Why Did He Leave? (Divorce)


Often I have asked myself this question.  More hours than I’d care to admit, I’ve rehashed this question in my head, with my trusted inner circle of friends and with God.  Heck, I’ve even asked my STBX (soon-to-be-ex), but I could never get an answer that helped me to heal.

Until recently….

It seems that there are many of us who are dealing with marriages which have ended or are ending now.  I have met so many women who had their partners just not want to do this anymore.  Some of them have been on the separation/divorce roller coaster for awhile like me and others are just dealing with the sudden separation and currently are trying to straighten it out in their heads so that they can move on.

You remember those days, don’t you?  The looking back, trying to find what missing piece you didn’t see?  The questioning of yourself of what you did wrong or what you could have done right to make him stay?  The blame game we play on ourselves when we are the one who was left – so it’s our fault that we didn’t make them happy enough to stay, etc.  The vulnerable state of ‘poor me’ that we can stay in if we don’t figure out an answer that we can live with in response to why he left.  Or the opposite anger state of rage that can follow.

Here’s the answer I found.

His leaving was a gift to me.

Yikes!  How can I say this to you without sounding all Pollyanna-like and delusional?  You’re ready to hit the delete button, aren’t you?  You may be thinking:  Forget her, she doesn’t understand what I’m enduring.  But wait.  Please.  Stay for a moment.

There are gifts in his leaving you.  There’s a freedom in allowing yourself to continue to grow in mind, body and spirit without restraint.  Most of the time when a spouse leaves, when we really look back honestly in observer mode, we can see how the marriage hasn’t been satisfying to us either for awhile before the break up.  That takes vision though and sometimes it takes healing time or a really good friend to show it to us.  But it’s there.  Believe me.

Once you realize that, you can see how the disconnection between you and your spouse has grown which can be a natural offset of stress, work, children, responsibilities, etc. and you can begin to understand that sometimes the disconnect becomes so wide that there’s not enough to bridge the gap.  And that’s when it all falls apart.

Honestly, I never wanted this situation in my life.  I never wanted a divorce, nor a separation.  I loved him and I hoped to continue to support our marriage and weather the storms.  Frankly, we’d been through a lot in our marriage and I thought we were a bit shaky, but that the foundation of love and commitment was still solid.  I was wrong.

But I’m seeing the light of freedom.  Part of our crumbling relationship was that we weren’t growing together, but instead, we were growing apart.  Where I thought I was giving him freedom to play his sports 3 nights a week for stress relief, I was also enabling his disconnection from our family.  The darker his moods became, the more my love light repelled him.  I thought that my compassion for his stressful job and gratitude for his hard work would help to bridge the widening gap between us, but instead, it made him more resentful.  His darkness grew as my light grew.  Now years later when we are divorcing, it’s evident that even though he left, he’s still extremely unhappy in his circumstances.  Even though I was devastated to be left, I am now thriving.  I still haven’t changed my glass 1/2 full, rose-colored glasses sense of self.  I am still kind to him.  I am still me, and even more free to be me and starting to blossom as the days inch closer to the final divorce.

So my advice to you is to see the good in what is happening in your separation and divorce.  I have financial worries myself so I know it’s not all roses because those thorns are sticky.  I’ve lost an entire family unit (his) as a result.  But what I still have in my life are my kids and myself.  I’ve grown stronger since he left.  I’ve been learning to like myself, I mean, really like me and appreciate my inner loving light.  I am evolving into whom I have always known myself to be innately and it feels good.

I want to help you on this journey.  Reach out.  Sometimes in telling our stories, we can make sense of what’s happening when we hear ourselves recount the story in our head of how it came to be.  Sometimes a kind listener in observer mode can be helpful as well because we’re not in your story.  Or we’ve had a similar experience in our own lives and we can shed our life wisdom with you.

I’m here to support you, to help you, to hold your hand while you endure the unthinkable in your life.  Don’t be shy.  We are all here to help one another through the life lessons that this journey gives us.  We don’t have to do it alone.  Strangers can help when needed – remember the line, strangers are just friends you have yet to meet.

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4 Responses to Why Did He Leave? (Divorce)

  1. Janie, once again you have hit the nail on the head. I was devastated when my marriage ended, but 2 years on I can see exactly what you mean when I look back. I now have the room to grow and become the woman I should always have been. I’ve started to open the gift he gave.


    • janieleeds says:

      I am so proud of you for it takes courage to accept the gift that we never wanted and to be grateful to have received it. I think times helps us to heal. I wish you all the best Dotty ♥


  2. BeowulfSabrina says:

    Mine had a breakdown, was preyed upon by a sociopathic coworker, and said he “fell in love” with his new soulmate after a couple of weeks. After discarding me, he ran away (not even sure if he still sees this person who lives 3000 miles away), never to face his consequences except in court. Now he’s angry and vindictive because I didn’t allow him the opportunity to pursue this and other relationships outside our marriage. He’s been diagnosed with some sort of personality disorder but won’t get help. I’m grieving for the man I thought he was. Now after being hit with an atom bomb after 26 years, what do I do? Is this a gift? I told him I would hold sacred space and would have honored his journey but not when it meant relationships with others, so he rages.


    • janieleeds says:

      I am proud of you Sabrina! You are holding steady with integrity and with sacred space. Good for you! Healing now needs to come for you. It’s hard to heal after all of this. Do you have a therapist or someone with whom you have trust that can help you? I know it’s hard to not react to his rage all the while trying to figure out how all of this happened and not be able to make sense of any of it, and add that you still love him. I get it, even though my situation was a bit different. I think there always remains a piece of us that love them, love the men who we married and who we thought we knew.


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