Jim came to my office because his wife has left him after 37 years of marriage. He wants her back. She does not have anyone else. She simply is fed up with him.
As we talked, I got him to help me make a list of behaviors that probably drove his wife away.
Worked too much. About 60 hours a week for years.
Unwilling to take vacations because of his job.
Drank too much in the early years of their marriage.
Got too angry when drinking. Never hit her but was verbally abusive.
Continues to get too angry when he doesn’t like what’s going on.
Gives her the silent treatment.
Gives her nice gifts, but they are things he likes. For example, a leaf blower, a big screen television, a new computer.
Didn’t take much responsibility with the children or housework because he was always at work.
Rarely helped make social plans.
Failed to say “thank you” and “I’m sorry” and “I love you.”
Never acted like he appreciated her salary and how she contributed to the household.
Didn’t show much kindness or love.
Showed affection only in bed.
Was too demanding when it came to sex.
Watched too much television.
Jim is now putting in fewer hours at work. He’s watching very little television. He’s doing housework and now understands how much there is to do. He’s willing to learn how to be emotionally supportive. He’s working to keep his anger in check. He’s sorry and in a great deal of pain. He hopes she will come back.
If he continues to say he’s sorry and clean up his behavior,
perhaps she will come back. It’s unfortunate that sometimes people have to leave their mate to get their point across.
Check out Doris’ latest books, “The Boy Whose Idea Could Feed the World,” “The Parent Teacher Discussion Guide,“ and “Thin Becomes You” Doris’ web page: http://www.doriswildhelmering.com.
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