I recently watched an episode of ‘First Dates Hotel’ where a middle aged women said that after 22 years of marriage her husband upped and left with no warning. I found it difficult to comprehend – I doubt that a relationship would break down if both parties were happy and in love.
I can appreciate that over time, relationship dynamics change and they move from being passion filled to more of a deep care and mutual respect for one another. But I still think there must be signs that something isn’t quite right in a relationship before a partner resorts to walking out. Could it be that infact, the party that has been walked out on was either too comfortable or too distant in the relationship to notice the changes in their partners behaviour before they walked out?
I can only go on what I have experienced both in my relationships and witnessing my friends in relationships – I can’t express what would happen in a marriage but I can hazard a guess:
- They start to contact you less – whether that’s through calls, messages or in person, they will slowly start to detach themselves from you. It may either be a sudden change – I had a friend who’s partner stopped speaking to them suddenly – or that they gradually call or message you less.
- Less sex – I feel like this is an obvious one, but perhaps not so obvious if you’ve been in a long term marriage. Despite what people may say, sex is a very important factor in a relationship and a lack of that intimate contact over time can create distance.
- They detach themselves from your life – they stop coming to your family events, or if they do, they interact less with your family members. They turn down friends birthdays or stop including you in their personal events.
- The affection fades – I feel that this is more of a noticeable difference, as even if a couple have been together for years, there should still be some form of affection between a couple. Whether that’s holding hands in public, praising their appearance or a small touch to show they care, once that starts to fade completely, I believe it’s a tell tale sign that something isn’t quite right.
- They are more vague – this links in to contacting you less. Whether you live with them or not, once they start spending less time with you, they will begin to give less details about where they have been or what they are doing. Not necessarily because they are with someone else, but because they perhaps have less desire to let you know what they are doing and a diminished interest in being aware of your whereabouts.
- The happiness disappears – where the conversations were once light hearted and filled with inside jokes, they start to change to more tense, serious conversations. It may not be big arguments, but it could be their general lack of desire to keep harmony between the two of you, and finding anything – no matter how small – to nit pick on that slowly chips away at both of you. As a result, their mood is more likely to be down than up, the majority of the time.
- You become complacent – all the above could be happening, but if you become complacent in a relationship and don’t do anything to change the situation because you think they will be there no matter what, then eventually something is going to happen to give you a reality check.
Ultimately, what all of the above show (and I know I have just scraped the surface in terms of telltale signs) is a general lack of care from the other party, that perhaps if it’s gradually happening over a long period of time may be more difficult to notice. But I truly believe if you dig deep into the relationship and start to look for signs your partner and relationship were changing, you will realise that they didn’t infact, just walk out with ‘no warning.’
To my readers – thoughts?
It’s hard to tell what’s going on unless you’re in that particular relationship to know what happened. But for being married that long means you lost closeness at some point for that to happen, and there must have been problems unresolved, leading to unhappiness. It doesn’t matter how long you’re together, married or not, if you’re happy and close like best friends, then the mutual love and respect will be there to work through the bumps in the relationship. I’ve been together as a couple with my husband for almost 14 years and married for almost 9. He’s my favorite person in the whole world, my one, and only best friend, and we do everything together. We’re really close and confide everything to each other, yet we’re lovers. And our relationship has only grown and gotten better through the years. I think every relationship is different and it takes work on both sides to make it work.
You must share some tips on how you have maintained a long lasting, relationship. Congratulations 🙂 I completely agree with all your points!!
Thanks! I think when you find the right person, you’ll know. With your unconditional love, you’ll fight to make things right even if moments are touch.
That’s very good advice 🙂 thank you!
You got me smiling … been married 42 years and the only thing I know is if you love you can’t go …from the way you write I sense some guy is going to be very lucky with you … just don’t over analyse … a man’s mind isn’t up to it!
Why thank you very much 🙂 I agree… there is a fine line between being weary and over analysing! I’m hoping to find it one day!
Great post as I have been on this side with several of these signs and so have my ex and men I’m not even dating. To long to go into depth. I find that when men don’t get what they want from me, they slowly start distancing themselves…they are vague, they don’t say much, there is no effort what so ever. And it’s usually a red flag, then arguments ensue on their end because I want to know what’s wrong. These men deflect big time, try to make it seem like I’m doing something wrong, start arguments on purpose. I checked out on my ex because he checked out on me, he just wanted my lifestyle and I was a convenience for him, so I shut down the convenience store. He thought I would never end things, he didn’t do anything to fix anything, nor did he care…I was an ATM. He knew I fell out of love with him, and he fell out of love with me, or was never really in love with me. He just knew I was ambitious always upgrading myself and my life. So he figured he stick around. He knew I had his back through hard times, him not so much so. He came to my apartment one day, and I had his stuff ready to go in storage. It was my place. He was just living a double life and it caught up to him. There’s was no love affection or anything, he wasn’t always like that, he just thought I would always be there and he had time to get his life in order but I don’t see how playing video games and no job or financial plan or plan for himself. He just got lazy. I turned into his mother and he was my son, so I put his grown ass out, lol end of story.
Every time I notice something different or slight shift in energy, I address it. But men only do this to me, because they don’t want my loyalty to leave and they want to put in minimal effort and get the most results. I’m not doing that. I keep meeting men, that they think they are the prize and they want a woman to do everything and not question, just be there for them, meanwhile they have another life going on with a family, but all they want is sex
Sometimes it just happens without any warning. And they tell you things like, “it’s the best for us (me?)”, and “everything happens for a reason (that I won’t explain)”. Ah… 🙂
haha i agree with the ‘ everything happens for a reason i wont’t explain!’
I absolutely agree! Many of us ignore the signs because we don’t want what we know is gonna happen, to happen. Lack of communication and affection is huge. I also say, follow your gut. You know exactly when the end is near. Great read! 🖤
Thank you sharing.. they brilliant points – especially trusting your gut, they do say your second brain lives there!
“…a middle aged women said that after 22 years of marriage her husband upped and left with no warning.”
Sorry, but no.
There was probably so much writing on the wall, that you could no longer see the wall.
Precisely! Glad you can relate 🙂
People will often create alibis to exit a situation, which allows them to cleanse their conscious of an ugly decision. This sounds like one on her part (at least from the outside looking in).
good point! Hadn’t thought of it that way
another great post Giulia :), I found particularly interesting detachment and complacent signs. The divorce of my sister was a schock to us when it happened few years ago, but actually these 2 things were particularly present before her husband decided to leave, but nobody ever doubted their marriage and everybody took it for granted so nobody saw it…
Thank you 🙂 oh really? That’s so interesting! I think unless you’re looking for signs, you just wash over them and put them down to something else, I think it’s always good to have your wits about you!
nice post here, so love dies then.
Not all the time! 🙂
As mentioned earlier it is rare for a spouse to “suddenly” leave without warning. There are almost always little signs that telegraph our feelings, thoughts, and so on. Most human beings are actually quite terrible at hiding things of this nature, but you have to look for the indications. The only problem is our brains are quite adept at denying painful (but vitally important) feelings/thoughts with startling alacrity, and almost always in the worst possible way.
I see denial as the bleach used on the fabric of our perception, and it is quite proficient at cleaning away uncomfortable thoughts so we can feel better. Unfortunately, denial ultimately makes happiness harder to achieve (if not outright denied) because we ignore a negative situation until it is too late. In the case of a married couple, it is easy to see how denial would “come to the rescue” as quickly as it does; if you’ve spent many years with this one person, the knowledge that they may leave is terrifying. It can be a crippling, paralysing fear, at which point denial asserts itself so you can proceed through your day; the only problem is that the denial is maintained long after it is needed (which exacerbates the original problem).
Regardless, it is a painful thing to experience and no one is ever really a winner at the conclusion.
That is a very valid point and one I hadn’t considered – thank you for sharing. Denial definitely plays a huge role in this.
Apart from all that has been said. Sometimes we cant spot these thing especially when our ideologies have changed. For example, in the situation that the man or the woman in the relationship has a total orientation change, realizing it’s time to chase future goals and the other person is caught in the moment love, freedom and exploration.
The argument that will evolve from this will be one that each partner will feel can be resolved, each trying to align the other with their ideologies until one of the two parties says WTF and leaves. In that situation it really cant be helped or noticed.
That is true and thanks for sharing – I guess there will always be exceptions and differing scenarios in each relationship, I guess I was just trying to be as generic as possible in potential signs to look out for!
Things begin to crumble when one takes another for granted. I guess that’s #7 primarily.
That is definitely number 7 and a very important one too!
I was married for 23 years. I was blindsided with divorce. I knew there were problems but I honestly thought that he and I were on the same page about marriage being for life and would find a way to work through it. So, yes, I had warning, per se, BUT I also never thought he would really leave. I thought that eventually, he would be willing to get the help we needed to fix things. I couldn’t get him to go to counseling but I was working on myself and trying to become more the woman I had been when he fell in love with me. I truly thought that it would help US. Turned out that I was the only one willing to work on our relationship and he didn’t want to do the work.
I’m so sorry to hear that 🙁 I hope that one day you are able to find someone that will fight for both of you in the relationship!
Great post. I’ve been on both sides of this one. For me, I’ve gotten better at noticing when I start to get preoccupied with work, writing, etc, and start to neglect my partner. Definitely a tough juggling act, but it’s worth it.
Interesting that you’ve been on both sides! It’s worth it when its for the right person 🙂
enjoyed your post. would be interested in being a guest poster on my blog?
Thank you! Yes I would love to – what kind of post would you like me to write?
Any thing about choosing a partner would be good.I would copy & paste giving you credit for the post.Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org & the subject line should be GUEST POST all right?
Ok sure, I will send something over 🙂 thank you!
Delayed in reply:my plate is always full. What ever you think is applicable to dating or spotting liars and BS artist would be nice. Your choice….Marie
I would say that most people have warning, but some women are with men who live two full and fake lives. They may have regular sex and intimacy, take trips, date nights, etc and then the man is living a duplicitous life with another woman. Those are rare instances. Most women know when a relationship is fading and they just think that things are changing instead of trying to examine what is going on and whether or not you can fix it.
That is also very true, I have absolutely no idea how those people are able to keep up those double lives!
I have absolutely no experience with marriages that break up out of the blue, but I do have a friend who was completely blindsided by her ex and to this day is still a little messed up from not being able to find any warning signs whatsoever. One evening he was cuddling with her, telling her he loved her and acting the same as always and the next day he brought the pizza they’d arranged to get for movie night over, said “I can’t be with you anymore” and… POOF. Peace out.
He was on a plane to Australia about two days later, which to me at least indicates he’d been planning it. The fact that he hid it until the very last second and gave absolutely no explanation bothers me, and years later I KNOW that it still bothers her. So. I don’t know. Some people are just sneaky bastards.
Having said that I’d really like to think that after two decades with the same person they wouldn’t be able to blindside you like that. I mean… that would be brutal.
Oh my days! That’s awful! I think it depends on how well you know the person, how in tune you are to their emotions at the time ( you may not be actively looking for signs so dismiss anything that seems odd) and I guess how good they are masking emotions too!
I think it really goes to show that communication is so important. I would hope that my partner has enough respect for me to be open about anything he’s feeling instead of just letting it reach boiling point and walking away without giving me the opportunity to do something about it.
I think that the longer you are together, the more it feels like you can let things go unsaid because you assume your partner will just instinctively know when something is wrong or what you’re feeling but it’s not true.
The thing is, speaking honestly and openly can be hard in a relationship. You could either not want to hurt your partner, or know they’ll react in a negative manner so you avoid it rather than pursuing it. I think a lot of couples lose the ability to communicate because of this.
I couldn’t agree more, communication is by far he most important thing in a relationship and without it it will cause so many issues. I also agree that people think over time people should be able to mind read and instinxtively know what’s bothered them. I can’t say I know of many couples that are actually capable of this said mind reading!
Of course you feel it when your relationship is about to end.
However we tend to close our eyes and ignore the signs. Because most of us don’t want the relationship to end.
We are afraid. To be alone. To feel hurt. To see the other go.
But the signs are always there to see.
Your partner shows less affection. Starts acting mysteriously. Humans are strange creatures…
Exactly! It’s easier to ignore and pretend everything is ok than deal with the harsher truth that something is wrong.