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I was reading the Divorce Busting site (i've been on so many that i think it was the Divorce Busting site!) But it seems to be ringing true. I am not trying to be closed minded here, but it seems that a large majority of the wives here leave and never come back as if they are positive they made the correct choice, but the husbands leave for OW then have second thoughts and a large majority come back to the marriage. Has anyone else noticed this trend or is it me. I don't mean to depress anyone, or simplify anything, it's just something I noticed of the "Walk Away Wife" syndrome.

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T24G,<P>I can't speak for walk away wives since my H walked away. But in my case, if I had ever gotten the courage to walk away, I would have never come back. I know I would have made the right choice. If my marriage had ever gotten to the point where I had enough, I wouldn't have looked back at all! <P>Maybe it's because some (not all) women think things thru more than some (not all) men do. I don't know. It's just a thought.<P>Mitzi

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EXACTLY MITZI, they say women mature faster than men,(sorry guys, not flaming) but maybe that's what it is. Most women look at the long-term effects of our actions, or how it would effect those we love, when a large majority of men assume that all can be swept away with no consequences in the future. And I AM NOT SAYING ALL MEN AND ALL WOMEN.

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I've read everything I can find on divorce.<P>One thing I find written about alot is "one year later" undates.<P>H's standard of living usually rises (more money to spend on himself)<P>W's standard of living usually lowers (she is single mom with extra responsiblity of "home repairs", etc. that H used to handle)<P>H usually regrets divorce and wishes he was back in marriage (misses home cooked meals, laundry services, regular safe sex, and someone who cares and worries about him)<P>W usually moves on with her life enjoying the independence (doesn't miss the extra laundry, the extra cooking, and enjoys not worrying about him anymore)<P>This is not my opinion, this is what I've read in numerous books and articles.<P>Keo<P>

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<BR>trying2_4give,<P>Maturity or money? I suspect the latter.<P>My views on this aren't politically correct, but here goes. I think a lot of why you see "walk away wives" is that we, as a society, enable it. We have divorce courts and child custody courts that are incredibly biased against men. When the going in a marriage gets tough, the economic incentives encourage women to file for divorce and child custody. Once they've made that committment, and they see the beneficial economics of that decision, they figure that repairing a broken marriage is more hassle than looking for a new husband.<P>Check out:<BR> <A HREF="http://users.erols.com/afc/minority1.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://users.erols.com/afc/minority1.htm</A> <P>"In today's world, if one investigates the simple question, "Who initiates divorce?" we find from Monthly Vital Statistics Report,<BR>May 21, 1991, that from 1975 to 1988, in families with children present, wives filed for divorce in approximately two-thirds of<BR>the cases each year. In 1975, 71.4 % of the cases were filed by women, and in 1988 65 % were filed by women. While these statistics alone do not compel a conclusion that women anticipate advantages to being single rather than remaining in the marriage, the do raise that reasonable hypothesis -- one that the Commission majority refused to consider. If women can anticipate a clear gender bias in the courts regarding custody, they can expect to be the primary residential parent for their children. If they can anticipate enforcement of child support by the courts, they can expect a high probability of support moneys without the need to account for their expenditures. Clearly, they can also anticipate maintaining the marital residence, receiving half of all marital property, and gaining total freedom to establish new social connections and intimacy relationships. Weighing these gains against the alternative of remaining in the marriage with a spouse who may, in the wife's judgment, be oppressive, unfaithful, or just plain boring, could result in a seductive enticement to obtain a divorce. Solutions to this hypothesized scenario are elusive, but without question, should include reconsideration of the ease with which divorces are granted when children are<BR>involved."<P>Bystander<BR>

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Koesha, it's funny that you say what the wife doesn't miss, because when H and I were seperated, I LOVED not having extra laundry, didn't have to cook, if I didn't feel like it, and I was too busy with my girlfriends living the single life. Yes I thought of him every second, but it wasn't in the "Woes Me" syndrome, just the "Oh Well, I don't have to worry about what's going to happen next, because he is out of the house and that's one less thing to worry about". Wierd isn't it!

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Dear Mitzi & Trying2_4give,<P>I'm going to have to disagree with you. <P>Mitzi: my wife is a Walk-a-Way, and believe me, she has not thought it through. Her expectations of the future are very unrealistic. When I asked her what she wants, it's in negative terms ("I want to be not married to you.") or when asked about her plans for the future, she answers in vague concepts only ("to be independant") but without any concrete steps about how to do that (she has no job, and little experience or training).<P>Trying: as children girls mature sooner than boys. But boys catch up. There is no truth to the generalization that women are more mature than men.<P>The key to the WAW syndrome is this: some woman are afraid to express their true needs and feelings. They put up with a situation they are unhappy with, but will not do anything to help fix. Then, when they can't take it anymore, they bolt. Some WAW plan an exit strategy, some don't.<P>Why the difference between men and women then, when it comes to walking away? Maybe men take their wives for granted too often, they walk for whatever reason, then reconsider their action when they realize what they're leaving. <P>And maybe the stoicism of the woman who puts up with an unhappy marriage flips over into an adamant refusal to reconsider her actions once she has walked.<P>Sincerely,<BR>Kenneth

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<BR>Keosha,<P>I'd bet that the standard of living argument you've seen is based on _The Divorce Revolution: The Unexpected Social and Economic Consequences for Women and Children in America_, written by Lenore Weitzman, PhD, in 1985. <P>The study was fatally flawed, and Weitzman admitted as such in a 1996 paper in American Sociological Review. The problem is that her paper was used by many, many states to upwardly revise child support awards. Because custodial parents don't have to account for a nickel of where child support is spent (something I would change by law), this means that child support now serves as a form of veiled alimony in many, if not most, situations. Weitzman's flawed paper is still, however, held as gospel by many.<P>For a longer discussion of how Weitzman's thesis is wrong, see Sanford Braver's _Divorced Dads: Shattering the Myths_.<BR> <A HREF="http://shop.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?isbn=087477862X" TARGET=_blank>http://shop.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?isbn=087477862X</A> <P>Bystander

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Kenneth,<P>In no way, can I judge the thinking of a walk away wife. I would not have walked away from my marriage unless I was sure it could never work out. However, I didn't get that chance. <P>I didn't mean that all women think things thru and all men don't. I meant that possibly it may be true in some cases. I know from the men on this board that not all men just walk away, and not all women think it thru carefully. <P>It was basically just a thought that popped in my head.<P>Mitzi

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Bystander and Kenneth, i have to disagree with a few points. I think that women are nurturers by nature and before we walk away, we try (AGAIN i say, NOT ALL women)everything within our power to make it work, counseling, workshops, books, tapes,etc. From what I have seen here and other board, men usually don't try until the wife has left or has OM, and then the wives don't make as much contact with ex-husbands. Don't get me wrong, wives also don't realize until H have affairs that they need to work on it, but like I said before it seems once the wives leave, they don't look back, and I see most H that betray do go back to wives to try again. As far as money being a factor, isn't money a factor in EVERYTHING. When i was seperated hell yeah, it sucked having to pay for everything myself, but I did it, without child support. Don't get my wrong, if the kids are living with me then HELL YES H is going to pay, and I would expect to pay child support if kids lived with my H. No one should get out of that.

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Keosha,<P>You say you read that "W usually moves on with her life enjoying the independence". While some women report that, most, over 70%, report that they probably could have fixed the marriage if they had really tried, most report loss of self-esteem, loneliness, lowered standard of living, and high levels of guilt. Check "The Case Against Divorce" by Diane Medved.<P>One year after updates are also not very revealling. Divorce takes 5 to 10 years to get over emotionally, according to the statistical longitudinal studies.<P>Finally, if an ex-wife feels her life has improved because she doesn't have to do his laundry anymore, I can only say she has warped values. Accepting the pain and devastation to a family that divorce brings, so that she can have a life with less laundry is a sad view of life.<P>The most interesting statistics are that 80% of divorced people remarry, indicating they still want to be married. Sad thing is that 60% of these re-marriages will end in divorce, which is higher than the average. This indicates that divorce is more due to an individual's inability to face problems and overcome them, than with the fact that the marriage has problem.<P>In short, if you have a relationship problem, you can fix it, or you can leave, taking the problem with you to the next marriage. And then leave again.<P>Kenneth

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Who needs a study to be done? All of my female friends/relatives, except for one, all suffered a significant drop in living standard when they divorced. Women with children (sorry guys) still do the majority of child care. If the guy was doing most of the child care and had stayed home with the kids, then he can get primary custody. <P>In situations where the woman is dependent on a man financially, she naturally is afraid to speak about her needs, for fear of being abandoned. Even if she is not afraid of being abandoned, our society conditions both men and women to believe that her needs are not as important as his needs. I don't know how many times I've gotten on my soapbox about a man's need for sex, for instance, and how everyone is so quick to try and convince the woman to just "put out" rather than tell the guy (if he were here) that he needs to use his other head FIRST.<P>Add to that, the still prevailing social norm in ANY country, that the man is the "head" of the household, and it doesn't really matter what her needs are cause he, supposedly, gets the last word. <P>Men should be tired of doing all the economic heavy lifting for the family, and I'm sure women are sick of being treated like substitute maids, cooks, and prostitutes. Both would benefit by doing the jobs typically assigned to the other.

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Bystander,<P>By now we all know where you stand on the child support and custody issues. <P>I feel somewhat insulted that, according to your way of thinking, I am doing this for financial gain. I will not gain that much financially. Actually my life has sucked since my H left and has refused to help with taking care of the kids, and the bills that WE accumulated during the marriage. <P>I will NOT be better off. I have a H that has refused to help financially for a month now, and who has not seen his children for a month. He is the one who resents helping with the kids. He uses any excuse he can think of to not help with them or see them. So, yeah, I'm sure I'm really coming out ahead!<P>And yes, I will have custody of my kids and his visitation will more than likely be restricted and supervised. And yes, he will pay child support! Too bad! If he had them I would gladly pay him. That's just how it works!!<P>Mitzi<p>[This message has been edited by Mitzi (edited March 13, 2000).]

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<BR>try2_4give,<P>Objectively, you asked why there are more walk away wives. I don't mean to be unkind here, but when we incent a certain behavior, we shouldn't be surprised to see people behaving themselves in a fashion that follows the incentives. Appeals to "women being more nuturant" notwithstanding, if our divorce and child custody courts are rigged to favor women, we surely shouldn't be surprised to see them doing the majority of filing. And that is *exactly* what what we see.<P>As for child support, the formulaic approach our society has adopted generally awards too much money, making it a form of veiled alimony in most cases. While this veiled alimony is morally wrong (its just sick, really), it clearly adds to the economic incentives women enjoy when contemplating divorce.<P>Bystander<BR>

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<BR>TheStudent,<P>I agree that the majority of women do childcare - but isn't that a chicken/egg problem? Is it fair to regard a father as less able to nurture, when it was in both he and his wife's interest to have him work full time? Its bizarre to me...A couple makes a rational financial decision (i.e., the man work a full time job, and the woman work full time in the home). Years later, they divorce, and the man is then demoted to being treated as little above an income stream. Its sick. It really is sick.<P>But studies are very important. Your friends don't represent what's really going on in society.<P>Mitzi,<P>Yeah, my views are known by now, I guess. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>Anyhow, I'll bet when the smoke clears in your situation, you'll be getting more child support from your husband than it takes to actually raise your children. The last month sucked, sure, but wait until the support judgment is made. I'll bet you come out ahead financially. <P>Mitzi, I DON'T mean any of this as a personal attack - I'm just outraged that we've botched the divorce and child custody issue so badly, and I want to change it.<P>Bystander<BR>

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Bystander,<P>No I will not get more than enough to raise my kids! I know about what I am going to get and I know what my monthly expenses are. (and yes they are being handed over to the courts!)<P>How am I supposed to get so much money from a man that works when he feels like it. Gets a job and then either quits or asks for a lay off when he gets tired of it. Can't squeeze blood from a stone. <P>

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First of all I want to point out that what I wrote above was NOT my opinion. I was simply quoting some facts I've read. <P>It's strange how these same facts are repeted in numerous places. Maybe they are all quoteing from one single source, maybe different studies, I don't know where the writers obtained their information.<P>It was reported as "facts" not "opinion". One of the sources was a anonomus poll taken by playboy mag.<P>As a veteran of divorce, I can say make these statements from personal experience.<P>1. I can not forgive multipal physical affairs <P>2. X did try to reconcil within 6 months to a year. (He remarried the following year)<P>3. my life style (with 3 children) did lower drasticly. <P>I was awarded $25.00 per week per child. H paid for 5 weeks and I've never seen another penny. (I can assure you that the "lure" of big child support was not a reason for my divorce.)<P>H did NOT provide medical insurance or ANY benefits at all.<P>For financial purposes it was as if he never existed.<P>Am I bitter about it? DAMN RIGHT!!! He owns his own business and lives like a king while my kids did without the things that his step children enjoyed.<P>He had a shiney new boat and spends weekends at the lake. (my kids went to the river to swim)<P>He had a snazzy new Harley motorcycle (my kids didn't even have a bicycle)<P>He drove a new Caddie (I drove a 1963 chevy that broke down often leaving me and the kids stranded)<P>Maybe you believe the story about the X living in luxery. But don't try to convience me of it.<P>I don't want to hear the fairy tale... <P>Keo<P>

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.<p>[This message has been edited by kam6318 (edited March 13, 2000).]

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<BR>Mitzi,<P>OK, I'll take what you say on face value. What your husband is doing is morally wrong. He should not abandon his children financially. A pox on him (and I mean that)! However, if he doesn't pay, he'll quickly run into arrears, with interest charges, etc. Strangely, child support is the ONE area where we still run debtor's prisons in this country (its also the one area where Constitutional protection against involuntary servitude don't apply, believe it or not). So if he continues to refuse to pay, you can have him thrown into prison.<P>Anyhow, in more general terms, I am truly apalled by a system in which a woman can unilaterally divorce and claim a substantial portion of a man's income for "child support" without ever having to account for so much as a nickel of where the money is spent. Child support should NEVER be a form of veiled alimony, yet in many (if not most) cases this is exactly what is happening. The way to fix this is to move to a default of 50% physical custody with NO child support money changing hands. That completely removes the incentives for these ugly custody battles, and is IMO in the best interests of the children. Many fathers would love to be with their children half the time, and the system shouldn't be set up as a "winner take all" among the parents. But I've said all this before, right? [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>Bystander

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I read somewhere that men, in general, are happier with the state of being married than women in general are. Doesn't mean the men are happier with their specific partner, just that they like being married in and of itself - I know this is certainly the case with me, probably because I'm pretty much of a homebody when not at work. So men, I guess, figure they lose more when they leave the marriage.<P>I think the "walk-away wife" syndrome IS real. My 1st W was one and my current W was one from her 1st marriage and looks like she's about to do it again!<P>--Wex

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