When your husband first walks out on you, it can feel like an awful abandonment. When he comes back, you can feel a huge sense of relief and you hope that the worst is over. The idea is that you can begin to heal and put this behind you. If that doesn’t happen, it’s quite disappointing. But it’s devastating if he leaves again. And again. It can begin to feel as if he is walking out on you at the slightest hint of any conflict and this can frankly make you question his loyalty and commitment to you.
A wife might explain it this way. “My husband and I have admittedly had a rough time of it lately. My husband found out that right before we got married, my ex boyfriend came and saw me and begged me not to go through with the wedding. We spent a night together talking, going to dinner, and just walking, but nothing sexual happened in the least. At the end of the night, I told my ex that I was still getting married and that I wished him well. My husband seemingly can not moved past the fact that I didn’t tell him about this. I regret not telling him, but I didn’t want him to make a huge deal of it – the way he is doing now. So that was the first time he walked out on me. And frankly, I understood that one. He came back after a couple of weeks later and said that he wanted to make it work between us. I wanted that too. For about six weeks, every thing was OK. There were days in there when things actually seemed to be back to normal. But then, we got into a disagreement about politics of all things and this escalated into a fight about how we are just different people and he stormed out and walked out me again. A week later, he came back. Again, for a couple of weeks, we tread water in our marriage. Then his mother made a nasty comment about me and I asked my husband why he didn’t defend me. He told me that in many ways, he agrees with my mother and that once again, we have different values. So once again, he left our home. At this point, it is obvious that we are in an awful cycle. Every time we fight, he walks out. It’s at the point where I’m going to be afraid of having a conversation with him for fear he will get angry and leave. My friend says that I should tell him that he can’t come back home if he’s only going to walk out again. Is she right?”
Knowing The Risks Associated With This: Telling him he can’t come back might be taking a very harsh stand, but I agree with the friend that there are obviously some issues that are not being worked through. Therefore, nothing really changes. Every one is relieved when he comes back home, but both people know that they are on very shaky ground. They know that the ice is thin. They know that they are going to tip toe around each other until a new batch of stress presents itself. And then they risk him leaving again.
I don’t have to tell you that this is no way to conduct your marriage. If things keep going this way, you will never have the sense of security that, no matter what, your husband has your back and you can work through your issues like committed adults. He may well have had a legitimate complaint with the ex boyfriend and that issue appears to be cropping up under the guise of the whole “we are not compatible issue.”
The Same Issue Could Be Coming Up Repeatedly Under The Guise Of Something Else: It’s quite possible that he is leaving and giving you this “we’re two different people” line in the hopes that you will say or do something to convince him that in fact, you are compatible and that you feel that the two of you are so good a fit that you are not sorry that you chose him rather than your ex. He’s not coming out and saying this with his words, but he is saying this with his actions.
Still, his actions are extremely damaging and this is a cycle that needs to be stopped. Obviously he has doubts about ending the marriage because he keeps coming back. But nothing ever changes. So I would suggest a dialog and hopefully more actions that address the core problem.
I’d suggest something like: “you know that I welcome you coming home. You know that I want you back home. But I just need to say that I think we have a much larger issue here. We keep fighting over things that don’t really matter. I suspect that we never worked through the issue that happened right before our marriage. I would like if we could go to counseling or work very hard together in order to move past this once and for all. It was bad enough that this hurt our marriage once. But it is continuing to hurt it over and over again every time you leave. We can’t go on like this. I want to welcome you home, but before I do this, I want your word that we will work through our problems once and for all and that, should they crop up again, we will sit down like committed adults rather than you leaving again. Can you agree to that?”
Hopefully, he will see that you are sincere. He needs to know that you really and truly have chosen him and not the other man. When he feels more secure, I suspect that he will be less tempted to leave at the first sign of trouble. Because learning to stay put and work through your problems is a very necessary skill in navigating a healthy relationship.