8 Warning Signs That Your Husband Is Getting Ready to Bolt


Are you getting the sense that something’s off with your partner and your relationship? Vikki Stark, psychotherapist and author of Runaway Husbands: The Abandoned Wife’s Guide to Recovery and Renewal, explains what a “runaway husband” is, and the signs that might indicate your husband is preparing to leave you.

Q: What is a “runaway husband”?

A: A runaway husband refers to a man who leaves his wife out of the blue without ever having told her that he was unhappy in the marriage. On the contrary, based on his show of affection and attention, she believed herself to be in a loving, stable marriage. Following his sudden departure, he replaces the caring he’d typically shown her with anger and aggression, frequently stating that he’s the victim. He’s almost always having an affair and he often moves directly in with the affair partner, leaving his bewildered wife totally devastated.

This sequence of events is defined as Wife Abandonment Syndrome (WAS). This will undoubtedly be the defining event in the wife’s life, and although recovery is a struggle, many women find that it forces them to reinvent themselves in positive and exciting new ways.

Q: Are there any signs women should watch for that indicate that their relationship is in trouble?

A: Although it is often hard to see it coming, in retrospect many women cite these as possible warning signs:

  1. Has your husband had affairs in the past or left previous relationships in a similar way? That’s the strongest predictor that he has what it takes to do it again.
  2. Does he seem suddenly unhappy with his life, even if the complaints he is raising are not related to your marriage? It’s a sign that he may be rethinking things.
  3. Do you notice a personality change? Does he just not seem himself? Is he withdrawn or suddenly irritable? Is he snapping at the children or not wanting to participate in family activities?
  4. Are his habits changing — things like suddenly going to the gym, buying new clothes, dying his hair, getting a tattoo, buying an expensive car?
  5. Do his values seem to be in flux? Is he adopting ideas that he used to belittle or belittling things he used to value or is he espousing new beliefs that surprise you?
  6. Is he taking mysterious business trips or disappearing for periods of time and the reasons given just don’t seem to make sense to you?
  7. Has he started to frequently mention a woman at work, telling you about her in an innocent way?
  8. Does he work in a career in which he is in a position of power or authority, such as a professor, pastor, or business executive where young women may look up to him?

Q: If you could offer women in this situation some advice, what would it be?

A: First of all, in the early days following your husband’s announcement that he is leaving, take as good care of yourself as possible. Try to eat, try to walk or get some exercise, be careful driving when you’re feeling distracted. Know when you need to rest, try to watch funny TV shows and read up-beat books.

Secondly, please shield your young children from your misery. It’s very scary for a child to see his mother lying around in bed crying all day. It’s good for you and necessary for them that you keep the routines of the household intact as much as possible.

Thirdly, reach out to your friends and family. You may have the impulse to isolate yourself, but we know that isolation is the best friend of depression. Even if you’re not the most fun company, now is the time to people your life with those that love you.

Finally, and most importantly, keep a long view. You need to know that as much as you are suffering now, life will not always be this hard. Time does heal and you have to fight the negativity that might make you say, “What’s the point?”

A Review from the Editor:

With the majority of divorces imitated by women, with the majority of custody and retention of family assets including the matrimonial home by women, with men bing 8 times more apt than a woman to commit suicide I think we should be concentrating on men’s needs. Keeping in mind that one woman and eight men will commit suicide in Canada every day of every year as they are driven out of their minds by Family Court and the divorce industry!

To add to this, far too many women claim false Domestic Violence, false sexual allegations and false rape allegations with anonymity and impunity to gain an upper leg in divorce proceedings. Even young girls use these allegations against dads, step-dads and even moms to control parents to have their way often aided by Children’s Aid and Women’s shelters. Many of these parents, mostly dads/step-dads end up with costly Criminal Court Cases and tens of thousands spend time in jail for crimes they did not commit based on the hear say of vindictive females.

I am not seeking to hijack this story, but it should read (HAS) Husband Abandonment Syndrome and not (WAS). Actually neither should be referred to as a syndrome which is a medical term and requires peer review to be referred to as such.

It seems that it is the male who ends up scratching his head wondering what just happened as he is left with NOTHING! Kids, house, cars, money relatives everything gone in a heart beat! He may cry all day, but rest assured there will be no children to witness his cries and no crisis center to rely on for any help!

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