Schlepping Through Heartbreak

Making sense and bouncing back when the one you love leaves

My Husband Was Abducted by Aliens!

When a departing husband re-writes history, a woman needs to trust her memory of their lived experience. Words have tremendous power, particularly when your husband is adamant about his revisionist view of your life together, but it is important to locate your own reality of that life and hang on to it. Read More

my divorce

my husand is just like that but there is no other woman i dont understand what is going on he just served me divorce papers out of the blue and told me he doesnt love me anymore its like he woke up and decided to hate me ? i want him to come home and dont want this divorce i really dont know what to do and he is an alcoholic.

Personality change

I had a 6 year relationship with my husband before we married. We are married 22 years. He told me before he suddenly walked out the first time that he made a mistake marrying me, that I did not match him intellectually,physically or I don't remember what the third point was!!! I was too shocked to find out that he found me intellectually inferior. He also told me I was a zero in bed!!! Oh really, then why did he marry me after a 6 year relationship. He.married aged 37, and had experienced many women before me so I felt special that he chose me to marry and have children with. He is living separately in an apartment by himself and takes his girlfriend out 3 or 4 times a week (I discovered that she was his long time mistress who ditched him after 3 years, married someone else,then divorced after 2,5 years and reconnected with my husband). He was afraid to risk losing her again so he has filed for divorce under pressure from her. I am delaying it as long as possible. He has had all the triggers for midlife crisis...heart attack,stent,impotence,low testosterone,a friend aged 45 died of a heart attack and he has created a mountain of debt that he is busy drowning in. The only plus in that is that the mistress has less to spend! He bought a sports car and a house on an island to escape to with his fantasy woman.
He distorts and twists the truth and sometimes makes up outright lies about the past. Her influence on him even changed the way he speaks and when I overheard him speaking with her he was using another persona.

My Husband was Abducted by Aliens!

This could have been written about me. I was married 35 years, thought I had a very stable marriage and was completely blindsighted when I discovered not only had my husband been cheating on me, but that he didn't want me or our children or grandchildren anymore. He had always been easy going and became very obnoxious, insulting and actually carried on his affair from my home in front of me until our divorce was final and he had to move. He has never said a nice word to me since then and that was two years ago. Vicki, you are very right about him adapting to his new girlfriend who he is still with. She is very arrogant, amoral and is married and he has lost all sense of his values or even logic. I was as shocked by the enormous change in him as I was that he was leaving me. I, too, was sure there was something physically wrong with him until finally I had to accept that he was a different person. And it wasn't just to me and our family; he would not return even his best friend's phone calls and when he left, he took no pictures or anything to remind him of us, not even anything pertaining to his deceased parents. It was truly like he walked out of one life and into another.

My Husband was Abducted by aliens

This sounds so real. My husband of 30 years just announced 2 months ago he has a new girlfriend and wants to be with her. He claims the last 30 years were a mistake, has told our kids this also. I watched young families yesterday when I tried to get out in public and it just seems so unreal. He claims it was all a mistake, but I thought he was so happy. Now he combs his hair before he talks to his girlfriend, heads to the other state at least every 10 days, but can't understand why I will not accompany him to his families Christmas Eve get together. He claims we never had any good times and he hated every minute of these past years.

My Husband was Abducted by aliens

This sounds so real. My husband of 30 years just announced 2 months ago he has a new girlfriend and wants to be with her. He claims the last 30 years were a mistake, has told our kids this also. I watched young families yesterday when I tried to get out in public and it just seems so unreal. He claims it was all a mistake, but I thought he was so happy. Now he combs his hair before he talks to his girlfriend, heads to the other state at least every 10 days, but can't understand why I will not accompany him to his families Christmas Eve get together. He claims we never had any good times and he hated every minute of these past years.

My Husband was Abducted by Aliens Too!

This is almost a carbon copy of what happened in my life. I too was married for 35 years and blind sighted by what happened to me - thinking I was living a good life (not perfect) but good. My husband had recently retired and I was looking at the prospect of retiring soon and starting the next phase of life. I have no proof that my husband is living with another woman but there was a woman who came into our life and I started to feel uncomfortable and she began calling & texting my husband and that is when he started to morph into someone I did not know and within a couple of months he too walked out on his life. He changed all of his friends and is very secretative about his new life. He took no pictures of our children, his parents etc. He too truly walked away from our life and walked into his new life and has not looked back and I have spent the last year in shock trying to figure out what happened!


My ex-husband is completely described in this article. After 27 years of marriage and together 30, I don't even recognize who he is. His values have shifted 100% to accommodate his new life style and has every excuse in the book and of course it is all my fault.


My ex-husband is completely described in this article. After 27 years of marriage and together 30, I don't even recognize who he is. His values have shifted 100% to accommodate his new life style and has every excuse in the book and of course it is all my fault. There is another woman involved and she still is married. This is from a man who was a big contributor to our church. What in the world happens to them that they can justify doing something like this in their mind. I am still so hurt and it has been 18 months. Will the pain ever stop, will I ever feel better and not cry all the time?

My Husband was Abducted by Aliens

The love of my life, my hero and father of my children left suddenly after 20 plus years with no explanation as he didn't seem to think I deserved one. He did say however, in comparison to his affair partner (a married mother of 2 small children)that I was uneducated,a bad mother and had let myself go, among other things.He seemed to forget that I gave up my education and my career for him to pursue his dreams, oh and raise the children.To the writer above, my husband left me 4 years ago at Christmas and although it is not as painful, the pain becomes part of who you are as you develop your new reality, I found that I had to accept that to move past it.The crying will slow down, but every once in a while allow yourself to have a good one, and just let the grief wash over you.I promise although things will never be the same, it does get better.

Withdrew Without Telling Me Why

My husband of 33 years left me and it wasn't because of another woman. We met while both he and I were in the U.S. Navy together, and although we had only known each other only for a year, with two- 3 month submarine deployments, we decide to marry because we fell in love, That was in the year of 1980 and we were 22 and 23 years old then.

Fast forward to March 2013. We still were talking, and living in the same house, going out to lunch together, and going through our daily routines. My husband hated his job working as a assistant manager at Walmart. He worked four- 12 hour days at Walmart and at the end of that shift, he was exhausted. His feet hurt, but I rubbed them when he came home. But I noticed that he wasn't making any physical contact with me, but I was making him feel good. We owned an air mattress with a auto-fill motor and because it had a small leak in it, the motor would run frequently all night long. He would be asleep already by the time I would come to bed at midnight, and I couldn't stand the motor noise in my ear, so I decided to sleep on the couch. That was in March 2013,

Well, I stayed on that couch, becoming more of a "protest" move on my part, and I wasn't ever going to beg for physical attention, nor sex. I knew he was having a break down and was looking for another line of work, so I gave him the space to think about what his next move would be. But, in August 2013, he decided to leave and take up driving a big-rig truck. Wow, someone with a Bachelors and Masters degree, a U.S. Supply Corp Officer, and very intelligent was leaving me to drive a truck all across the country and live in it.

I started researching about men in their 50's and mid-life crisis, and he seemed to fit the profile to a tee. His age is 55. His behavior was strange too. Looking back now, I could see the change in him, His lack of respect, his making a bowel movement in the same bathroom as me while I was taking a bath, or when he came back to the house in his big-rig truck, he chose to sleep out in the truck with the engine running on idle at 9:30 p.m in our cul-de-sac. Again, wow! I had to go outside in my slippers and bang on his truck door to tell him he couldn't do that in our quiet neighborhood at that time. He finally came in and slept on the living room floor.

This isn't the same wonderful and happy man I married. He and I spoke the other day, and he told me we had grown apart, had separate interests. I know many woman whose husbands left them also left them broke financially. This isn't happening to me, and I am grateful to him for his high moral standards to not leave me without money.

He and I will be divorcing, but I can now rest knowing that we can part ways, and feel now that it was a good thing he left. I have found a therapist for me and surrounded myself with loving friends and my sons to keep me grounded, with hope for a new start to my new life. I am scared, and unsure how to proceed, but feel with time and perseverance, I will be a better and stronger person for going through this traumatic event in my life.

My Husband Was Abducted by Aliens!

I dated my ex husband for 11 years - on and off, when it was off I dated other men. Usually I was the one that finished the relationship. We got married - his idea, had babies - one after the other (4) then he decides it was all a mistake - marrying me, the kids etc then i discover a girlfriend (not told, discovered). Like as though he flicked a switch - he is gone.

I have to say life is terrific without him. I have my kids and he is off my back (busy with the gfd), Im shocked but im delighted. Im a year down the road now and everyday is better then the previous.

Who's the alien?

It's been 8 years since my now ex walked out. It was a year after I'd lost 3 immediate family members and lost my younger sister another 2 years after that. He was so continually nasty, I couldn't get him to talk about what we might repair, or what he was so unhappy about. And I regret I didn't say something like "oh honey I'm so sorry you are not happy, what can we do to make it better?" But I reacted defensively feeling he was blaming me, (which he was, but arguing the point never wins the marriage back).

It took me a long time to realize it was because of his own guilt he had to revise our history in his mind. Our culture isn't much help in that it has made it OK when it come to marriage or personal relationships to do what's best for ones self (and I was not the type to want 'rescuing' from my H), there is no honoring of commitment or covenant. I'd found the hotel bill on a credit card, I think he wanted me to find it, he had crossed it out in black ball point pen, but I looked at it with a lupe. That's why he had to scratch out our marriage, things he said, cards he wrote.

Look at what King David did to cover up his thing with Bathsheba, murder of her husband. And it took God to send Nathan to rebuke David, he'd pushed his sin out of his mind. So why should I think my now ex will ever recognize or repent of the pain he caused? LOL Guess I'll have to leave that up to a messenger of God.

The pain has lessened somewhat though over time. But it's like my family deaths. It never really goes away. The trust of my ability to judge character and feel safe is still really shaky. I always feel like I'm the alien, like everyone else sees it but is too polite to say what's really wrong with me that my husband abandoned our marriage. Maybe that is it? I'm just too alien to be loved. My faith has saved me in knowing God loves me though. That and articles like this and support groups, seeing others understand and survive.

I can still find myself weeping over a song or a love story or remembering what I thought we were about and the feeling as Sandra Bullock said before she was blindsided, like "somebody had my back". And today I know there is no one in the world who cares about me like I thought we did each other.

But God is there; He's the creator of the universe! This is what lifts me up and keeps me going. Remembering His love instead of my frail human (like me) ex's betrayal. God's word is true and unfailing even though circumstances may not look as I, or our culture, would have.

And that's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.

Beautifully written

Your comments are beautifully written and very true. I have a feeling of being damaged, or not good enough, that weighs on me every minute of every day. But I'm fighting to move on and reclaim my life and make it a better one.

alien abduction

Yes they abducted mine too. He was an avowed atheist, who above all hated religious hypocrisy. He also repeatedly said he found smart career women sexy and liked understated makeup. He fell in love with and left me for a devout Catholic woman (love the irony) who is seductive, scatterbrained, unethical (she was my son's music teacher) and lays on her makeup with a trowel. He is elated with the prospect of their getting annulments and remarrying in a Catholic church, when he was uncomfortable marrying me in a church with a minister. Last time he showed me his phone it had some religious icon app on it. Don't get me wrong, I admire religious friends who actually live out their faith, but this shift was bizarre and a 180 turn from his previous beliefs. I'm still in shock and hurt beyond belief but look forward to the day I can laugh about it all!

Fox in a chick suit.

Ouch! I understand, hope they don't get the annulment, seems so bad they should allow this after adultery. Go to your local Catholic church and talk to the parish pastor. Write the parish priest and cc the bishop, cardinal and the Pope. Then turn it over to God as you understand Him. I will keep you in prayer.
Best wishes for healing whatever happens.

Here Today Gone Today

Wonderful article. Once again your article resonated with me. Although I am in the process of divorcing, I am still confused, bewildered and mystified about the change in my husband. We would have celebrated our 31st anniversary on Dec. 4th. My once kind, sweet, private, caring and lovable husband has "jelled" into a man hanging out with much younger people, having a serious relationship with a "entertainer" and poses with her kissing and hugging her on Facebook. I need closure and my goal for 2014 will find me taking back my life, going to school and returning to my maiden name. My maiden name will never change again. If I ever married again, the man better change his last name to mine !!!

Enjoy reading your articles. I always re-read your book and feel enlightened, positive and hopeful.

Happy Holidays.

My heart goes out to you


Just want to let you know I wish you all the best in this coming year of 2014. I know we will all heal and be better than ever moving forward! It was my 33 anniversary on Nov 29th, and a very sad day for me indeed, with lots of crying too. For me it's only been a few months since he left and am still in shock and disbelief at what has happened.

Best and have a happy new year

Feasing with Yourself

There is an emotionally awakening and beautiful poem by Derek Wolcott which opens your eyes to self acceptance, kindness and self esteem.

Check it out Love After Love by Derek Wolcott. What do you think?

Love After Love

I really loved it..thanks.


That poem is taped to my dresser mirror where I can read it every day.


Thanks for sharing your comment. As a believer of spiritual enlightenment and self education, I seek out poems, stories and expressions to help me deal with this episode of my life. Have you read any books by don Miguel Ruiz? If not, please read "The Four Agreements" and his triology of books. You will enjoy the knowledge.

Happy Holidays.

My copy of that poem is taped

My copy of that poem is taped above my kitchen sink and I read it every day. It is the truth.

Love after Love poem

I read it, love it and have passed on to another divorce support website community. It's so positive and comforting. Thanks

Thank you.

Thank you.

Alien abduction

When my husband hit 50 he became a new man. He got into hiking and nothing else mattered to him anymore. He joined a gym to get healthy and our health insurance did give us a 30% discount because of him joining a gym. I also discovered that he was not going hiking alone. He was running around with a lady from out local boy scout troop. Needless to say I joined out troop and became a committee member. He ranted raved and screamed at me that I was spying on him. I guess it was his guilty consequence. I had to sit through meetings while he played footsie under the table and they had goo goo eyes at each other. My blood boiled but I sat there and took it oblivious to the other members. Needless to say this women had a history of running around with other peoples husbands. Eventually I went to her husband and he looked at me and said you know about them don't you. He had come home one day after work and caught them together. We went to counseling and it did seem to help for a little while and he was diagnosed with depression and low testosterone and erectile dysfunction. I used to pay my daughter who was in college to come home and go on hikes with him. I should have saved my money. Hiking became all he thought about. He I believe has been running around for about 10 years. One morning I woke up to a dear john letter after being married for almost 32 years and he was gone. He said he was afraid of me and couldn't control his anger toward me anymore. I have a double gene deficiency in my blood that kills and when he left me it was 3 1/2 times above normal. Thank god he left me or I would have died from the stress that I was under because of him. He claimed he moved in with a guy from work and when they guy moved in with his girlfriend my husband couldn't afford the rent on his own. So he moved in with the lady that he left me for.Eventually I think Karma will come her way. I am so waiting for that day. I am still married 2 1/2 years later and he supports me and I have health insurance. Every now and again he sends me an e-mail about divorce and changing his life. Well for now this girl is doing nothing as I have been a stay at home spouse for now over 34 years. Eventually I guess I will get divorced. But this girl is not rewarding him for they way he has treated me. I have been through the mill and am still surviving. What is that saying hell has not fury like a women scorned. Well this girl isn't doing anything and I will live peacefully without him. I got a little dog and he is a much better companion then the man I am married to. This seems to run in my husbands family. There have been others who also have done this to there wives. Some came back and some didn't.What ever is just is. I also was getting screamed at by his mom. My daughter told her gram off about it and I didn't answer my phone or door for quite sometime. Peace comes at a price but peace is a whole lot better then a cheating lying spouse. May he get his just desserts eventually.

Does He Eventually Revert Back? What happens next?

This fits what my husband of 24 years did to a tee. We dated for almost 6 years. We were married for 24. On Mother's Day he brought me flowers and gifts then told me he thought he wanted a separation. The next day, he kicked me out of our home and said there was to be no discussion about it. He's since completely revised our 30 year history, tried to turn my kids against me, and is doing things he would NEVER do when he was with me. He was raised Catholic, but for years flat refused to go to church. I begged him to go with me, mostly so that we could make some friends. He didn't like people and didn't feel the need to make friends. I was isolated and alone and suffered through years of depression as a result. He didn't seem to care. He refused to even consider any church that wasn't Catholic. Now, he goes to church regularly in a Lutheran church, even became a member, and is marrying his mistress there in a few months. He used to ignore his parents and not return their calls unless I nagged him to. Now, he's playing the part of dutiful son. I'm glad that at least he's staying in better contact with his parents, but he's put all the blame on me for all the wrong he's done in the past. His family that I loved too has now pulled completely away from me and is welcoming the mistress. If someone can so radically alter their personalities to fit the mold for a new woman, what happens over time? Does he eventually revert back to his "true" self, or is there even a true self? Was our 30 years together all a lie? Is he nothing more than a chameleon? I'd love to know what happens after the newness wears off with the new woman. I've been told that statistically relationships that begin as affairs are highly likely to end in divorce. Is this really true, or is this just wishful thinking from the battered, abused, and abandoned women who've had their lives shattered? I'd love for Vikki to do some follow-up articles on what happens next after the honeymoon period is over with the other women.

It does get better...very slowly

About six years ago, my husband stopped commuting with me and wanted to drive his own car to work. Then he stopped wearing his wedding band because he said that he was worried that he would hurt his finger while woodworking. He spent more time in front of the bathroom mirror in the morning than I did and was adamant about getting his hair cut every 2 weeks on the dot. Then he started taking his vacations without me which I was fine with because we both had stressful jobs and I thought he could probably use the space. Then he told me he couldn't sleep in the same bed as me anymore because I came to bed too late and I woke him up. Well...did I see the writing on the wall? Absolutely not! I always gave him the benefit of a doubt because the man I married, I was certain, had the utmost integrity. Well, one night I checked his phone (which I had never done before) and saw a text which stated, "And a kiss from me baby;)." I asked him who so-and-so was and he said this person was a co-worker. I then asked him why a co-worker was sending him "kisses" via text. He then vaguely eluded to having someone special in his life other than me. Needless to say, the floodgates broke open. He went to bed and was snoring within minutes while I lay on the couch with my mind racing. At about five the next morning I couldn't sleep so I decided that I would look at his e-mail account (again, something I had never done before). Initially, there was nothing that seemed inappropriate or suspicious. Yet when I clicked on an innocuous folder labeled "Work" there were hundreds of e-mails from a woman he had been having an affair with who lived in Germany. Worst of all was when I opened some of the e-mails and saw pictures of them together from his various "solo" trips! Even more painful was the fact that every place he chose to take her on trips were "our" specialspots that were so meaningful to me. He had been having an affair right before my eyes but because I trusted him so blindly I was completely unaware of the signs that now seem so obvious. He left the house and crashed with friends and never once tried to come back home again. It felt as though I were living a nightmare. The overwhelming dread that I was on the verge of losing everything was intense. It took every resource I could dredge up to save my home and pay for a lawyer. He left me with every ounce of debt, every responsibility we took on together, multiple pets. He took my connections with his family who, although crazy, I had grown to love. I went on about a two year bender of making very foolish and often dangerous decisions. Now, nearly three-and-a-half years after finding out about my husband's secret life I am starting to finally starting to slowly enjoy the simple things. It was like I've been on another planet for three years. Just the other day I was standing on my porch looking around and asked myself, "What is this feeling that I'm experiencing?" and it was simply the ability to enjoy SOMETHING. For those of you still in the trenches, hang in there. Cling to your family and friends and seek out professional support. It does get better but it seems like it takes forever and the process will change you but, in my mind, for the better. Like the basic principles of Buddhism, use the dung in your life to dig in your garden and flourish!

This takes it's toll on you

Well, my husband has been gone now since August 2013,and it's now December 2013, and besides the unending crying and grief, it also takes a toll on your spirit. Vicki states in her book "Runaway Husbands" which I recently finished and want to read again and again, that because the complete devastation of what you thought was a good marriage -ended so abruptly, many find they can't even eat a complete meal, and many lose lots of weight too.

I have stopped crying over the loss of my husband of 33 years, and stepped on the scale tonight to see what I weighed. It was because a female friend at the grocery store told me I was getting very thin and she knows what happened to me. I am a petite woman of 5'3" and used to weigh 116 lbs. Tonight, I weigh 106 lbs. Now I know for sure what this trauma does to people. It's like someone you knew well died. Your grief of a life you once knew, the person you slept next to, had children with, and felt safe and secure in--caves in on you within a split second. You say to yourself "will this pain ever end, and will I be able to survive this?" How long will it take to recover? How many years will it take to feel that you have a floor underneath you, that is stable, and can you ever give your life and soul again to another man ever again? These are questions I ask myself now, in the throws of this horrible event.

I feel like I wish he would have done this to me years ago, when I was much younger now( 56) and hadn't invested so many years giving my life and soul for. Women in particular devote their lives to their partners because that's how we were raised, to care for others before ourselves. I feel very betrayed right now, and my heart has been not only ripped out, but thrown on the floor and stepped on. How could my husband do this to me? How could any human being that is loved so deeply do this to someone else? Where is the loving man I married? Can he ever apologize to you for doing this to you?

I recently saw my husband briefly for lunch one afternoon when he came back into town. As I sat across the table from him, I now see a shell of the man I once knew. His mid-life crisis he is going through with no affair, has wiped out any glimmer of happiness and life out of him. He now looks beaten down,frail pale, and totally lost. It's really pathetic now to watch from a distance. But it's his life now, not mine. Thank goodness for me.

Living with Pain

Like you, Anonymous, I know what it is like to feel multiple losses. Actually I found out my husband was cheating on me the same day that my dear, sweet mom passed away. Five days later, as a result of previous conversations and his support, I retired. I never would have retired at that time had I known what was coming and it was too late to get my job back. So I lost my Christian marriage, my mom who I adored and my job all within a week. Some days I would cry and I was not sure which of these I was crying about. Two years later, I still ache over what I consider to be the biggest tragedy of my life. I feel it is worse than death because usually you feel loved by the person who dies; I feel nothing but betrayal from my ex-husband and he is with someone else. I also ache for my adult children who have lost their dad and my grandchildren who will never know their grandfather. He has never contacted my kids and now they want nothing to do with him. He does not even know the names of three of my grandchildren and he has never seen them. I have decided that I am never going to be rid of this pain completely and that it is something that I am learning to live with. At my age (63), I don't think I can live long enough to fully recover. I do, however, feel that I can survive anything now so I suppose there is some blessing in everything, even tragedies. I also am so grateful to have wonderful, supportive children and beautiful grandchildren and so much support from family,friends and my church and I try to focus on my blessings, but the pain is always there.

Tsunami Divorce

I faced my own tsunami divorce when he followed a normal "love you" text with one that said he was leaving. In actuality, he had already left and I never had contact with him again. This was after 16 years.

Once I could breathe again, I tried to deconstruct what happened - a marital autopsy with no body. It seems as though his decisions (culminating in abandonment, fraud and bigamy) were rooted in shame when he could not find employment. He then compounded the issue with addiction, falling back on his parents' example.

A tsunami divorce is extremely painful, a betrayal of the worst kind that leaves you questioning everything. There is a silver lining; however, as a sudden amputation removes the malignancy in one cut, allowing healing to begin.

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Vikki Stark, M.S.W. is a family therapist, educator and director of the Sedona Counselling Centre. She authored Runaway Husbands and My Sister, My Self.


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