Another man's perspective.
'Abandoning my wife' was a story that started shortly after meeting her, seven years before our twins were born. After eighteen years of being together, I finally had 'accomplished' a few goals, that I committed to a year after the boys were born.
Now that might sound a little cryptic, but the bottom line is I left. That was fourteen years ago, and I haven't regretted my decision or committments.
What amazed me most, my ex finally decided to pull up her socks and become part of civilization, by upgrading her education, finding a decent paying job and more amazingly, she supported a man who enjoyed video games and smoking dope.
Where was this ambitious and productive woman, while I was married to her?
She offered full custody of our three children,within six month of leaving. I delighted in becoming a single dad. I never shirked my committment to them. The twins both have recently graduated with University Degrees, and my daughter is about to start a nursing program.
From my ex's perspective, I left suddenly, without warning. However, she had been fully informed of my concerns, and chose NOT to take them seriously. Somehow, until it happened, she must have considered all our discussions as 'communication of our feelings', rather than, as information and decisions.
My point is, the decision was never sudden, it was made many years before, but I waited, fulfilling my responsiblities and committments first. I waited for the straw that 'broke the camel's back'.
Did you go to another woman, while you were with your wife or shortly after you left her?
"Where was this ambitious and productive woman, while I was married to her?" She was probably holding the fort. When my life partner dumped me by email after 35 years, I began to realize how much of my time got eaten up taking in the slack: the more day-to-day stuff I handled, the less he did. And so he had the time and found the energy to bag his best friend's wife, lying convincingly about board meetings in the evenings and out-of-town trips on weekends. Like the man who posted here, my life partner has crowed about how he meets commitments nowadays. I don't buy it, from either of them. I also don't credit that a spouse could "chose" not to take concerns about a relationship seriously. Sounds like winners writing history, yes?
What right did that man have to unilaterally decide that he'd stay in the marriage until his obligations were complete? Just another excuse and justification for what he did. My husband gave the same "I wasn't happy for 15 years" routine but didn't tell anybody...I don't buy it. He got to decide to waste 15 years of my life because he didn't want to speak up? I may have had time to start a career or have other children with a caring man...my opinion is it's a excuse not to take responsiblity for their behavior. The marriage vows I took meant we'd work our hardest to save the marriage but if you don't tell anyone there's a problem that can't happen.
To me, it seems that whatever your ex-wife did after your divorce, it was wrong and you still try to use her actions as arguments for justifying your own actions.
She got herself an education and a job - you complain she never was like that during your marriage. Did you ever stimulate her during your marriage or where you happy with her being the homemaker. If you were not happy that way, what did you do to take part of the household/childcare chores off her back?
She got involved with a new man (not clear, whether this is/was her new partner) - he's a bad guy cause he plays video games and smokes pot (your opinion). Why does it bother you, that she is happy with another man - she has every right to be happy with any partner of her choice.
Why did she offer you custody for the children ? Might she have been so devastated because of your decision to leave, she was unable to take care of the children ?
All I read in your story is justifications for your action, kicking down at your ex-wife and trying to put yourself in a better light by pointing out your success in being a parent.
If you were so sure about your decision, you could have left it at that and remove yourself from 'the scene of the crime' with you head held high.
Why such anger for this comment? Maybe, just maybe it was the right thing to do - 'leaving' - I just cannot understand why we are so qucik to find blame? Any therapist will tell you that a marriage does not 'suddenly' break down - some people do not want to beleive what is happening in their marriages. We all know women who take their husbands for granted - and men - but the men will get more crap for it - why? I think because most women do not want to face up to their share of the blame - it takes a lot of effort to look inside oneself and say honestly - what did I do to create this situation, what part did I play?
As women we are so much better than this.
Emma is correct that the marriage takes two people working together. The problem with runaway husbands are that they are working within the family unit then suddenly without warning announce that they've been living a lie and were NEVER happy. It's a good excuse to justify the immoral act of taking up with another women before divorcing the one you're married to. If there was a problem in the marriage it is as much the husband's responsibility to see it and try to find the help needed to fix it...If you don't tell someone it's broken, they can't fix it...nobody should have to be a mind reader. And never is it morally right to get in bed with another partner while married...something is very wrong with the individual who jumps from one bed to another, they need to look within themselves to see what's wrong, explore it with their spouse not see if the solution is in another bed.
Emma V said...
There must be another Emma writing comments. The last comment written was not by me, I wrote the first comment written by Emma. I also wrote several other comments and my own story (coping).
I will be Emma V from now on....
Do you actually believe that a man who walks out of a marriage, suddenly, is the type of man to discuss his intent in the first place? - I think not.
This would be a marriage where there is a obvious communication problem and sometimes we create these situations so we do not have to 'hear' what is really going on.
Helen O said...
Ir seems to me that Emma is jutifying that man's decision. NO - we do not all "Know" that something is wrong in the marriage. A year after our 25th anniversary trip of a lifetime, my husband left, telling his mother he had not enjoyed our trip to Greece, but not mentioning, I bet, his flirting with a 26 year old daughter of a couple on the same trip. He did not like me alluding to his new woman as being closer in age to our son, than she is to him. She is 15 years younger than he, and 12 years older than our son. He installed her in an apartment, and would disappear in the evenings, saying he was going to our son, who lived in a different area in the city, or to our cottage, out of province. I would be telephoning, and telephoning, but he was not at either place. It was only once I came to the realisation that she was in this city all summer, and he was running between her and me, that some kind of acceptance or acknowledgement came. You can only hit yourself in the face so many times.I now realise he was never who he appeared to be to me, and that he has shown his true colours, and needed to be with someone who was equally amoral. I feel most sorry for his family, who always put themselves up to be better than me and my family. They cut off all contact with me, except for one sister-in-law. As my mother died less than a month after he left, I had no one to lean on during a very rough year. Church and my work saved me. As I tell people, you never get over it, but you do get through it. Blessings and prayers on you all Helen O.
No, I am not justifying the man's position, but I am not justifying the women's position either - 2 people are involved in a marriage and this just seems to be a mute point here - I would never presume for one minute that my husband's leaving was all his doing - as if I somehow did not play any part in his leaving? Where is my accountability for the situation? If you want to play victim - go right ahead - but it sounds pathetic and weak. I would much rather blame 'us' for not taking care of the marriage and move forward.
Emma V said...
"If you want to play victim - go right ahead - but it sounds pathetic and weak. I would much rather blame 'us' for not taking care of the marriage and move forward".
I think this statement is a bit harsh. I think that we all realize there is a problem in the marriage. The husband must have reasons for leaving. I personally have taken responsibility for my part, and would like to go on not making the same mistakes. But I think a marriage is a back and forward, we improve by knowing what is and is not acceptable to the other. If we don't know, it is hard to improve. If someone bottles it up and then packs his bags suddenly one day, the other is left in shock. When the leaver then turns into an unrecognizable monster, lies, and shows no compassion, and revels in his new found love, it is like salt on the wound. I was helped by understanding that this behaviour is a reaction to internal conflict and guilt, and an easy way out of feeling lousy. Some of the things my ex did and said were verbally abusive, but I did not recognize that until later. Yes, I felt like a victim, but no longer. I learned that it was not all my fault, which is often what we think at first. My ex did not take responsibility for his part. He blamed it all on me. And that is not fair. In healing we need to understand that it is a two way street, and we don't have to take all the crap that comes our way. I think the sudden leaving with another woman with a weak excuse and turning around and rubbing it in, is a gesture by a "pathetic and weak" person.
I agree w/Emma V. Yes, those left have to take responsibility for their part in creating the relationship. But the leaving? The "how" of it? That's all on the leaver. Every relationship has it's share of issues -- some more, some less. And sometimes it's right to end relationships. How on earth does that make it ok to lie, cheat, betray, split -- and on top of it all accuse the left of having actually victimized the leaver! That is pathological, and it helps no one to enable it.
Emma doesn't want to play the victim. Right on. Not playing the victim means standing up and owning our part -- and no more. I accept responsibility entirely for my part in creating a relationship that had some issues (though certainly no deal-breakers), and I am committed to learning my lessons, healing, and growing. But I accept absolutely no responsibility whatsoever for my partner's choices in how to handle whatever issues she may have had. She knew there were options, and was simply not mature enough to exercise better ones. I hope she grows. But her choices were hers, not mine.
My ex called it "flirting", too. It wasn't. It was manipulating the affections of others to bolster his ego. Sad, I call it -- then AND now.
It's not as if I didn't try to talk with him over the past 35 years about this. I most certainly did. But what he was doing was somehow okay and my perceptions were not; he was a "normal" guy and I was upset for no reason. Never mind that my self-esteem plummeted. Never mind that several of the women he flirted with were made very uncomfortable, felt threatened, couldn't put him off no matter how much they wanted to.
What it boils down to for me is that somehow-or-other the world at large condones guys acting like this; women who might act the same are condemned.
I don't think that the leaver even cares what happens in their wake. By the time they've made their mind up that its over, only God can change their hearts. There is nothing that the abandoned one can do at that point to change the situation. Personally, I feel like just leaving without any attempt to make it work is wrong on so many levels. Its sad that it takes two to make a marriage commitment, but only one to break it. I had just given up a good paying career to stay at home with our baby,at my husband's request, and 18 months later he walked out. When he said he realized this isn't easy on me, he didn't even scratch the surface of all the sleepless nights, prayers screamed out to God in desperation, and uncontrollable weeping that soaked the floor on which I crumpled in sheer anguish.
Emma V said...
Chris, you describe it very well. I have done the same (weeping like that). The whole thing is cruel and disrespectful and unjust. It is non-understandable.
The only support you can find, is that you did not do it. It is out of your control. But the air that you breath is clear, his is contaminated for ever.
My husband left with no clear reason, played awful mind games. He broke my heart and my spirit for along time. He is now with a girl a little older than our daughter. He still makes up these crazy stories about our life together. His big new motto is IF YOU LIVE IN THE PAST YOUR LIFE WILL BE HISTORY!!!! I have no idea what that means. All in all we had a normal marriage ups and downs, three great kids. We did alot together as a family, then boom he was unhappy for years, but only he knew this. He treats me like a stranger, but the plus is I am finding my way back to me. I really think runaway husbands are very cruel and weak men. One day they will crack, you can only run for so long, before life hits you. They will realize their loss someday, but way to late. My ex lives in his own little world with new friends, he can tell them anything about his past life, because they never were part of it. He ditched all our family friends, people who know the truth. Time is your best friend to heal
It appears that Stan has not been back to comment on his replies. That in itself speaks volumes to me about his abandonment of his wife.
Got a little whiff of jealousy, too, about the new and in his opinion, "unsavory," man his wife found. That comment was not even necessary. They leave but they really don't want you to be happy...because their lack of communication skills is somehow the wife's fault.
You're a victim and she isn't? You did well and she didn't? For the love of God, who's dominant in our society and who ain't???
Why would a man that has intentions to leave his wife of 27 years, take her to Las Vegas, buy new wedding rings, and want to renew there vows ( which I didn't it was just to creepy} dump her when they got home.? WHY, he even wanted to get tatoos. Holy cow what an ass, so after he left I put an ade in the paper it reads, " For Sale , WEDDING RINGS, WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS STAYS IN VEGAS 700.00 OR BEST OFFER.... I didn't get a call, but it sure was fun , I think we have to try and get threw this mess with humour, and the more you can make him look like a fool, the better we will feel. I sometime say to myself WHY WOULD A MAN IN HIS RIGHT MINE DO SUCH A THING, AND i have to stop and say HE IS NOT IN HIS RIGHT MIND, but we don't want to prove that until he signs the paperwork...and you know the sad thing about it is that I tried to get him help, but because of confidentiality, the wife has no rights. even when it is a complete personality change. So I tell him when he get sick I won't have to be there to wipe his butt.
I have read many comments regarding spouses who leave unexpectedly and the torment and questions that come up as a result. My husband left in January, suddenly deciding, unilaterally, that he couldn't "do this" anymore. However, he led up to the departure with all kinds of excuses such as, ie: 'I can't be the man you need', 'you've gained weight since we were married", 'you deserve better' etc.. He travelled more and more with his work and had a "friend" on the side who was travelling with him, unbeknownst to me. He was not a good communicator (though ironically he was in the 'listening and healing' profession)and I like talking things out. He was also diagnosed with ADD three years ago and is highly impulsive. He has a need for speed, newness and novelty. While I acknowledge that there are two sides, I believe he exhausted me and I've accepted the fact that he was hard to keep up with. He is free and on his new path with his new woman and as hard as it is to take, there is a certain amount of relief that I don't have to wonder if he's cheating and, if you've ever been married to someone with ADD, you know it takes much patience. I wish him well.
You never said if you were with another woman, so the answer must be yes. Why is it so many put down a woman when she is at home raising children? So what your kids went to college, that is not rocket science has nothing to do with you. Maybe you leaving showed them that they had better not count on you for sticking around since you make plans so far in the future to ditch your family.
So my x was diagnosed with narcisistic and ego centric disorder, he's a workaholic, and has anger management issues. As our world was falling apart and I was trying to understand why, he said so many sick and yet somehow funny things to me: When confronted about all the women in his life he said he doesn't know what happens, he thinks they are just friends/coworkers and then all of a sudden, without any intent on his part, they come after him. And guess what, he has this weird ability to "sense" when any woman wants him. He can just meet them and say "Yep that one wants me"!!! Believe me my friends and I have gotten a kick out of that one. Two friends actually play rock paper scissors at our son's birthday party to see which one of them couldn't live without him!! haha During our last couples session together with the therapist, she finally put it all in perspective for me. For the zillionth time I asked why exactly we were getting divorced and he responded with three reasons:
he didn't like struggling financially (he now makes 40,000 more than me but recently filed for bankruptcy because he needs to live beyond his means and doesn't understand that money doesn't just keep rolling in.
he didn't like me arguing with our thirteen year old daughter---he now has no relationship with her or our 17 year old son, both of whom did their own investigative work on their father because I wouldn't tell them the story and found out way more information about his choices than any 17 and 15 year old should ever have to know about a parent.
And finally I didn't make him happy any more.
Nuf said. These guys are wacked. God has also been my support, strength, comfort, and blessing. We will have our victories. Keep plugging ladies. Don't focus on the who is righter and who was wronger. Our best success is to show them we can make it without them and in spite of them.
Fair Play said...
Marriages and common law relationships fail all around us daily. It is a heart wrenching affair for everyone involved from the spouses to the children to the extended families, friends and work mates.
There is no doubt women and men are caught in the same Catch 22 nowadays. Pressure to do well at school, have a career, maintain friendships, move on to marriage, children, and balancing careers with everything else, and be Successful. WOW!
Communication breaks down long before a separation and, despite the best intentions of couples, it deteriorates even further when divorce looms as the solution.
Whether male or female, coping with the end of a marriage is like coping with the death of a loved one. It takes four seasons for the adults but Never Ends for the Children. Just ask the children who witnessed it all and want both parents to HEAL and remain in their lives.
The subject matter of this book has to be biased because of the author's experience but that is to be expected. Commentators, remember so are your comments biased - as are mine, as a person witness to and touched by the distress others experience, especially the children.
Susan Ellis said...
I was assertive and powerful. I worked at my own business to support our family for the first half of our marriage...until my husband told me he was unhappy because he felt stuck at home. So I gave up my career, stayed home with my children and supported him by taking care of things at home and even doing the bookkeeping for his new business. When he told me he was unhappy again because I had forced him to take over supporting the family, I listened, worked hard to try to draw him out, and actually tried all kinds of things to keep us together. He even said at one point that he had to hand it to me for being so creative in trying to keep us together. In return, he did nothing at all to try to keep us together. In retrospect, I see that he was gone long before he ever left. What's sad is that my teens feel that he didn't just leave me; he left them, too...with no warning at all..and pulled the rug out from under what they say was a perfect childhood. He just moved out suddenly like a thief in the night. It was so unnecessary to treat us like that. I was always honest with him and made it clear that if he felt breaking up was the only way then we should talk about that, but like every other tac I tried, he would just dismiss me. You can say that I am prejudiced because it happened to me, but I have met so many women in similar situations, all of whom handled things differently and had very different relationships with their husbands, but still suffered similar fates. In my mind, there is no excuse for any man doing this...and no way to make up for it afterwards...and maybe that's the problem because in my husband's case I believe he knows that and it makes him nuts. The difference is that now, it's not my problem how he feels.
When you 'voiced your concerns' did you actually make suggestions for what you wanted to do to try and make your marriage work better? Complaining about vague unhappiness is not the same as attempting to actually work on your marriage. It's hard for anyone to take it seriously when someone complains but can't specify the problem, suggest a solution, or even be willing to hear suggestions for solutions.
I think a lot of people who leave are just bored. Rather than deal with that inevitable boredom in a real way--which involves some real soul-searching--they'd rather just trash the other person and move on.
My husband of 6 years moved out sep 16, 2012. Chris moved out on a Sunday stating I deserved better, he wanted to be single and didn't want to help with my 2 kids at home. Chris moved to an unknown location, disconnected his cell phone and forwarded his mail. In addition he left our account negative 1000.00 . The initial fall out was as follows 2 days later chris ransacked the house while I was at work. Removing 75 percent of his things . I have had to change jobs to cover all bills because Chris for all intents and purposes has abandoned our family and home and all responsibilities. Since that time I have received a few emails and 1 phone call after each interaction the phone is disconnected and email accounts closed again. The 1 call received from Chris was 10 days ago stating he was sorry but if he'd called sooner he would have come home. I deserved better and a bunch of other comments about his behavior. Chris then proceeded to ask what the next step is towards divorce. I told him we need to meet and go through our issues house, cars, bills, the absolute mess and destruction of household belongings he did on his departure. Chris has since disconnected that phone number. In addition chris notified he has an apartment with his bestfriend 6 blocks from me. On Saturday I was notified by my adult child that Chris is dating and updated his facebook to in a relationship. I am distraught, hurt, and angry. Why would anyone leave a marriage this way. Why would he move so close. Obviously he does not care or feel the hurt I do. My family and friends are getting so tired of hearing me cry. I'm not sure how to move forward with life right now. So tired of feeling this hollow ache and crying.
Michelle: It's only been a few months since he left and it sounds like your divorce is not final.It is going to be bad for a while. Sorry. Talk to Vikki on this site or find another counselor. Best thing I did was talk to someone. Cried the whole first appointment. I'm suprised she understood a thing I said. It turned me around. You need support during this time. If you don't have one, get an attorney. The up front is expensive, but you need the protection. Let yourself be sad for a while. Do you have any girlfriends? Do things with them. Not just to lament your pain, but to do something for you. Start a journal and write all these feelings down. It helps.
I know it doesn't feel like it now, but it does get better.
My prayers are with you.
The ironic thing is- I married him for his integrity! I knew he was not perfect, that is what I loved about him. He had morality, ethics and integrity. Marriage and family were on the top of his list. These things made up for his imperfect teeth, his inability to discern between a wrench and a screwdriver, and his physical 'delicateness'. I had all those things and I received the power washers and leaf blowers for Mother's day. He was a great parent to my daughter (from a previous marriage) and to our son. He always kept the cars serviced and obsessed on them all having safe tires, insurance -Safety was second on his list. He was a "risk manager" !
We sat in the hot tub without clothes on, 8 months before he left. We toasted (as we always did) to our good fortune, health, to how wonderful our kids had turned out, and how fortunate we were to have good employment and a great-although modest home in a wonderful neighborhood. We were looking forward to becoming empty nesters when our son goes to college in this fall.--at least I was, it seems.
2 days before our 18 wedding anniversary in November, he tells me he is not in love with me anymore. I was on the way out of town for the night when he told me. His coldness was uncharacteristic. I thought he was just mad about a fight we had had the night before about his dog. I left, and by communicating by email and text realized he was serious. We spent the next 5 weeks trying to get through the holidays, and I went into ‘save-the-marriage’ mode,( got on estrogen, hired a personal counselor , read self help marriage books, joined on online ‘save your marriage’ seminar) all to no avail.
8 days before x-mas I pulled the cell phone records. He had been having an emotional affair (at the least) for 6 months. It was an old GF from his 20's that he never consummated his relationship in the past and had been in communication with her for 2-3 years. He had been texting her up to 33 x a day and had 155 min. phone conversations with her while I was at work. I begged him to stay until our son graduated in June, but to give her up and work on our 18 year marriage. He practically laughed in my face and said that he had given me plenty of time and he was done. He had warned me countless times. I had never heard a warning, all I heard was that I irritated him because I constantly forgot to lock my car door in our driveway...and other little faults that couples 'discuss ‘ all the time. He left 6 days before Christmas and moved to her hometown. Our son has not heard his voice since Jan.-when he returned for more stuff. He has texted our son a handful of times and e-mailed him once trying to make excuses-our son told him how much he disrespects him. Graduation is next week, and I almost think that our 'Merit Scholar Finalist' has tried to sabotage his own graduation to keep from having to see his own father.
Where is the man I married? Has anyone else experienced ‘SWA’ with a man who has used Testosterone injections? He started those under direct medical advice when the texting started. Am I just looking for an excuse other than my own faults and inability to see what was going on over 18 years, or might there be a correlation? I have realized that he is truly gone, and have started looking forward. I realize now how controlling he is, and how I was perfectly fine with his controlling personality as long as he had integrity towards our marriage and to me. Now that this is gone, I will not let him control me. This is playing havoc on the divorce proceedings.
He has more to be gained from divorce than I do, so I am just letting things percolate. My wounds are very slow to heal, and being a single woman again instead of an empty nester, is not what I had planned!
I don't have the benefit of many years with my husband before he left, we had barely made it 6 months and he was sneakily moving things out of our garage and transferring money out of accounts unknowingly to me. I guess it was too much change for him to get married, and try to find work in a new state. He gave such good inspiration and his word were so motivated, mature and wise, and we were so hopeful, and we had the means to make it for a long time with him unemployed. But he just couldn't deal with not working, it was too hard on him. So... while we were separated, he found a job in another state, but they didn't bring him on until many months later... and while he waited... he came home under the guise of "reconciliation" - but never moved anything back home, just the recliner !! I remember thinking we were doing well, and talking about the possibility of him taking this job so far away - and how would we do that ? But we decided to postpone conversation until the firm offer was made. Well he got the offer, and didn't tell me, and while I was out shopping one afternoon, he just packed up and left. Sent a break up email, said stupid things like "oil and water".
So don't think that if you are a newlywed, that you are immune to a disserting and flaky spouse. It's a tragedy, that even a mature man of 52, could be so insensitive and selfish.
The whole point of marriage is to BE TOGETHER - !!
Be warned women - I've not had a good man yet. And I've had lots of relationships. People keep telling me that I picked 'wrong'... but that's not it. Men are driven by things that we don't understand, their loyalties are not very concrete. They are self-serving and insensitive. I thought I met a sensitive man, but he deceived me. And the irony is, I still love him. It's not just 'turned off'... And it's so embarrassing to me that I was obviously such a bad judge of character. I look foolish and desperate.
Is there such a thing as a good man ??
I'm beginning to wonder. I don't have any friends that can tell me that they have a great marriage... not one.
So, maybe it's just about how much can you put up with, before you give up ??? And can you hang in, when they leave ? Do they ever really learn and regret and have motivation to come home and work it out ? I think not. I think once they've left, they cannot return, for fear of how they are perceived... their reputations and such.
So let him go - and pray for God to bring you new friends and interests and focus onto Him and things that bring Him glory. Hobbies and Creative things - travel and good times, they are still there.
I'm glad that I didn't have many years into this, because the harder we worked at being together, the more attached and determined I became. I felt we were getting stronger, but it was just a façade to him. I was just the landing place til he got the job...
I told him I hope he loves that new town, new job and such - because it's his new wife. I feel like I just gave and gave - and really wanted to work it out. Prayed and prayed - and was patient and transparent... maybe too honest - maybe I came across as needy and desperate. And maybe I am. I guess I hoped he was the last love in my life and really wanted to invest in something for long term.
People change as they age - and sometimes they realize what they need is different from what they want. Just make sure that if his life changes, job, location, friends, etc. that you are his NUMBER 1 priority - and that he doesn't make any decisions without your joint enthusiastic approval!!
Also - most women end up alone in their later years anyway. So get used to it ladies... it's really our fate :) Maybe we will have an advantage in the end, to those that endure decades of husbands and fading romance and wonder about the 'what if's' ... since we are all destined to be left alone due to death anyway.
Love is work.
Love is exhausting - and doesn't usually work out.
So enjoy your days if you have them, and prepare for when you won't.
Adena in Texas (48)
I know this is an old thread but since people still read it:
Where was the productive person when you were married to her? Perhaps you are not aware that this question of yours speaks volumes about you. Obviously you weren't good FOR her, and ..
If you felt that you couldn't love or support an unproductive (or ugly or sick or poor or whatever) person by not feeling that you were living in hell, then perhaps you should have left immediately for someone more productive (or richer or prettier or healthier) instead of leading her on for so many years. And yes, you inadvertantly admitted to leading her on when you claimed she mistook your 'decision' for 'voicing concern'. Imagine what she could have accomplished in the 18 years you hindered her productivity.
Also the fact that you had to boast about how much you sacrificed in raising your kids single-handedly again speaks volumes about you. They are YOUR kids. You need an Olympic medal for having a sense of responsibility and obligation?
A correction on the above comment of mine:
* the poster of the story did not use the words 'voicing concern' as I mistook, but 'information and decisions' as the way he communicated with his wife. Well, it seems there wasn't room for discussion.