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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!

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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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Tuesday, April 22,2008

Is there a type

What is interesting is the number of common themes running through these posts. I loved the phrase "a thousand little cuts". I am sure if my ex had the intelligence to think of this, it is exactly what he meant. These people have the same modus operandi, as if they have all come from the same mould. So can we spot the type? When Vikki writes her book will she be able to give us a chapter in which she describes the personality of the person who is capable of this? Initially caring warm and affectionate, outgoing, charismatic,charming- but also selfish, childish, needy, insecure,disingenous, insincere?

I attended as part of my work a criminal trial some time ago and there was a rapist in the dock. I was shocked that he looked so normal, you couldn't have identified him as such in the street. I wish you could. Life would be easier if they were branded in some way- identifiable.

Like the rest of you, I had absolutely no idea that my ex was unhappy! I genuinely did not know. How could he expect me to? He never said, he never even hinted at it. Then, "I need a break" he said and he never came back. "I have not been happy for years" he said....who knew??

Will he be happy now? Has he dealt with any of the issues? Has he learned to communicate? I believe definitively that he has not. He has problems and they will carry on being problems until he deals with them.

I don't want his problems anymore, there is nothing I can do to fix them, never was.

The best I can do is hope beyond hope that I can spot the type. " a thousand little cuts" yeah right more like "a thousand insecurities, a thousand lies, an overbearing tonne of responsibility and a million ways to leave leading to one result- abandonnment".Pure and Simple.

Posted by



From what I've read in these threads so far, I've noticed some common themes about abandoners. One of them is the archtype workaholoc. Mine was and still is. Years ago, when we were engaged, I left a good job to move to this town so that we could be together. He had a job here and mine was in another city. I found another job here, but career-wise, I would have to move to really follow my dreams. I was willing to put my dreams on hold while he pursued his aspirations, but the understanding is that I'd get my turn some day. Then I put him through school to get his MBA. Now he is a bigshot manager with a high tech firm and travels all over the world. I helped to get him to where he is today - and now that he's used me up - he's dumped me.

Wednesday, April 23,2008


In some ways, my ex is a workaholic, in some ways you could say the same for me.

But, differences abound.

He was willing to work hard at things that "showed": career, a second successful career after early retirement, house-projects and renovations, numerous club-activities, etc.

I did the thankless stuff: housework, laundry, food-shopping, cooking, getting paid work when our retirement funds didn't stretch far enough to cover the ol' life-style, refurbishing furniture, mending clothes.

He worked at things he sought and got acknowledgment for. I worked, period.

Our son saw this over the decades and has talked about it with me since the marriage ended. Wow. I've raised a better guy than I was married to.

Thursday, April 24,2008


My husband claimed to be at work all the time... when in fact, he was with his lover (they worked together). So, I guess they are both work-a-holics!

My story is similar -- I put him first, his career. I took jobs to pay bills, while he built out his career to become the Director of Marketing with CBC... Then, suddenly, when I expected it was my turn to chase my dreams. He told me he wanted to work in TV Programming, and I couldn't chase my dreams just yet. That he would be side-stepping into the Programming department in time, and then I would get my chance.

Little did I know, SHE worked in Programming, hence all the added hours working in TV Programming, and wanting to work in THAT department - just to be even closer to her.

Well, he up and left last October (2007), and this past August (2008), he lost his well paid gig as the Director of Marketing. They said it was because of re-structuring, but, how good was he at his job, since he was spending hours and hours with her, early to the office to have breakfast meetings with her, going away on 'business trips' but bringing her along! And, staying up until 2am on that damn computer (working) with HER.

He left me -- I never got a chance to chase my career dreams... I just have a low-paid job in TV myself -- hence I am constantly faced with their dirty life -- I work at CTV, but the industry is small, and some of his friends now work here, and I get the dirty looks. He has told them what a bitch I was all the 17-years we were together, and how perfect him and Audrey are.

Well, I may never have a career, but I sure as hell helped him build his! What he does is throw in my face, that I never understood his job or how stressful it was... that he worked so very hard and only she could understand him and the work pressures. Because they were both Directors, and all I ever was is a lowly-paid coordinator. Never amounting to anything!

If it weren't for me... he would still be a lazy ass media buyer, and never would have attracted the likes of her! He spent so much on high-end meals, trips and gifts.

It makes me sick that there are men still out there using up women to build their careers and leaving them for more successful women to have on their arms at these work functions.

Wednesday, October 01,2008


My husband had a really good job as a CEO. I worked many years as a nurse manager-shift meaning a whole lot of responsibility and night work. He was (and is)a narcissist and a bit of a control freak. When he retired-there went all the accolades he craved. He barely acknowledged my accomplishments whereas I always supported his. After retirement, he took up contract work to fill the void and sought out ex-colleagues for lunch get togethers and such.When he left me for his "girlfriend" he naturally blamed me,said he had a "bucket list" and I wasn't on it. He did thank me for being a good partner and added "it was a good run"-35 years! Oh, and he added he would miss his "hell of a downhill ski buddy". He had the nerve to tell friends I was boring and had no interests (part of the pre blindside set up). No one bought this as I have mega interests. The interesting thing is his paramour (who is older than me) apparently has few interests except shopping and grooming. What I read into these jackass leavers is it's all about them but "thanks for sticking in through the worst times". I hope he gets pussywhipped but good as he apparently waits on her hand and foot. He did nothing @ home. I will never settle for this behaviour again in another man. Just selfish little boys wanting new toys. Good luck with that you 64 year old coward.

Thursday, December 02,2010


Yep- no doubt there is a type! Everything I read in these types of stories, sounds like it's the same man, and it also sounds like my ex husband. Definately a type. Hopefully we can avoid this type the next time around. Beware the superficioully charming men, as a starting place...

Thursday, December 15,2011


My ex left 11 years ago, after 10 years of marriage. Yes he fits the type: workaholic, always coming home late, unbelievably charming, selfish in his motives, but extremely giving to strangers. The leopard will never change his spots. Now he is dating an old friend of mine, recently divorced. Should I warn her?

Monday, January 30,2012


First, let me emphasize that this is NOT my opinion, but a point of view I've gleaned from reading numerous books and articles on the subject.
Basically, there is a certain percentage of men (and women to a somewhat lesser degree) who cannot abide by monogamy no matter how much they initially like and accept the idea. 40% or more of men will sooner or later seek out sex with an extra-marital partner, regardless of how much they love their wives and family lives. It's physiological. A high level of testosterone and a low level of oxytocin (the "bonding" hormone) combine to create a man ( and in some cases a woman) who is utterly incapable of having one sex partner for life. Astonishingly 12% of all men, (more than one in ten, so we all know at least one), will have sex outside their marriage no matter what. In other words, their wife could be gorgeous, kind, fit, great mother, supportive, etc, and she's giving him 4 blow-jobs a week, and these 12%-ers will still seek out sexual variety elsewhere, sooner or later. It's the way many humans are wired. The notion of pair bonding as a human characteristic is a huge misnomer of evolution. We evolved from hunter-gatherer clans in which all the adults had sex with each other. A woman rarely knew or cared who the actual biological father of her children was, so all the men in the clan were accepted as, and expected to function as the father. It's that "It takes a village" concept of raising families. Check out "Sex at Dawn" (authors are both a man and a woman) and "The Monogamy Gap". These books shed light on what I'm suggesting. Again, NOT my opinion. These books are based on biology, not psychology or ethics. This is probably ZERO comfort to any woman who has been left by her husband, but it does go a long way in explaining in part why some men feel desperate and end up bailing on their marriages. Both books suggest that re-negotiating sexual boundaries may be a step in the direction of making long term relationships more realistic for some people. Think of it this way: if 100% of us women all want to be with the 60% of men who can realistically remain faithful to us, then by definition, 40% of us will end up with guys who seek sex outside of marriage, be it in one year or 20. That's the math. It's been going on since we were cavemen and it will go on forever. Remember "the oldest profession" in the world? Yep, prostitution! And who are the clients? Quite often, married men. The intense desire for sexual variety is one of the strongest human drives there is. It transcends religion, logic, societal and cultural norms and pressures, marriage vows made with sincerity-at the time. It is likely at the root of most if not all of these marital breakdowns.

Friday, August 17,2012

Denise Pott

I don't necessarily think that the type of man we are talking about is a workaholic, but more the type of person who considers that their interests come first. It is actually a form of sociopathy. I have come to believe that my ex has a mild form of Asperger's syndrome; he has only a few very specialized interests, and is therefore very self absorbed.

He had no concern for me, and my needs became too much of a distraction from his own interests. Lacking social skills, he chose to walk away. In reality, I meant nothing to him.

That is the pattern I see; self-absorption. They have nothing to give to others and don't need anyone else in their lives. They may appear to leave for a new relationship, but there is actually nothing there and it takes time for that to be revealed.

Thursday, August 08,2013


Type that could do this to another human being? I think there is but when we are in love, young when we married, we really don't know this person well enough to clearly see them as a "type".

My marriage to him was for 33 years, and after 8 months of him being gone, I can see that he was always capable of leaving without sharing his feelings with me. He is an introverted person ot being with, goal orientated, was in the military as an enlisted , got his college degree, and then became an officer in the Navy, then got his masters degree, then went on to become an IT consultant and then bought a franchise-but lost all our money in that nightmare.

I feel so used, abused and then tossed out like I am garbage, He didn't leave me for another woman, but he left because he climbed up the ladder so high-only to fall down so far. He now drives and lives in a big rig truck. Pitiful to say the least. He has no wife, sons, dog, home, furniture, vehicles -nothing to show for all his hard work-WITH MY HELP!

Feeling so lonely and used takes such a huge chunk out of you, you feel so lost, and don't know quite how to put all the pieces back of your life. I spent my entire 20's 30's 40's a and half of my 50's helping him to succeed in his life. I am angry, and hurt too.

I try to keep a positive spin on all this, and know one day, I will feel better, healed, and thankful too, that he gave me my life back, and he will just be a bad memory. Can't wait for this day to come-really I can't

Tuesday, May 13,2014


I am hoping Vikki can do further research/write a new book on whether karma ever finds and affects these men. Everyone keeps telling me, "Karma will take care of him (my husband)." But, I wonder, on the whole - does that happen? Or are these men so selfish and self-absorbed that they are never affected by what they have done?

My therapist thinks my husband has disassociated, and I agree with her. He will not face me or talk with me. He has abandoned all of his possessions. He has abandoned our dogs that he once loved. He won't talk to his friends about his leaving. He has just walked away and closed off that 'former' part of his life. She said that he can only run away from this for so long - but it will eventually catch up with him and he'll have to deal with his feelings.

I hope that is true. Because I have been dealing with my feelings of abandonment for four months and know this will continue much longer. I want him to look back and have guilt for what he's done. I want karma to deliver him some pain comparable with mine.

It would just be interesting to know if these runaway husbands ever feel anything for their victims. Or if they just go on blissfully ignorant or uncaring about the damage they have caused.

Wednesday, June 21,2017

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