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"The Hug" by Lauren Goldman

The Abandoned Wife's Guide to Recovery and Renewal, the new book by Vikki Stark, M.S.W. will help you understand what happened in your life and learn how to use this crisis as an opportunity for a better future!

To order a paper copy of the book through Amazon.com, click here

To immediately download a PDF version, click here

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Reactions from women who have read the book:

Thank you so much for this wonderful book! I experienced a whole range of emotions as I read along sometimes tears, sometimes giggles but a whole lot of head nodding and "Yep, that was him all right!" as I turned the pages. Your book and your website have provided invaluable comfort and support in my journey towards recovery from this life altering event.

Jean from Philadelphia.

I sat down and devoured your book - read it so fast with lots of highlights in yellow! I'm sure I will reread it many times. Lying in bed, out jumped your belief about brain tumour and abduction by aliens. I burst into hysterical laughter until I collapsed in hysterical tears. Those were my exact same thoughts.

Carmella from San Diego.

I received your book and couldn't put it down until I finished it. It is an absolutely outstanding book that has so eloquently portrayed almost to a tee everything that I've experienced in the last several months.

Linda from Sydney, Australia.

PLEASE NOTE: This website is dedicated to helping women who were abandoned by their husbands but it is important to state that wives also abandon their marriages without prior notice, although not at the same frequency. It is also important to highlight the fact that not all men who choose to end their marriage do so in this way.

What we need most of all to recover from Wife Abandonment Syndrome is each other!

Here you get the chance to tell your story to other women who really know what you are talking about. The goal of this "town square" is to provide support and encourage healing for yourself and others. Please feel free to write about your thoughts and experience, but most of all, let's all share the tricks we used to "make it through the night" in the early days, and the wisdom we gained that helped us "bounce back better" when we were further along the road to healing. There's strength in numbers - let's give each other that strength.

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Monday, April 14,2008

Will I feel better someday?

My husband of 14 years walked out on me five weeks ago today. We did have issues in our marriage, he'd had an affair three years ago and that did a lot of damage to my trust and self-esteem and the past couple of years we've been drifting apart somewhat. We loved each other though and I felt we could work through our problems until the day I got home from work and he announced he was leaving. I was in shock, I couldn't cry, rant or even get angry. He packed up and was gone within 30 minutes. It took me a couple of hours to even fully grasp what had happened. I tried to talk to him before he left and asked him if we could at least try to work things out but he was so cold and detached, it was like he'd become a total stranger. He ended up moving in with his sister who lives in a town about 1-1/2 away. His brother and parents live in the same town within a few blocks of each other. They've been giving me the cold shoulder as well, so I don't know what he's been telling them. Fortunately we don't have children together, his son and daughter are grown and gone. I'm completely overcome with anxiety, depression every day. I feel like I'm going to fall apart. Will it get better?

Posted by



Yes, it will.

I didn't think I would ever be able to say that, but it's true.

Remember two things:

1 - That which doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

2 - It's amazing what you can live through.

Take care. Hugs.

Monday, April 14,2008

Emma V

Yes, it will get better.
But you will have to go through a shitty period.

I think my ex also had an affair three years ago, but I did not know. A year later he wanted councilling out of the blue, he always thought people like that were never needed. I went but the councillor saw a lot of problems with him, ans some with me. We did our best and I thought it was better. Until he left Boxing day. He could not even say it, I had to guess. I asked: do you mean you want to leave? And then he said yes, as if he was relieved, and packed a small bag and left for good. I felt myself going through the floor.

Your ex probably had the wish to go three years ago, when he had his affair. He tried maybe to make it work with you. What pisses me off is that they keep their struggles inside, instead of working with the other person.

I am very sorry for you, you have to go through this. Go slow, be good to yourself. It will get easier and better. We all understand how you feel. We know the incredible pain of being abandoned. And also given the cold shoulder by the family. It hurts like hell. It is unbelievable. It is ok to cry, to feel like shit. But remember that you are a worthwhile person. That you should not go by what your ex says about you. he is just one, and he probably has an agenda, and you don't fit in, so he will make you look bad. But you are not. You are a beautiful human being who has a right to be loved. Who has love to give. You will survive!!

You deserve better!

Monday, April 14,2008


Thanks, both of you. It helps to know that someone else knows what it's like. It's not just him leaving either, the last 18 months have been pretty bad for me. A year and a half ago my father died. Then 5-1/2 months later my brother died. My mom was disabled and has dementia so I had to put her in a care facility and spent months getting her house cleaned out and sold, meanwhile trying to help her to adjust to her new "home". Now just when the house is sold and mom is settled in, my husband runs out on me. I'm thinking, god, what next?

Tuesday, April 15,2008


It does get better, it really does.

For one thing, you have the opportunity to see yourself through your own eyes and through the eyes of new friends.

For another, you can do what you want to do when you want to do it.

It took me months to stop looking back and start looking forward.

Now, I wear sleeveless tops and tight leggings. I cook liver for dinner, with onions AND mushrooms AND masses of pepper. I'm tearing up the lawn this Spring to plant a wildflower garden. I recycle things I'd rather not have to store. I slather French bread with butter. I dance to very loud music in the middle of the night. I party with gay friends (and I'm as straight as can be). I have re-connected and stay re-connected with old friends from before the marriage. I play the stock market and do okay. I go walk-about during thunderstorms. I write. I read trashy books when I feel like it. I hug my son in public.

Perhaps it's all craziness, yet I don't care. All of the foregoing are things my ex either forbid or mocked. Tough. I'm having the time of my life (and I'll be 62 next month). I hope you will, too.

Oh, I have relapses occasionally and you might as well.

But it's getting better all the time. And I still have time, dammit. Time for me, myself and I.

Thursday, April 24,2008

Nancy D

I agree with Donna. IT WILL GET BETTER!!!! The separation is very difficult at first. Then, one day I realized that there were ONLY two things that had changed in the daily lives of my sons and myself were: 1. there was no one to load the dishwasher after dinner 2. there was no one to constantly degrade the kids and me...I didn't realize how negatively he'd affected all 3 of us while he was here.
And, like Donna, I'm doing all the things he never wanted me to do. In fact, as I write this, I've just come in from the yard after finishing taking down a tree (SMALL tree) that he'd refused to take down for me.
Now, if I could just get the divorce finalized...that's a completely different story!

Sunday, May 04,2008


Yes Melissa, like everyone else has said here it will get better. I was so sick of hearing the common phrase "time heals" and stuff like that but it is true.

As time gets on you get stronger and stronger each and everyday and you realise that you don't want to feel miserable and sick everyday over this. You realise that life goes on and it's moving on with or without you.

Also, as time goes on there will be things that make you smile again or laugh and you realise that you are feeling better. Maybe not completely but better than when it first happened.

Take each day as it comes. Don't look too far forward either. I remember when this first happened to me, I kept thinking about my future and how scary it was and I was having panic attacks. Now I just try live each day as it comes and live in the moment rather than focusing on the future, which seems so scary.

As for the anxiety and depression, I think each of us have been there as well and still experiencing it. I know I am. I've lost my confidence big time and I'm always anxious, nervous and depressed. I went to the doctor's probably two weeks after my ex left because I wasn't eating or sleeping and I just felt miserable. I explained this to my doctor and he prsecribed me some anti depressents (which are also helping with the anxiety and my sleeping). They have been wonderful, and without them I don't think I'd sleep a wink. I'm scared that when they run out I'll have to try do without them but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Remember, you will feel better. You'll wake up one day and realise that you don't want to be sad anymore. You have done your crying and feeling miserable and you would rather be happy. Life is too short.

Try to live each day and find joy in the simple things. It could be a little babies smile or the smell of fresh roasted coffee, a kind word from a stranger or whatever. There is joy in the world, try find moments of joy each and every day.

Stay strong. You're going to be okay. Better than okay. You have an amazing life to live and don't forget it!

Sunday, September 12,2010


Now 7 months almost exactly since he left in September 2013. Wow, what a ride and personal growth for me it's been. I am learning how to be by myself, and enjoy not catering to someone else's wishes and desires and dreams but my own and my sons.

Yes, it still hurts that someone can do this horrific thing to another human being, but I have analysed my marriage of 33 years, and stepped back and realize now I was too good for "him". He didn't deserve me, I have already written him a letter to be delivered to him once we divorce telling him what kind of person he is, and just how arrogant, un-emotional, un-apologetic, un-affectionate, an introvert with no friends around him-that I married. I am an extrovert, creative, outgoing, and personable, I know I stayed way to long, and invested too many years of my life to this one person.

Who knows when they are married at age 23 years old the "type" of person that suits them best? They don't usually, but I do now, through my own reevaluation of myself and needs. I just know that I was never meant to spend the rest of my life with that man, and thank goodness he is gone, I am still young-age 56, energetic, a kind person, and full of life, and have more of life's pleasures to enjoy ahead of me.

It will most definitely get better and as they say "Time heals all wounds" and in time, maybe one, two or five years from now, we will be so much better for having survived this trauma. Stay strong, hold your heads up and surround yourself with good things, and good, loving friends and family around you.

Tuesday, April 15,2014

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