It takes two to make a marriage work. But it only takes one to destroy it.
Support for suddenly abandoned spouses is severely lacking in society at large and in the psychological help community. The depth and complexity of injury experienced by the one suddenly abandoned is frequently underestimated by friends, family and helping professionals who may not understand that abandoned spouses have a great deal more to handle than either the abandoning spouse or even partners when a mutual marriage breaks up.
All too frequently, the hurt is compounded by the misguided blame of the couple’s children, in-laws, and other family members who view the “leaver” as a type of “winner” while the “leavee” is considered a type of “loser” who is therefore, somehow, more at fault for the breakup.
People whom the abandoned spouse previously considered mutual friends during the marriage often abandon the “leavee,” as well, acting as if they don’t want to catch some sort of communicable “loser” disease, thus compounding the emotional pain.
You Actually May Have Done Everything RIGHT
While good friends, family and even churches can offer support for a time, most abandoned spouses find themselves continuing to have trouble over a period of years. They receive “advice” which is both unhelpful and inappropriate — such as, “It’s time to just get over it. You’ve got to move on with your life,” or, “You must have done something. After all, it takes twoto break up a marriage,” or, “There are always two sides to a story.” In the cases of sudden abandonment, the one left behind may have done everything RIGHT.
It’s not that poor advice or demeaning platitudes like these are meant to hurt; it’s just that most people don’t understand the depth, scope or complexity of the pain and damage done in such an event. In many cases, those offering advice are neither in a position to offer sustained or effective help nor do they possess the necessary skills and experience to make such statements.
Further, many married couples are reluctant even to acknowledge that a sudden ending could be possible without the guilt by both parties, for fear that it if that is so, it can happen to them. It is very real for partners to have absolutely no warning and be blindsided completely out of the blue.