Why Wives Really Leave Their Husbands

divorce

Did you know that women file for divorce twice as often as men?

Statistically, women buy more marriage books, visit more counselors, and are far more vocal about the problems they might be experiencing.

The most common reasons, however, are not what you might expect – it’s not because men are more likely to cheat, or because of major problems with money or family.

Instead, the cause is a vast disparity in expectation, and the root of it lies in some major differences in the way many men and women think about marriages.

To put it simply, women are leaving their marriages because of what they perceive as emotional neglect.

Now, it’s true that some couples do in fact neglect one another emotionally, but for our purposes here today, we’re focusing on the chasm between expectation and reality.

Without falling too hard into stereotypes, women are far more likely to see their husbands as aloof, as not fully caring about emotional needs, as spending too much time away from home, as “ignoring” their wives when they spend time together, as being self absorbed, and so on…

This illuminates a giant problem with communication – because from the typical male perspective, so many of those complaints (or the attitude/mental space that brings them about) make men feel like:

  • their wives have unrealistic expectations
  • that they can’t be themselves
  • that they can’t put time and effort into their own interests or spend a day alone without being nagged…

Where women might think their husbands are intentionally ignoring them, or have complaints that their husbands never call to check up on them, never apologize when feelings are hurt, etc. – their husbands may hold a very opposite view, and not even be aware that their wives feel that way!

It comes down to the differences in the way most men and women operate.

Women, typically more emotionally oriented, are looking for emotional support and contact that their husbands aren’t aware that they aren’t providing.

Men may have the view that they are supposed to be breadwinners, handymen, fathers, sexual partners, and plenty of other things…

But they may not very often consider themselves to be the emotional support their wives expect them to be – or even know how to because of their own emotional nature.

Because of this disparity, it can feel (for husbands) as though the efforts they do put forth are totally overlooked, that their contributions to the household are taken for granted, and that their wives are too needy.

When wives are complaining about their husbands’ lack of emotional investment, it can feel like they are asking their husbands to work harder, to do more…

It can feel like they’re being told that they aren’t good enough, and this blow to the ego can make them withdraw even further.

So, with all of this confusion between what women expect and how men tend to behave, it’s no wonder that an emotional gap is at the heart of so many women’s marital complaints.

Resolving this issue, however, is MUCH easier than it might seem!

Realigning expectations is the name of the game here. For women, understand that your husband might not be aware of how you feel, and that even telling him directly might not fully change the way he behaves.

For men, understand that your wife has different emotional needs than you do, and that part of being a loving husband is doing your best to meet those needs.

Now, this is the part that takes compromise and shifting expectations:

Wives can’t expect their husbands to transform into their emotional mirrors, who think and feel in the same way they do, or even approach emotional connections in the same way.

Husbands can’t expect their wives to just bury their own emotional needs and “think like a man” either – where communication is matter of fact, affection is generally sexual, and to be perfectly frank, personal identity is usually formed outside of the context of spousehood.

Some of this male/female dynamic is just the way we’re hardwired, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t all work toward better understanding and a happy middle ground.

If this perceived emotional neglect (even if it isn’t intentional) is the main reason women want to leave marriages, it’s definitely a large enough issue to address – even if it hasn’t yet become a problem in your own relationship.

Just talk to your spouse, recognize that you won’t always have the same emotional needs or thought patterns, and do everything you can to give each other the benefit of the doubt.

You may never be on the exact same page emotionally, but understanding where your spouse is coming from can make all the difference.

[i4w_m_vsl_promo5]


Related Posts

Will Divorce Really Harm Your Kids?

Divorce can wreak havoc on many parts of life. It’s expensive and time consuming, can drag up painful memories, cause bitter confrontation, bring about financial ruin, damage friendships, and of course, lead to chaos and confusion in the lives of the children whose parents are splitting. But just how severely are these kids affected? We […]

Don’t Be This SCARY Marriage Statistic

Perhaps you’ve heard before that January is “divorce month” – and it’s true! Statistically speaking, the beginning of the year sees a huge spike in divorce filings, and many attorneys report the same experience. Why January? Well, one of the largest possible reasons can be found in the stress of the holidays – and in […]

Who Has It Harder In a Divorce? Men or Women?

Is the dissolution of a romantic relationship harder on men or women? It’s hard to say exactly who has it “worse,” but there’s evidence to suggest that men take divorce especially hard. A recent study published by the Journal of Men’s Health showed that recently divorced men were much more likely to engage in drug […]

3 More Potential Marriage Enders – Part 3

In our final installment of this series, we’ll examine three more problems that can mean catastrophe for your marriage – IF they are allowed to continue unchecked. These are the types of issues that many couples simply accept as “normal,” and allow them to chip away at the quality of the relationship without taking steps […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

24 comments

Mike Pearce 7 years ago

Good at setting out the problem, no doubt right that getting to the middle ground is the solution, but little in the way of specifics. What exactly do women perceive as emotional support? If women can't articulate it, then how are men supposed to begin to approach it? My advice to men would be to marry a woman who does have an identity outside of spousehood; and who grew up as part of a loving family environment - in particular, the relationship with the father needs to be strong. I say this because I don't think the average man could live with himself for long if he tried too hard to satisfy the kind of "female emotional needs" hinted at in the article, so there needs to be other supports to marriage outside of this, e.g. a strong culture of family life.

Mike Pearce 7 years ago

Good at setting out the problem, no doubt right that getting to the middle ground is the solution, but little in the way of specifics. What exactly do women perceive as emotional support? If women can't articulate it, then how are men supposed to begin to approach it? My advice to men would be to marry a woman who does have an identity outside of spousehood; and who grew up as part of a loving family environment - in particular, the relationship with the father needs to be strong. I say this because I don't think the average man could live with himself for long if he tried too hard to satisfy the kind of "female emotional needs" hinted at in the article, so there needs to be other supports to marriage outside of this, e.g. a strong culture of family life.

Mike_Olsen_SMN 7 years ago

Hi Mike, the fact is every person and every relationship is different. Some men and women want a wife at home with the children. Some men and women want a wife making a career. There is no right or wrong here. I would encourage couples to pick up the book The Five Love Languages. https://www.strongmarriagenow.com/marriage-unstuck/

Mike_Olsen_SMN 7 years ago

Hi Mike, the fact is every person and every relationship is different. Some men and women want a wife at home with the children. Some men and women want a wife making a career. There is no right or wrong here. I would encourage couples to pick up the book The Five Love Languages. https://www.strongmarriagenow.com/marriage-unstuck/

Beverly Krantz 7 years ago

Without getting into the details of my marriage, I have made my decision to get a divorce. The problem is every time I try to tell my husband I start feeling guilty and chicken out. I hate that I'm the one having to come to this decision.

Beverly Krantz 7 years ago

Without getting into the details of my marriage, I have made my decision to get a divorce. The problem is every time I try to tell my husband I start feeling guilty and chicken out. I hate that I'm the one having to come to this decision.

Tom 7 years ago

Interesting topic. I have been working at my marriage for the past 15 years, trying to figure out what's been going wrong and have never figured it out. Along the way, I have compromised my own ideals and become someone I don't even recognize. While I try to be sensitive to my wife's needs, I am learning to take care of my own needs now. In the end, you can the only thing you can control is yourself. I try each and every day to be the best PERSON I can be. If that ends up not being good enough for my wife, then so be it. I have to be myself and encourage her to be herself. Blaming others for your own disappointments in life will end up dwvouring you in the end, so just try to be good to each other and be content with that. I ask my wife what the problem is and she says she's lonely, yet I try to spend time with her, invite her out, but she declines. Likewise, when she goes places or wants to do something, she doesn't include me. Now, I can only do so much and for a long time, blamed myself and tried to fix it, only to be disappointed. In the end, both partners have to work at this or nothing will change. I can only be the best person that I can be. Sucking up the blame and frustration day in and day out is tiring. In the end, I gave my life over to GOD and he steers my life now. If my wife doesn't want to come along, then she will have to find her own way. I hope someone benefits from this comment. I can tell you that compromising yourself to try and fix things will never work. Try to be the best PERSON you can be and you will get yourself back and hopefully find happiness with or without your significant other. You can't control another person, but you can control yourself. Good Luck!

Tom 7 years ago

Interesting topic. I have been working at my marriage for the past 15 years, trying to figure out what's been going wrong and have never figured it out. Along the way, I have compromised my own ideals and become someone I don't even recognize. While I try to be sensitive to my wife's needs, I am learning to take care of my own needs now. In the end, you can the only thing you can control is yourself. I try each and every day to be the best PERSON I can be. If that ends up not being good enough for my wife, then so be it. I have to be myself and encourage her to be herself. Blaming others for your own disappointments in life will end up dwvouring you in the end, so just try to be good to each other and be content with that. I ask my wife what the problem is and she says she's lonely, yet I try to spend time with her, invite her out, but she declines. Likewise, when she goes places or wants to do something, she doesn't include me. Now, I can only do so much and for a long time, blamed myself and tried to fix it, only to be disappointed. In the end, both partners have to work at this or nothing will change. I can only be the best person that I can be. Sucking up the blame and frustration day in and day out is tiring. In the end, I gave my life over to GOD and he steers my life now. If my wife doesn't want to come along, then she will have to find her own way. I hope someone benefits from this comment. I can tell you that compromising yourself to try and fix things will never work. Try to be the best PERSON you can be and you will get yourself back and hopefully find happiness with or without your significant other. You can't control another person, but you can control yourself. Good Luck!

Mike Pearce 7 years ago

I was someone who thought it good for my wife to be at home with the children while they were small. I've now had to recognise that although this was good for the children in the short term, it was bad for them in the long term as it meant I had a wife who had no real identity outside of the marital relationship which then put too many unrealistic pressures on this relationship. If I were to go back I would choose a woman who had a career she liked and who had some solo interests of her own in life. I would also choose a woman intelligent enough not to fall prey too readily to "emotional reasoning". Finally, as I mentioned above, I would choose a woman who had a happy childhood and who loved her own father - this seems to predict the ability of women to be truly loving and giving in a relationship.

Mike Pearce 7 years ago

I was someone who thought it good for my wife to be at home with the children while they were small. I've now had to recognise that although this was good for the children in the short term, it was bad for them in the long term as it meant I had a wife who had no real identity outside of the marital relationship which then put too many unrealistic pressures on this relationship. If I were to go back I would choose a woman who had a career she liked and who had some solo interests of her own in life. I would also choose a woman intelligent enough not to fall prey too readily to "emotional reasoning". Finally, as I mentioned above, I would choose a woman who had a happy childhood and who loved her own father - this seems to predict the ability of women to be truly loving and giving in a relationship.

Mike Pearce 7 years ago

Tom, good comment and I wish you well.

Mike Pearce 7 years ago

Tom, good comment and I wish you well.

dane 7 years ago

Then there is advil. we are not at the root of wives insecurities.

dane 7 years ago

Then there is advil. we are not at the root of wives insecurities.

Tom 7 years ago

Interesting comment. I too have a wife that actually wanted to stay at home and raise our kids. When I asked her what she wanted to do besides that (because that will end some day) she said that was all she needed to be happy. I continue to prod here to take up some hobbies, but to no avail. This became a problem as the kids got older and she found her self as she put it, miserably lonely. I myself had many hobbies at the time. I gave up every one of them one at a time except golf, as I was passionate about that. But I can tell you, none of that helped. She would love it if I gave up golf, but I know that it wouldn't bring us closer. That is not the problem. She has to be happy with herself, before she can make anyone else happy. It's sad, but unfortunately true. I wish she could get past this, but I know there is NOTHING I can do about it. She has to want to be happy. What is that Abraham Lincoln said, "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

Tom 7 years ago

Interesting comment. I too have a wife that actually wanted to stay at home and raise our kids. When I asked her what she wanted to do besides that (because that will end some day) she said that was all she needed to be happy. I continue to prod here to take up some hobbies, but to no avail. This became a problem as the kids got older and she found her self as she put it, miserably lonely. I myself had many hobbies at the time. I gave up every one of them one at a time except golf, as I was passionate about that. But I can tell you, none of that helped. She would love it if I gave up golf, but I know that it wouldn't bring us closer. That is not the problem. She has to be happy with herself, before she can make anyone else happy. It's sad, but unfortunately true. I wish she could get past this, but I know there is NOTHING I can do about it. She has to want to be happy. What is that Abraham Lincoln said, "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

Mike_Olsen_SMN 7 years ago

Hi Beverly, maybe that's yourself telling you that you aren't ready to let him go. https://www.strongmarriagenow.com/save-marriage-time-call-quits/

Mike_Olsen_SMN 7 years ago

Hi Beverly, maybe that's yourself telling you that you aren't ready to let him go. https://www.strongmarriagenow.com/save-marriage-time-call-quits/

Chris 7 years ago

I recently had my “Eureka” moment concerning my 20 year struggles with my marriage. Dr. David Schnarch simply nails it in his books: It all boils-down to DIFFERENTIATION. Basically, each man and woman is responsible and accountable to effectively manage his or her own emotional apparatus. Only when BOTH the man and the woman can arrive as a wholly emotionally mature and emotionally competent individual, can they be JOINED into a true intimate relationship. No one can expect perfection, but each individual must be fully aware and accepting of their own responsibility for their own emotional status as well as their own conduct. Additionally, if each man and women are truly committed to the marriage relationship, they individually, are accountable to maintain and adjust whatever emotional or behavioral eruptions that may occur in their own heads. I am convinced that the decades-long notion of chasing each other’s needs is the single reason for the sorry state of marriage today. There is simply no end to fulfilling the emotional needs of a woman (or a man) who has no concept of his or her own emotional self-agency and responsibility, let alone the ability to manage his or her own internal emotional dialogue. Today’s adults have been raised to expect that their needs should somehow be met by the one they are attracted to. This needs-based concept of relationships and the enduring “meet my needs or else…”mentality it produces only destroys marriages and offers no possible hope for the success of any intimate relationship. Individual’s needs as expressed in today’s relationship discussions are infinite, undetermined, and even arbitrary when an emotionally immature person expects these needs to be satisfied by another person. It’s absurd. Only a person who has the awareness, maturity, and the conscious integrity to correct themselves in order to join – and remain joined to another along the journey of life, possess the true character to be a real spouse. Without this character, you are married to little more than an obstinate child. Marriage is only for real emotionally competent adults who can contribute to one another. It’s time to get off the crazy train of “meet my needs”.

Chris 7 years ago

I recently had my “Eureka” moment concerning my 20 year struggles with my marriage. Dr. David Schnarch simply nails it in his books: It all boils-down to DIFFERENTIATION. Basically, each man and woman is responsible and accountable to effectively manage his or her own emotional apparatus. Only when BOTH the man and the woman can arrive as a wholly emotionally mature and emotionally competent individual, can they be JOINED into a true intimate relationship. No one can expect perfection, but each individual must be fully aware and accepting of their own responsibility for their own emotional status as well as their own conduct. Additionally, if each man and women are truly committed to the marriage relationship, they individually, are accountable to maintain and adjust whatever emotional or behavioral eruptions that may occur in their own heads. I am convinced that the decades-long notion of chasing each other’s needs is the single reason for the sorry state of marriage today. There is simply no end to fulfilling the emotional needs of a woman (or a man) who has no concept of his or her own emotional self-agency and responsibility, let alone the ability to manage his or her own internal emotional dialogue. Today’s adults have been raised to expect that their needs should somehow be met by the one they are attracted to. This needs-based concept of relationships and the enduring “meet my needs or else…”mentality it produces only destroys marriages and offers no possible hope for the success of any intimate relationship. Individual’s needs as expressed in today’s relationship discussions are infinite, undetermined, and even arbitrary when an emotionally immature person expects these needs to be satisfied by another person. It’s absurd. Only a person who has the awareness, maturity, and the conscious integrity to correct themselves in order to join – and remain joined to another along the journey of life, possess the true character to be a real spouse. Without this character, you are married to little more than an obstinate child. Marriage is only for real emotionally competent adults who can contribute to one another. It’s time to get off the crazy train of “meet my needs”.

Tere 7 years ago

A year ago I told my husband to leave; he has family in the area that he can live with while I have nobody...I thought I came here to join him 20 plus years ago (we're immigrants..) He said he didn't want a broken home...I said we're already broken...I told him we don't even share the same bedroom anymore, don't communicate, we avoid each other, etc....he doesn't help pay the bills...he thinks that bec. I make more money, I pay the bills; bec. I'm the woman, I should cook, clean house, etc..he went deeper into debt after he retired in 2008 and within 2 yrs of getting a job. His money is his alone while I pay the mortgage, vehicle insurance, utilities, etc...I have told him he has to help me pay the bills...all he can say is..."how can I when I make only so so $..."...I told him to get another job or work overtime if he is allowed. When repairs are needed here at home, he doesn't do the "handy man" job a man of the house should do...I had replaced the ac unit, the water heater, bought w/d all on my own pay; not to mention home improvements....when the oldest went to college I paid her tuition and apt, books, etc...now i'm paying the second child's education...on top of all these, I looked, found and got my husband into a debt mgt. program to help him pay his bills...needless to say I still don't get any support from him... I cried a river telling him what I need him to do to help me but he has no clue...I told him several times that couples should be helping each other...I told him It seems like I have another son but he doesn't say anything, does not apologize even. One of the things that really frustrated me was when he got himself the new iPhone 6! He could'nt afford it but he wanted it...in Dec. Verizon suspended our service for non-payment ( my husband's responsibility)...so no tv, no internet, no cp for them...(I have my own pre-paid cp...) Just last week we went to see his debt counsellor (my request)...coz I want her to free some money to help him pay some bills...I told her it's too stressful for me paying all the bills coz now I have medical problems from working too much so I can pay the bills! I cried a river again in front of the counsellor...so embarrassing but I can't help getting emotional when talking about my husband's abandonment...(I didn't say it loud but that's what it is..)...I must've have gotten loud coz she went out and got the marriage counsellor next door...nothing is resolved to this day...living with my husband is detrimental to me...I feel sorry for the kids...the youngest in junior hi so I gotta continue to work coz he's my next college scholar...Do I want to save my marriage?

Tere 7 years ago

A year ago I told my husband to leave; he has family in the area that he can live with while I have nobody...I thought I came here to join him 20 plus years ago (we're immigrants..) He said he didn't want a broken home...I said we're already broken...I told him we don't even share the same bedroom anymore, don't communicate, we avoid each other, etc....he doesn't help pay the bills...he thinks that bec. I make more money, I pay the bills; bec. I'm the woman, I should cook, clean house, etc..he went deeper into debt after he retired in 2008 and within 2 yrs of getting a job. His money is his alone while I pay the mortgage, vehicle insurance, utilities, etc...I have told him he has to help me pay the bills...all he can say is..."how can I when I make only so so $..."...I told him to get another job or work overtime if he is allowed. When repairs are needed here at home, he doesn't do the "handy man" job a man of the house should do...I had replaced the ac unit, the water heater, bought w/d all on my own pay; not to mention home improvements....when the oldest went to college I paid her tuition and apt, books, etc...now i'm paying the second child's education...on top of all these, I looked, found and got my husband into a debt mgt. program to help him pay his bills...needless to say I still don't get any support from him... I cried a river telling him what I need him to do to help me but he has no clue...I told him several times that couples should be helping each other...I told him It seems like I have another son but he doesn't say anything, does not apologize even. One of the things that really frustrated me was when he got himself the new iPhone 6! He could'nt afford it but he wanted it...in Dec. Verizon suspended our service for non-payment ( my husband's responsibility)...so no tv, no internet, no cp for them...(I have my own pre-paid cp...) Just last week we went to see his debt counsellor (my request)...coz I want her to free some money to help him pay some bills...I told her it's too stressful for me paying all the bills coz now I have medical problems from working too much so I can pay the bills! I cried a river again in front of the counsellor...so embarrassing but I can't help getting emotional when talking about my husband's abandonment...(I didn't say it loud but that's what it is..)...I must've have gotten loud coz she went out and got the marriage counsellor next door...nothing is resolved to this day...living with my husband is detrimental to me...I feel sorry for the kids...the youngest in junior hi so I gotta continue to work coz he's my next college scholar...Do I want to save my marriage?

Nevets Van Epps 6 years ago

This article is complete BS, Woman leave more often because the system is set in their favor financially, I bet men would be filing three times as much if they were promised the kids, child support, and alimony. Let's not forget to mention that we as a society exult on high the "single mom". If you think it's from any other reason then you're just lying to yourself.

Nevets Van Epps 6 years ago

This article is complete BS, Woman leave more often because the system is set in their favor financially, I bet men would be filing three times as much if they were promised the kids, child support, and alimony. Let's not forget to mention that we as a society exult on high the "single mom". If you think it's from any other reason then you're just lying to yourself.