Why Wives and Husbands Leave Marriage – Marriage Message #79

AdobeStock Conflict between man and woman sitting on either side of a wallOriginally, this message was titled, Why Women Leave Men, but in re-thinking this message it seems sensible to address why the “leaving” is happening on both the wives and the husband’s parts. Of course this message can’t be all inclusive, but hopefully it will shed light for some who are in the dark and promote good discussion —particularly in the comment section below this message.

Why do husbands and wives leave marriages they promised to be in for the rest of their lives? It’s simple —because they can. Sometimes leaving seems easier than staying committed and working things out. And lets face it, it’s easier to divorce in today’s world.

So, as we look at this subject, please understand we are going to address this in “general” terms as it will apply to MOST husbands and wives. We understand there are exceptions. And as you read this, first pray and ask God to show you what YOU should get from this and APPLY to your own life and marriage.

If you ask a woman why a wife would leave her marriage she’ll give answers like:

  • “She feels lonely and abandoned”…
  • “The only time he pays attention to her is when he wants something” (and we all know what the “something” is)…
  • “He’s having an affair either emotionally,viewing pornography or physically…
  • “She feels disconnected —that he doesn’t include her in important matters, or even unimportant matters”…
  • “That he seems to care more about other things like TV than he does about her”

And the list goes on and on and on. But most of the reasons had to do with feelings and emotions.

Now, when you ask a man why a husband would leave his marriage, our first response is usually a blank stare followed by the words, “I dunno.” At least that was my first response. But I (Steve) was curious —I wanted to see what the “experts” had to say about the reasons men give for leaving their wives.

As I did an Internet search on this topic I discovered two things: First, there’s not much that addresses this side of the problem. And second, what I could find pretty much summed it all up in three categories:

  1. Boredom. This is often expressed when he says, “I simply fell out of love” or something along that line…
  2. Cheating. The husband discovers his wife is having an affair or he’s having an affair…
  3. Other. This category is a “catch-all” for a number of different reasons men have given. These would include feeling disrespected or emasculated, mental problems, physical or sexual problems, child-bearing issues, personal habits, financial problems, etc.

Because we hear from so many husbands whose wives have left (and they don’t understand, “why”) and from so many wives who say they’re “fed up” and are about ready to walk out or have already left, we want to give you some insight from Dr. Willard Harley in a helpful article he wrote called, “Why Women Leave Men.” And while this focuses on the issue from a wife’s angle, you can see a husband’s perspective as well. Our prayer is that God will help us ALL learn from what Dr. Harley shares.

Harley writes,

“Each day I’m confronted by women who are extremely frustrated with their marriages. Usually, they express no hope that their husbands will ever understand what it is that frustrates them —let alone change enough to solve the problem. From their perspective, marital problems are created by their husbands who do little or nothing to solve them. Wives tend to see themselves as the major force for resolving conflicts, and when they give up their effort, the marriage is usually over.

“When I talk to their husbands, they usually have a different explanation as to why their wives feel the way they do. They often feel that the expectations of women in general and their wives in particular, have grown completely out of reach. These men, who feel that they’ve made a gigantic effort to be caring and sensitive to their wives, get no credit whatsoever for their sizable contribution to the family. They feel under enormous pressure to improve their financial support, improve the way they raise their children, and improve the way they treat their wives. Many men I see are emotionally exhausted and fell that for all their effort, they get nothing but criticism.

“Men’s perceived failure to satisfy their wives is punctuated by the fact that women file for divorce twice as much as men. In other words, their unhappiness with marriage often results in divorce. The most common reason women give for leaving their husband’s is ‘mental cruelty.’ When legal grounds for divorce are stated, about half report they’ve been emotionally abused. But the mental cruelty they describe is rarely the result of their husbands efforts to drive them crazy. It’s usually husbands being indifferent, failing to communicate and demonstrating forms of neglect.

“When all forms of spousal neglect are grouped together, we find it’s far ahead of all other reasons combined that women leave men. Surprisingly few women divorce because of physical abuse, infidelity, alcoholism, criminal behavior, or other serious grounds. In fact, I find myself bewildered by women in serious physical danger refusing to leave the men that threaten their safety. Simply stated, women leave men when they’re neglected. Neglect accounts for almost all reasons women leave and divorce men.”

Harley continues,

“…Some of the most common complaints I hear from women is, “He ignores me except when he wants sex, he sits and watches television when he could be talking to me, he rarely calls to see how I’m doing, he hurts my feelings and never apologizes; Instead, he tells me I’m too sensitive.” Most husbands are mystified by these complaints. They feel their wives demand too much, and that most other women would be ecstatic to be married to them. Their wives have become spoiled, take their efforts for granted and have unrealistic expectations.

“Do women expect too much from their husbands or are men doing less for their wives than they should?” (To learn more solutions Dr Harley gives, please read “Why Women Leave Men.”)

Cindy and I answer Harley’s question with a “Yes and Yes!” We have found that both husbands and wives come into marriage with unrealistic (and often, unexpressed) expectations which set them up later for big problems as illustrated above. It’s not difficult to “trash” your marriage, as you can read in the following article Trash Your Marriage (which will also give you ways to ways to clean it up).

At one time or another in our nearly 38 years of marriage we’ve both been guilty of much of what Dr. Harley described. Cindy would readily admit that she expected too much from me and, sadly, I was neglectful of many of her needs, not realizing how important they were to her.

To us, the bigger question relating to this subject is, “How can we change the pattern of divorce that is so pervasive in the Christian church today?” I think we found an answer simply stated in this quote from Walt Henrichsen in his devotional titled, Thoughts From The Diary Of A Desperate Man:

“You can do two things that most people cannot resist, love and serve them. Loving and serving is a ministry and you do not need special gifts to do it.”

Think about that this week. It goes with the scriptures,

You were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other (Galatians 5:13-15).

And how much closer of a neighbor can you get than a spouse? So, how can you love and serve each other? If you want or need some help, make marriage your marriage your mission and look around our web site  to see what you can find that will help you. Be intentional in working to make your marriage the best it can be.

We encourage you to go into the Romantic Ideas topic read the articles, “100 Ways to Show Love to Your Wife HER Way,” and “100 Ways to Show Love to Your Husband HIS Way.” You might find it could help you come up with ideas to love and serve your spouse as God intends.

Steve and Cindy Wright


Filed under: Marriage Messages

Join the Discussion

Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Try to be as positive as possible when you make a comment.
  • If there is name-calling, or profane language, it will be deleted.
  • The same goes with hurtful comments targeted at belittling others; we won't post them.
  • Recommendations for people to divorce will be edited out–that's a decision between them and God, not us.
  • If you have a criticism, please make it constructive.
  • Be mindful that this is an international ministry where cultural differences need to be considered.
  • Please honor the fact this is a Christ-centered web site.

We review all comments before posting them to reduce spam and offensive content.


167 responses to “Why Wives and Husbands Leave Marriage – Marriage Message #79

  1. Seems like this article turned into a debate about cheating for the most part. But the gist of the article is why men and women leave their marriages. From my own experience and studies, it seems men and women enter into relationships and marriage with different expectations and perspectives about how things should be. When those expectations aren’t met, people are more likely to go “outside” the relationship or marriage to get their needs met with someone else.

    Most of us go into marriages with no real knowledge of how to really “relate” to another. We have little to no concept of how to resolve conflict, power struggles, etc… or even how to really communicate with each other. Love turns into war at some point. Each person coming into a marriage has past wounds, experiences and baggage and all of that comes out during the course of the marriage. It’s an understatement to say that it is tough to work through all of that. It is really, really hard for each person to be honest about what is really going on, because all of us have blind spots about ourselves -and that’s where each of us usually starts to blame the other, in a kind of “It’s you who is the problem, not me”. It usually takes a lot of guts, hard work and usually some outside help to turn a troubled marriage around. Much of the time people just “give up” and hope that the grass is greener on the other side with someone else… and usually we end up going around the same “mountains” with the new person.

    Thankfully, there are more resources than ever out there that people in troubled marriages can benefit from. It’s worth it. Finding the right counselor is crucial as well. It’s amazing, but most people will spend more money on cars and vacations than they are willing to spend on counseling or other things that would help save their marriage with the one person who should be the most important priority. It seems like most of us learn that too late…

  2. This article caught my attention while seeking an answer on whether or not to separate from my husband. He is my 2nd. My first left me, and then cheated. After which, I got a divorce. In that marriage I loved him with everything I had. It wasn’t easy, but I did get over the betrayal. My current husband, the 2nd, is wonderful to me. We have had a few hurdles to overcome, but for the most part, he is a good man. We didn’t marry right away, and took our time, therefore, I knew what I was getting into before I married him, and I did it anyway.

    I do love him, it’s just that we have two issues that we have had from the beginning. The first is that we’re hardly ever intimate. I have to beg for it, which makes me feel cheap as a woman. I shouldn’t have to beg my husband for sexual intimacy. He says it’s not me, and he’s not cheating, but he’s just lazy. Which also leads to problem number two. Finances. He’s on disability, which provides very little. I work, but deep down inside I resent him for not being the breadwinner in our home. I feel like he just sits around while I work everyday, and I don’t like it.

    He tells me that I knew it was gonna be this way before we married therefore, I have no reason to be upset, and to a certain extent he’s right, but I can’t help it. I do resent him for it, and for withholding sexual intimacy from me due to his being lazy. Sometimes, I have to admit that I do try to emasculate him on purpose thinking that this may snap him out of it, but it never works, and I feel guilty afterwards. So, I’m trying to stop doing this, but I constantly tell him that these things bother me, to no avail. I’ve been tempted to cheat just for sexual gratification. Nothing serious, but the only thing that stops me is knowing that the Lord would not like this.

    It’s all so tragic because he really does love me. He hugs me a lot, and we laugh together a lot, and he tells me he loves me all the time. No man has ever expressed their love for me so openly. It’s just these two areas that are causing me to lose hope for my marriage. We had a big fight again tonight about, you guessed it, sex, and money. I just don’t know if I can hold on any longer.

    1. I sit at my parents tonight after my father bailed me out of jail because my wife and I got in a fight and she called the police. I’m facing felony charges and I still love that woman like no other. She is the only woman I’ve ever been with, and our wedding night was my first time, but she had other history. I love her and would do anything for her, but what she says is never enough. It has turned to the law and charges against me, but I love her and want to work things out.

      She is comparing me to others, which is where I have my greatest fears. It’s not in performance or what I have to offer, but how I react to her actions. I can win at this, but it takes her being willing to see that. The only thing I have for you is that I don’t know how this will turn out. But I love my wife and family and won’t leave this earth with any regrets.

      Have faith and know that you’re not in control. God can use all things for good. He steers the ship. Just hold on and get ready for big waves. It’s not you that stray away from them. Your job is to hold on and deal with the aftermath like Jesus would, as hard as that might be.

    2. I can totally relate to all of what you’ve written. My husband is just plain lazy. He’s very capable, but refuses to work. He comes up with excuse after excuse after excuse. And, there is essentially no intimacy in our marriage. He always “has too much on his mind.” Like you, this is my second marriage. I finally gave him an ultimatum and he has left.

      Part of me hopes he’s able to work out his issues and we can be reunited, but another part of me feels free from the stress and frustration of it all. As a Christian, I believe I’m bound to him, and so would not remarry, but living with him was really more of a friendship than a marriage, so I don’t really feel I’ve lost anything. Sad, really.

  3. I totally understand. The sad part is what you need doesn’t cost him anything. Feeling like his buddy isn’t a marriage. It hinders a lady’s growth as a woman. Seems that a lot of men say things they do not mean I wish you well.

  4. Susan, I thought I would chime in from a mans perspective. You posted that- “Sometimes, I have to admit that I do try to emasculate him on purpose thinking that this may snap him out of it, but it never works, and I feel guilty afterwards.”

    As far as resenting and emasculating, this will never work. The more you do this the less of a man he will feel and if he does not feel like a man in your eyes then he will never want to have sex. Trust me, I would bet my paycheck on this and I’m not a betting man. If you resent him, I can guarantee he knows it, even if you don’t think you show it. I’d be surprised if it didn’t bother him that you’re the primary bread winner. If it doesn’t bother him then there’s a whole other set of issues that he has, and my heart goes out to you.

    You do have a choice in how you respond to your husband. You can try changing tactics. Make him feel like a man, like he’s the most important thing in the world and give it 6 months of that. Try to read Love & Respect and For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men. I don’t think that most women have any idea how to relate to their husbands as men anymore than men know to relate to their wives as women.

    The other thing I’d check on though, is pornography. If he’s looking at that then he won’t be interested in “real time” sex. I only bring this up because if he is at home with tons of idle time then for any man that can be a temptation. Another thing is that you mentioned he’s on disability. Is he taking any medication? That can definitely make a difference on sex drive.

    Now- if it’s just pure laziness there’s no excuse for that. Please know that you don’t have to cater or enable that type of behavior. Laziness is nothing more than selfishness and if you just allow it to happen he will never change. While you should still respect him biblically you don’t have to cater to laziness.

  5. I was married for 17 years. Separated last yr. Now staying at our home (she left with my daughter) to her own place. I have tried everything to reconciliate but she won’t have it. I never had an affair nor had any domestic abuse issues. Finances were always taken care of and we had a beautiful home. We both worked, but suddenly she was “not happy.”

    Okay, after a year I am accepting this and trying to be civil for the sake of our daughter. But every time I have a phone conversation about finances, she gets all angry and threatens with divorce. I have been providing what I can in child support and meanwhile paying all the debts we both had. I just asked for her to help me a little and at first it was agreeable. But now it’s horrible.

    Needless to say I have no choice but to start delaying debt payments we both have in order to start paying a lawyer. Obviously if I don’t start handling our finances through the courts, she will try and destroy me financially. Sad that she is reacting this way when she was the one who walked out. On top of all this she is preventing me from having any sort of visitation with my daughter. What should I do? Should I beat her to the punch and file for divorce immediately?

  6. I was married for 6 years to my wife. She was never honest about who she was. She said she liked to camp… that wasn’t true… she kept saying there was no time… guess what? She made no time. She wanted things her way. Compromising was not even an option. She interfered with how I wanted to raise our 5 year old daughter. My X’s father passed away and her mother dug her claws into our marriage and our family. Now my x and my daughter are spoiled. My x’s mother does everything for them. She would chew my daughter’s food if she could. My x did the budget and managed to spend every penny.

    Note to others out there… DO NOT SHARE A BANK ACCOUNT. YOUR MONEY IS YOURS… PUT IT AWAY AND PAY YOUR SHARE BUT DO NOT PUT ALL OF IT INTO YOUR FAMILY AND HOME! KEEP ACCOUNTS SEPARATE. WOMEN FEEL THE MONEY THEY EARN IS THEIRS WHEREAS THE MONEY MEN EARN WE FEEL IS FOR OUR FAMILY. One way to lose respect from your spouse is to hand over money automatically. Don’t do this! I got burned with the Illinois law system. I have no home, no savings.

    A divorce will leave you financially drained. Keep an account your wife does NOT know about… she will take everything, should you divorce. Women become very vindictive in a divorce and DO use your children to hurt you. At least in my case our daughter is told all kids of things about me. For those who are not married yet… if you are happy now… don’t change it! Marriage will NOT make things happier for you… it WILL MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT AND MISERABLE.

    Lastly, for those who do not know the hidden agenda… the hidden agenda is this… YOU ARE A SPERM DONOR AND A PAYCHECK. THAT’S HOW MOST WOMEN SEE US. If that wasn’t the case, they wouldn’t look at your finances. They want to know if you can pay the bills… for who?… her and her children. Once your children are born and take stake in your family, your wife will abandon you and say things like, “I put the children first” …what this really means is YOU NO LONGER MATTER. Think about it… your kids and family are ALREADY GETTING THIER NEEDS MET, food, home, school, whatever… so what does that statement mean… “I put our kids first… you don’t?” This means your kids are percieved to be more important than you in the views of your wife. A family cannot exist without the love and respect between the man and wife… YOUR MARRIAGE SHOULD COME FIRST… THAT WILL PROVIDE YOUR KIDS WITH EVERYTHING THEY REALLY WANT AND NEED FROM THIER PARENTS.

    1. Jim, I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I can also see the pain and frustration that you feel through your words. My only comment to you is your interesting advice to ‘have a secret account.’ Men and women should have joint accounts. You don’t get married for the purpose of going through a divorce later. Not all women ‘just want your money’.

      I, in fact, am still with my husband because I don’t want to hurt him financially. Before I married him I had a career in the health care field, my own home, a new paid for car, excellent credit and my son was graduating. Now… I have never seen the (his) bank account, have to ask him for a couple dollars to go to the store and live with a man that if he has any reason to be mad at me…has every right to shove me around, break my stuff and call me names. But God says do not repay evil for evil.

      I think the real issue that you hit the nail on the head with is your opening statements. “She said she liked to camp…” You just gave yourself and the world its answer. Know the person before you marry them and make sure what they say matches what they do and how they live!

      I told my husband that I couldn’t marry a man that doesn’t want to serve (or believe) in Jesus. He said yes, yes and amen to that. Now, I haven’t gone to church for years, can’t read my Bible or watch videos in front of him and he hates God and curses Him daily in front of me because he knows how much I hate that.

      But you know… not all men are like him. And I’m sure that not all women are like your ex. Why should we in our own pain and or loneliness place character judgment on others because of how we were treated by one individual? Would it be fair for me to say that men are controlling abusers that don’t want a relationship with you …only sex …when ‘they’ want it?

      May God bring peace to your situation and may you feel more than just know the words He speaks to us… ‘be at peace and know that I am your God that goes before you to fight for you’ Trust Him… He is our ultimate supreme court.

      1. Wow Pam! that was powerful! Your words has helped me. I’ve been married for 20 years, and have two children in college. With only one income, mine, it has been a struggle. I try to make everyone happy but what is happening is that I am unhappy. My wife puts her hobby before me and now the kids (it appears this way). I’ve made attempts to discuss this with her but to no avail; it doesn’t work. I continue to try to make this marriage work and will after hearing your story and inspirational words. Thanks again as I been thinking of the most easy way out, if you know what I mean.

    2. Hi Jim, I’m so sorry for your pain. Upon reading your comment, there’s no doubt that you have had a rough ride with your wife. And for that I grieve with you. But please be careful about the advice that you dole out to others. Yes, there are some women that see a man as a “sperm donor and a paycheck.” And yes, there are some women who hold the children hostage, away from their dad, when things get rough, but not all. You mention about separate banking accounts and secret accounts. I agree with Pam that this is a serious precedent to put forth when you marry. It spells mistrust right from the beginning. If you mistrust before you even marry, then why marry? Isn’t the relationship already doomed because you don’t feel you can trust her?

      I can tell you of quite a few situations where it is the wife who is holding the bank account and house and financial well-being together in their marriage. In the case of my own parents, my dad was a spend-thrift. He couldn’t hang onto a dime. It was only because my mom eventually saw this and took over their bank account (my dad recognized the wisdom in this) that they had ANYTHING. She saved our home more than once because of my dad’s spending habits. She stuck with him through infidelity, and on and on and faithfully got us through our growing up years. If it was up to him alone, we would have been out on the streets more than once. Eventually (as long as he wasn’t solely responsible for bank account) he straightened up and gave my mom several good years before she died.

      So Jim, even though your wife treated you in ways that led you to grab onto bitterness, please realize that there are many good women out there, trust-worthy types who don’t take men for all they can get and don’t “put the children first” to the detriment of the marriage. I’m one of those women. And I have quite a few friends who are like me also. I absolutely love my husband and want to do good for him and not bad. And I know many other women who are the same way. Just as there are some rotten women out there, there are rotten men. But there are good women and good men, also. We can’t throw them all into a pile and say they’re all alike. They aren’t… we aren’t.

      I realize that your bitterness is coming through BIG time in your comment. I get that. I sure don’t condemn you. I wish you could release it, however, because it’s poisoning the good man that I have no doubt that you are. But again, please be careful of the venomous advice you’re giving those who are marrying or are married. Warning people of possible danger can be good, but projecting your hurtful experiences unto them as if it’s that way it is for everyone, might sew seeds of mistrust into them so that even though they didn’t have reason to mistrust, they will. And by doing so, it could cause their marriage to go in a horrible direction. Just a friendly warning. I can’t imagine that you would want to hurt even good relationships because yours went so badly. I pray that you will find peace in the future and better experiences with the women you are around –there are many, many of us who don’t deserve to be condemned because your wife treated you horrible. Again, I’m sorry for your pain.

  7. I’m 65 years old and was married 31 yrs before I divorced my first husband in 2001. We’re very good friends now and he’s since remarried. I met my second husband in 2006. He’d been married 2 times before with a failed third relationship. So many red flags… So many… So we dated on/off as I’d always catch him trolling for women online. By 2011 I decided that I’d either marry him or cut him loose forever, giving myself 6 months to think about it.

    He stopped his cheating -but he didn’t stop his drinking/smoking/wild “Peter Pan” ways. I thought if I kept my finances separate from his, he could spend all the money he wanted. He’d already filed a debt consolidation years before and a bankruptcy two yrs before we married. I THOUGHT I had my bases covered. Well, guess what? He’s the MOST selfish, self centered, immature, insensitive, “man/boy” I’ve ever known, and he’s 62 yrs old! I’ve tried talking, counseling, discussing, leaving. I even kept my HOUSE so I’d have a place to go to to protect myself in case things didn’t work.

    He spends every penny on himself -a very expensive hobby and ignores me for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries. We’re almost married 3 yrs now and I’m sick to death of empty promises, lies, etc. When he reverts back to being selfish. He cannot control his impulses and makes NO effort to try. I always thought that cheating would be the deal breaker… How about… costing me my self respect? The other day he demanded to know why the sheets weren’t washed and WHY I couldn’t pull weeds or cut the grass! I’m due for a hip replacement and not only does he expect me to pick up after him, clean his house, wash his dishes, buy his groceries, rub his feet, put cream on his sunburned head, scrub his toilets… NOW he wants me to do LAWN WORK? The only thing he provides for me is a cellphone (the top dollar one HE wanted) and health insurance. I’ve sold my soul to the devil for some freaking health insurance. My children refuse to acknowledge him –they absolutely hate him –and he turned his entire family against me with his lies. I’ve never cheated on him and only treated him like a King. What was my reward? Becoming his doormat… by trying to make HIM happy before me.

    Ladies, don’t ever make your husband/boyfriend a priority when he only makes YOU an OPTION. Lose him. I’m leaving but I’m not sure when. Most of the furniture in his house is mine –and I’ll get it back before I pull the plug. AND I WILL get that surgery! Sorry this was so long.

  8. I have a brother in law that is not a very nice person and I don’t want him to be a part of my life. My husband likes to talk and hang out with him. I’ve asked my husband to stop talking with him or I want to separate because they use drugs and stuff. My husband said he’d rather get a divorce than give him up as a friend. Is it wrong of me to ask him to stop talking to him?

  9. I do not agree with the biased gender stereotyping in this article. I would expect “If you ask a man why he would leave his marriage that he would give answers like:

    “He feels lonely and abandoned” maybe even gaslighted … “The only time she pays attention to him is when she wants something.” Does not initiate hugs, kisses or cuddles. Sees “strength” as showing she could not care less.

    She tries to take away his confidence by making cutting comments and avoiding meaningful conversation. Answers questions with questions and is too “superior” to go for counseling. “She may be having an affair either with a woman or a man…“ He feels disconnected —not included or welcomed into her activities or meeting friends. She cannot share her friends…She does not express affection verbally or physically. “She seems to care more about activities and hobbies than she does about the home relationship with him.”

    1. Sounds like the “degradation phase” of a relationship with a narcissistic or BPD woman. It is during this time that she has already begun squiring a new man or men as sources of narcissistic supply. When the time is right for her to make one of them her main focus, she will initiate the “discard phase” where she dumps you. That’s when you discover all the lies she’s told you, and that all of her “activities” with “friends” you never see were actually just fronts to cover her sexual escapades with other men. If she doesn’t work, you’ll find you’ve been financing her romances, since the guys NPD/BPD women fall madly in love with usually don’t have much money to spend at all.

      During divorce she will stretch the truth and out and out lie to make you out to be a real villain and take you for everything she can. She will sleep like a baby at night.

      My ex wife did exactly everything you mentioned for four years while she waited for her affair partner to leave his wife so she could dump me. His wife had to file for divorce on him. He is an old lover of hers from many years ago. He is broke. Unattractive. Unintelligent. Three bankruptcy filings since 2003. An IRS Tax Lein in excess of $30,000.00. She’s engaged to him and overjoyed at having him. This is the narcissistic “Idealization phase” After a couple of years she’ll get bored and start a new “degradation phase” on him. I will never be able to love again and I hope I get to watch their world implode.

  10. After 15 years of marriage (our second), I’ve realized that the red flags were all there during our courtship all those many years ago. I discounted or failed to recognize them because “it wasn’t a big thing” or “we’ll work it out” or “you’re expecting perfection when there’s no such thing in another human being.” The thing is that we’re two different people with two greatly different sets of likes, dislikes, habits, ways of thinking, viewpoints, etc.

    This is critical. She has an absolute, fundamental right to be who she is. I fundamentally respect that. Regardless of our differences, she’s no better or more “right” than I am and vice versa. Sadly, however, we’re two very different people and, relationship-wise, we’re just trying to force a square peg in a round hole. That doesn’t work. Simply put, we’re not a match. What’s the song? “There ain’t no good guy. There ain’t no bad guy. There’s just you and me and we just disagree”?

    At 60 years of age I’ve learned a few things. I know that adjustments can be made, compromises agreed upon and even put in place, that relationships need tending and attention, that priorities need to be realigned and one’s ego needs to take a back seat. But you can’t FORCE a relationship. Trying to do is exhausting, isn’t it? Change? Yes, of course, but other than anecdotal cases that are the subject of magazine articles, internet fodder and perhaps even personal experience, 99% of human beings can really only change about 10% of who they fundamentally are. Please forgive the poor analogies, but Prince Charles can’t turn into a Andy Warhol and Roseanne Barr can’t change into a Mother Theresa. You get the idea.

    Think about that. Psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and relationship professionals look at that 10% figure and say, “Yeah, there are exceptions, but that’s pretty close to what it is.” It’s a sobering statistic. Now, think about how it applies to relationships and the two people involved in one.

    That’s why (get ready) I think people should ask their families and friends what they think of a person one is seriously considering marriage with. Who else other than your family and friends know you better? Who else are they thinking and caring about in their answer other than you? Yeah, exceptions abound to that, but you get the idea.

  11. I’ve been married 22 years. My husband is extremely selfish. I have let this slide for many years but have grown tired. I make more money than my husband and tend to pay for more things for our 2 kids. Recently I have come to a conclusion that he’s not going to change and want to call it quits.

    I had my wake up call when he asked a friend of ours to cook a dish for his football party after I told him not to ask… I am in grad school & need to study so I didn’t want to have the football party. He has gone behind my back and solicited items from others to pull his party together… he is a user and doesn’t mind asking others to get things he wants. I’m tired and want a divorce… I was so hurt when my friend dropped the dish off… especially when I had no clue she was cooking for his party.

  12. My wife divorced me five years ago. Five years later I find out by accident she remarried a year ago. I do not understand my hurt at her choice.

    Any words of knowledge? Thank you.

    To self, It takes a lifetime to forget someone.

  13. Hello, I’m in a real mess. I would need 100 pages or more to describe everything that has happened in our lives, so I’ll try to sum it up initially, and I can expand later, if anyone asks. My wife and I will be married for 34 years this July 17th 2015. If everything proceeds in the courts, it will be the last anniversary. First I’ll tell you what my wife would say about why we are getting a divorce. I’ve been verbally, and emotionally abusive for our entire marriage. I’ve also looked at porn, and she said that that was enough to break our marriage vows, and end the marriage. She said that if she would have had the money, she’d have left long ago.

    2 years ago my wife made a statement that we are divorced and that we would never be together again. We’ve been together for 40 years, since we were in our early 20’s. We have 4 kids, 1 daughter 22, and 3 sons, 13, 17, and 19. We built and ran a business together for 30 years, and there were lots of problems with that, along with other stresses, and pressures with kids, and life. I was harsh with her, and we did argue a lot. Mostly about silly things, and things that didn’t matter. I always wanted to win, and so did she.

    For 2 years, I’ve been doing everything I could to learn how to fix our marriage, and myself. My wife has been on all of the blogs, and reading nothing but books about how to get out of an abusive marriage. She now feels that she knows me, and is convinced that I have every psychotic ailment, and disease known to man. She hates me, and is so full of fear, and her heart is so hardened to me, and we don’t even talk, and there is no trust at all. The thing that really bothers me is that most, and I say most, of what she thinks, or has learned about me, isn’t true. The blogs and books that she reads basically support her leaving me, and being free.

    We’re both Christian, but she has always been a very strong Christian, and I’ve been so, so. It wasn’t until this all started that my faith in God, and reading and learning the bible and having a personal relationship with God, has increased. In any case, after her telling me that we were divorce, I went ahead and filed for divorce. I wish I had never done that, but I did. The divorce will be final on September 7th, 2015.

    I love my wife, and my family, and I have asked for forgiveness, so many times, but she just says that she forgives me, but that this has gone on for so long, that she can’t take a chance that I’ll hurt her again. She wants the house sold, the family split, and us to have separate places to live, and has told others that she wishes that she would never have to see me again. She doesn’t admit to ever doing anything wrong in our marriage. I am the one that did everything, and she tells me that I now need to pay restitution, which can be something that I’ll have to do for the rest of my life.

    Emotionally I’m so depressed, and this, or my reaction to is, is destroying the business, and making us go broke, and very soon I’ll have to close the business, and file for business, and personal bankruptcy. I’ve repented, and have learned all of the things that I did to her, that caused her to want to leave, but I truly have changed, and understand where I went wrong, with my interpretation of wives submit to your husbands, and husbands love your wives like God loved his church. I did not do that, but given another chance, I would. That’s it for now. I’m open to any questions or comments. I want to save my marriage and my family.

  14. Hi, I need advice for a friend. One of my really good friends husband is a pathological liar. He has managed to dupe countless people. He claims to be a saved, Christian, born again, the whole nine yards. However, he tells white lies, lie, upon lie. He drinks at work and views porn at work. He has been in trouble over 3x for sexually harassing/groping women. He’ll bother widowed women, single naive gals, married women, desperate women; he doesn’t care. He has managed to mess up a lot of people financially, tries to destroy other peoples self-esteem, marriages, businesses, finances. Yet claims to have found God, I just don’t get it?

    Well, he has since been having yet ANOTHER affair with a woman younger than 2x his age. Now, he’s trying to blame my good friend that she had become boring and nagged him way too much about financial situations and business issues. On top of that he tried to drop kick the gal and then started up yet another relationship with another gal. It never ends with him. One tangled web of lies and deceit. My friend’s self-esteem is shot and she is living in complete denial of the facts and reality. Should I get her to go talk to a preacher? Get counseling? Ignore it? Sit back and watch someone destroy their own lives? Or step up and try to help. This guy gets to look like man of the year, but is a complete farce of reality. Why does he go around telling all these women he loves them and then finds ways to destroy them? Thanks! LJ

  15. Hi I’m a Christian man. Also God needs to be allowed into marriage once I stopped praying regularly and blaming him for my financial situation and no work; I suffer chronic back pain. I went back to work once we were married. She helped raise my daughter. I worked long hours to provide. I could be mobile at work and not be in pain. Now oil is low and no work. Before I went to work I focused on being home with my daughter. Because of my health I couldn’t work, cook and clean. Being a single parent is hard and when there is kids involved I feel no reason for divorce. Once god gives of gift of child they need 2 parents that’s how it’s supposed to be.

    I take full responsibility for not relying on God and once my wife. I begged to to ask God to restore my marriage. I was loyal but she said I was emotionally disconnected.

    Please pray for Angie And Michael’s Marriage. I may even get Into Ministry myself I fear being around people. Fellowship had always been hard for me; I’m quiet, reserved and like to listen. Ministering would make sure I’m around people other Christians or showing unsaved what Jesus can do for anybody if you asked and are willing to labour for.

  16. For me, you came close but you left out the most important word for men, condemnation and mistrust. After 18 years, she condemns, judges and lives with a posture of self protection after refusing to walk with me. I’ve come to understand, no matter, I cannot bless this person, I can only give her up to the one who made her.

    1. The ones that are the biggest CHEATERS in a marriage are the ones that will cause divorce, and the ones that have children, which makes it very sad since they’re the ones that suffer the most, for which it is a real shame.

  17. But what does one do when the husband does nothing? Does not work, does not help clean, does not show affection, does not speak kind words, and when we are intimate, he mocks them. The issues have been brought up, expectations have been laid out explicitly (ex: Please pull down all the old dishes and put new dishes in the cabinet. The old dishes put them in boxes and we can donate them. Here are the boxes). That’s just one of hundreds of examples. Daily asking him to do something, anything. How long do I keep working and fighting when all he does is sleep, watch TV, and play on Facebook?

    1. Is he an invalid? Does he have severe health issues? Is he a stay-at-home dad? …Why isn’t he working? Also, does he claim to be a Christian? I just need clarity to answer your question.

  18. We have been married for 31 years, 2 adult children and 3 grandchildren. My husband is a manager and I work in a casual job. In the past he had almost a year of weekly travel and coming home on weekends, which I felt very dumped and unwanted during this period. Both children have now left home and we recently bought a new property in local country which he adores. But he has suddenly started up a reasonable amount of traveling again and I feel like once again dumped and like he has a zero care factor for me! His comments are always it’s his job and this is what he has to do, I yell a lot and I know I don’t treat him well at times. It is like I’m craving his attention and he is pulling further away from me! Yes I have several times talked about divorce because I don’t want to be unhappy for the rest of our working life which is still another 15 years. Don’t know what to feel or do any more.

  19. Be some fun to be with instead of coming home everyday and complaining about your day for the first hour. I don’t mind listening to my husband but it gets tiring. Sex: don’t make it about yourself all the time try and be Mr. grey once in awhile. We like having sex too but not to the point you feel like a hired hooker, boom boom and you’re done and you’ve fulfilled his needs and he turns over and goes to sleep. Your job doesn’t stop when you walk in the house. Hello! We both live here and make messes. Let’s go out on a date once in awhile that’s what you did when you were trying get to impress me. Do you have to eat, sleep, and breathe sports all the time. Stop complaining about your job over and over. Stop belittling me when you’re tired. Stop getting drunk all the time. Stop being lazy.I could go on but men get very lazy in a marriage and I’m pretty tired.

  20. Well, many women these days are going for other women, which is very horrible, come to think of it.

  21. My wife is mad that I won’t put her on my account by we have a joint account… She keeps telling me it’s a deal breaker for her and I should leave if I won’t do it. We have 3 kids ….I’m kinda confused why it’s big deal.

  22. I left husband because of not feeling safe so must be one of the few that do leave an unsafe spouse.

  23. Hey guys, please give me your prayers. I have been married two years; this is my first marriage, and the only person I have ever slept with and it has always seemed kind of one-sided, but I thought, “as long as she’s happy I don’t care.” I do all chores 95% of the time (wash the dishes, wash and hang the clothes, take out the trash, clean, pick up her dirty clothes, all of the grocery shopping, etc). I also sometimes give her gifts when none are returned (valentines/ anniversaries). I also surprise her with a clean house, a date night, flowers, cadle-lit massages and other random things and I don’t expect or care if she responds a certain way, I just want her to be happy.

    My problem is that she is never happy and she is always nostalgic for when we dated. She won’t talk to me about serious things and if she does, it takes 30 minutes for her to reply and she usually replies by changing the subject. She yelled at me again today and I yelled back. Usually I will apologize for our arguments, but I’m the only one and so I didnt. She has threatened to leave before, and she won’t see a counselor with me. I tried talking to her again to no avail, but I really think she is leaving and I don’t know how I can do more than what I am doing. I am willing to but I am out of Ideas. Her family might side with me and she already has enough anxiety without me turning her friends and family against her so I can’t go to them. She already thinks that my family doesn’t like her so I definitely can’t go to them.

    Also, we have been missing church for about a month because I am the only one who will wake up for it and we really need community right now. Please pray for us and give me any advice you can. I really love her and to top it off she is going to have our first child in March and I want that kid to have a good and stable home. This is a good article but I try not to think that her expectations are too high, I spend tons of time with her, and I care deeply for her. And yes, sex has been an issue, but not one that I have been animalistic about. I do loads of romantic and nice things for her and when I eventually ask her why she hasn’t had sex with me in weeks she says I have to turn her on. I don’t make everything about actions with no emotion but its like she wants an emotional euphoria at all times to be happy and thats not possible. Emotions change, love doesn’t. If God were “in-love” with us only and didn’t love us then he would be changeable and he is unchanging otherwise there would be times when he was not “in-love” with us all. Please help.

  24. The implications of your article are that men are insensitive. Consider these facts, not opinions but facts. 3 times more widowers committ suicide when their wife predeceased them than widows whose husband predeceased them. 7 times more men committ suicide when going thru divorce proceedings than women. Now you tell me who is the more neglected party. Anthony in LA.