Many wives are very surprised when they find themselves separated or living alone. While many knew that their marriage was struggling, many did not realize that their husband was searching for an alternative place to live. Much of the time, he never even told them that he was considering it – much less that he was actively going to pursue it.
So wives in this situation are often shocked, frustrated, and scared. One might say: “I can’t claim that I didn’t have any idea that I might one day be separated. But I thought that I had time. I thought that, God forbid, if my husband wanted to leave, that he would at least give me warning before he did it. I never saw him checking out the newspaper for an apartment. He never told me that I was going to have to do everything alone. One day I came home from work and found the closet pretty much empty. I texted him and he responded that he had moved out and he doesn’t get why I am so surprised. Well, I think it goes without saying that I’m surprised because he acted without having any discussion whatsoever. I don’t think it’s unfair to expect to be consulted. And I don’t know where I go from here. I have no idea if he signed a lease or what I should expect from him. Is this common? Do husbands just move out with no discussion?”
Some do. I wouldn’t call it common. But it’s certainly not completely uncommon. Below, I will discuss some potential reasons why your husband may not have consulted you about this, and where you might consider going from here.
He May Have Not Wanted For You To Get Upset Or To Try To Talk Him Out Of It: Much of the time, when a husband moves out without any discussion, he does so because he meant to avoid a discussion. Perhaps he was afraid of the debate or he didn’t want for you to attempt to talk him out of it. Maybe he wanted to make a dramatic statement and he was afraid that this would lose its impact if discussed ahead of time. Whatever the reason, you likely can’t change his decision now, which leads me to my next point.
Where To Go From Here: Unless your husband hasn’t signed any lease or made any commitment, there isn’t going to be much you can do to get him back home without breaking a lease or suffering a financial loss. These two things may have him clinging to his new place, even if he eventually realizes that he acted too swiftly.
The point I’m trying to make is that sometimes, it becomes obvious that there’s no immediate way back from this. If this is the case, it doesn’t make sense to waste time by trying to change his mind. If he can’t or won’t change this decision, then you have to live with what is.
If it becomes clear that his living somewhere else isn’t going to change immediately, then the next goal is probably to set the tone going forward. Yes, this may mean that you aren’t living together right now, but it doesn’t have to mean that you don’t talk to each other, see each other, or reconnect with each other. Don’t allow your anger and shock to sabotage what might happen tomorrow.
If you want him and your marriage back, the real goal should be to reestablish regular communication on which you can build. I know that this is a scary and frustrating time. But sometimes, living apart can actually have some benefit. It pauses the issues, it gives people perspective, and it allows the absence of your spouse to contribute to your missing them.
All of these things can work in your favor. It’s so easy to be angry and panicked, but giving into these feelings is almost never to your benefit. Having been through this myself and having come out of it OK, the best advice I can give you is to not spend too long dwelling on the fact that he’s moved out. This will only frustrate you both and alienate him. Understand when that ship has sailed and then focus on what’s next. Namely, forging a regular communication schedule so that you don’t drift apart.
I know it stinks that he didn’t discuss this with you. But dwelling on it isn’t likely to change it or do you any good right now. You’re better off putting your energy where it can make a difference. And that is focused on tomorrow and not on yesterday.