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Ask Dr. Sherry: ‘My Ex Husband Abandoned Our Marriage!’

A reader still reeling from the abrupt end to her marriage asks Dr. Sherry for help.

You’ve seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it’s your turn to sit in her chair…

Dear Dr. Sherry,

I got married in May 2011 and my husband left six months later after a heated argument when I asked him to leave my house. Needless to say he never returned. I reached out with very little response and the times he wanted to talk he blamed me for everything. Eventually he cut off all communication with me. This went on until June 2012. At this point, I was lost and I prayed and prayed until I said I’m going to try to call him once more. Well, he answered but the response was devastating. He pretended that he didn’t know who I was! My reaction, of course, was filled with tears and pain. I said, “This is your wife.” He laughed at me and hung up. Once again, there was no communication. I filed for divorce on May 1st and he signed the papers the next day. Our divorce was final by July 2012. The process was so swift and fast it was hard to deal with. My question is, why was divorce such an easy outlet for him when he is the one who left and never returned? Why wouldn’t he file for the divorce? It has been almost two years. I feel I’m better and this is my testimony. But I must live with fact that I will never truly know why he left, cut off all communications and made me feel obsolete like the marriage never occurred. It’s a hard factor to live with for the rest of my life. Any advice or thoughts to help me through this?


A Sweet Lady

Dear Ms. Sweet Lady,

You seem clueless regarding what happened in your marriage. Usually, most couples are still in marital bliss the first six months of their marriage. Your honeymoon period may have been cut short by a “heated argument ” but that is not likely the reason your marriage ended so swiftly in divorce. It may be painful to examine the real reason your marriage ended but you must understand it to avoid the same things happening in your next relationship. It is unclear how long or how well you and your husband knew each other before you married. However, there did not appear to be a strong emotional bond, which is essential for a strong marriage.

Couples argue but it does not necessarily end in divorce. You made a common mistake that many women make by telling their loved one to leave “my house.”  It may indeed be your house, but when you marry and continue to verbally refer to material things as “mine” versus “ours” it sends the wrong message. This does not suggest that you have come together as one or had any real sense of unity. You and everyone else know it is “your house” but you did not need to remind him of that. When you throw it up in his face, it is a real put down. By asking him to leave your house you are telling him that he has nothing and you can put him out at any time.

I believe your husband left because you told him to do so. He didn’t return because you disrespected him. The fact that he blamed you when he wanted to talk after he left suggested that there were multiple issues and he was very angry. He didn’t file for divorce, you did. It seems as if you may have reacted out of your own frustration and pain before fully thinking things through. Marital therapy may have once been an option but that was in the past. The marriage is over and it is time to let go and move on with your life. Learn from the past and determine what you want in the future. Life lessons are painful but necessary in order to grow.  – Dr. Sherry

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