The Bombshell Divorce-Spousal Abandonment Syndrome

When I think back over the events that led up to my divorce.  I get tiny waves, ripples of the pain and shock I encountered.  When this first occurred, the pain and shock were more like tidal waves.  For me, it was like a sneak attack of a divorce revelation. I guess I will call it a “bombshell divorce.” 

(Bombshell-overwhelming surprise or disappointment.” The news came as a bombshell” ) 

I was reading an article called Runaway Husbands Bolt Without Warning In the article, Vikki Stark and her experience with “Wife Abandonment Syndrome” is mentioned because she, too, had no prior warning that a divorce was in the works. Here are two of her quotes…

“How is it possible to maintain the fiction of being married when they were planning their escape?”

“How do you deal with the hit to self-esteem when you feel like an old dish rag he threw away?” 

Another article gives us the definition of Spousal Abandonment Syndrome.  

Spousal Abandonment Syndrome is when one of the spouses leaves the marriage without any warning and—usually–without having shown any signs of unhappiness with the relationship.”

According to the article, there are typical characteristics of both the man who drops the bombshell and the abandoned wife.  As I look over the list of the deserting spouse’s characteristics, many fit my ex.  I will mention a few.

  • Usually, men…yep
  • Work in the church…yep
  • Work in business…yep
  • They were pretending that all was fine in the marriage…yep

The article also lists what they call the aftermath for the abandoned spouse.  Here are the ones that described me at the time…

  • Confusion, disbelief, totally unprepared for this life-changing event
  • Develops some level of distrust
  • During the divorce process, she starts to make sense of all of the odd behavior that was exhibited by her soon-to-be ex.  My eyes were opened by my Private Investigator, the digital forensic specialist, my banker, credit card statements, and even by a scorned husband who was a victim of my ex’s life choices. It was eye-opening and shocking.  I was mad at myself for not listening to my gut for most of my marriage.

There are many stories of the poor wife who is thrown this devastating bombshell.  I may do a post of examples of how these poor women were served the most shocking news of their lives.  For now, here is my story.

How I Found Out My Husband Was Leaving Me.

It was like any other night, or so I thought.  I had no idea when I returned home from work on what seemed a typical work day that a life-altering event was about to present itself.  I had no clue that my life as I knew it would be turned upside down and that I was about to lose my family, enter a deep depression, and spend ten years of my life digging myself out of the trauma that I was about to face. But it was about to happen, and I had no warning.

I came home from work that night expecting to go on a nice walk with my dog, prepare an easy meal, and maybe watch a little TV before bedtime.  The first thing I did when I walked through the door was to go through the mail.  

It just so happened at this time that I was dealing with attorneys in regard to my parent’s estate.  It is not surprising that when I was going through the mail that I would encounter a letter from a lawyer.  I found in the stack of mail a letter from an attorney, but the odd thing was that it was not addressed to me.  This particular letter was addressed to my husband.  I thought this to be very strange.  I googled the name of the attorney on the return address, and that is when the “bombshell” hit.  It was a divorce attorney.

The ensuing seconds, days, weeks, and years would all be stained by this event.  Initially, I was unable to comprehend fully what was happening because I had no warning.  My children had no warning, and they were in shock as well.  The only one in the equation who was not in shock, in pain, or betrayed was the one who planned his escape so carefully. There was one person who hid his intentions and did as he selfishly pleased, and that one person was my husband.  

So, I now know the pain of Wife Abandonment Syndrome.  I know many others do too.  If you are in this situation, you are not alone.  Although it may take time, you will get through this; just keep moving forward.

God Bless You on Your Journey!