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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

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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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Friday, January 25,2008


We were in couples therapy. Someone usually started; I had it in mind to ask the now stupid-seeming question, “Where did our passion go?” as I perceived there was an undercurrent of distance. But she said “I have something” and I had no idea what it was. She then stated, “The marriage is over” and that she had packed her car already and was not coming home! She was getting her own place but would not say where she was going that evening except it was with a friend. I assumed it was a woman but I didn’t really know.

Before the therapy session, the housekeeper had viewed this quick throwing of things in her car in total shock and horror and tried to stop it to no avail. I had said that day I would pick her up at home before our therapy appointment but she made up a story about a schedule change to avoid me being there. I really had a sixth sense about it. Cruelly, K. didn’t even say goodbye to my kids, her stepchildren for nine years who were expecting her for dinner that evening. It was like a death in the family. We were all bawling our eyes out, especially my daughter, and to this day she has not ever seen her former stepmother again. Her mother (my first ex wife) had to come over to my house, to console us all. How brutal, how unnecessarily cruel, how desperate, how completely dishonest and without a shred of humanity or integrity. All done in secret to save her own neck and avoid any confrontation. It was pure cowardice, as she described it later. Unbelievable.

No one is more blown away than I am than to realize that two people who shared the same bed for nine years, talked about everything, had amazing sex and traveled the world, are now no longer in contact—and that this long friendship ended in one night. One night she was in my bed and the next she wasn’t and would never be again. And now I am a Separated Man.

Posted by



It sounds pretty horrible and complicated. It also sounds as if you didn't learn enough from the collapse of your previous marriage. How much alike are the two women you've been married to, I wonder?

Tuesday, February 26,2008


Donna, do you mean to say that b/c his 2nd wife left him without the most basic sense of decency, it must be his fault for failing to "learn" something from the marriage? It's possible, of course, that he thus "caused" the 2nd to leave, but geez -- stop blaming the victim. He's not the one who acted despicably. When this happens, the first thing you do is wonder, "what did *I* do?" Nothing. Short of abuse, nothing *we* did *causes* anyone to act that selfishly out of character. When we stop this misapplied self-help nonsense ("look to yourself first"), we might actually start rebuilding the broken values that sanction this kind of inexcusable behavior.

Sunday, March 09,2008


Joe, I don't trust the post, nor should you.

First, the guy sounds way too good to be true and types ONLY what's self-serving.

Second, he goes on at length about the event and supplies no background at all. Like, HE can't be blamed for anything, but SHE can. Oh, and that housekeeper . . .

Third, the two of them were "in therapy" and he talks about wondering where "the passion" has gone. Yuh know what? It probably went where it should have: passion is scarcely a basis for a lasting relationship.

Fourth, nothing I typed several months ago can/could be characterized as blaming the victim. It's easy to accuse someone of that, sure -- and how can someone counter it? I won't deign to try.

Notice that neither you nor he got a sympathetic come-back? Notice that -- aside from me -- no one else has commented?

Monday, June 02,2008



Would you have made the same comments if the husband had turned out to be a wife?

Tuesday, June 10,2008


In reviewing our past, here, I came across this posting from "Sweetness" and wonder, are you still here? Are you still reading the postings?
It wasn't fair to you that your sadness and pain was underestimated and ignored by almost all of the women involved, myself included and I apologize. (for myself)I can say, only, that going through an experience like yours and mine has made us women suspicious and that is unkind and unfair of us. I'm sorry. How are you making out now?

Tuesday, August 26,2008


Donna, your posts are all terribly lopsided in favour of women, regardless of what women experience. I ask you, as did a previous poster, if a woman had written this story, what would your response be? Your pattern indicates it would be sympathetic, unlike your response to this man.

Wednesday, October 01,2008


I, too, was a fool and lived thru a bad marriage--with a serially cheating spouse.

She has an Axis I Dx. An Axis II, as well (Cluster B). I learned her failed relationship with her Mother and a dysfunctional relationship with her father--made the outcome predictable.Power and control games and an inability to commit, trust,and to see another person as a human being. I, and the kids, are just "potted plants" to her. Lots of Therapy. Lots of meds. Lots of $$$. Lots of pain. It's still all my fault.

Co-dep training helped,.. lots of Therapy,acceptance, Education, along with a large tincture of time.I had/have to see her as an angry 6 year old--in order to self-protect and keep boundaries in place. She has fooled several LMHP's, for awhile, until they wised up. That is probably the most crushing aspect of all this--The failure of LMHP's to accept responsibility and their "rush to judgment" re: Males. Especially for the kids. I worry about their future and their relationships.(Pathologizing the victim(s))

She is off with yet a new playtoy/ Victim. The kids are now irrelevant and in her way in her pursuit of another serially failed relationship. Suddenly, I am Okay as the Primary Parent. Suddenly, the kids are finding themselves discarded, as cheap trinkets--rejection and abandonment cycles all over again. They are tired of the "Come Here/Go Away" behavior and bored with her manipulative "theatrics".They are self-protecting more.

I spend most of my time unwinding damage done to the kids--and re-directing the kids to do positive things for themselves and avoid self-destructive behavior--due to an unstable parent. I work 24/7/365 to be stable in an unstable setting (Joint Custody)

I don't date much. No time due to full-time work and being a Single parent to: a College Freshman, and twin H.S. Freshmen--while paying Child Support and Alimony....and providing all the things she is ordered to provide--but withholds due to her AXIS II Disorder..or spends on "Hunting other fools", like I was . The second reason, is that I see alot of women just like her--with an enormous sense of "Entitlement" and "Unhealthy Demands"--or they want "Payback" from their last failed relationship. (See, Co-Dep above)
The Third reason: I need a wife,... like a fish needs a bicycle (See, above).

I would like a woman in my life--but I tire of the angry, shrill, entitled, and bitter women I see daily. It's simply not worth it--and to still maintain one's sanity. (or a relapse into Co-dep)

There are many ill people in the world. Just because Males do not usually post on Boards like this --does not mean it is a One-way street of pain. I suggest it is an underreported aspect of living and procreating with an ill person. Whether it is Nature or Nurture--the outcome is predictable (one side-gives, and gives, and gives...until you decide you have had enough)

Old Russian Proverb: Fool me once--shame on You
Fool me twice--shame on me !

Denial comes in all forms.

"There are no accidents--all behavior is goal directed and oriented"--goes the lesson on the first day of a typical Psych residency.

I suggest that the forum here take a step back, a deep breath, and re-focus....on your own behavior and perceptions.

Thank you.

Good luck and have a good day.


Friday, November 14,2008


First to Donna... You stated earlier that you thouoght all were on your side, and that joe was wrong for his opinion. What a controlling and abusive statement. And, on a personal note, I share joe's view.

Next, abandonment is a severe form of abuse. End of story. Plain and simple. It's emotional scars are usually deeper and farther reaching than most forms of abuse. And, no abuse justifies another form of abuse.

I read somewhere on here a comment that said shy of abuse abandonment was not justified. I would argue that it is NEVER justified. An abused spouse can (and should) leave, find a shelter or other safe haven, then via mediums bring the marriage to it's proper place (be it a fix to the abuser, or the end of the marriage). But, abuse never justifies abuse. Plus, the abuser is already damaged. The effects of the abandonment will usually only make them worse.

Now, I don't care what he did. Personally I don't believe that he was that terrible. The fact that he has the kids shows a level of trust from the first wife.

Personally, I think that wives abandoning husbands needs better recognition as well. What men go through is very close to what women go through. But there are suttle, significant differences. Men often even suffer longer because they do not have the social network that women have. "Men who have been Abandoned" is one of the higher suicide catagories, causes for adictions, ect.

I am glad for the work Vikki is doing here bringing to the surface one of faster growing, completely destructive divorce patterns.

Tuesday, March 17,2009


It saddens me to know that there are women out there who abandon their responsibilities, like my husband did to my children and I. I empathize with them. It is not easy, and the social support network for men is not there for them as it is for women. I am, however glad to know that it is not just the men who walk away from medium or long term marriages, for something (another woman/man) else, that never lasts. Like one person posted, passion does not last, and reality sets in. In its place a deeper love develops and grows, if only allowed.

As per my story title, there are no winners in divorce or separation, only very clear losers and long term sufferers. The epidemic of divorce in our society only goes to show how sick we are as a human race, and how lightly people take their covenants with God and their "contracts" or pledges to one another. How sad for all of us. We can only make a change for a better future, by doing our best in our relationships and continuing the commitment to one another each and every day.

What has our world come to and when will we learn? I hope soon. All of the very best to the men who have gone through this, and I hope that someone starts a website to help them too! There are good men and woman out there!

God Bless each of us during thing time and always!

Saturday, March 21,2009


Seems that this man has been attacked unfairly. The shock of such abandonment is surely a human condition. "It can't happen to me" has happened and that it can't affect a man as much as a woman would surely be a myth. It is the act of spouse abandonment that is the issue - not the man or woman. While it probably happens more to women is because the male has spent his life on his career while his spouse has not and is therefore technically not in a powerbase to do the unthinkable.
Every story has it's own nuances. Not all slot into an exact hole. But the symptoms are amazingly the same.
I see no reason here in a forum such as this to pick on an individual but to lend to them belief and sympathy in an air of trying to help one another.

Sunday, February 07,2010



Tuesday, February 09,2010


I was married for 7 years. My Ex-wife was originally from Taiwan. When I married her, she was a US Citizen, fluent in English. It was her second marriage and my first.

There were no affairs by either of us.

My Ex suffers from Narcistic Personality Disorder. From the very begining she had issues of Trust, Anger Management, and always sought Control.

Overcomming cultural and linguistic differences were difficult enough (even though she was fluent in English, her interpretation of sentences and conversations was different than a native English speaker. This was a cause for much miscommunication)

During the course of the Marriage my Ex committed acts of abuse. Starting with Emotional Abuse which led to Verbal Abuse and ended up in Physical Abuse along with Threats of Violence and Death Threats.

I couldn't report it, because who would believe me? There are no shelters or services in my county for Men being Physically Abused by their wives.

I tried to reason with her. Talk to her about issues, but she would fly into violent rages. The rages were getting worse. By the time I was 6 months into my marriage: I remember thinking how much I was wishing I never got married in the first place. There was just too much abuse, but at that time, I just couldn't afford a Divorce until years later.

The end came when I just decided to give in to any demands, and avoid her as much as I could.
I ended up divorcing her as soon as I could afford to do so.

To avoid a Court Battle: I allowed her to "save face" and be the Petitioner. And if there was some possession that she wanted. I would just let her have it: reasoning that the Attorney Fees in a Court Battle would soon outweigh the value of the object.

I stayed calm in spite of her tantrums, and her provacations. We both went to see an Attorney together and file for Divorce.

Throughout the entire process: I kept trying to keep the relationship smooth, just wanting her out of the house as soon as possible.

She ended up with a little more than 50% of total assets. I felt that it was worth the piece of mind.

The entire marriage experience was quite a learning process for me. Before I was pretty naive about women, marital dynamics, and the family court system.

I will never get married again. Given the fact that half of all marriages end up in Divorce, and the income disparities between Men and Women, and the way the Family Court System works.

Marriage for a Man is a very bad decision in terms of Risk and Finances. I will never get married again. If I had to do it all over, I would never have gotten married in the first place.

Women are just as capable of Violence as Men are. It is a myth that Women do not commit violent acts. However given the stigma and the societal bias against men and the lack of resources. The number of reported cases of Women physically abusing their spouses is dramatically under-reported.

Violence is perpetrated by both sexes, it knows no bounds with regard to race or religion.

It's been 3 years since my divorce and I am still trying to mentally recover from the hell I went through.

Friday, February 04,2011


It sounds very painful, to think you were there to make your marriage stronger.

I wasn't given a chance to make my marriage stronger, it was decided for me that it was over, I have been treated like a stranger ever since.

The decision was made for our entire family that we would no longer be a family, he just decided for us.

I am such a mess.

Tuesday, January 22,2013

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