What Words Were Spoken?

I stumbled across this article this morning and found familiar words.  My husband left me a letter than contained many of the same excuses.  I think it can be helpful to realize that these words are often not meant to be taken personally, rather they are the platitudes spoken to try to excuse the behavior and pass along the shame and guilt.  These are not words to internalize and let fester, rather, these are words to let slide through and let go.

What Cheating Men Really Mean When They Say They’re Leaving | First Wives World.

Men – I would love to hear from you.  Are these words similar to those spoken by cheating wives?

Thank you for sharing!

13 thoughts on “What Words Were Spoken?

  1. Yeah. There is no difference at all between men and women when it comes to the underlying concepts of as guilt, blame, and pain. While we might be different in some ways, our similarities make us much more in common than our differences.

    In my personal process, one of the most important things that I learned was the anything that someone says, is a reflection of themselves, and not really of me.

    If you are interested in learning more about this, check out:


    While the rest of the book was marginal, he introduces this idea in a clear and concise way.

  2. Agree here… my wife used/uses many of the same rationales with me. But if you substitute the leaving wife for leaving husband, I would have to add “I need someone who can really share with me,” “I need to feel appreciated,” and “You don’t understand me at all”… Both partners are party to the reasons marriages fail. I’m working hard on accepting and acknowledging the areas I’ve failed at, but not taking on the projections of blame and guilt.

  3. The article has left me stunned. I will try to comment another day. It’s like there’s a playbook they all use to come up with the same bullshit sentences. Well… I have some emotions to process. ttyl

  4. stephenedwards425 – Nashville, Indiana – I began life going the wrong way. After nearly two decades I had a life revelation. As part of my turn around I became an ultra-distance runner, who a few years ago, ran 3,160 mile across the United States, from Pacific Grove, CA to Rehobeth Beach, DE. Along the way I learned a few things about life, motivation, pain, and, as I like to say, "gobs of other stuff." I co-founded, along with my wife Susie, LifeRevelation. We develop the content for Women's Professional Development Conferences. What Cirque du Soliel has done for circuses is what we envision doing for motivational seminars. We incorporate acrobats, magicians, uni-cyclists, fire-eaters, hand puppets, and drama, as well as speakers, into our program. When women leave our one-day conferences, they are Stronger, Better, and Ready For Whatever. Life is a Revelation...Be encouraged!
    stephenedwards425 says:

    There are times when I am unbelievably ashamed of my gender…we are capable of the most underhanded, devious, and despicable behavior imaginable…thank you for not tossing out the good with the bad…I cannot fathom the degree of difficulty when learning to open up and trust again…I deeply admire each one of you who have made this journey.

    Be encouraged!

  5. I really don’t get it. My rule of thumb is ‘say what you mean and mean what you say’ period unless saying nothing at all is more appropriate. Indirectness has caused too much concern in my life to allow myself to be indirect with another. My ex-wife’s choice was silence and to this day I don’t truly know her reasons, neither of us practiced infidelity, drank or used drugs, gambled etc., she just left aka wanted out of the marriage. Go figure, I can’t. It wasn’t easy on either of us although for awhile I indulged my self thinking it was easier for her. But not really, how could it be, we both lost. Maybe if one of us had thought we were the winner of something it would have been as in the article with the need to console the losser of something. That no children were involved was a twist of fate.
    The song “Pink Houses” sums it. I value a simple life without the complication of deciet, the ability to honestly say “..darlin’ I remember when you could stop a clock..”.

    NOTE: Solicited comments provoke less anxiety in me for some reason.(LOL, I really do laugh out loud)

  6. Wow. I’m a little surprised. There was a lot of anger and underlying vitriol in that article. Be careful not to join in that.

    As the spouse who left, I am amazed at how easily she dismisses and generalizes in that article. I do not know her ex-husband or his reasons for leaving their marriage, so it is not for me judge him, his actions, or the validity of those reasons. What I can say is this:

    First, I am of the belief that in modern society no one — man or woman — has to stay in a place, be it a marriage or any other kind of contract, that is making them truly miserable. And, yes, I am aware that there are lots of people who disagree with me; there are plenty of blogs that espouse the ideal that people should stay no matter what and if they don’t, they haven’t worked hard enough at it.

    Second, if you assume that some percentage of marriages WILL break-up, and you deem the reasons offered in her list as inadequate (unhappy with the person, not able to be physically attracted to the person any longer, etc), then what are adequate reasons? Cheating? Physical abuse? Drug and alcohol abuse? Sure. But what about emotional abuse (and how do you define it)? What about feeling invisible, taken for granted, or misunderstood over years? What about constant criticism? Are those valid reasons?

    Third, as I’ve written about extensively, just because you don’t like someone’s reasons, doesn’t mean those reasons aren’t valid and powerful to THEM. I hate to be the one to break it to everyone, but sometimes people DO grow apart and in different directions. We accept it in friendships, but vilify it in marriages. When couples both worked on the farm, had six kids, and died at 50, this was less common, but in modern times it is reality. Yes, it is sad, but that doesn’t make it any less real.

    Finally, I don’t understand how some of the items in that list are wrong. I’m honestly perplexed. Shouldn’t all couples try to salvage some kind of respect or friendship or admiration from a decaying relationship? After all, we once loved each other, and if children are involved, how can that not be a good thing? I understand pain and resentment (dear Lord, do I ever), but clutching it and nurturing it through self-righteousness is not beneficial to anyone at all.

    I learned as a teenager a golden rule: Never ask a question you don’t want the answer to. I practice it and I remind others of it, because I will not lie. When my ex-husband asked for reasons, I asked him to consider that golden rule carefully. He did, and (thankfully!) retracted some of his questions. such as why I wasn’t attracted to him anymore. When you ask the question and claim to want honesty, you need to be prepared for pain. If the answer weren’t painful, s/he wouldn’t be walking away. Again, something I learned early on….

    I hope that the blogger finds peace in her future. I am sad for her, not because her ex-husband is an asshole (although he may well be!), but because she is still marinating in her anger toward him.

    1. tpc, my 2 cents:
      Cent 1, there are stages to dealing with a divorce maybe this person is in an anger stage. Others will follow I’m sure at least that was my case.
      Cent 2, a co-worker is so ‘modern’ as to be on his 13th, maybe 14th by now, marriage. Buying a house is a more complex ‘contract’ to enter than a marriage.

      Like your ‘golden rule’. Fleetwood Mac song “Oh Well” goes ‘Don’t ask me what I think of you, you might not like the answer I give you.’ Good song. Good advice.

    2. Nice stance if you have the opportunity. What some of us are dealing with is abrupt and complete abandonment; as in, one day I came home and my husband was gone. All that was left was a letter with the same bland blanket statements mentioned in the article. What was underlying that was deception, lies and infidelity. Hard to salvage any respect or admiration for him after that, since he obviously had none for me or our marriage. And, painful as it might have been, I would have much preferred to have heard the truth from him in-person. Any questions I have will never be answered, since from the moment he left I have ceased to exist for him.

    3. I think so much of it comes down to the context. People certainly can change and relationships that once were a good fit may not be any more. Some people choose to handle the end with respect for the other person. When these word are spoken in that context, they can be valid and true. Others make different choices and use these words to try to excuse their deceptive behavior and to try to pass blame on to the other partner. In that context, these same words are poison to the receiving end.

      In order to begin healing, I had to realize that his words were projection and misdirection. I had to learn which of them to ignore and which contained some element of truth.

      I accept responsibility for my actions, but I refuse to take the blame for his.

      I wish that all couples could show mutual respect at the end of a relationship; however, some of us have to try to find respect when we didn’t have any at all.

  7. Nadine Fawell (mm…Yoga!) – Melbourne, Vic, Australia – I love yoga and coffee, and cats and tattoos. And helping people find their own strength: physical and emotional. It's why I do what I do. I've been teaching yoga for a decade and my irreverent writing about yoga and wellness has been featured in Australian Yoga Life, Nature and Health, Mamamia, Recovering Yogi, MindBodyGreen, and many more.
    nadinefawell says:

    Life is hard, and divorce is hard. I don’t think there’s any difference in the genders, and I’ve seen women do some pretty awful things too…it’s great that you are using blogigng as a tool for healing though. I did much the same at the end of my marriage (saddest thing of my life, even though there was no cheating on either side).

    As we say in South Africa, sterkte. Strrength.

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