted by Vapo
This will not be revealed just now and not easily. You have to let go of the need to know why. In all likelihood you did plenty of thing wrong, probably some very wrong. You have to dig inside and own up to your mistakes. Then forgive yourself and start working on yourself to make a better you.


This is a chicken and egg problem. I've asked elsewhere here on DB what the men did when they did their 180s, and how they came to those realizations, and I'm not getting any answers back. I don't want to change how I think I should change; I want to change those things that others see about me. Much different.

One of my new best friends after my WAW left was a man married four times. Four times! He is now a 70-something retired doctor, and he was married three times through age 40. It's not surprising, how many gals want to have a doctor for a husband?

He was able to rationalize away why the first, and then the second, marriages didn't work, didn't last more than 5-10 years. But when the third started falling apart, he was in serious crisis. He knew it was he himself, what was wrong with him? So after his third divorce was final, he and his 3rd ex went into couples counseling together. Finally, he got an unvarnished view of himself, not in a mirror but through the lens of someone who was perhaps incompatible but nevertheless could tell him how we was, not how he perceived he was.

It changed everything. He got married for a fourth time a few years later, to a much different woman than previously; he also now knew what he was doing wrong. He's been married 30 years and he is very happy.

So this was an inspiring story for me. Will my ex ever agree to that? I don't know. But I am logical man and hearing her perspective -- finally -- is something of great interest to me, even if it's colored by her anger.

Originally Posted by Vapo
Originally Posted by tom_h
So there is a lot of ground to plough. I am Christian man, I am commanded to forgive, and I have. I was clear about that before the end of the second month to her, in writing. Yet, forgiveness does NOT mean I take her back! It just means I never hate, and let go of any anger and hurt. In my case, I just felt searing pain. I loved her too much to be angry. But is that love dead? But would I take her back? She is not the person I once knew, and the chances, at this time, would be very very small.
See, this is what I have a problem with. You call yourself a Christian man, yet you cannot wait to date other women. What part of :"In sickness and in health, for better or for worse..." did you not understand?!? This is the worse part, in case you are wondering. "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder". You are married and it is time to start behaving as one.

Vapo, you seem hung up on this. I'm not married anymore (technically I am but the divorce is almost final). That marriage vow is a human, earthly vow, but man is fallen and oftentimes, 50% in the USA, man does put marriage asunder anyway. Merely because the vow exists, it does not mean that married Christians are immune to crisis, sin, and failure. The Bible frowns on divorce but does not forbid it.

As for "acting like a married man," how can I? She left. She won't talk. She's checked out. She's fighting tooth and nail using lawyers. If I walked around claiming to still be her husband, not only would people look at me askance but I wouldn't be following the principles here on DB to, basically, move on.

Think about it for a minute. My choices at this stage are to choose to be single for a long time or forever, or to explore, slowly and carefully, friendships and other relationships with women. I will probably pursue the latter. I do believe I was made for connection with a woman. That doesn't mean I'm on a quest to bed as many gals as I can before I turn 60; I wasn't even like that in my 20s! I didn't give my heart away easily when I met my wife 30 years ago, and I won't do it this time either.

Dating that other woman was too soon, I now realize, and I learned something important about myself, now that I'm single and much older. No one could possibly say that, after a painful divorce, a man shouldn't spend some time getting about so as to not make a second mistake choosing a mate.
Posted By: Steve85

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/24/20 12:53 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h
The Bible frowns on divorce but does not forbid it.


Yes this is correct.

What it does forbid is divorcing and remarrying.....except in cases of fornication. (Read Matthew 19.) So the only way according to the Bible you can remarry is if she has cheated on you (and leaving isn't cheating), or when she passes away. According to the Bible fornication (sexual sin) and death are the only things that can end a marriage. Regardless of what man's laws say.
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/24/20 06:15 PM

Originally Posted by Ready2Change
I started DBing right away. Lots of 180's.
Originally Posted by tom_h

R2C, can you help me here? What do you think are the best and most insightful 180s are that you did? Which were the hardest? Which ones were you doing right away? Because somehow it seems the very definition of 180 means that it takes time, and whatever change you're doing can't be done in a weekend.


Well, I am reflecting back 10 years. All my changes did not attract my X back.

The best and most insightful 180 - Reading self help books. Challenging everything I believed.

The hardest 180 - Probably being more assertive. Still a work in progress.

Initial 180s cleaned up my appearance and items on her "complaint list".

Some 180's are easy and others might take more effort to master. 180's are all unique for each of us. Approaching a stranger and starting a conversation is natural to some and terrifying for others.
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/24/20 06:30 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h
I don't want to change how I think I should change; I want to change those things that others see about me. Much different.
Correct.

How do they see you now? How do you want them to see you?
Posted By: Valeska19

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/24/20 06:30 PM

Tom.
You just can't have it both ways.

If you want the Single Life and freedom to date - Okay. Divorce your W. No more waiting. No more holding it up. No more teetering. Take the initiative and push it through.

If you want to not divorce your wife - Okay. Then stand and stand for you and you alone regardless of what she does.

I personally did not have another relationship until my D was final with my XW (the process took 22 months). When it was over... I knew I upheld my commitment to the marriage until the end. It had NOTHING to do with her and everything to do with the person I wanted to be. It was my commitment to her. When we signed the papers - she thanked me for staying "loving towards her" even in the midst of the D. Sometimes the high road is more painful... that's why it's less traveled.

Look I get it... it's been a long time. She's not showing any signs. You are sad, tired, lonely. I am not trying to invalidate those feelings. But please be honest with yourself about them. The decision is ultimately yours to make... and all I'm seeing is that you keep pushing it off as "my w is making me do it"
Posted By: harvey

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/24/20 07:02 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h
[quote=Vapo]I've asked elsewhere here on DB what the men did when they did their 180s, and how they came to those realizations, and I'm not getting any answers back.


I think you asked me this, and I never got back to you.

My 180s:

1) Physical Attraction. Diet and exercise. I lost 30 pounds. I've gained 15 back, but I steadied there. I was almost too skinny at one point. Dress up more. I don't wear t-shirts (summer time) and hoodies (winter time) 90% of the time anymore. I quit chewing (more than two years now). I get more sleep.
2) Emotional Attraction. I read NMMNG. While I don't think a lot of it relates to me, some of it didn't resonate. I'm trying to be more alpha (without being a dink). My needs are not last on my list anymore. I'm not afraid to rock the boat. I'm back to my former fun self (more social). I treat my GF well, but I don't treat her like her sh|t doesn't stink.
3) Faith. I attend church more regularly. I do more bible study.
4) GAL. I volunteer more (until COVID hit). I reconnected with family and friends. I've gotten back into camping, fishing and hunting. I travel more (until COVID hit).
5) Improvements. I've worked on my procrastination. If something needs to get done, I do it. I've become handier around the house. I cook more.
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/24/20 10:29 PM


Hi Tom,

How is it going on the legal side? Is anything being contested or is it a waiting game for the court process?

How about the kids? How are they dealing with this?
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/30/20 06:50 PM

Originally Posted by Ready2Change

The hardest 180 - Probably being more assertive. Still a work in progress.

Yes, I can imagine this is hard. Very hard. Especially for this nice guy, e.g., me!

Problem is, with me, my STBXW thought I was too dominant, too male, too dismissive of her thoughts. Yet, I am the ultimate nice guy! To this day, I think she made a huge mistake, thinking the grass will be greener. She will find that most men -- while they might be ultimate gentlemen -- will still, in the end, be more dominant than I ever was.

Originally Posted by Ready2Change
Initial 180s cleaned up my appearance and items on her "complaint list".

Sounds like she wanted a GQ-type man who was more dominant. Interesting. There is an old saying that while women may claim they want a nice guy, they really want a bad boy. I don't mean to make things trite, but is this the situation here?
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/30/20 06:58 PM

Originally Posted by Ready2Change
Originally Posted by tom_h
I don't want to change how I think I should change; I want to change those things that others see about me. Much different.
Correct.

How do they see you now? How do you want them to see you?

Well, my STBXW isn't talking but I've been in therapy with an awesome [female] therapist and here's what I need to work on as 180s:

1) Communication
2) Empathy, especially when it is not automatic -- e.g., don't be dismissive even of the small things
3) Concern for what she is concerned about
4) Attending to her love languages
5) Being vulnerable, talking about feelings
6) Respect -- by the end of the marriage, we were mutually disrespectful too often, although she would probably only claim I was
7) Priorities -- caring more for people rather than ideas, politics, current events

If anyone is interested I'll talk more about the 180s in a more detailed post.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/30/20 07:32 PM

Originally Posted by Valeska19
Tom.
You just can't have it both ways.

If you want the Single Life and freedom to date - Okay. Divorce your W. No more waiting. No more holding it up. No more teetering. Take the initiative and push it through.

If you want to not divorce your wife - Okay. Then stand and stand for you and you alone regardless of what she does.

I personally did not have another relationship until my D was final with my XW (the process took 22 months). When it was over... I knew I upheld my commitment to the marriage until the end. It had NOTHING to do with her and everything to do with the person I wanted to be. It was my commitment to her. When we signed the papers - she thanked me for staying "loving towards her" even in the midst of the D. Sometimes the high road is more painful... that's why it's less traveled.

Look I get it... it's been a long time. She's not showing any signs. You are sad, tired, lonely. I am not trying to invalidate those feelings. But please be honest with yourself about them. The decision is ultimately yours to make... and all I'm seeing is that you keep pushing it off as "my w is making me do it"

Thanks for your perspective. I'm really not trying to have it both ways. If you look back and read my relationship story, you'll see that I mostly fell into it. I did get out after only a few months and my eyes were opened about a lot of things.

Most of the other advice I am getting here on DB is don't date, period, regardless of the divorce or not, for 2 years. I understand why those with this opinion are so passionate. I think the primary reasons they are so emphatic about it are, (1) having a relationship on the rebound only delays, or defers forever, giving yourself the chance to do the 180s; (2) too soon after BD day no one is making good decisions (that was my case); and (3) you're too vulnerable so soon after BD day.

I can see how waiting until the divorce is final is some indication of respect, such as in your case. I get it. But if your STBXW shows you no respect, and in fact engages in the usual falsehoods and lies in an attempt to gain legal advantage, then what? STBXW sent me messages via our adult children that "there is no one else," as if that mattered. If she is determined to divorce me, with no chance at counseling or working things out, do I really care if there is another man? For me at least, the answer is no.

This is not a matter of feelings of loneliness or physical attention. Had my STBXW said to me, "I need a lot of time alone. I'm moving out and getting my own place. I want a legal separation, I'd prefer not to see you unless it's about the kids, let's both revisit things in 6 months or so, and I hope you get some counseling," I would have done all of that in a heartbeat. No need to date or whatever.

But she walked out without notice. We met twice in the first couple weeks, at which I asked her to consider a trial separation. She said maybe at first, but then told me OVER THE TELEPHONE after 3 weeks that there was no chance for our marriage. One week after that, she began her legal shenanigans that almost put me in the ER. Together over 30 years, and the amount of discussion we had, mutually, to work things out could be measured in MINUTES.

To me, therefore, I consider my marriage to have ended on that day, over the telephone, when she told me there was no hope. I had to look ahead, not behind. I have maintained the high road, of course. Nothing untoward has been written about her by my attorney. But I am looking forward, not behind.

In a sense, I feel like I"m 16 again, having to figure out how to navigate the world of romance for 55-65 year olds. I think it's a lot more perilous than it was in high school.

And there's one more good reason to gently explore connection with the opposite sex. I get to try out my new changes -- at being a better communicator; at having more empathy; at having women view me as having a softer side. Proving that you've accomplished some 180s not only takes time, it takes feedback, and not just from family and friends.

So ... unless I learn a hard lesson otherwise, I hope to have coffees, dinner dates, and some movie times with some lovely women. And learn more about myself in the process.
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/30/20 08:18 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h
There is an old saying that while women may claim they want a nice guy, they really want a bad boy. I don't mean to make things trite, but is this the situation here?
Both types of guys have positive and negative traits. Dropping the negative ones from your "Current" type and picking up the positive ones from the "other" type works well.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 09/30/20 08:48 PM

Originally Posted by Steve85
Originally Posted by tom_h
The Bible frowns on divorce but does not forbid it.


Yes this is correct.

What it does forbid is divorcing and remarrying.....except in cases of fornication. (Read Matthew 19.) So the only way according to the Bible you can remarry is if she has cheated on you (and leaving isn't cheating), or when she passes away. According to the Bible fornication (sexual sin) and death are the only things that can end a marriage. Regardless of what man's laws say.

Well now, the topic gets interesting from here. What if a spouse does not know if the other spouse cheated, or thinks the spouse cheated without objective proof? Is that good enough? Also, be advised that Mt 19 doesn't "forbid" divorce but just says that those who divorce have committed adultery, e.g., a sin.

I've had a number of pastors tell me that my STBXW sinned in initiating the divorce, especially the walking out without notice part. One of the NT books (Titus I think) commands we Christians to work things out with each other, and if one can't communicate with the other, then use a trusted 3rd party. She did none of these!

Some of these same pastors say that re-marrying is not a sin, especially if you are the LBS (left behind spouse). Just don't lose your Christian principles during the divorce process, dating, and the wooing of your next spouse. I am not a Biblical scholar so I'm not the one to cite chapter and verse. But the general thrust of these pastors is that God did not intend us to be without intimate connection with others, so especially if you are not the one who walked out, you should have no compunction about meeting someone else and remarrying.

Of course, even if remarrying is a sin, then is it a sin forever? Is it an unforgiveable sin? Of course not! There is only one unpardonable sin. So of course the act of a second marriage is something that can be forgiven.

But such is about the end of my biblical scholarship.
Posted By: Vapo

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/02/20 06:47 AM

I get a distinct feeling that you are still acting from the position of hurt. And you are trying to self medicate using other people of the opposite sex. You can rebuff all you want but denile is not just a river in Egipt. Been there, did that, I did not end well. Pople got hurt and I also ached with the pain I caused other people.

You have to fix you first and not by using other people. There is a saying that is relevant. And is sys that you are ready to date when you no longer feel the need to date, when you are happy by yourself and with just yourself.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/02/20 02:09 PM

Originally Posted by Steve85

So you would be open to her coming back, even if not immediately. You are not ready to date. When you can answer "I wouldn't take her back if she were the last woman on earth" then I say go date like a madman.

You came to this forum lamenting the fact that she wouldn't even talk to you. To me you still have an attachment to her emotionally that you need to work on. Absence and loneliness are not the same thing as being ready to move on.


Steve, maybe the below makes this clearer.

A new friend, about age 55, told me the story of his WAW from about 10 years ago. I'll spare you the details, but he said that the pain never goes away. Never goes away. Last year, this friend remarried a lovely woman, stunning in fact, and is very happy. But he says that every day, during some moment of quiet, he feels pain because his first love, and his beautiful young family, fell apart. [I think his new wife must be a saint.] "It hurts every day, Tom," he said.

I'm not sure whether he is still "emotionally attached" to his ex after 10 years. Maybe he is just a sensitive man! [That's true in fact, he is artistic.]

Only the most callous among us would say that a bond with a first love, especially one that lasted 30 years, could be severed completely. I have some friends who are both past age 75, a widower and a widow, who recently remarried. Neither of them are "over" their past attachment to their first spouses! How can they, they see their first spouses in the faces of their children and grandchildren! While that doesn't mean they put their wedding picture from 50 years ago on the mantle, it might mean that there will always be a candle burning, in the background. I wouldn't be surprised if, in the new home they share together, they have a room upstairs called the "memory room" where the old photo albums, wedding pictures, and other memorabilia reside.

I'm not trying to create an argument or necessarily disagree with you. But I'm a sensitive guy too, and if I waited until I was "over" my ex I might be 80 years old, and too senile to have remembered her anyway!
Posted By: ovrrnbw

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/02/20 02:20 PM

I don't know why my signature line isn't showing but here it is:

It is not things that bother us, but the stories we tell ourselves about things.

If I get divorced at 45 I am going to live live live until I die. I'm not going worry every day about a past love when I could be loving the life I have.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/02/20 02:21 PM

Originally Posted by harvey

My 180s:

1) Physical Attraction. Diet and exercise. I lost 30 pounds. I've gained 15 back, but I steadied there. I was almost too skinny at one point. Dress up more. I don't wear t-shirts (summer time) and hoodies (winter time) 90% of the time anymore. I quit chewing (more than two years now). I get more sleep.
2) Emotional Attraction. I read NMMNG. While I don't think a lot of it relates to me, some of it didn't resonate. I'm trying to be more alpha (without being a dink). My needs are not last on my list anymore. I'm not afraid to rock the boat. I'm back to my former fun self (more social). I treat my GF well, but I don't treat her like her sh|t doesn't stink.
3) Faith. I attend church more regularly. I do more bible study.
4) GAL. I volunteer more (until COVID hit). I reconnected with family and friends. I've gotten back into camping, fishing and hunting. I travel more (until COVID hit).
5) Improvements. I've worked on my procrastination. If something needs to get done, I do it. I've become handier around the house. I cook more.

Harvey, that is a great list! I resonate with point #1 a bit, because about the time my STBXW started planning her exit I was kind of heavy, and while I"m a good looking guy when I'm 35 pounds overweight I don't carry it well. I expect that if love is teetering on the edge, part of what puts a woman over the edge is looking at an overweight husband and saying to herself, "I don't even like how he looks anymore!" I've since lost 20 pounds and look good, but want to get down another 15 so I look fantastic. I've been holding at the current weight since last December.

If you don't mind, tell me a little more about NMMNG with your GF. What specifically did you change? I can imagine both the trivial (e.g., where you go to dinner or which movie to watch) to the non-trivial ("it's time for me to meet your parents" rather than "whenever you think it's the right time").
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/03/20 06:40 PM

Originally Posted by Vapo
I get a distinct feeling that you are still acting from the position of hurt. And you are trying to self medicate using other people of the opposite sex. You can rebuff all you want but denial is not just a river in Egypt. Been there, did that, it did not end well. People got hurt and I also ached with the pain I caused other people.

You have to fix you first and not by using other people. There is a saying that is relevant. And it says that you are ready to date when you no longer feel the need to date, when you are happy by yourself and with just yourself.

OK Vapo, I'm listening. Maybe you can tell me a bit about the mistakes you made when you became single? Because you say that people got hurt and you also got hurt.
Posted By: harvey

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/03/20 06:58 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h
If you don't mind, tell me a little more about NMMNG with your GF. What specifically did you change? I can imagine both the trivial (e.g., where you go to dinner or which movie to watch) to the non-trivial ("it's time for me to meet your parents" rather than "whenever you think it's the right time").


Good question. I've worked on my covert contracts. In my marriage my XW controlled our sex life. It wasn't terrible (1-2/weeks), but it felt stale. If I did things for her (loving things, chores, etc.) and she wasn't in the mood, it would often make me disappointed or upset. I did things with an expectation that I'd be rewarded. I'd let it fester inside. I think it's a bit normal for a guy. I've really tried hard to break free from that. I still do things for my GF, but without expectations. And sometimes, I say no. I try to keep all of our interactions flirty and fun--without the expectation that it will lead to sex. To be honest though, my GF is much more "sexual" than my XW, and she likes that I lead our sex life. Our sex life is fantastic. Hopefully, that isn't just limerence.

I've learned women don't want wishy washy guys that are always asking them what they want to do. I know where my GF likes to eat, where she likes to have a drink, etc. Instead of asking her what she'd like to do, I will say "I feel like having a drink at [a bar she may like]", and she's usually like "sounds great". Other times, I choose the place I like. If we have a free weekend, instead of asking her what she wants to do, I will tell her that I'm in the mood to take a road trip to a specific place. It's just a different mentality.

Getting through my divorce forced me to control my emotions and expectations. I try to be a rock for my GF--calm, cool, and collected. Nothing's going to bring me down. smile

The thing I've worked on the most is to truly listen to my GF. Women aren't looking for us to fix things--which goes against our nature. I don't even have to agree with what she's saying, but I try to validate the feelings behind her words.
Posted By: harvey

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/03/20 06:59 PM

BTW, I started dating my GF a little over a year after BD and about 9 months after divorce. Everybody's timeframe is different. I think if you really look inside yourself, you'll know if you are ready.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/03/20 10:26 PM

Originally Posted by harvey
I try to be a rock for my GF--calm, cool, and collected. Nothing's going to bring me down. smile

The thing I've worked on the most is to truly listen to my GF. Women aren't looking for us to fix things--which goes against our nature. I don't even have to agree with what she's saying, but I try to validate the feelings behind her words.


Wow! Perfect.

I have two daughters and a lot of what I'm doing, as I become a different man, is watch how they respond. They like the more vulnerable Dad. Without criticizing their Mom, I tell them about hopes and dreams that were dashed when my STBXW walked out, just so they can get insight into how wonderful a guy I am.

I also show that I am totally open to suggestions that they make. For example, my youngest (age 19) was talking about the reason she drinks non-dairy milk. So I went out and bought oat milk, the first time ever I just didn't get regular milk. Both girls were really impressed. In the grand scheme of things, it's not that big a deal, but to have let them influence my life, even in a small way, mattered. I also decided that people matter more than ideas or politics. So I get off my high horse a lot when it comes to things like that -- more accepting of the world the way it is, not critical. To my girls, it is a huge thing. I expect it will be the same to a future GF or Mrs Tom.

As for the timing when I begin to date again, thanks for your perspective. I think the right approach is to start slowly, tasting a lot of the wares out there, and make good choices. There's more I could say but probably not here.
Posted By: TimW10

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/04/20 12:52 PM

Hey Tom. Just reading your sich here. I feel for you. I don't have much to offer in terms of advice. I am a newbie here. However, I do know that the pain gets a little easier each day. I still have emotional periods, still breakdown sometimes but it is getting easier. It's really helpful to have a community like this to lean on when times are tough. I hope things get better for you
Posted By: Rose888

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/04/20 03:15 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h


As for the timing when I begin to date again, thanks for your perspective. I think the right approach is to start slowly, tasting a lot of the wares out there, and make good choices. There's more I could say but probably not here.


I think I found your next 180. Stop thinking of women as wares to sample.

This is not an indictment of casual dating. But talking about women as if they were property? Eww.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/04/20 05:56 PM

Originally Posted by Rose888

I think I found your next 180. Stop thinking of women as wares to sample.

This is not an indictment of casual dating. But talking about women as if they were property? Eww.
Sorry, Rose, it was just colorful language. I didn't mean it any more than if I had said I was smelling different flowers looking for a good scent or going to a different restaurant each day during restaurant week. I will feel no compunction about casually dating a lot of different women when the time is right.

I am a consummate gentleman and never mistreated women nor gave away my heart easily nor was the type to juggle multiple bed partners at a time. Somewhere else in this thread I did say that the dating world for 55-65 year olds is very scary, and believe me I will not settle down quickly. The baggage that both the men and women carry is considerable.

But thanks anyway for keeping me honest.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/05/20 02:16 PM

Originally Posted by TimW10
Hey Tom. Just reading your sich here. I feel for you. I don't have much to offer in terms of advice. I am a newbie here. However, I do know that the pain gets a little easier each day. I still have emotional periods, still breakdown sometimes but it is getting easier. It's really helpful to have a community like this to lean on when times are tough. I hope things get better for you

Tim, thanks. I've had a good life, and given that I had a rough childhood I sometimes think I've lived a charmed life -- until last year.

Our marriage wasn't perfect -- yes it was blah in the years leading up to her walkout without notice, yes, she had lost interest in sex 20 years earlier after children, yes, she was not always on "Team Tom" when I needed her emotionally, but still -- STILL -- I was committed to her. I called her the love of my life to my kids, and that was sincere. I wanted to grow old together. I was loyal to her. I never spoke ill about her, even in my weakest moments. I don't have a temper, I have no anger issues, I never called her names. I would have never left her, ever. If she had gone through what I had gone through, I would have carried her rather than leaving her.

So the worst part is wondering whether I made the right choice 30 years ago; sometimes I do. It also hurts wondering if I'm damaged goods. If I'm a failure at marriage. If I have poor discernment regarding people. If I just can't love as a woman wants.

It has been a year for me, so I'm ahead of you. And yes, the pain gets easier. If it seems like it's fresh it's because I found no forums like this until 6 weeks ago, already 11 months after D-Day. But I'm much better. On the anniversary of D-Day, I sent a message to my kids about my journey. My girls were pretty shocked that Dad was so open. But what the hey, if a Tom 2.0 is going to be a reality, there will be a lot more surprises than Dad talking about his feelings.
Posted By: Steve85

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/05/20 02:30 PM

Originally Posted by harvey
BTW, I started dating my GF a little over a year after BD and about 9 months after divorce. Everybody's timeframe is different. I think if you really look inside yourself, you'll know if you are ready.


harvey, the problem isn't timeframe....it is mindset. If the LBS is dating to "stop the bleeding" (IE put on a bandaid) then they are doing it for the wrong reasons. Your timeframe is a short one. Not sure how things are going with your gf, but I would argue that in the vast majority of LBSs, 9 months post D, after BD was just 4 months prior, is not a healthy timeframe. Maybe it will work out for you...maybe it won't. But LBSs have other things to be focusing on in the shortterm and dating isn't one of them.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/07/20 03:05 PM

Originally Posted by Steve85
Originally Posted by harvey
BTW, I started dating my GF a little over a year after BD and about 9 months after divorce. Everybody's timeframe is different. I think if you really look inside yourself, you'll know if you are ready.


harvey, the problem isn't timeframe....it is mindset. If the LBS is dating to "stop the bleeding" (IE put on a bandaid) then they are doing it for the wrong reasons. Your timeframe is a short one. Not sure how things are going with your gf, but I would argue that in the vast majority of LBSs, 9 months post D, after BD was just 4 months prior, is not a healthy timeframe. Maybe it will work out for you...maybe it won't. But LBSs have other things to be focusing on in the shortterm and dating isn't one of them.

Steve, I think you're one of the guys who told me 2 years at minimum before dating. I suppose what you mean is that the LBH needs to settle down emotionally and accept what happened; then GAL and start 180s. What do you think the driving factor is here? The 180s? Because it took me 90 days to finally accept things emotionally, and don't get me wrong, those were horrible, horrible days, the last 45 of them being Thanksgiving and Christmas last year.

Here's my point. We need connection with others to make the 180s work. And for we men, so often it is matters of communication and sensitivity. How do we know how we're doing unless we have women friends?

I get it, intense sexual relationships will blind us to our changes. Men are generally dumb enough to think that they're in love when the sex is just wow! And yes, divorced women who we date will probably be very hot to trot.

But why not coffee dates? Why not more simple connections? Why not female confidantes? Because these will be the ones who give us feedback on our 180s. At least in my case, it won't be my ex!
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/07/20 03:06 PM

Originally Posted by harvey
BTW, I started dating my GF a little over a year after BD and about 9 months after divorce. Everybody's timeframe is different. I think if you really look inside yourself, you'll know if you are ready.

Wow, that was a quickie divorce. Were you in Nevada?
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/07/20 03:41 PM

Originally Posted by LH19
Tommy,

There is really nothing to ask. You just described 97% of long term marriages. You weren't meeting her needs so she had no desire to meet yours. The marriage becomes unfulfilling for both parties involved. Usually its just a matter of timing in terms of who pulls the rip cord first.

That's why it's now important to separate the desire for the person, from the desire for resumption of control, stability, in your life. Your brain is telling you that getting W back will restore these things, but it won't.

So ask yourself, what do you want and why do you want it?

When I first saw your reply, LH19, I felt slighted. Now, after all these weeks and after getting through about half of Michele's book, I think I understand better. So I'll try now to answer your question.

My wants (these reflect my age, which is late 50s):

* To be a better man, the type of man a woman really wants and needs, one who actively works to win her love every day. This is different than the man I was before, who went through the marriage passively, just figuring things would work out without direct action.

* I need connection, e.g., eventually remarriage, with another woman. I'm too young to stay single forever. I've learned that I am more whole when married to a woman who loves me without condition, who stands beside me, who has my back, who thinks I'm awesome even when I'm not. I will do the same for her.

* Stay engaged intellectually somehow and somewhere, hopefully with my second wife.

* Stay physically fit.

* Be a good father and grandfather someday, making time for these essential people in my life.

Is this a good start?
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/07/20 05:26 PM

Hi Tom,

Are you happy?
Posted By: harvey

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/07/20 06:20 PM

Originally Posted by Steve85
Originally Posted by harvey
BTW, I started dating my GF a little over a year after BD and about 9 months after divorce. Everybody's timeframe is different. I think if you really look inside yourself, you'll know if you are ready.


harvey, the problem isn't timeframe....it is mindset. If the LBS is dating to "stop the bleeding" (IE put on a bandaid) then they are doing it for the wrong reasons. Your timeframe is a short one. Not sure how things are going with your gf, but I would argue that in the vast majority of LBSs, 9 months post D, after BD was just 4 months prior, is not a healthy timeframe. Maybe it will work out for you...maybe it won't. But LBSs have other things to be focusing on in the shortterm and dating isn't one of them.


People are built different. I've always been somebody that handles adversity well. DB through mid summer 2019 was the toughest time of my life, but by August I felt ready to date. I met my GF at a funeral in April 2019 and we hit it off, but I told her that I wasn't ready to start dating. I wasn't. We kept in contact via text. By August I felt ready and I told her that. We've been dating 13 months and things are going strong. We could break up, any relationship could end, but it's not because I wasn't ready to start dating 13 months ago.

Some people may need more than 2 years. I don't think 1 year or 2 years is a magic number. Maybe most men aren't ready to start dating after 9 months or even 1 year, but some will be. You have to be completely honest with yourself though. I think what helped me was the fact we were separated immediately after DB (even before since we were in the process of moving to another state).
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/08/20 09:27 AM

Originally Posted by Ready2Change
Hi Tom,

Are you happy?

Well, there are several ways to answer this.

The polite answer, to most acquanitances, is yes. The shock is over, I've gotten to a stable point, and while the divorce isn't final it will be in a few months, hopefully.

The correct answer is any happiness is mostly superficial. I am still in a haze sometimes, shaking my head as I walk around the house, having gotten used to the fact that she's not here but recognizing that this is still her house -- the furniture she chose, the wall covers and more. I am still in therapy and still working on myself. So from that perspective, I'm not happy yet.
Posted By: Steve85

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/08/20 02:04 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h
Originally Posted by Ready2Change
Hi Tom,

Are you happy?

Well, there are several ways to answer this.

The polite answer, to most acquanitances, is yes. The shock is over, I've gotten to a stable point, and while the divorce isn't final it will be in a few months, hopefully.

The correct answer is any happiness is mostly superficial. I am still in a haze sometimes, shaking my head as I walk around the house, having gotten used to the fact that she's not here but recognizing that this is still her house -- the furniture she chose, the wall covers and more. I am still in therapy and still working on myself. So from that perspective, I'm not happy yet.


Outward shows of happiness can be superficial....yes. But true happiness isn't superficial. It is a deep down security in your own worth, being able to enjoy life, and moving forward with purpose and understanding. Do not confuse sorrow, pain, and mourning as a lack of happiness. The happiest people on earth still feel sad and mourn loss. This is why I like to use the analogy of death of a spouse. Your spouse chose to leave you and move on to a life without you. But there are other ways to lose a spouse: disease, accident, malfeasance. Those that are internally happy will mourn that loss, but then face a new day with bravery and zest. Those that had their happiness to wrapped up in their spouse (codependence) will feel paralyzed and unable to move forward.

So while you are still occasionally in a haze, shaking your head as you walk around the house, and still mourn the loss of your W, that doesn't mean that you aren't content in the fact that you are secure in who you are and who you want to be, and moving forward with your best life possible. We do not control what happens to us in this life, but we certainly control how we react to it.
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/08/20 05:50 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h
The polite answer, to most acquaintances, is yes. ....The correct answer is any happiness is mostly superficial....So from that perspective, I'm not happy yet
Thanks for clarifying. I have been there.

Finding happiness while single (not being in a relationship) is part of the process. Focus on getting there before dating. You will attract much healthier women into your life. I am not saying to avoid interacting with woman. There are other skills and behavior to learn and practice.
Posted By: Steve85

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/08/20 06:19 PM

Originally Posted by harvey
Originally Posted by Steve85
Originally Posted by harvey
BTW, I started dating my GF a little over a year after BD and about 9 months after divorce. Everybody's timeframe is different. I think if you really look inside yourself, you'll know if you are ready.


harvey, the problem isn't timeframe....it is mindset. If the LBS is dating to "stop the bleeding" (IE put on a bandaid) then they are doing it for the wrong reasons. Your timeframe is a short one. Not sure how things are going with your gf, but I would argue that in the vast majority of LBSs, 9 months post D, after BD was just 4 months prior, is not a healthy timeframe. Maybe it will work out for you...maybe it won't. But LBSs have other things to be focusing on in the shortterm and dating isn't one of them.


People are built different. I've always been somebody that handles adversity well. DB through mid summer 2019 was the toughest time of my life, but by August I felt ready to date. I met my GF at a funeral in April 2019 and we hit it off, but I told her that I wasn't ready to start dating. I wasn't. We kept in contact via text. By August I felt ready and I told her that. We've been dating 13 months and things are going strong. We could break up, any relationship could end, but it's not because I wasn't ready to start dating 13 months ago.

Some people may need more than 2 years. I don't think 1 year or 2 years is a magic number. Maybe most men aren't ready to start dating after 9 months or even 1 year, but some will be. You have to be completely honest with yourself though. I think what helped me was the fact we were separated immediately after DB (even before since we were in the process of moving to another state).


harvey, I would qualify you as the exception, not the rule, though. Most people need time to recover, heal, improve and get themselves ready to move forward with someone else. I think very few people do that that and that is why the divorce stats look like this:

- 1st marriages ending in D: 40-50%
- 2nd marriages ending in D: 60-70%
- 3rd marriages ending in D: 70-80%

Most people do not want to be alone so they jump at the next thing that comes along. But those numbers above are sobering numbers. The best way to trend towards the % that stays married is to put in the work necessary to heal and improve. Learn and grow. Rather than just want sex and to have that itch scratched. I feel sex is a big reason people jump to marriage #2...AND THEN #3......and so on.
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/09/20 03:42 PM

Originally Posted by Steve85
harvey, I would qualify you as the exception, not the rule, though. Most people need time to recover, heal, improve and get themselves ready to move forward with someone else. I think very few people do that that and that is why the divorce stats look like this:

- 1st marriages ending in D: 40-50%
- 2nd marriages ending in D: 60-70%
- 3rd marriages ending in D: 70-80%

Most people do not want to be alone so they jump at the next thing that comes along. But those numbers above are sobering numbers. The best way to trend towards the % that stays married is to put in the work necessary to heal and improve. Learn and grow. Rather than just want sex and to have that itch scratched. I feel sex is a big reason people jump to marriage #2...AND THEN #3......and so on.

Steve, those are very sobering statistics. I wanted the probability of my first marriage ending to be 0%, and I feel the same way about, someday in the future, my second. I'd rather stay single than go through the pain of failure again.

At the very least, rest assured that I understand the fundamental weakness of men in general, that they mistake intense sex for love, not realizing that the intense sex always diminishes, leaving them with nothing but an empty relationship.
Posted By: Steve85

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/09/20 03:49 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h
Originally Posted by Steve85
harvey, I would qualify you as the exception, not the rule, though. Most people need time to recover, heal, improve and get themselves ready to move forward with someone else. I think very few people do that that and that is why the divorce stats look like this:

- 1st marriages ending in D: 40-50%
- 2nd marriages ending in D: 60-70%
- 3rd marriages ending in D: 70-80%

Most people do not want to be alone so they jump at the next thing that comes along. But those numbers above are sobering numbers. The best way to trend towards the % that stays married is to put in the work necessary to heal and improve. Learn and grow. Rather than just want sex and to have that itch scratched. I feel sex is a big reason people jump to marriage #2...AND THEN #3......and so on.

Steve, those are very sobering statistics. I wanted the probability of my first marriage ending to be 0%, and I feel the same way about, someday in the future, my second. I'd rather stay single than go through the pain of failure again.

At the very least, rest assured that I understand the fundamental weakness of men in general, that they mistake intense sex for love, not realizing that the intense sex always diminishes, leaving them with nothing but an empty relationship.



Amazingly well said tom! I will be adding your last sentence to R2C's quotes thread! Hear hear!
Posted By: tom_h

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/09/20 05:14 PM

Originally Posted by Steve85
Originally Posted by tom_h
Originally Posted by Steve85
harvey, I would qualify you as the exception, not the rule, though. Most people need time to recover, heal, improve and get themselves ready to move forward with someone else. I think very few people do that that and that is why the divorce stats look like this:

- 1st marriages ending in D: 40-50%
- 2nd marriages ending in D: 60-70%
- 3rd marriages ending in D: 70-80%

Most people do not want to be alone so they jump at the next thing that comes along. But those numbers above are sobering numbers. The best way to trend towards the % that stays married is to put in the work necessary to heal and improve. Learn and grow. Rather than just want sex and to have that itch scratched. I feel sex is a big reason people jump to marriage #2...AND THEN #3......and so on.

Steve, those are very sobering statistics. I wanted the probability of my first marriage ending to be 0%, and I feel the same way about, someday in the future, my second. I'd rather stay single than go through the pain of failure again.

At the very least, rest assured that I understand the fundamental weakness of men in general, that they mistake intense sex for love, not realizing that the intense sex always diminishes, leaving them with nothing but an empty relationship.



Amazingly well said tom! I will be adding your last sentence to R2C's quotes thread! Hear hear!

Well there is a corollary to that, which I've heard of, please confirm if true. Divorced women are motivated to remarry and are prone to the same mistake; in their case their sex drive goes into hyperdrive in order to snare a man, even past age 50 or 60. Once the vows are taken, however, life returns to normal, and the fellow wonders why she doesn't love him as much anymore. Because a woman's natural state, especially past children and age 40, is not a sex drive in hyperdrive. I've only heard this from others; is it true to an extent, or a stereotype?

If true, the lesson here to men at least is this. When you're ready for relationships, understand the difference between sex and love. Focus on the non-sexual issues of a relationship with a new woman and be aware that the physical side might well blind you to the rest and cloud the clarity of your thinking.
Posted By: Steve85

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/09/20 06:03 PM

Originally Posted by tom_h
Originally Posted by Steve85
Originally Posted by tom_h
Originally Posted by Steve85
harvey, I would qualify you as the exception, not the rule, though. Most people need time to recover, heal, improve and get themselves ready to move forward with someone else. I think very few people do that that and that is why the divorce stats look like this:

- 1st marriages ending in D: 40-50%
- 2nd marriages ending in D: 60-70%
- 3rd marriages ending in D: 70-80%

Most people do not want to be alone so they jump at the next thing that comes along. But those numbers above are sobering numbers. The best way to trend towards the % that stays married is to put in the work necessary to heal and improve. Learn and grow. Rather than just want sex and to have that itch scratched. I feel sex is a big reason people jump to marriage #2...AND THEN #3......and so on.

Steve, those are very sobering statistics. I wanted the probability of my first marriage ending to be 0%, and I feel the same way about, someday in the future, my second. I'd rather stay single than go through the pain of failure again.

At the very least, rest assured that I understand the fundamental weakness of men in general, that they mistake intense sex for love, not realizing that the intense sex always diminishes, leaving them with nothing but an empty relationship.



Amazingly well said tom! I will be adding your last sentence to R2C's quotes thread! Hear hear!

Well there is a corollary to that, which I've heard of, please confirm if true. Divorced women are motivated to remarry and are prone to the same mistake; in their case their sex drive goes into hyperdrive in order to snare a man, even past age 50 or 60. Once the vows are taken, however, life returns to normal, and the fellow wonders why she doesn't love him as much anymore. Because a woman's natural state, especially past children and age 40, is not a sex drive in hyperdrive. I've only heard this from others; is it true to an extent, or a stereotype?

If true, the lesson here to men at least is this. When you're ready for relationships, understand the difference between sex and love. Focus on the non-sexual issues of a relationship with a new woman and be aware that the physical side might well blind you to the rest and cloud the clarity of your thinking.


Not sure I concur. From the reading I've done, for a lot of women, 45+ is when their sexual desire really kicks into overdrive. I've read about mothers who couldn't stand to be around their son's friends because they were so sexually attracted to them. I've read here that for some women around 50, they get into pornography and it is electric to them! (I saw one source claim the fastest growing segment of porn addiction was late young adult and midlife aged women.)

Now, it is a natural progression of relationships that once a woman is more "secure" in the relationship, her compulsion to have sex is reduced. Men, who attached feelings of love and sex find that confusing since we take it that she no longer loves us.

But your last paragraph still stands. Men need to realize that a R built solely on sex will likely not last if you end up going through with the marriage.
Posted By: job

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" - 10/09/20 06:33 PM

New Thread:

Walk Away Spouse Fits my Ex-Wife to a "T" - part 2
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