According to Mental Health UK, being happily married or in a stable relationship impacts positively on mental health. Research has found that high marital quality is associated with lower stress and less depression. However, research has also shown that single people have better mental health outcomes than people who are unhappily married.
In response to a question about a woman who reported that, her husband of 5 years is tired of their marriage after 2 kids and the second child being just 2 months old. David B Smith a former ant farm owner wrote; “I had the perfect marriage. We owned a house, I had a great job making six figures consistently for years, my wife was a stay at home mother for our two kids–a girl of eleven and boy of three.
There had been no violence or cheating (that I knew of or suspected). We were deliriously in love and content. I often thought about how our love had overcome so many obstacles to bring us to that point and entertained the idea of writing a book to capture it’s essence. I had a title ready, too: Rhonda and David: A Love Story.
Then, seemingly out of the blue, Rhonda said she wanted a divorce. At first I dismissed it, shrugged it off. She kept bringing it up, even in front of the kids. She was serious but wouldn’t give me a why. I brought in my mother to mediate.
“You guys? Divorce?” She asked incredulously. “The same two who spontaneously burst into song while doing the dishes together? I always held you two up as the epitome of what marriage could be. What’s the problem?”
Rhonda launched into a series of pet peeves about me, the gravest one being that I did not pick up my towels off the bathroom floor after showering.
All of her grievances were addressed. She agreed to see how she felt about the marriage in the absence of those complaints. A couple of months later the divorce talk resurfaced. Once again I tried to pinpoint the issue. A new complaint was that I did not watch the kids enough. I offered to take them out of the house every Sunday for six hours. Movies, parks, the mall. Rhonda would have her me time.
I followed through on the towels, the Sunday with the kids and a myriad of other former complaints religiously and to the “T”. I did not want a divorce.
But the day came again when the dreaded “D” word was dropped. We were alone in the kitchen and I threw up my hands in despair. “What now?” I asked in exasperation. “What can I change about me now to make you value my partnership and want to work on this too?”
Tears welled up in her eyes as she looked directly in to mine. Here comes the truth. “You could change everything I don’t like and I would still want to leave. I can’t stop thinking about the touch of somebody new.”
It was a gut punch but at least I had the truth. And I believed her. If you love somebody set them free… I had to let her find out if she was missing something, I reasoned, no matter how much it hurt. I knew eventually I wouldn’t have a choice, she wouldn’t ask.
She took our kids out of state. She was dating immediately. She didn’t come back and by divorce court she was pregnant with another man’s baby, something she revealed with a smile while looking directly at me from the witness stand.
What’s the upshot, the take-away? It’s that I had made a projection of my feeling about the marriage into a narrative that included her. I’m sure there were signs long before the end that I chose to downplay or ignore, and so I was living a fantasy in my bubble while she was falling out of love.
Believe him and consider that this revelation of dissatisfaction is likely fully fleshed and has been nurtured and constructed for a long, long time.
I don’t know that it can be saved and I don’t think you should want to frankly. He doesn’t care enough about you to avoid hurting you with this action, and he has pictured his life without you and he is not only okay with that, he is taking steps to speed it along. That doesn’t match the guy in your head you love, does it? Let him go and don’t be bitter. Find the guy who matches the guy in your head rather than ”
Penny Mcknight a cosmetologist who studied psychology wrote; “This very same thing happened to me, except I came home Christmas Eve to find him and his belongings gone as well as money I had saved up. He actually ended up having car trouble and had to return the next day, his words cut through me like a knife when he said “I’m not in love with you anymore” I decided then that I had to be strong and I deserve better than that, I had been a good wife, mother, and even worked even though he made plenty of money on his own. Dinner was always hot n ready when he got home. I thought everything was good. Anyways we decided we would have his truck fixed so he could leave for good, two days later I’m in the hospital having surgery that required 6 weeks recovery. He stayed because of this and we decided or he decided to try again (Don’t) we spent another 4 years together me trying harder than before to only find out the latter four years he spent cheating on me. While he was at work I took my children to my mom, went and got my own place, waited for him to walk in the door and asked him how long, he lied I left. It hurt & I cried for a long time I started taking care of me and my kids and I asked him one more time to be honest (he wanted me back) I told him he had to be honest, the truth was I would not take him back because I didn’t even know who he really was or if it was all a lie, I just wanted to know I wasn’t crazy. I found out he actually began cheating on me when I was pregnant which was a year before he left the first time.
I said thank you and left. He chose to not have a relationship with his children, my daughter is now 20, and I have been with the true love of my life now for 14 years” Stay strong, save money and continue as you are until you have a plan in place but get the plan going asap. You will get through this she concluded.
In her own contribution to the topic Stevi Garness , a case Manager at Mental Health & Social Work said ” My ex husband did something similar. He fell in love with his manager and walked out on me and my child after 13 years. I NEVER saw it coming! I wish someone would have told me back then what I’m telling you: LET HIM LEAVE AND START LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE EVER! The time I spent grieving, arguing, self-harming, begging… got me nowhere! I even quit my grad school program because I was so distraught. if I could go back? OMG! I’d tell him. “Bye Felicia! Dont let the door hit you on the way out!” .. and then GET TO WORK! Get to work on your life, your health, your interests, your mind. Get into therapy ASAP.
Find a good support system for the kids. Be so busy moving on and being the best version of your independent self, he will be the one to stop and say “perhaps I made a mistake.” But do not let that alone dictate whether you would ever reconcile. I wish I would have celebrated the freedom, focused on my daughter, focused on getting a job and staying in school. I wish I would have focused on my health and vibrancy. The grief will go away, I promise. I have been divorved 10 years and I have implemented ALL of the above mentioned things. Now? I’m happily remarried, I have a career, I take care of myself, I learned to love myself, I travel the world.. my life is SO MUCH BETTER now that I understand these concepts.
Dont get me wrong: I adore my new husband, but even if he left tomorrow, yes I would be sad.. appropriately… but I WOULD NOT EVER beg or plead or put myself last. Never again! My advice is …fall in love with yourself. Fall in love with your own life. Do yoga. Eat well and nourish yourself, body and mind. Get your hair done. Take power walks. Journal. Be compassionately independent. I promise you this works!” MANY blessings to you she concluded. READ: Health Effects Of Cheating On Your Spouse or Partner