Why men leave, why women leave

June 29, 2010

I’m in a very happy and uncomplicated marriage.

Whoa! That’s something I’ve never said before.

God knows, I’ve had the other kind of relationship and marriage. Many times.

Some of my friends are also in happy marriages. I love to see how they treasure and appreciate their mates in both word and deed.

The dynamic of marriage fascinates me. Why some people stay in unhappy situations, why others leave. How so much pain can be inflicted over such a long period of time and why.

I know a couple who outgrew each other. The truth is that the husband failed to address his issues — valid at the time– and in his avoidance, the love died. The wife was clueless.

But even then, he failed to call it in an ethical way. He withdrew from the relationship emotionally and physically, cheated on her for several years and when she suspected and asked, denied it the whole time, telling her she was imagining things.

During their separation, she found out about the infidelity. They’re divorced now, but she is devastated by the way the marriage ended.

A divorce is never a happy thing, but how much better if he had either worked on it when there was something left to salvage, or found a way to ethically leave.

Making her feel like she was crazy? Inexcusable.

I am not a big fan of always telling the truth about infidelity. That’s a discussion for another time and has to do with putting a spouse’s feelings first.

Another couple has been struggling financially for more than a few years. Her work brings in some money but not a huge amount. He stopped working a few years back when he got sick. After his recovery, he found one excuse after another to not work. They’re living with family now, to save money.

He is just fine with not working at all (although he can) and letting his wife carry the financial burden. If a job in his field fell in his lap, he’d take it.

But even though they’re living at the poverty level, he won’t take a different kind of job just for the sake of helping support himself and his wife.

She stays, and I wonder why. He’s dragging her under, for one, and she’s building resentments that guarantee the death of any feelings she still has.

It’s a miserable way to live.

I’ve observed that men tend to leave women only when they find someone else, even if only temporarily. Women generally do not line up their next, they simply leave just to get out of the situation. If they leave. Far too many

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