Since my wife left me, I've been doing a lot of reading. One of the books, "The Secrets of Happily Married Men" by Scott Haltzman, has an interesting quote:
"Your wife desires a sense of closeness from you because knowing you care is paramount for her being able to stay in a relationship with you.
Maybe I didn't say that clearly enough: if your wife doesn't feel connected to you, she will leave. Don't rely on her sticking to her vows if she doesn't feel loved. She might, but most women I treat who decide to call a divorce lawyer don't do so because of abuse or infidelity. Women leave men because they feel emotionally disconnected." (pp. 71-72)
Those of you that know me from previous posts know my situation (we're still separated, divorce papers should be served to me any day now...). But this is one area where I could have done much better as a husband.
I tried to be kind to my wife every day, but I failed by not doing the little things, like calling her when I was in the grocery store to ask her if she needs anything, getting her flowers "just because" (of course money was super-tight, but still...), calling her just to say "I love you", having a weekly date, listening without judging or trying to fix her problem, asking her what she wants to do more often for activities, etc...
When our marriage began to crumble, I realized that I was falling short in these areas and I tried to change, e.g., for Thanksgiving I sent her a card listing 7 reasons I am thankful to have her in my life; I put a blanket on the living room floor and filled a basket with cooked lunch and held an "indoor" picnic; I called her one day from work and asked her what chore she hates the most, and she said "cleaning the fridge", so the next day I cleaned it; I also finally agreed to planning out date night every week, with a fancy dinner once a month.
But it was too late. She said, "too little, too late." She had already shut me out emotionally by then (reminds me of the quote in the book). Heck, for Valentine's Day I had a whole day planned for us: dinner eating sushi (her favorite), a movie at a drive-in, and a dozen roses. (Ok, not very creative, but still...) I put the rose pedals on the floor leading to our bed, but she just took the pedals and plastered them on my car windshield. And she criticized the chocolates--turns out I didn't know she doesn't like the assorted kind. We didn't celebrate Valentine's at all.
Two weeks after Valentine's Day, she was gone.
So I was wondering what you thought about the quote from Haltzman's book.
In my previous posts I wrote quite a bit about her shortcomings. I figured this would be an opportunity for me to post some of my own in our marriage.