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It happened to Kris Humphries, it happened to Tom Cruise and it happens to people like you and me.

Being blindsided by divorce.

It seems odd — how can a spouse have absolutely no clue that his or her marriage is in trouble? Wouldn’t there be warning signs — a lack of interest in sex, emotional withdrawl, more fighting?

It’s hard not to marvel how Katie Holmes pulled it off. Just 11 days after she filed for divorce from Tom, the couple announced they’d reached a divorce settlement and a child custody plan. That’s pretty much unheard of, but it’s most likely because Katie had been divorcing Tom for a long time before she told him, “I want out.” She had an exit plan, he got blindsided.  divorce exit strategy

She isn’t the only one.

It doesn’t seem fair to drop a bomb like that on your partner, even if you’re no longer in love with him or her. Yet, that happens quite a bit, especially to men. While two-thirds of all divorces are initiated by women, 26 percent of the husbands say they, like Tom had no idea, while just 14 percent of women were caught off-guard.

What’s going on? How can so many men be so unaware that their marriage is in trouble? Or are they aware, and are just ignoring it or tolerating it?

I can see how the majority of women wouldn’t be blindsided (although certainly enough are). Don’t take this the wrong way, but women tend to be more in tune with the danger signs of a problem marriage. We see trouble and we start blabbing about it with friends, maybe even professionals, and ask for help in a way that men don’t, for whatever their reason. Some researchers suggest women invest more energy and resources into maintaining our relationships (and thus might resort to finger-pointing when a relationship ends because we blame our partner for not investing as much into it as we did).

You probably have had friends who’ve talked nonstop about their marital woes; maybe you yourself have done that. Maybe those wives have hinted at their unhappiness with their hubby or a need to go to counseling or a desire to work on the relationship.

But not always.

Women are good at what “Divorce Court” judge Lynn Toler calls “The False OK”:

I think a lot of women tell the very same lie for years on end. They say “okay” when they don’t mean it. They tell their husbands, “everything’s fine,” even when it’s not. “Keeping the peace” is what they call it. They are, they tell me, getting through the day. It is all about the argument they simply do not want to have. … I think there is a whole group of women out there who don’t do well with conflict. They are the ones with a happy husband because he always gets what he wants and she doesn’t seem to mind. But what he doesn’t see are all of the collected hurts stored up in her emotional closet. Not because she doesn’t ever get what she wants but because that lopsided equation makes her feel unloved. tweet

Then, she reaches a point of no-return and she drops the bomb: “I want a divorce!”

Is Judge Toler right?

Susan Pease Gadoua, my writing partner in The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels, calls it a “hit and run.” She considers it “the most hurtful, hateful and heinous way’ for someone to announce he or she wants out.

Honestly, I don’t know of any good way to say you want a divorce. I certainly don’t think women have it figured out any better than men do; in fact, just thinking about divorce is a heck of a lot more stressful for women than it is for men.

Still, by the time many women ask for a divorce, they’ve been talking to divorce attorneys or divorce coaches, or attending divorce seminars. In other words, they were plotting an exit strategy. And once you have a strategy in place, the marriage is pretty much doomed.

A divorce doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a long process even if just one person is privy to that process.

As psychotherapist, author and collaborative divorce coach Micki McWade says:

The sad fact is that by the time a partner asks for a divorce, it’s often — but not always — too late to save the marriage. The initiating partner has turned an emotional corner. … She may have wanted change for a long time but was refused. He may have warned her that he wasn’t happy but she didn’t pay attention. Eventually, when requests have been ignored for too long, the person wanting the change shuts down emotionally. The relationship has gradually eroded away, abraded by disappointment. He or she becomes discouraged and eventually gives up. tweet

When those difficult words came out of my mouth — after a year of attempts to salvage the marriage, therapy, self-awareness work and many, many walks in the wilderness — I hadn’t developed an exit strategy or talked to an attorney or divorce coach. Maybe that was foolish or maybe I was lucky; no one was blindsided. We didn’t have a drawn-out contentious mess, but we didn’t have things squared up in 11 days either.

  • How did your divorce get announced?
  • Did you/your former spouse have an exit plan?
  • Do you believe that by the time you/your former spouse asked for a divorce it was too late to save the marriage?

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33 Responses to “Why do so many men get blindsided by divorce?”

  1. Phil says:

    Hi Vicki,

    Just stopping by to say that your blog is a great resource. Many of the articles have been encouraging to me as I adapt to the reality of my divorce.

    In my case, neither my wife nor I was blindsided. There was mounting mutual disconent and many late night tearful conversations after the kids had gone to sleep before we both came to realize that divorce was our best option.


    • OMGchronicles
      Twitter: OMGchronicles

      Thanks Phil,
      There’s no speedy way to get through it, nor should there be. It’s a process that offers us opportunities to understand our own bad behaviors and learn.
      Good luck to you, your former wife and your kids — if you can keep things kind and compassionate with her, your kids will see that divorce isn’t the end of the world and that they don’t have a “broken” home — just two loving homes.

  2. lynette says:

    I don’t think Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are a good example. He was controlling and emotionally abusive (with his whole religion thing), and I think she had no choice for her own sanity and safety.

    In fact, a lot of times this is the case. It was with me. Even after five years of marriage counseling, I had to suddenly remove my ex from our home. He was “blindsided”, i.e. he never thought I would take action because I hadn’t yet.

    I know plenty of women who were blindsided. I know plenty of men who say they were blindsided in order to paint themselves in a more positive light, but chances are their wives were giving them signals all the time, but, as in my case, since I didn’t leave, they figured it didn’t mean anything and ignored it.

    • TheForgottenOne says:

      @lynette — So a woman can be ‘blindsided’ but a man can’t because he just didn’t pick up on the vague, obscure or contradictory ‘signals’ their wives were sending? Why is it a husbands job to try and interpret the obscure language a wife speaks when they make no effort to communicate in a honest and straight forward manner? This ain’t F* High School!

  3. Kristin says:

    Six months ago, I blindsided my husband with a protection order, and I escaped with my kids out of state (with law enforcement knowledge so I wouldn’t be accused of kidnapping). After a case that had been going on for many months against my father-in-law for heinously abusing my daughters (which resulted in his imprisonment last month), my girls gathered up the courage to tell me their own father had been committing the same abuse against them. Until I found out the extent of my husband’s sickness, I’d been trying to support him and repair our marriage, which was getting increasingly miserable as he withdrew into depression (and frequent outbursts of anger) from the lack of contact with his parents.

    It wasn’t until we finally became free that I started seeing success in my own personal life – a solid position as a freelance writer to help support my family was only a small part of the positive changes we’ve been through. Some of the articles I write are about divorce, and I’ve run across many of yours in the course of my research. You said in a recent debate on divorce laws, “I’ve stopped saying, ‘I’m sorry’ when someone tells me he or she is divorcing because too often the response has been, ‘No, it’s a good thing.'” It’s funny because I’ve had that EXACT conversation many times! It helps to put my friends at ease: my heart isn’t broken for myself. It is for my kids, who went through many years of silent hell before telling me their secret.

    I often tell people that divorce can hurt children, but in some cases it’s far more harmful to remain in the marriage. The past six months, with the help of counseling, a healthy and loving household, and supportive family and friends, I’ve seen my children blossom and grow out of their pain. They’re happier than they’ve ever been, and they don’t want to see their father again. My divorce isn’t finalized – I actually haven’t filed yet, because we needed to live in our new state for six months to establish their residency.

    Maybe blindsiding a spouse isn’t always the best way to file for a divorce, but in some cases it can be a lifesaver. I don’t want to know what would have happened if my husband had any suspicions of my plans the week leading up to my filing of the protection order. (Yeah, I had to act for an entire week that nothing was wrong while we secretly made our plans to get out, because it took several days to get the court to approve the order. It was torture!)

    Thank you for providing a resource for other parents going through painful divorces. Whether abuse is or isn’t an issue, it’s always a painful time that’s even harder when you want the best for your kids.

    • Betty says:

      I’m in a situation now where I feel like this is going to happen but the manipulation and control is overwhelming. The threats that he will commit suicide, harm me, etc. I feel like I’ve been painted into a corner and the only option is to develop the escape plan. When I suggested marriage counseling, he said he didn’t need someone to tell him to treat me better.
      But I do find that I have just kept my mouth shut too often in order to avoid the conflict. He has dragged our child into this stuff. I have given him many years to deal with his personal issues but during that time I’ve sacrificed having any of my own needs met. I’ve kept silent too often to protect my child, to keep the tension low and to try and get through the day. I’m at a point where I don’t want to just get through the day anymore. I want to live and I want my child to feel that we’re living and not just existing.
      I’m not sure why I should feel bad about ‘blindsiding’ him. Sometimes I feel bad and other times I don’t. I’m constantly screaming inside. When I try to express my feelings he turns it around and makes it about him. I’ve learned that my thoughts, ideas, opinion and feelings really don’t matter. I find myself second guessing everything and I’m a well educated woman who lived quite well before getting married.

  4. Laura O. says:

    After 13 years of marriage and no kids, I was blindsided 2.5 mos ago. My husband said he has been unhappy for year and unwilling to try counseling because, “I don’t see how I can be happy long term.” I had no chance and no idea.

    • OMGchronicles
      Twitter: OMGchronicles

      I’m sorry to hear that, Laura. Is he able to express to you why he isn’t “happy” — and what, if anything, can change? Good luck!

      • R.K. says:

        I absolutely can relate to Laura O. I was blindsided last Friday night. My husband sent a text message to me at the office asking what time I would be home. I wrote back that I was just finishing up. He said “good” I am making pizza. I thought to myself as I was driving home how lucky I was to have such a wonderful husband – that loves to cook – and was looking forward to a quiet night of homemade pizza and his company. When I arrived at home, he was busy in the kitchen, and I quickly stepped in and started cleaning up while we talked about our day at work. A typical evening, nothing out of the norm. We settled in with our pizza and were deciding which movie we were going to watch and then his cell phone buzzed. I didn’t think anything of it, and casually brushed it off. He paused the movie and started toward the kitchen. I assumed it was to turn off the oven, or grab a drink. He came into the room and says, “Honey, I have some bad news. You’re not going to like it too much, and there isn’t anything you can do about it now. But, I filed for divorce and the process server is waiting outside with the papers for you. You just have to go out and accept them.” Really? I am not kidding. It was as matter-of-fact as that. There wasn’t any sign of this beforehand. We don’t have fights, yelling matches, and to my knowledge he has never been unfaithful. I am shattered.

        • Shaun Gibbs says:

          That really sucks and really hard to believe it could happen like that! 🙁

        • OMGchronicles
          Twitter: OMGchronicles

          R.K., I am so sorry. It seems incredibly cruel to end a marriage that way. I don’t think most of us are able to end things kindly. Please let me know how you’re doing — there are a lot of great people and resources to help and support you.

  5. Richard says:

    We were on a family to Disney from April 12-20 with our 4 and 6 yo. I had major OR scheduled for April 24. My wife added “unavailable for work” to her calendar as of April 23. Surgery delayed to May 8. She visited post op day 1, but was flat, made small talk, nervous on leaving, no kiss. Couldn’t track her on phone to say goodnight to kids, but said she’d be home on my discharge. Got home and all of her clothes, personal items, all current kids clothes, current toys (even from my family in Disney) were gone. All files from cabinet taken re:financials, and much family property removed in cube van witnessed by neighbours. Could not lift for 6 weeks post op so could not drive, or see what in house was gone. Cowardly, cunning, and evil way to dramatically leave that has inflicted maximal pain on me, and shaken the kuds, who love their dad. The person you entrust your life to, and whom you have tried to support for 10 years just pulled the most mean and devastating act at the peak of my vulnerability.

    • Dave says:

      Why is there so little supprt for dads who are screwed out of their kids’ lives forever? Women have everyone on their side because they are the “weaker and fairer sex”….and the most evil when they do not give a second thought to the effects on the kids and the dads. Shame on this culture that encourages divorce and the suicides of so many wonderful fathers. 50% divorce rate, 2/3 of divorces initiated by women, over 90% of custody is awarded to women. over 10,000 fathers commit suicide every year in the US. Where is justice? It is up the women’s skirts and in the razor blades that men use to make a statement to the world that life is not worth living if we are excluded from our children’s lives by this heartless society. Enjoy the future society where more and more children are raised without fathers.

  6. Nikki Charles says:

    OMG .. I am totally guilty here. I am the queen if “everything is fine”. I have never been married but I have ended tons of relationships and Friendship in this manner. The other person has no idea what happened and I feel frustrated because I store all this frustration and never say anything. I am not a fighter … People in relationships with me always comment on how we never fight. I grew up in fighting so I avoid conflict like the plague. Ill have a conversation but once it turns into a “fight” Ill say I am sorry just to end it and move on.
    I am dating a man now who I think is really awesome and really could be the one … How the heck can I work on this? I know its a HUGE problem for me.

  7. Lissa says:

    Good for you! You are half way there. You are what is known as a ” conflict avoidance ” individual. Now, what to do? Read everything you can on this. Ask yourself what do you fear in sharing your true feelings? Do you know how to share how you feel without blaming or insinuating that another is at fault? Do you know the difference in how men and women communicate?

    You may wish to read : ” The Five Love Languages ” and ” Men Are From Mars And Women Are From Venus “. Two very good places to start. Then perhaps onto some counseling for yourself to address some issues about this. Conflict avoidance is a slow and simmering death for a marriage. I wish you the best.

  8. Chris says:

    I just blind sided my husband tonight. I’m not mad at him, but we aren’t living like a married couple. More like roommates. He’s all about him and maybe I’m just all about me. We are both depressed and when he calls me at work he tells me all about his day (he’s disabled and stays home all day). Even when I tell him about things I don’t think he’s interested. SO I am partially to blame for not speaking up earlier, but he also chose to be blinded by his own issues. I’m the one left feeling like an abuser because I’m divorcing a disabled man…isn’t marriage suppose to be forever? We don’t even agree on what is “fun” anymore. He is adamant that he doesn’t want a divorce, but I don’t understand why. Is it just because he will think he failed at the marriage? I’m willing to take the blame. Once again I feel it’s all about how him. sigh.

  9. Jason says:

    I’ve been married for 19 years and have been thinking and planning my divorce and exit strategy for a year now. I have been unhappy about my marriage for the past 3 to 5 years, mainly because my wife is often grumpy, in a bad mood and spends so much time on her own in the evenings when she comes from work. We have nothing in common anymore and we don’t do much together as we used to do, except when we go shopping for groceries or attend events at our kids’ schools. We used to call each other at work to talk about family stuff but we don’t do that anymore – we only call if there’s something about the kids or something that needs to be repaired in the house. Other than that, we really live like two room mates – even the sex is sporadic and lacks passion and love. I’ve been agonising about the best time to tell her and how to tell her – should I do a sudden announcement and then leave or should I sit down with her and “talk”, and how is she going to react to this? Is it a good idea to have some place to go, then tell her and leave immediately? Im also agonising about how this is going to affect the kids (I have three girls – 8, 11 and 14). I just want out, and want to start a new life, hopefully with someone who shares the same interests or someone I can do stuff together with most of the time. I would appreciate any ideas on the best way to handle this without too anger or tears and drama on her part.

    • Skeezix says:

      Jason –

      Considering that you have three young children, I recommend that you do everything you can first to attempt to save your marriage. The demise of a marriage is almost never one-sided, although many place all the blame on their partner. If there once was a spark, there is a chance it can be rekindled. I can’t say from reading your comment, but I’m guessing that you haven’t yet done everything you can do to keep your marriage intact.

      This is coming from someone who is going through a divorce and spent almost three years withdrawn from his wife (I started avoiding her after we lost a child, when the arguments immediately reached the explosion point). She ultimately filed, but I had long before pushed her away. Both of us contributed to the demise of our relationship.

      I don’t want the mal-transformed wife who appeared after we lost a child back, but I would like the chance to rebuild our relationship to where it once was (even though my wife is showing signs of significant mental illness now). I won’t get that chance, and that means loneliness, a major blow to our kids, and financial difficulties.

      Your daughters will have a very tough time with your divorce, and may wind up blaming you – for many years – for divorcing their mother, especially if you do a hit and run as described in
      Susan Pease Gadoua’s article referenced above (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-pease-gadoua/how-not-to-tell-your-spou_b_820042.html).

      Also, consider Dr. Phil’s advice about divorce:


  10. Skeezix says:

    Although, as the article says, there is no good way to ask for a divorce, there are numerous bad ways. Unless you fear for your life, doing a vanishing act, leaving a note, or doing it in an explosion or in a mean way not only is the wrong way, but it will likely make the divorce process even more miserable for you (your spouse will still have a numerous chances to get even during the legal process, and during any interactions thereafter – few can go through the rest of their lives without having some necessary contact with a former spouse).

    It can also be devastating to your children, if you have them.

    My wife handed me divorce papers with no prior discussion of the possibility of divorce (although we were in counseling), and 3 hours later left in a huff to live with her family half a state away. She spent 15 minutes telling our children, ages 18 and 21, what she was doing, and that she would never return to the area where they grew up. Both kids (and despite the legal distinction that they are of majority age, they are still kids at that age, especially considering that both have been traumatized by the loss of their sister a few years ago) felt abandoned, and have had barely any contact with their mother in the five months that she’s been gone (their mother has initiated no contact with our children, one of whom still lives with me and commutes to college, while the other is a college freshman, but who comes here during vacations). My son has spoken to his mother only once, a month ago, and my daughter has spoken to her only three times.

    If you are going to tell your spouse you want a divorce, say so politely and directly (and only after attempting to repair the marriage with counseling and other techniques). Resist all temptation to get revenge. If you have children, you and your spouse need to present them with a united front. This will be a big and unwelcome shock in almost all cases to your children, and you need to make it clear they are in no way at fault. They will also be angry at the person who files for divorce, especially if it is done in any of the ways I’ve described.

  11. Manny says:

    I absolutely agree with Susan Pease Gadoua’s comment about a “hit and run” divorce. It IS a very hurtful and hateful way of announcing a divorce and NEVER saying anything to your partner that you chose to marry and keep the most important aspect of a marriage’s failure or success in the entertainment of your own mind by yourself. I experienced this blind-sided divorce only 4 months after getting married! I always was asking her to tell me if any problems arise between her or myself emotionally if it ever happened. The whole time she would lie to me and herself about how she felt. I had a hunch that there was a problem and when I asked if there was, there was usually just a smile and response back to me that everything was just fine… What can any Man or Woman do? Especially if you are trying to connect with your own partner and all they can do is lie about how they feel about you? I got blindsided with divorce as soon as I left to live in Switzerland where my ex is living. I thought we had a mutual understanding before we got married to ALWAYS be honest with each other. I was so on board with her on that and I took it pretty seriously. I only got 3 months living with her in her country, trying to understand the culture and language. It was a pretty daunting challenge and I’ll admit there were times I was frustrated not knowing anything. But I made that choice and I was perfectly happy with it. Little did I know, my ex wife was secretly planning her exit from me as well. I only got 3 months with my wife together, we never even had a chance to begin our marriage at all, not really anyway… I left the United States to be with someone I truly and genuinely loved and cared about with all my heart. I gave up my car, my job, my home, much of my own personal belongings just to be with her. Who does things like that?? For what purpose does a man or woman get married and then “changes” their mind all of sudden with no rhyme or reason? I never got the reasons why she wanted out, I had to leave on New Years day on a plane home. Just before my 29th birthday (Jan. 31st.) She never gave me a chance to be any kind of husband at all. I never got one reason out of her, and the reasons I do get are excuses and they change constantly. Even her own excuses seem to suddenly change and contradict each other.
    To this day, I STILL have no job, no car, living with parents in a small boring town.. Barely any friends, no money to go anywhere.. I’m hoping soon that will change and I can find something to do with myself again..

  12. Ab says:

    I think everyone lies constantly. Women lie with little lies about little things, then little lies about big things and changes to big lies about everything. I can’t tell why, but women seem to give each other a pass on lying. Makeup is a lie, fake eyebrows, hair etc is a lie. Its not you, but this is deemed acceptable. Lying abut your age, your weight is a lie. So is talking behind your friend behind her back but these are all things women do without anyone raising an eyebrow. So if women decide to lie, its given a positive spin

    • OMGchronicles
      Twitter: OMGchronicles

      Lying is a human condition, not just a female thing. We actually encourage kids to lie when we punish them for telling the truth about what they did (broke something, hit a sibling, etc.). But, lies that do not hurt other people are the lies we all do (“Don’t forget to tell Grandma how much you love the hand-knit sweater”); lies that intentionally hurt others are not OK.

  13. Patricio says:

    I was somewhat blindsided by my wife on divorce, but after some level of acceptance, could look back and see small signs. What I think is most challenging for the blindsided, it they don’t have much chance at an attempt to reconcile, or works towards, because there is not adequate communication ahead of time. I personal got, in the midst of an argument (which started by me asking about an affaire), “I don’t love you, I have not for years, and I’ve only stayed in this relationship for the kids.” The prior years interactions, with my wife, did not indicate any of this to be true, in fact it was quite the opposite. Sex was pretty good, date nights were fun, and a lot of communication about the kids, and personal lives at work. We had some rocky patches over 20 years, but always seem to quickly get by them, maybe over 2-3 days. By the time we did get to counseling, which I had to drag her to, her wedding ring was off, and had told me multiple times, she no longer loved me. It seemed an impossible hurdle to climb, so I just gave in, and then moved to planning for the divorce, which is another entire subject of pain, especially after 20 years. So for any readers, planning a blindside, I truly hope you pause, and think about clear communication of your intentions and reasons behind them, even try to develop some empathy, ahead of time, of what the blindsided, will go through. A 20 year marriage, with a few teenagers involved, is not lightly ended, and regardless of how the leaver feels, there should be a lot of consideration, and honest, but private discussion with the person be blindsided. And never, I mean never, deliver the news in a fit of anger, it is the worst sort of blindside, and consequently, one harder to believe and accept, because expressed intention is hard to believe. You just end up saying, “she is just pissed off right now, she really does not plan to go through with it.” Sitting down, talk about reasons, given time for reflection, and showing empathy from the beginning, is the most humane way to go about it. The leaver, if they have a beating heart, should be able to understand this.

  14. OMGchronicles
    Twitter: OMGchronicles

    Thanks for sharing your story, Patricio. I’m sorry your marriage had to end that way instead of a more loving way. You are right — anyone wanting to leave should “talk about reasons, given time for reflection,” and show empathy. I am hopeful that, after the pain and grief starts to lift, that you find yourself in a happier space and open for love again.

  15. TheRealHonestTruth says:

    Now that so many women today that are very high maintenance, independent, selfish, spoiled, and very greedy, especially the ones with their career which really has a lot to do with it. And now that makes them cheat more than ever since it did happen to me.

  16. Arthur says:

    My wife blindsided me AND ended the marriage via email! For the last two years, I was working outside of state where we live. Yes, understand the challenges of the distance thing, but I called and texted my wife daily, I flew home monthly for days at a time and I was even able to telecommute. I was in my early 50’s and she her late 40’s when we married, so I thought we were both settled in our lives as to who we were and what we wanted. I had discussed taking the job with my wife prior and we both agreed it would be similar to a military deployment, but she had access to me daily. During the period, there were deaths in my wife’s family and I always flew home immediately and stayed with her. Home for holidays, and with her being a teacher I planned trips for us around her school breaks.

    She sent a voice file attached to an email telling me that she was leaving me because of an argument we had in October 2013. She tells me this in July 2015. A few days later, she texts me and says she needs me. I tell her I’m quitting my job to be back with her to work on the relationship. She says she will add me to her insurance as she was starting a new teaching job. 3 days after that, she sends and email saying she doesn’t want to work on the relationship, she’s not accepting my texts and don’t call her again, with her attorney cc’d on the email. I called her a flake and said she was emotionally dishonest. I pretty much surmised she checked out of the relationship in early 2015 and had started a new one. But she played like everything was fine and we traveled, made love, etc. We were together for 7 years and will be married for 4 years in a couple of weeks. The divorce is just beginning and it has destroyed me to think about the betrayal, deceit and callousness to do this and not even fight for the marriage.

  17. Jim says:

    Arthur, I can feel for you. I was blindsided nine months ago and we’re still fighting out a financial settlement. My soon to be x and I have been married 47 years. Over the years we have had our good times and bad times . I do believe the good outweighed the bad, but apparently not her. After making me one of my favorite meals, and sitting down to watch a footbagame, a knock came to the door. Two sherrif officers had a restaining order from her to remove me from the home.
    Up till then I thought she was content with our marriage. Also thought RO were reserved for physical abuse which ive never done. Unfortunately the way she is handling her divorce with cruelty and nastiness has fractured our whole family. She has iestranged herself from our two children and five grandchildren also. Didn’t even know she hated me that much. Hopefully some day we can at least be friends for the sake of our children and grandchildren. From blindsided Jim.

  18. March says:

    I have been with my husband for 20 years. He is the most wonderful man and we have been living a peaceful life all these years. Saying that there was always something missing,our relationship grown into the way that each went into our way as we dont have anything in common. Now, its more like a friendship than a partner. I am not in love with him but I love him I am lonely and I dont want to do anything to fix it any more.
    the only mistake in this marriage is that we are guilty of being ourselves . Two people who everyone loves and appreciate but we dont appreciate each other as much. He knew that I am not happy all these years and I kept mentioning it but he never tried to sort anything out or even talk about it. Up until now that I told him I cant live a life like that. I am a romantic person and romance is lacking very much in our life. We dont have kids and I said we have to get separated -cause I want to know what I want in life!
    then he started to panic and started to blame him self about everything and said he knew that its coming but he was hoping time will sort things out! He is actively seeking professional advice now and wants to keep us together ! To me it a bit too late ! I dont want to do anything about it but I still said I will devote myself into fixing this as well but the truth is I dont see how! we are two people who couldnt have a good partnership in marriage but we could be best friends. I can count with my fingers the number of sex we had in the last 10 years! there was never sparks in our life except we both are very respectful, peaceful people with different interest in life! I am overly active he is overly calm and not active in any ways.
    So, now I dont know how to convince him if we divorce is beneficial to both of us. He doesnt wanna listen and Iam a slave to his kindness !
    what should I do?

  19. Kyley says:

    Just speaking from personal experience, the reason why I – and probably many other women – say things are fine when they’re not is because, in the past, when we have spoken up about what is bothering us, it gets twisted around so we are somehow being blamed.

    It can feel as though every time you try to point out that your partner is being manipulative, controlling, or overly critical in a way that is eroding your marriage, you end up being accused of causing them to behave that way. And, if you’re like me, you end up apologizing for what you’ve supposedly done and maybe even for 5 other things that get brought up as things you’re being blamed for.

    I’m sorry but I just got tired of him telling me petty things like what not to wear, how loudly I’m allowed to chew my food, when to reapply my nail polish, where to walk and where to stand beside him when we’re in public, etc. I got tired of having to tell him every detail of every conversation when I was out with my girlfriends so he could make sure I wasn’t sharing anything he thought was inappropriate. And I got tired of being discouraged from doing perfectly normal, safe outdoor athletic activities because he was afraid of me either being hurt by someone or meeting someone and leaving him.

    It got to the point where the only way I could have a decent time with him is if I said things were fine when they weren’t. Otherwise, an hours-long conversation would ensue and at the end of it, I’d be so exhausted I would just give up and give in, apologizing for hurting him by being stubborn.

    No my marriage is not fine, but fine is the only answer I have left to give. I am exhausted, overwhelmed, sad, and planning to leave. And I don’t know how to talk to him about it because fine is the only answer that spares me the awful dynamic of those long conversations that seem to be all about breaking me down and making me sorry for having complaints against him.

    I’m too old for this. I need to go. And if I blindside him, so be it. You can’t trap and control a person for years and expect them to put up with it forever.

    • Janey says:

      Wow- I feel like I am walking in your shoes. Did you finally confront him and move your divorce forward? How are you doing now?
      I think “fine” is the only word I now use in my vocabulary because I just don’t want to talk and have no interest in finding something to talk about since we have so little in common. I have no interest in reconciling it’s just too late. Our conversations have been baseless for years and one of the most troubling issues is that he has not evolved into a parent of growing young men (I have a 2nd year college student and a sophomore in HS). He continues to treat them like children wanting to maintain some parental control so they do not show him much respect and the boys now look to me as the parent and the buffer between them and their dad. I am faced with hearing all the problems of the day but never any solutions given (I basically deal with everything as a parent and breadwinner problem solver). I’ve recommended he come up with a plan every year for the last 5 years to fill his free time that will only grow and he claims what he has now on his plate (which btw makes him accountable to no one) is all he needs. I’m ready to confront him but I know it will be a shock because he’s always been one to avoid problems and issues assuming someone will fix them or they will fix themselves plus he’s never liked change- this will be the biggest one I can give him. I have confided in one friend, she feels as though the boys and spouse will be blindsided but after years of empty conversations ZERO intimacy with husband he can’t be totally shocked (can he)? More concerned about my boys although my gut tells me that have to have some idea of the tension based on my continued silent treatment toward their dad. Do I need to gently drop any indications to my kids of my unhappiness so they aren’t blindsided any more than they will be? Any advice appreciated.

  20. Jim says:

    Well with so many women being very unfaithful nowadays would be a very Good Excellent Reason since they will Definitely cheat more, especially the women that are making a very high salary today which now many of them are very independent and Don’t need a man to survive anymore which i will admit too that many of these women can now make it on their own. So they’re very likely to Cheat more than ever since their Greed And Selfishness has Destroyed many of us Good men already since many of us did get Divorced over this unfortunately. It is a real Good thing that many women were Not like this years ago since Most of them in the Past were very Faithful just like Most men were in those days which made many Marriages last very long at that time since Most Marriages are Not lasting very long today at all.

  21. Alexedward says:

    People opt for legal separation over divorce for many reasons that are personal, logistical, and financial.

    Among the personal reasons, you and your spouse may decide to take time apart to see if you really want to end the marriage. You may have religious beliefs that make divorce an unacceptable option, but you wish to live separately and protect your financial future in the process.

  22. Divorce and legal separation have similar effects in many ways. Both a divorce and a legal separation legally create a space between you and your spouse. You live separately. Your finances are separated. Child custody, child support, division of marital assets and debts, and spousal support (called alimony if you divorce) are all ordered by the court. Divorcing and getting legally separated both create an important division in your lives and create financial rules and boundaries that you are required to live by.

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