Home  |  The Learning Place  |  The Healing Place  |  Retreat

Community Bulletin Board  |  Media and Events  |  Contact
Join my Mailing List
For Email Marketing you can trust

"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

Add to Cart

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.

Read Stories

Add Comment    Story Topics  Latest Posts  Post Your Story  Search
Saturday, April 19,2008


It's been ten months and every so often, I still miss him. Not the "him" that he is now, but the "him" that he used to be (or that I thought he used to be).

For the longest time, our relationship was very affectionate. The honeymoon phase of our marriage seemed to last much longer than those of others that I knew. I used to thank the stars every day that I had such a good marriage. A single day didn't go by when we didn't say the words "I love you" to each other, and he used to tell me that I was his strength because he knew that I loved him with all of my heart. I felt secure and loved and it was the foundation for everything in my life.

Then, ten months ago, when he announced he was leaving, he changed his story. Suddenly, he was claiming that he had been really unhappy all of these years, that he had felt that he was married to a child, and now wanted a relationship with a "grown-up". Of course, he already had another so-called "grown-up" in mind. He said that our marriage had suffered "death by a thousand cuts". What cuts? How could I have been so unaware of his unhappiness when he'd kept it hidden so well?

Nowadays, I keep telling myself that I'm better off without this kind of person - but I do miss that "warm secure blanket" feeling that I used to feel with him - that I thought we'd felt for each other. I crave to feel that again with someone, but if it was such an illusion before, how can I trust that it would ever be real?

Posted by



It's been over two years since the same thing happened to me. I still miss him. Like you said I miss my husband, my best friend. We are are not talking to each other even though our teenage son lives with him (long story). The worst part is now he hates me, wishes that I didn't exist. I don't know what happened. It was like getting hit by a truck. At the beginning when I asked him to come home he said he wouldn't leave her because he couldn't hurt her. I was his wife for almost 18 years and he was worried about hurting her. I wish I could talk to him now and ask him what the hell happened. I'm still realling from this. I can't imagine trusting anyone else. If I couldn't trust him, then who? I lived my life around him and our children. Now it's like it never happened. My husband also used the excuse that because I was busy raising my boys and didn't have a "real job" that I hadn't contributed to the family. It made me feel like less than nothing. All of those years I sacrificed for him and my boys were not appreciated in any way. This is not about us, this is about their own selfishness. Their inability to think of anyone but themselves. All they know is that they feel they have to justify what they did by blaming the ones they hurt the most. This can't be their fault because they know deep down that what they are doing is wrong and in order to make it right someone has to be blamed. My ex husband told everyone he just couldn't live with me anymore. It hurts but it's not true. He just found someone who gave him that feeling, that high, you get when you fall in love with someone. Like a junkie there is no reasoning with them. they will say or do anything to get that fix. All we can do is stand back. It's hard when you have no control over what you thought was your life. Him and his girlfriend, as far as I'm concerned, sold their souls for what they have now. If what they did to me and my children is not evil I don't know what is. I wish I had a magic solution to your problem, belive me, I would use it on myself. I guess only time will tell.

Saturday, April 19,2008


Yeah, my husband told me he couldn't change his mind because he had made a "commitment" to his girlfriend.

What about the commitment to me, his wife, and our two teenage children?

And I also heard the "years of unhappiness" thing too. Twenty years according to him - which was pretty much most of our marriage and covered the years when our children were born.

Saturday, April 19,2008


Boy can I relate to everything that is said here. The part I want to respond to is having this misplaced trust for 17 years. I have to believe that it wasn't. What has happened to me is a reflection of his weaknesses not mine. I would trade another 17 years of happy delusion with another partner than to KEEP feeling this hurt and lonliness. My drama has been going on since he left on March 26, when he returned from a business trip with her. Funny thing is: evidence is coming in that he returned on the 24th and most likely she had flown back with him and they were together. He has been lying for so long. Who knew? He said he had no thoughts of leaving me prior to this trip where he consumated their union. BS! When he is telling me he is returning on 26th and turns out he was back in town the 24th..I think he was already planning this out. I've been hurt, I am hurt. I have lost 11 pounds since March 26th...down to 95 pounds. I am getting the fighter back in me now though and he will feel the wrath of Lynley again, not the one who felt suicidal from his leaving.

Sunday, April 20,2008


One common thread I've noticed is that the emotional trauma manifests itself in physical symptoms. Weight loss, for example. When my husband first announced that our marriage was over, I weighed in at about 147 lbs. and was about two months post-partum. My weight rapidly plummeted. Within four months, I was down to 115 lbs, where it finally stabilized. When my husband then moved out, about a month later, I couldn't believe that actually went through with it. I threw up first thing every morning for about a month after that. I couldn't sleep properly for the first month, and after that my sleep was interrupted by nightmares. It got to the point that I just slept with the light on.

I was very worried that I'd lose my milk for the baby - but it was truly my children that kept me going. When I ate, it was because I knew I needed the nutrition to look after them. Life went on in a blur, one diaper change, one nursing, and one goodnight kiss at a time.

Throughout this period, my husband turned into a persecutor. He kept berating me for not being "adult" enough to face the changes and move on; for not adjusting fast enough. He was very cruel.

Sunday, April 20,2008

Emma V

I so understand what you all are going through.
I also wish I could change it for all of you.
Nobody understands, except when you have felt the pain. It has passed so many times in my head, that it would be easier for me to be dead. I am already partly dead. But then I think how my kids would feel, and then I keep going. No diapers anymore, but cleaning the house, making supper, going to work. But all has changed, everything has a diiferent color, grey. I drink my wine, to numb the pain, have a cigarette to think it is going to make me feel better, it dos not.
Today is so beautiful. The sun, the green coming through, spring is here. And then there are thoughts, how could he do this? He is just swirching females, and going on, and I am devastated and he does not even know it, and he does not even care. He was my best friend. It has been 2 years and 4 months, and I am still waiting to start my new life nad to forget about him. The father of my children. Yes, I want him to suffer, whenever he was mean to me, and asked him to be in my place. How would you feel?
My sister loved him too, but hates him now. She does not think anyhting good about him. And she is a very wise person. She wants me to forget about him. But I gave him my soul, how can I forget?
I beg sometimes for a change, a gift, anything to get me out of here. I sometimes really do not want to go on. It feels like I have seen it all. It is too painful. If it was not for my kids, I do not know. Maybe I would have left. I cannot cause them pain, I love them too much. But I need to be loved, to be a good mother. Can someone please help all of us??

Sunday, April 20,2008


Hi Emma! I am so sorry you are hurting this much! I've been feeling better each day, worked 12 hours day and then came home and just sobbed for about 5 minutes, was a good stress reliever. I hope you are getting all the help that you can, plenty of rest/sleep, anti-depressants, therapy, all of these have been helpful to me. You deserve to have some pleasure and be pleasured!!!!!! That is something I miss too and look forward to feeling whole again so that I can entertain that:)

Tuesday, April 22,2008

Nancy DiYenno

It's been 3 years and 16 days since he moved out. Yes, sometimes I still feel "alone". I miss my husband. However, my husband no longer exists. I don't know who's living in his body but it isn't the person I thought I knew and lived with for 17 1/2 years.
First and foremost, take care of yourself. Make sure you get up each day, wash and dress, make your bed,etc. Allow some time for grieving and then, best as you can, move on. It does help.
I've filled the "emptiness" with new things...a book club, a card club, joined the church choir, etc. I have new friends and still have my old friends. It does help.
I concentrate on what I have: my health, my sons, my house, my family, and my friends. My life is nearly the same as it was before only he isn't here to share my joy.
What does he have??? NOTHING! He lives in a ratty-looking mobile home. Our sons see him but don't respect him. He has no family (both of his parents and his only sibling are dead and all of my family, who loved him, now HATE him.). He has few, if any, friends. Best of all, his great love affair has ended. She dumped him! I take some small comfort in that.
Eventually, you will be whole and healthy and your husband won't be. He'll have to live with the guilt of what he's done forever.

Saturday, April 26,2008



I sincerely hope that in two years, I will be in the same good place that you are now. What you wrote about his body being the same but his personality being so altered ring so true! Where did that sweet person go that I once knew? The person who now occupies his body is an egotistical stranger, and a jerk to boot. It will be a grim pleasure on the day his new fantasy life falls to pieces.

Saturday, April 26,2008


If you listen to my husband he has been unhappy for years and now he has been able to identify that...me. Something about 'how he's tried for years and years and nothing has changed, same old problems." I'd say that is true..he is still poor, he still has multiple credit card debts, he still mooches, he still prioritizes himself above anyone else." With regard to us being stronger and stable and them still having nothing I totally expect that to happen. Afterall...they are unstable which is why they were with strong women and which is why their self-esteem couldn't cope and be grown ups so they ran. Nancy..for you its been over 3 years and now he and the homewrecker are done...has he ever expressed regret or admitted he made a mistake or asked to come home?

Tuesday, April 29,2008

Nancy D

No, he's never shown any regret, never apologized, and never asked to come home. He once told our sons that he was "not worthy" of me and he is right about that...maybe that's regret or guilt but I'm not sure. In fact, just today, we got divorced. I am feeling mostly relieved but also a little bit sad...a 21 year relationship has ended and I wasn't given a choice about its ending. (He actually commited perjury at our divorce hearing this morning!) If he has any regret at all, it's that he will be paying me alimony for the rest of his life unless I die first or remarry.

Monday, May 05,2008


Big difference between being alone and being lonely. I'm alone much of the time these days, yet rarely feel lonely. In fact, I've been out-and-about lately whilst thinking that I probably wouldn't be enjoying what I'm doing if my soon-to-be ex-husband were with me.

Monday, August 24,2009


It's been 8 months ago, my husband of 33 years gave me an ultimatum-he would give each of our adult sons, who have mental and emotional problems all through their lives-and who lived with us-$500 each to leave the house for good, or he would give me 1/2 of his military retirement income and I could live with our sons, and he would move out for good.

Well, I took the latter of the two options because my husband had already left our marriage 6 months prior and made me sleep on our couch for 6 months straight without saying one word, not one- as to why he refused to bring me back into our bedroom, or make love to me-and buy another bed-because the air mattress in our master bedroom had a leak in it, with a automatic refill motor that would run all night long trying to refill with the air it was losing.

So, for 6 months I slept on the couch, thinking he was having a mid-life crisis and gave him some space to figure it out, I still cooked for him and our sons, ironed his clothes, rubbed his feet when they hurt, and often accompanied him on lunch outings that he liked to do, and never once-did he ever tell me he wanted out of the marriage, Not once did he say he was unhappy. It wasn't about another woman either, but when my sons went out to the carport to get the cooler to go crabbing with a friend, that's when they found the male sex toys and magazines. Yuch!!! He preferred that to me??? Really???

He left on September 2013 and it only took me 4 months to stop crying over the death of our marriage. I couldn't chock down any food, and lost weight that I couldn't afford to lose because my weight was never an issue as petite as I am. Even the women at the grocery store I shop at noticed my being much thinner. I met him while I was in the Navy in 1979, and he was too, I invested all my life; my 20's, 30's , 40's and half of my 50's helping him with every dream or career he wanted, I sacrificed my life for him, leaving my friends every time he had to go to another duty station or career move he was involved in.

My wake up to a new life has taken me several long and hard months to overcome. The overwhelming loneliness and lack of sharing my personality and my unending willingness to give, and want to hold someone who will really love me back is the hardest thing I have done in a very long time, Although as a career military wife and mother, I feel it gave me the ability and strength to recover much faster than if I hadn't had that experience at all. I am still doing what I have always done, and that is taking care of my sons on a day to day basis.

My youngest, 23 years old,is disabled mentally and my eldest son of 31 is truly a blessing in his own right, He helps me with everything I need done that his father used to do, from cleaning, to cooking, to walking the dog and more. I am on a much happier path now,with no anger, pain or hurt anymore and learning to live with myself as a single person, who was so absorbed in "his" life for decades, that who forgot to remember who I was as a vibrant, outgoing, talented person, who still has many more good years ahead of her.

The support from my brother, Dave, who lives clear across the country and that of my newly reclaimed female friends that I lost so many years before, have helped in my recovery from a long overdue separation from my husband. We will be filling for divorce very soon, and look forward to the day when I can say the title of the song by songwriter and singer, Gotye, that my ex is just "Someone I used to know".

Thursday, May 08,2014

web design by Lapbaby Designs