Why Women Leave Men

Why Women Leave Men

by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D.

"I hurt all the time because I feel alone and abandoned."
"My husband is no longer my friend."
"The only time he pays attention to me is when he wants sex."
"He is never there for me when I need him the most."
"When he hurts my feelings he doesn't apologize."
"He lives his life as if we weren't married; he rarely considers me."
"We're like ships passing in the night, he goes his way and I go mine."
"My husband has become a stranger to me, I don't even know who he is anymore."
"He doesn't show any interest in me or what I do." 

Women tend to be more concerned about their marriages than men. They buy most of the books on marriage to try to improve them and initiate most marriage counseling. They often complain about their marriages to their closest friends and sometimes to anyone who will listen. And they also file for divorce twice as often as men.

Why do women seem so dissatisfied with marriage? What do they want from their husbands? What bothers them so much about marriage that most are willing to risk their families' future to escape it?

Why do women leave men?
Each day I am confronted by women who are extremely frustrated with their marriages. They usually express no hope that their husbands will ever understand what it is that frustrates them, let alone change enough to solve the problem. From their perspective, marital problems are created by their husbands who do little or nothing to solve them. Wives tend to see themselves as the major force for resolving conflicts, and when they give up their effort, the marriage is usually over.

When I talk to their husbands, they usually have a very different explanation as to why their wives feel the way they do. They often feel that the expectations of women in general, and their wives in particular, have grown completely out of reach. These men, who feel that they've made a gigantic effort to be caring and sensitive to their wives, get no credit whatsoever for their sizeable contribution to the family. They feel under enormous pressure to improve their financial support, improve the way they raise their children, and improve the way they treat their wives. Many men I see are emotionally exhausted and feel that for all their effort, they get nothing but criticism.

The simpler role of husbands in decades past has now been replaced by a much more complex and confusing role, especially in their relationship with their wives. Some conclude that women are born to complain and men must ignore it to survive. Others feel that women have come to expect so much of men that they are impossible to please, so there's no point in even trying. Very few men, these days, feel that they have learned to become the husbands that their wives have wanted, and the job seems to be getting more and more difficult.