WHAT IS WIFE ABANDONMENT SYNDROME (W.A.S.)?
- She believed she was in a good, stable marriage until her husband surprised her out-of-the-blue with the news that it was over
- She was completely unaware that he was thinking of leaving or even unhappy
- He moved out quickly (often with a girlfriend)
- From the moment of his announcement, his treatment of his wife changed dramatically from protective to persecuting
HOW W.A.S. AFFECTS WOMEN
- Deeply traumatized
- Desperate to make sense of how the husband she trusted could betray her
Warning Signs for Married Women
1. Has he had affairs in the past or left previous relationships in a similar way, even if you were the one for whom he left his last wife? That’s the strongest predictor that he has what it takes to do that again.
2. Does he seem uncharacteristically unhappy with his life, even if his complaints are not related to the marriage? It’s a sign that he may be re-thinking his life.
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 Is he withdrawn or suddenly irritable?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 – suddenly going to the gym, buying flashier clothes, dying his hair, getting a tattoo, buying an expensive car?
5. Is he taking “business” trips or disappearing for periods of time and the reasons given just don’t seem to make sense?
If you are experiencing any of these signs in your marriage, it is important not to ignore them or just rationalize them away. Yes, it may be very painful to face, however, the alternative can be even more devastating for you and your family, especially if children are involved. A few things you can do is to set boundaries that keep you and your children safe, reach out to those you can trust as a support and be open to talking with a counselor to help walk you through this time and come up with a plan to take care of you while addressing the seriousness of the situation.
Reference: RUNAWAY HUSBANDS The Abandoned Wife’s Guide to Recovery and Renewal by Vikki Stark, M.S.W.
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About the Author: Relationship Expert, Janie Lacy, LMHC, NCC offers expert advice to Local and National TV News, Relationship Websites and provides phone or face-to-face counseling in the Orlando area. Janie has a relational approach and a unique ability to connect with individuals. Drawing upon her broad range of experience in private practice, not-for-profit organizations, hospitality and the medical industry, she has helped countless people in many arenas of life. She offers keen insight on all aspects of relationships – family, marriage, parenting, dating, and personal growth. Connect with Janie on Facebook or Twitter.