The reason most women leave their husbands


#1

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.


#2

We could always have done better; but that does not mean what we did do was bad; even if it might have been lacking.

You sould like you sincerely tried; and from what you post to be the reactions to your efforts it appears you were fighting a losing battle.

That said ; your marraige is not yet over; for even if all seems lost it is not lost; do not punish yourself for what you see to be your shortcomings; for this seems; speaking impartially; that it would be being unduly unfair on yourself. Evidently; you fell short; but it is not just you - yet all of us who fall short; and despite that; you still kept getting up and trying; this is what spells your true love for your marraige.

Don't make an already difficult situation harder on yourself by being cruel or harsh to yourself, instead have faith for your marraige is not yet over.

I shall pray for the restoration of your union; and for the strength of both of you to overcome the challenges ahead of you; whichsoever way this tragedy unravels.


#3

[quote="TheAdvocate, post:1, topic:207344"]
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.

[/quote]

As a divorce woman, I suppose it has some truth in it, but let me say this:

Any woman who would leave a man because she didn't get flowers or told nice things about herself every day is a child. I have zero sympathy for such a person.

Now....there may be other, more serious, things going on. But if not getting enough attention and feelings talk is the only problem, people need to get a hold of themselves. Mention it to your spouse, sure, but it's not a reason to leave.

I think Haltzman is talking about lack of connection and intimacy in a deeper, more fundamental sense. My ex had an affair for most of our 4-yr marriage. I didn't know about the affair until the very end, but I knew he was distant, cold, emotionally abusive, selfish, cranky, withdrawn, monosyllabic, and physically neglectful to the point of cruelty. Cruelty, not plain old "sorry honey, I just don't think about stopping at the store for flowers" type checked-out-ness, which I believe happens with the best of husbands.

So, connection is paramount, yes, but don't think for a second that you are guilty of running your wife off because you didn't clean the fridge or buy roses.

Frankly, I think women today have forgotten that you get certain things from your husband and certain other things from you mom, sister, and best girlfriend.


#4

Dude, I am so sorry for you. As a guy, we get a bad wrap sometimes. Watch the movie , “Fireproof” If I was married to a woman like that, I’D be the one filing for divorce! :wink:

There is only so much one should be expected to do-remember that. If the other person has abusrdly high demands-then maybe it’s best you let her walk and find a more rational person.

Not enough attention is giving to men in divorce-it’s not always our fault, women can break marriages and hearts as well.

I’m praying for you my friend. Best of luck to you.


#5

I think your wife felt like you were more just following a plan to get her back, but not really expressing why you wanted her back and just what she ment to you in your life and your future. Thoughtfullness cannot be substuted for companionship or loyalty or intimacy. You should have known about the chocolates after the first Valentine's Day.


#6

I'm sorry for what you're going thru. I know my spouse and I are quite disconnected and I'm really doing a lot of searching and praying for guidance.

Let me say a few things about your original post that may or may not help. My husband calls from the grocery store, he does "nice" things (movie dates, helps with laundry, empties dishwasher occasionally, etc) but these are very superficial things. What I need from my husband that he just doesn't understand is an EMOTIONAL connection. He tends to be controlling and wants to fix everything. I don't need controlled and I don't need someone else to fix everything for me. I'm quite capable of fixing any problems I have on my own, thanks. What I would like, and maybe.. MAYBE (I can't speak for her of course) what your wife is needing is that emotional bond. When I talk to my husband, he half listens or doesn't even attempt to listen. He hears one or two words and then runs off with his "solution" or his story of the day. When I have tried to talk with him about something deep in my heart, again, he half listens and then at a later conversation totally twists or fills in gaps of what he "thought" I was saying because he (in his words) "knows me better than I could possibly know myself" and already knows what I will say in advance! I can't seem to get him to understand that he doesn't know me at all, not truly. This person he thinks he knows ISN'T me! And anything he does hear, or invents, he tells to co-workers! I have heard more about myself from his co-workers than I thought possible! And they all say he speaks highly of me but seriously, why would I WANT to tell him anything at this point if it's going to be shared at the lunch hour!??!

I don't care about the flowers, I don't care about the housework, I don't care about the grocery store or middle of the day phone calls. Those are all well and good but they AREN'T enough. They aren't what a woman needs to feel loved or secure or safe in a relationship. I want someone to hug me just for the sake of a hug, not for a 'lead in' to something else. I want someone to turn off the stupid tv and have a conversation with me! I want someone to sit out on the back porch swing and just sit and enjoy! I want someone to actually listen to ME...not what they think I'm going to say or their version of what I'm saying but actually listen to me.

I want to do the same things to and for my husband but he just doesn't seem interested because he thinks we're all good and everything is great.

I know I'm not alone. I know I'm not the only wife (or spouse in general) to feel this way. It's human nature to want to feel loved and to feel like someone is truly part of their heart and soul so to speak.

I don't know if this will help you at all but I just thought I'd put this out there for you to think about....


#7

I think more than anything, our society has convinced women (and men!) that their spouse is something to be used. A commodity. They are supposed to "make us happy" or "make us feel ____" (fill in the blank). That's not what marriage is about. It is about giving self to the other, period!


#8

I tend to agree with much of the sentiment cecilia97 has posted.

Most wives I know at least give their husband a lot of credit for trying. I haven’t read the back story but leaving a marriage over such things doesn’t make sense to me.

I’m sorry for the difficulty you’re going through. Prayers.


#9

[quote="cecilia97, post:3, topic:207344"]
As a divorce woman, I suppose it has some truth in it, but let me say this:

Any woman who would leave a man because she didn't get flowers or told nice things about herself every day is a child. I have zero sympathy for such a person.

Now....there may be other, more serious, things going on. But if not getting enough attention and feelings talk is the only problem, people need to get a hold of themselves. Mention it to your spouse, sure, but it's not a reason to leave.

I think Haltzman is talking about lack of connection and intimacy in a deeper, more fundamental sense. My ex had an affair for most of our 4-yr marriage. I didn't know about the affair until the very end, but I knew he was distant, cold, emotionally abusive, selfish, cranky, withdrawn, monosyllabic, and physically neglectful to the point of cruelty. Cruelty, not plain old "sorry honey, I just don't think about stopping at the store for flowers" type checked-out-ness, which I believe happens with the best of husbands.

So, connection is paramount, yes, but don't think for a second that you are guilty of running your wife off because you didn't clean the fridge or buy roses.

Frankly, I think women today have forgotten that you get certain things from your husband and certain other things from you mom, sister, and best girlfriend.

[/quote]

You, ma'am-are wise. I wish more people thought like you did.

Glad SarahR agrees with this too. It's good to know there are people out there.


#10

Without knowing the particulars of you or your marriage, it is impossible to articulate a cause of the death for the marriage. I will say that her leaving because of these trifles is not moral. If these types of small things are all that was a problem, one or two "come to Jesus" meetings with you could have fixed it.

Either there was something significantly more horrific, or she didn't really take her vows or God that seriously.

Yes, our culture argues that all these little things are the key, but that's just vanity. Marriage is about more than feely touchy stuff. Much more.


#11

[quote="Nec5, post:10, topic:207344"]

Yes, our culture argues that all these little things are the key, but that's just vanity. Marriage is about more than feely touchy stuff. Much more.

[/quote]

I think your on to something. I think marriage is about both, actually. The touchy feely stuff is very important, but, of course, so is much deeper stuff.

In the practical world (I'm not married) I think it would be great if men did open up more with their feelings towards their wives. On the other side, women should understand that a guy is a guy-not one of the gals.


#12

[quote="Rascalking, post:11, topic:207344"]
I think your on to something. I think marriage is about both, actually. The touchy feely stuff is very important, but, of course, so is much deeper stuff.

In the practical world (I'm not married) I think it would be great if men did open up more with their feelings towards their wives. On the other side, women should understand that a guy is a guy-not one of the gals.

[/quote]

Here's how I look at it, you both vow to stay together. That's the foundation. Everything else comes on top of that.

Should the husband open up to the wife? If she desires it, yes. That should not be done to make sure the marriage stays together; that won't change because it was settled with the foundation. It should be done because the husband loves the wife and wants to do it.

If he doesn't want to love his wife and please her, then why was he picked in the first place? Which brings us back to the pre-marriage, pre-foundational reality stuff.

In short, he should want to make his wife happy. The wife should want to make the husband happy. This should have been discussed before the marriage via several rather unromantic and serious "come to Jesus" meetings. Ironically enough, these meetings would make the two closer than any of the other romance stuff.

And you don't have to be married to comment on marriage. I'm not married either. I've been single for 30 years. That doesn't mean people who have not been single that long can't comment on my life. We're all human and the good Lord blessed us with a powerfully accurate imagination so we can relate to just about anyone else.


#13

[quote="Nec5, post:12, topic:207344"]

And you don't have to be married to comment on marriage. I'm not married either. I've been single for 30 years. That doesn't mean people who have not been single that long can't comment on my life. We're all human and the good Lord blessed us with a powerfully accurate imagination so we can relate to just about anyone else.

[/quote]

I totally, one hundred percent agree with this. Your wise, my friend.


#14

[quote="cecilia97, post:3, topic:207344"]
Any woman who would leave a man because she didn't get flowers or told nice things about herself every day is a child. I have zero sympathy for such a person.

Now....there may be other, more serious, things going on. But if not getting enough attention and feelings talk is the only problem, people need to get a hold of themselves. Mention it to your spouse, sure, but it's not a reason to leave.

Frankly, I think women today have forgotten that you get certain things from your husband and certain other things from you mom, sister, and best girlfriend.

[/quote]

Wow!!

If you run for president in 2012, I'll vote for you!!


#15

[quote="Rascalking, post:13, topic:207344"]
I totally, one hundred percent agree with this. Your wise, my friend.

[/quote]

You say that now, but you and I disagree in many threads. Hardy har.:D

So maybe my wisdom is contextual? (dependent on the topic)


#16

[quote="Nec5, post:15, topic:207344"]
You say that now, but you and I disagree in many threads. Hardy har.:D

So maybe my wisdom is contextual? (dependent on the topic)

[/quote]

LOL! How about this-On THIS issue, you are wise!

On the issues we disagree on, your a total dunce! :D

(and yes, that dunce comment is a joke...two people who disagree can both be wise)


#17

[quote="mark_a, post:14, topic:207344"]
Wow!!

If you run for president in 2012, I'll vote for you!!

[/quote]

Lol....you guys made my day, thanks. :D

I think of our grandparents and great-grandparents, who stayed married through fairly bad conditions and rarely had flowers or date nights. Yes, some spouses took advantage and were abusive, etc. But for the most part, couples got married and started getting on with the business of life together. They did not expect the other person to be everything to them....they expected them to be a spouse.

And, maybe because divorcing was just not an option in many cases, problems looked less like this:

"I love my husband BUT he just doesn't make me happy anymore. Woe is us!"

...and more like this:

"I love my husband AND he just doesn't make me happy anymore. Hmmm...wonder how we can change that?"

Now, I can't take credit for that cool but/and trick....it's something I'm learning in my graduate psych program. But, when I first heard it, I thought of Grandma and Grandpa. :thumbsup:


#18

Lots of hugs are the secret ;)


#19

You’re right…this is another way that I fell short. I just wish my wife would have expressed it in the just the way you did. Instead, she belittled me, shamed me, made me feel inadequate as a husband. She can’t communicate her feelings w/o anger and strong emotion.

Let me give you a hint, though. I’m also reading the classic “Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus” book. In it, he recommends writing a letter to your spouse. There is a whole formula in the book on how to write such a letter, and how to respond to such a letter of your spouse. Read this book.

I bought a whole bunch of books when our marriage was failing, and I suggested to my wife that we read them together, talk about how it applies to our relationship, and then apply the advice from the various books. We did it once, then she stopped.

But read the book MAFMWAFV several times. It’s amazing how men and women are really different. It took me a long time to “get” what it means to listen with sympathy w/o judging or offering help.

Not to defend your husband, but men really do have a hard time with the whole “emotional bond” thing.

Well, I offered a “fix” in this post. Did I violate the rules of just listening and empathizing? Let me just offer this, too: when men offer a “fix” to your problems, that is their way of showing that they care. They figure, you have a problem, I love you, so I’m going to make you feel better by helping you make the problem go away. A woman, however, wants to know that their man “gets” them, that he cares, that he understands why they are feeling the way that they do. But just know that he probably cares more than you realize. The “guy way” sucks for women, though. It’s the way we are, and it’s something that we Martians need to work on.

I will pray for you tonight, and I thank you for your prayers.

And thanks for such a sincere post.


#20

[quote="Scoobyshme, post:7, topic:207344"]
I think more than anything, our society has convinced women (and men!) that their spouse is something to be used. A commodity. They are supposed to "make us happy" or "make us feel ____" (fill in the blank). That's not what marriage is about. It is about giving self to the other, period!

[/quote]

Have you been married a long, long time? I'm just wondering how/why people give pat answers to complex issues. Are you saying your answer is right 100% of the time in all marriages? (TheAdvocate, I am not referring to your situation here, just trying to make the point to this poster that black&white pat answers usually don't bring life and health to people...and I know from whence I speak, being married 27 yrs to someone I have almost no feelings for, and haven't for decades....Maybe I'll write about it later :o )

"It is about giving self to the other, period." : OK, let's say one spouse does all the giving, while the other is selfishly taking from the other pretty much all the time. Your answer just broke down, b/c it takes 2 to do what you're saying. If it's only one, and in many marriages this is the case, then the one doing all the giving of self is allowing the sin of selfishness in the other spouse to continue year after year after year....how does that benefit the sinner? Sometimes this scenario goes all the way to the selfish one severely abusing the "giver of self."

This cycle can continue for decades, and *nothing has changed/improved b/c neither oneof the spouses changed or improved, *on how they were conducting their part of the marriage. The other posters who said it's not all about "feeling" close, etc. are correct..sort of. There are stages and stages w/in a marriage, during which those feelings won't get ya through! That said, it seems there's a foundation built through that romantic stage that then may help later...but later stages don't and aren't supposed to feel/look the same as the early romantic/touchy stage. After all, it's always been this way, except in arranged marriage cultures.

I think I've made a horrendous mistake in enabling my spouse, and therefore no one has grown or matured in this marriage. I did not have a good childhood, so I had no role models. Just trying to maintain a calm/good outward appearance can only be done just so long before 1 spouse begins to crack. It's always better to just be honest up front.

That said, Advocate, I agree that your wife could have been honest a long time ago, forgiven and accepted your efforts a bit more selflessly. I applaud you, and am amazed at what you did for her. I can count on one hand in 27 yrs the number of dates my H has initiated. He waits for things to happen around him, and regretfully I would just initiate what I wanted instead of waiting for him. I got tired of asking and him not remembering what I said I wanted. I also need God "muchly" to guide my path. I am so weary of this, yet have 3 youngish children that need their Dad, and I, nor he, have a job right now.) If you get the chance be as honest and real as you can with her....it will help you to grow either way things turn out.:):)


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