My wife left me; things I learned in the process

Jerry Maldonado Contributor
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Life can be so horrible at times, but everything happens for a reason. That is the belief I carry and probably most of you as well. It’s that belief in life we learn from and try to come to terms with events and situations to offer ourselves peace and hope.

With the exception of death and taxes, horrible situations can be avoided if we see the little things that ultimately lead up to the big thing. My story is a perfect example of a horrible situation that could have been avoided if I only saw the little things.

Growing up I had the misfortune of learning to adapt too many different fathers in my life. My mother (God rest her) worked day and night to support our large family. What gave her comfort was always having a man around which ultimately ended in a contentious divorce with all of us kids witnessing this from the front row.

One thing I did observe during all of this turmoil was how it could have been prevented. My little mind saw every grim detail that led to the demise of my mother’s marriages. I knew (or at least I thought I did) was to use that knowledge for the person I would eventually marry. I only wanted to do it once and use my experiences as a template for what not to do and create the ultimate family life of stability, but I was wrong.

My wife of almost twenty years has left and the situations of my mother’s past had nothing to do with this sad scenario. Most important, it was the little things I missed that turned her away.

Granted, this situation is never one sided. It takes two to make a marriage work or fail, but the man is considered by most the leader of the household. In other words, family members feed off his happiness or unhappiness and use that emotion as the foundation. Women are different. Most keep quiet with their emotions, wants and needs until ultimately things blow up and the slow downfall begins.

My soon-to-be ex-wife is a perfect example of a woman who tried to please and only needed the little things to make her happy. Most important, she wanted me to listen, but I didn’t. All the signs were given to me, but in my mind I thought it didn’t matter enough to consider as I worked constantly thinking I was doing the right thing.

This progression soon turned to bitterness and resentment as my wife finally gave up. I begged and pleaded realizing my mistakes, but it was too late. Someone else has come into her life and offered her what she wants and needs.

Is this a rebound on her part? Perhaps. Is this just a fill-in from a woman who begged for time and an ear to listen? Indeed so. The scenarios are endless, but simple little things could have been provided to avoid this life-altering event.

Simple communication on each other’s wants and needs are the key that could have saved this and probably millions of marriages as well. You could love each other to death, but if one person is crying out and the other is not listening, the results over time are devastating. Unfortunately, there is a flock of listeners just waiting in the wings to scoop up individuals like my wife and offer the world.

Most men don’t realize this. Or if they do they are just plain ignorant. I focused on providing for my family financially as well as spending every waking hour to ensure our children’s happiness thinking that was the right thing to do. I never balanced the time needed to be that husband she always wanted and eventually we grew apart.

My theories on marriage are a process of ups and downs, but never give up. Like life, there will always be bumps in the road and crooked paths will eventually become strait but giving up was never an option. If there are children involved then they would be the ultimate losers should the marriage fail. Most important, children will suffer for the rest of their lives as a result of a divorce.

To the men who think they are the ultimate husband, please step back and evaluate what you think qualifies as the ultimate husband. Ask your wife her wants and needs and follow your gut if you think something is happening. The results will be devastating if you don’t.

In a letter I wrote to the person who now has my wife’s heart I stated that our marriage failed because of my ignorance and her selfishness. In a reply he agreed and proudly stated that he would take care of her and be the best father to our children. To a father and husband, reading those words tore my heart out.

Use my situation not as pity for a man, but for a man who will never be the same again. Consider everything I wrote as a wake up call to improve your own situation and be that husband every woman would want. The last thing you want to come home to is your children looking you in the eye and asking why mommy’s leaving.

Jerry Scott Maldonado is the author of the soon-to-be-published “Columns, Quotes & The American Dream.” He is a featured columnist for The D.C.G. Network of news sites: Sundaynewscape.com, Onequestionnews.com and Imperialvalleynews.com.  Jerry’s work has also been featured internationally.