Signs of Walkaway Wife Syndrome

Numerous observations show that a woman is the one who initiates divorce in most cases. Indeed, a 2015 study proves that 70%-80% of divorces are filed by the wife.

Does that mean that women are too light-minded, taking their marriages so carelessly? No, they are not. In fact, they are more devoted to their relationships, make the marriage their top priority, and try hard to mend it whenever it seems to crack. Most believe they have tried everything possible to improve the relationship before quitting.

Nevertheless, women are leaving their marriages so often that a new term has been coined to characterize them – “a walk away wife.” But why?

Let’s figure out who files for divorce more, what makes them so unsatisfied, what “walkaway wife syndrome” is, how to detect it, and what you can do to prevent it.

Why Do Some Women Suddenly Ask for a Divorce?

Considering the specifics of each relationship, explaining the fact that women are more likely than men to ask for divorce is quite hard. Most probably, the deeper reason can be found in the changes brought about by a married life and a wife’s status. The surveys confirm the feminist claim that women’s lives are more likely to deteriorate after marriage, while men’s lives do not undergo obvious changes.

According to the results of an American study presented by Michael Rosenfeld of Stanford University at the annual convention of the American Sociological Association in Chicago in 2015, the percent of divorces initiated by a wife is much higher. The researcher analyzed the views of 2,262 people aged from 19 to 94. They all were surveyed about their heterosexual relationships several times between 2009 and 2015. During this period, 371 respondents separated from their partners, 92 of whom divorced. In 69% of cases, a woman initiated divorce.

The results were similar to those of previous studies examining married couples’ relationships in the United States, Europe, and Australia. However, the question “Why do women initiate divorce?” remains open. So, what causes a woman to leave her husband? Dr. Rosenfeld suggests 3 possible explanations:

Sensitivity to Relationship Issues

One of the explanations is that women are more sensitive to problems in relationships and suffer more from them. On average, wives rate the quality of their marriage worse than their husbands.

Gendered Institution of Marriage

Rosenfeld believes that marriage as an institution is not changing fast enough to meet the demand for equality. Men still expect their wives to do most of the housework and childcare and often pressure women to take their surnames. Being unsatisfied with such a position in marriage, a wife leaves a husband.

Power Difference within Relationships

According to the power differential theory, the partner with better prospects after marriage is more likely to initiate divorce. Ironically, a range of previous studies shows that men get more attractive as they grow older, while women’s attractiveness to the opposite sex declines with age. Besides, although the gender gap in terms of earnings has considerably narrowed in the past few decades, men still have higher employability and earning capacity than women. Therefore, they are supposed to have better post-marital prospects, which should make divorce more male-initiated, at least for older couples. Rosenfeld suggests another explanation for the power differential reason for divorce initiated by a wife: her lack of power in the marriage.

Overall, marriage makes many women so unhappy that their desire for divorce becomes greater than that of men over time. Interestingly, Rosenfeld says that young single women are more likely than men to want to get married between the ages of 20 and 35. However, single women over the age of 50 are much less likely to want to be married than single men in this age group. A negative experience of divorce can cool their interest in remarriage.

What Is a Walkaway Wife?

A “walkaway wife syndrome” is a type of acute marital crisis in which a woman leaves the marriage without any warning and usually without any signs of dissatisfaction with the relationship. It refers to situations when a woman gives up on her marriage because her feelings and needs have been ignored for so long that, eventually, she stops believing that anything can be changed. The phenomenon is also known under other names, like “sudden divorce syndrome,” “neglected wife syndrome,” or “single wife syndrome.”

A traditional divorce usually occurs after years of contemplation, worries, and efforts to resolve marital difficulties. Contrarily, in a sudden divorce case, there are no early signs that a woman is frustrated or considering walking away from marriage. She simply leaves a note on the kitchen table or sends a text message announcing the relationship is over. Well, at least that’s how her husband sees it and tells his friends and family, “My wife left me with no explanation.”

An interesting fact is that walkaway wife syndrome is more common in long-term marriages. In most cases, other people see such couples as stable, trustworthy, reliable, and absolutely happy. The sudden breakup of their marriage comes as a shock to everyone except a woman walking away, who could have been planning her departure for months, if not years.

Needless to say, the abandoned husband questions everything he thought he knew about his spouse. Only now, he starts asking, “My wife wants a divorce? But why?”, “Why did my wife leave me?”, “What kind of a wife divorces husband out of the blue?”

Warning Signs of Walkaway Wife Syndrome

In fact, a walkaway wife syndrome can be easily detected if a man makes an effort to notice his wife’s behavior. Here are the most common signs your wife wants to leave you:

Indifference to the Issues

Previously, your wife used to complain about the smallest thing and bring up the slightest issues. However, she stopped doing that at some point. Even when you do something wrong or mistreat her, she doesn’t seem to bother because she doesn’t say a word about that. You may see it as a good sign and think that she’s okay with that. Well, she’s not. In reality, all those problems and insults are bubbling inside her, ready to break out at any moment. She is just too tired to draw your attention to them to the point of giving up on them. Nevertheless, you can be sure she has a clear plan to leave you one day.

Declined Emotional Connection

Have you noticed that your wife has become somewhat distant? The signs of this emotional distancing are numerous. She’s not expressing her affection anymore in the form of some pleasant words or small gifts. She stopped caring and doing nice things for you like she used to. She has become too quiet and passive when you are around and keeps at a distance when you are in the same room. All these are walkaway wife syndrome signs. She feels so neglected that she stopped perceiving you as an intimate partner. The futility of her efforts to change anything in the relationship makes her stop trying and leave the marriage.

Declined Sexual Intimacy

In marriage, declined sexual intimacy with time is quite common. People may have different temperaments or get too involved in everyday routine, which reduces the frequency of having sex to once a week or once a month. Still, it may be a worrying sign for the couple.

A woman’s libido is the surest indicator of her satisfaction with life and overall happiness. If she constantly rejects you, it may mean she feels neglected or hurt and is thinking about leaving. Even if she has sex with you but is not as excited about it as she used to be, it’s time to start worrying.

Increased Attention to Her Appearance

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with personal care. Undoubtedly, your wife has always tried to look good. However, if you have noticed increased efforts to glow herself up, it’s time to ask yourself, “Is my wife going to divorce me?” It may be a clear sign of her preparation for a new life and openness to new opportunities and relations.

Leading a Separate Life

Generally, it may seem like your wife is living some other life separate from yours. You are not a part of her plans anymore. She’s not planning common vacations or suggesting date nights. She stopped sharing her concerns with you and doesn’t ask for help or advice anymore. Instead, she goes out with her colleagues, goes on trips with her siblings, leads candid conversations with her friends, and generally spends more time away from home and you. She may be thinking about when to walk away from a marriage and picking up a suitable moment.

Refusal to Make It Work

A woman is usually the first to offer family counseling when she notices the signs of a problem in the relationship. However, if your wife refuses to talk about problems, does not want to hear about any kind of therapy, and says that everything’s fine when you know it’s not, it means that she’s too tired to keep trying, has given up on your marriage, and is mentally packing her bags ready to leave.

How to Overcome Walkaway Wife Syndrome?

There is no one-fits-all advice on how to solve this problem. Some may find it helpful to have a sincere conversation with a partner, while others may need therapy. It’s important to realize that feeling lonely in marriage for a long time is a real problem that needs to be addressed. Nevertheless, before making life-changing decisions affecting everyone, think first: is divorce worth it? Perhaps it’s not too late to prevent it.

So, what to do when the wife no longer wants you and how to stop your wife from leaving you? Here are some recommendations worth trying.

Admit Your Mistakes

Instead of playing a victim of your wife’s whims and mood swings, admit that you are also to blame for your failed communication and her feeling neglected. Otherwise, she wouldn’t feel that way. Remember that a woman never leaves a man she loves for no reason.

So, don’t pout complaining, “My wife is considering leaving me over the difference of opinion.” Do your best to acknowledge your failures and sincerely apologize for maltreatment and misdoings. You may find it difficult if you do not understand your own fault. Just try to step into your wife’s shoes and look at the situation from her perspective.

Bridge the Communication Gap

Let your wife know that you care and are ready to try fixing the cracked relationship. Ask what you can do to reclaim a fault and save your marriage. No, it’s not too late, and you can succeed if you act accurately and with no pressure. Be patient, don’t push too hard, and give her space to realize a change in your attitude.

However, you must take this step with all your responsibility. You should really mean it and be genuinely ready to address her concerns. Now let her know about it.

Seek Professional Help

Couples counseling is a perfect solution for both of you. A professional will help you see the root cause of the problem and suggest effective strategies for resolving the issues. At these sessions, you may get the answers to questions like “How does a man feel when a woman walks away?” or “What is a wife left to do when her husband neglects her?” They will help you both understand the other party better and find a compromise.

Due to counseling, you may finally realize your faults and start addressing them accordingly, while your wife’s attitude towards your behavior may also change. Of course, it will take some time. However, this activity will help you fix your communication, restore your emotional connection, and save your marriage.