Monday, November 13, 2006

Dismaying Story #82: Will Leaving Make Him Come Back?

As I read other blogs, I often find posts about people struggling with their relationships. The issues (surprise, surprise) are frequently similar to those that show up in letters I receive from readers. The following is a recent post by Mony, who is clearly struggling. At the same time, though, she is focused on trying to repair the hurt. This shows a good deal of courage and determination, and I thought it was worth sharing. Mony writes:

Thank you for all of your sincere, non-judgmental, caring comments. Each one represented a hug & a comforting hand on my shoulder. Youse Rule.

On many occasions throughout my life I have been told how brave, strong & courageous I am. It's always amazing, if not a little startling to hear people talk about me in such a fashion because I often feel the exact opposite. I don't cry a lot. This is not because of an inner strength or a degree in self meditation. It just takes a heavy deal to bring me undone.

In the past few weeks I have cried countless times, into many different pillows, shoulders & tea towels. It was therapeutic if not a little damp.

I walked out on my husband because I was desperate to show him that I could not accept his dramatic mood swings or unprovoked temper any longer. I just couldn't bury my sadness or isolation another day. It was extremely hard to acknowledge that our polished lives had begun to tarnish & rust. I had glossed over our marriage for too long.

It's hard to air your dirty laundry in front of an unsuspecting audience. It's excruciating to remain motionless as everything drops from the display cabinet that is your life. It's awful to hear negative remarks about your relationship. Looking truth in the eye takes nerves of steel.

But I did it. And I am so glad that I did. Perhaps, just perhaps leaving him was exactly what I needed to do to salvage our relationship.

My husband has had an emotional year. His Mother's stroke has left him incredibly sad. Her recovery has been steady, yet slow. She is blind. She is completely dependant & unable to hold a lightening quick, animated conversation like she used to. We are getting to know the new woman she has become even though we dearly miss the one that she was.

My husband's family business has seen the exit of his Mum, Dad & sister since July. The load on him is unbearable. I know these things are partly to blame for his terrible moods. I also know it is no excuse to treat me badly. Hurting the ones we love can be so, so easy.

He has acknowledged his problems. He is confident he can do much better. He wants to let go of his inner macho shithead persona. He wants to be the man I married.

We are trying to undo the hurt. We are delving into the pile of distress to see if we can recover something beautiful. Sifting & sorting through all the dust in the hope of finding gold.

Brave. Strong. Courageous.
I am.


  1. I wish Mony the best as she tries to put all this behind her. May she come out stronger for it, no matter the outcome.

  2. Anonymous5:23 PM

    Hello Andrew,
    this comment might not fit the topic - but maybe you also have a few thoughts on... ODORS. More specifically, body odors.

    I mean seriously, maybe I react overly sensitive to people's odors - but are they not able to influence our perception of a person?
    For example, I was with a man and our relationship was mostly physical. This man used a certain perfume and whenever I smell this on a man now I instantly think of sex. But I also think “manly, player, be careful…”.
    Another example: My Dad uses a certain perfume. Whenever I smell that perfume on a man I can't help but think of him as married with children. If this guy wanted to kiss me - I could never ever do it because he reminds me too much of my Dad.
    If somebody smells like sweat I automatically find this person less sympathetic than somebody who smells like a perfume.
    But isn’t that strange? You don’t even know the person but perceive him/her a certain way based on his smell. And isn’t it strange to think that you couldn’t be with someone because you can’t “smell” him/her although this person might be the nicest person on earth?

    What do you think?
    I just think it’s amazing how smells are able to manipulate us.

    Signed, Amazed

  3. BIG BIG HUGS!!! i so wish you the best of coming back after this can be trying - to say the least!

  4. I've learned that leaving him sincerely is a growth experience for everyone. Leaving as a trick to win someone back ends painfully.

    People often make lists on why they should be with someone in the beginning. Make a list today to see if things have changed or if you just didn't let it bother you initially.

  5. I does seem to sometimes work when you leave. It shocks them into reality. However, it is certainly not a tool to use for manipulation. Mony clearly left sincerely. I like using the phrase, "Are you living with emotional integrity?" to help people sort of get a view of where they really are. It is a hard step to take, but it looks like Mony has taken a step in that direction.

    I did have a relationship with a man who became moody and verbally abusive. He went to the doctor and discovered he was bipolar. He refused to seek treatment and was determined that he would "work it out himself." I advised him that I would be there for him as a friend, but would have to sever our relationship for a time until he got himself settled. He said, "But it's not my fault!" I said, "I don't give a shit whose fault it is. No one abuses me. Ever."

    It didn't end well. He wound up feeling rejected and went off to sulk and do some serious emotional peripheral damage. But I hope Mony's story turns out better.

  6. Thank you.
    It's insightful to see my situation from a different perspective.
    I appreciate the well wishes, sincerely.

  7. Lurker12:57 PM

    I left my husband after three years of marraige. I discovered he was unfaithful and he became verbally abusive.

    I am a firm believer in physical separation in these instances. I don't want to leave my comments on Mony's blog because she's in a lot of pain right now, but really, how effective is it to leave someone for a week?

    And I only say this because I've been there, but if you are with someone who becomes verbally abusive (or cheats, or drinks, whatever) under stress, it's not enough for someone to tell you he/she "won't do it again."

    He/She needs to do some soul searching and probably needs professional help. Before I went back with my husband, I wanted him to be able to explain to me, on a deep level, why he did what he did, without blaming outside circumstances for the behavior.

    As with any addiction or negative behavior, he/she needs to be capable of looking honestly at himself/herself, to convey these feelings to you, and to make a plan for what he/she will do when the same circumstances will arise.

    Most of the time, it's too much work. I am always glad that I insisted on a physical, legal separation do avoid hurting myself further while my husband did his soul searching. It was painfully obvious that my ex-husband didn't really want to do any work...he just ran off to the next partner and subsequently divorced her.