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A Message from Michele
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Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" [Re: LH19] #2903600
09/12/20 12:04 AM
09/12/20 12:04 AM
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tom_l Offline OP
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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.

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" [Re: tom_l] #2903602
09/12/20 01:03 AM
09/12/20 01:03 AM
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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.

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" [Re: tom_l] #2903607
09/12/20 01:52 AM
09/12/20 01:52 AM
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LH19 Offline
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T,

Most of us here to get closure because the WWs aren’t 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.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

“Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.”- Will Smith
Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" [Re: harvey] #2903626
09/12/20 10:05 AM
09/12/20 10:05 AM
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tom_l Offline OP
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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.

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" [Re: tom_l] #2903710
09/14/20 10:11 AM
09/14/20 10:11 AM
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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.

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" [Re: Vapo] #2903776
09/14/20 08:10 PM
09/14/20 08:10 PM
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tom_l Offline OP
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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.

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" [Re: tom_l] #2903780
09/14/20 08:28 PM
09/14/20 08:28 PM
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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.


M(51), W(52),D(16)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" [Re: LH19] #2903785
09/14/20 09:02 PM
09/14/20 09:02 PM
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tom_l Offline OP
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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.

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" [Re: tom_l] #2903786
09/14/20 09:10 PM
09/14/20 09:10 PM
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tom_l Offline OP
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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.

Re: Walk Away Spouse Fits My Ex-Wife to a "T" [Re: tom_l] #2903793
09/14/20 10:14 PM
09/14/20 10:14 PM
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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.

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