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    Renee Swanson

    I would never have said that abandonment was a concern for me. I never felt like he was going to run away with another woman. I knew that he would always be home in the evenings and on the weekends. But then I realized that there was a different type of abandonment going on.

    In my marriage, abandonment came within the home itself. He completely isolated himself constantly. He lost himself in video games and movies for hours on end. This was every evening after work, every weekend, every holiday, every vacation, no matter where we were or who we were with. This happened whether we were alone just the two of us or at social events with our friends and family. It didn’t matter whether we were on the Oregon Coast visiting his own mother, having Christmas activities with my family, or in Paris on a family vacation. This was on the beach, in the hotel rooms, in the restaurants, and even on a beautiful dinner cruise in downtown Paris on the Seine River. He disengaged from our lives. He checked out completely again and again and again!

    At the age of 15, our oldest son spent three weeks in France. When we picked him up at the airport, we learned that his luggage missed the flight. We had to wait one hour for it to arrive. So we found a quiet corner where we could sit and chat. I was so eager to hear all about his trip, and he was eager to tell us. Within the first five minutes of our son telling us about his excursions, my husband got up, pulled out his phone, and walked away. We didn’t see him for the next 45 minutes. No explanation, no interaction, just abandonment. To this day, he has still never heard about all the exciting things our son did on that trip. This is rejection and abandonment and happened so many times throughout the years.

    He abandoned us while never leaving the house physically. He abandoned us to his movies and gaming. He refused to be a part of our lives and yet insisted that we be a part of his life.

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  • #195871

    Sorry to hear Renee, such a sad thing to feel daily. I can relate to these feeling. My ex cut of emotional connection many years ago. In the end you just accept nothing but feel such overwhelming sadness and loneliness. My ex often got defensive, if I tried to talk to him it somehow became a personal attack. I can remember my daughter and i feeling happy and excited to share something with him and he yelled at us, can’t I have just five minutes. I get that he had stress but there was always an excuse and always a way for me to be blamed and the issues to be my fault.


    Sorry you have to deal with that. It definitely sounds like he has a problem, like he needs to isolate in order to manage his ability to function. Not excusing it, just saying that it’s so pervasive in your story that it sounds more pathological than deliberately mean, though he may be well aware. Or, he’s one of those guys that are completely blindsided when she leaves in hope of meeting a man some day.


    I can so relate to the abandonment. We were married for 36 years had 4 wonderful children and he abandoned us really from the beginning. I refused to see it, but now having divorced him a year ago, I see it clear as day. My adult children tell me they always felt dad wasn’t there. Like Renee, he was rarely present with us. We would watch movies with him and if we weren’t extremely quiet, he would threaten to leave the room, and many times did. He always needed time to himself.My family would visit and on numerous occasions amid the talking, laughing, eating and drinking, my ex would be nowhere to be found. I’d go up to our room and there he’d be sleep. We had so many fights about it. After I divorced him, my then 17 yo said mom, it’s about time, dad has never really been with us. No matter what we did, I always felt like was somewhere else. It brought me to tears. My other three children later agreed. Because we’d had an argument the evening our 1st granddaughter was born, he refused to go to the hospital. We were all so heartbroken.My daughter told me she was not surprised by her dad’s actions though it hurt her so. Five years before I filed for divorce, he told me he was miserable in our marriage and no longer wanted to be husband to me or father to our children.I was flabbergasted, in disbelief, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My mom and dad were together for 44 years until dad died! My dad taught me a man does whatever it takes to take care of his family. My ex’s words were foreign to me. A real man would never say such a thing! So, being the Christian woman that I am, I vowed to fix it. I begged, pleaded, got therapy, and even humiliated myself in front of our children asking him to work on us. To get counseling to not end our 3 decade marriage. If not for me, for our kids sake. Things only worsened. He moved out of our bedroom to the loft couch, and shunned me off and on for months at a time. After much prayer, and counseling, I felt my only option was to divorce him. Today, though he lives in the same city, he refuses to have any communication with me or the children.I know abandonment all too well.

    Renee Swanson

    Recently Narcless,
    I agree that it was more pathological than deliberately mean. I don’t think he was intentionally trying to hurt us. I think he had no idea how much it hurt, though I tried to talk with him about it for years. He would agree and even at times apologize for being so absent. It would get better for about a week, but then it came right back again and again.
    Over time, he eventually started blaming me and the kids for his gaming habits. He also started getting mad at us for not being there when HE wanted us there, though he could check out anytime he pleased.
    No matter what I tried, nothing ever got better.

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