A Husband Who Asks For A Divorce and the Wife Who Doesn’t Buy it…

… I’ve been married and unhappy. I’ve been single and unhappy too. I’ve even been in perfectly wonderful relationships and been utterly miserable. There have been times in my life where I have been more successful and financially better off than other times and I can count instances of unhappiness there as well.

That’s because my unhappiness had zero, zilch, nothing to do with the external factors of my life during those times. Running away from responsibilities never made me happier, just exhausted. Trying to blame others for my miseries was pointless. Blame is always pointless.

And Laura Munson knew that. She refused to accept the blame for her husband’s unhappiness when he asked her for a divorced.

What follows next is one of the most beautiful illustrations of the marriage commitment I’ve ever read. A wife who understood her husband’s misery weren’t about her and she continued to love him unconditionally just the same.

If you are married, do yourself the small favor of reading this. Then share it with all your other married friends. Even if you are single, it is important to read this article, if anything, to shed the naive belief that marriage is happily ever after or that your spouse is supposed to “complete you.”

Excerpts from He Said He Was Leaving. She Ignored Him – by Laura Muson

“I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did.”

His words came at me like a speeding fist, like a sucker punch, yet somehow in that moment I was able to duck. And once I recovered and composed myself, I managed to say, “I don’t buy it.” Because I didn’t.

He drew back in surprise. Apparently he’d expected me to burst into tears, to rage at him, to threaten him with a custody battle. Or beg him to change his mind.

So he turned mean. “I don’t like what you’ve become.”

Gut-wrenching pause. How could he say such a thing? That’s when I really wanted to fight. To rage. To cry. But I didn’t.

Instead, a shroud of calm enveloped me, and I repeated those words: “I don’t buy it.”

I said: “It’s not age-appropriate to expect children to be concerned with their parents’ happiness. Not unless you want to create co-dependents who’ll spend their lives in bad relationships and therapy. There are times in every relationship when the parties involved need a break. What can we do to give you the distance you need, without hurting the family?”

“Huh?” he said.

“Go trekking in Nepal. Build a yurt in the back meadow. Turn the garage studio into a man-cave. Get that drum set you’ve always wanted. Anything but hurting the children and me with a reckless move like the one you’re talking about.”

Then I repeated my line, “What can we do to give you the distance you need, without hurting the family?”


“How can we have a responsible distance?”

Why are article’s like this so important to read and share? Because when a marriage dissolves it sends the message to society that divorce is OK. It’s OK to give up each other and break vows. And every time a marriage overcomes the odds it reassures others that it can be done.

There are few things more tragic then when a spouse treats another as a throw away object simply because they feel unhappy or bored with their lives.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

    This tactic only works one way. If the wife were to come to her husband with that sad conclusion about the marriage, a mother couldn’t just get some responsible distance without hurting the family deeply, as she’d probably take the kids with her. Yet it does happen that it’s the woman who reaches this conclusion, to the man’s grief. But the Laura is right, much of the cause of such state of affairs is in the mind, in the story, or rather fable, one tells oneself about one’s past, present and future. Then reality may be a bitch instead of the blessing that it actually is.

    • lawyerman

      I don’t even understand the faulty English conjugation in this reply, let alone the sentiment the author is attempting (apparently) to express. Does no one proof read stuff anymore, before they hit the send button???

    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

      Depends on the age of the kids. A strongly involved father can pull this off just as easily as a strongly involved mother.

  • lawyerman

    The advice the author gives, only applies in situations where the reality is that the marriage partner being given notice – knows absolutely, without question – that the underlying reason for the notice being given is that the notice giver simply needs some temporary distance and space. Mostly, the notice being given … is being given for a helluva lot more serious and different reasons than just a lack of breathing room existing for the notice giver. So yeah, this advice … I don’t buy it.

    • John Barba

      Oh brother. Practicing writing contracts?

    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

      There are other remedies for more serious reasons. Abuse, for instance, physical abuse, has other legal remedies than divorce, as does insanity. Even adultery can be forgiven and the spouse brought back into the marriage.

      But it takes a strong will to do so.

  • Faithr

    I wonder about her parents and his parents. Did they have long lived marriages? I think children who see their parents work through difficulties and stay together can weather the storms in their own marriages much better than those who don’t know how to be married because their own parents have divorced.

    • bearing

      On the other hand, some of us who watched our own parents divorce have been able to say clear-headedly, “I will not do to another what has been done to me.”

  • JMB

    In my state, you don’t have a choice if one spouse asks for a divorce, it’s pretty much set. So I’m not sure what you could do, other than what? I read this article a few years ago in a magazine and it’s wonderful, but he never actually hired a lawyer and started the process yet. What do you do when the spouse just serves you with divorce papers? You have no choice but to comply.

  • Philippa Martyr

    Oh MAN, God has been good to me.
    I was engaged to be married at 21, and broke it off at 23, because my fiancé had the same set of problems. I was blessed enough to realise they were his problems, and not mine.
    I let him go, and never looked back, and never regretted it. Half-killed me at the time, mind. Public humiliation a bare 3 months before the scheduled wedding. But it was worth a year of confusion and shame to have a subsequent 20 plus years of a much better and happier life than I would have had otherwise.
    I think the broken engagement is a much-underrated institution, and is infinitely preferable to the broken marriage.

    • George

      I was in your position when I was engaged to my present wife. I had a miserable engagement time, everyone told me to quit, but I have not given up and now I have a wonderful family life and and a wonderful son. God has been good to me, too.

      • Philippa Martyr

        I suppose it comes down to the reasons for breaking it off.
        My fiancé decided we were only going to have kids when he was good and ready, and precisely the number of kids he wanted, regardless of what God might think. That was Reason No 1.
        Reason No 2 was that he was physically violent. This should have been Reason No 1, but I was too stupid in those days to realise it!

  • LisaTwaronite

    I remember reading her essay in 2009 and thinking, “Knowing only what I know from this essay….She and the kids would probably be better off without him.”

    But since I made a “selfish” decision to break up my own family for a while, and keep the kids far away from their father for a few years, maybe I just can’t relate to what she wanted?

    She wrote a followup essay in which she said, ” People like to use my story as an example of how to save a marriage, but to me, that’s not what it’s about. It’s about living in the grey zone and how to cope, moment by moment.”

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    Wow! I read the whole thing. That woman was brilliant. A family is sacred. Other than for real abuse, one should never, ever leave it. Thanks for bringing it to my awareness.

  • James H, London


    And that, folks, is why divorce should be verboten.

    What a woman! What a wife!