A relative of a friend is going through a rough time. Her husband left her after 14 years together. I really mean left her, he had already rented an apartment and told her on New Year's Eve that he was taking his stuff and going the next day. And he did. Just like that. Not another word about it. He didn't talk to her again and stopped listening. He packed some essentials and was gone in the morning before the kids woke up.
They have spoken since, but only about their two daughters. If she tries to say anything else he walks out or hangs up. It's like he flipped a switch and that was it for him. She says it was unexpected, that they were trying to get pregnant and she was happy. She thought he was happy. She is a stay at home mom and has been out of the workforce for eight years. She will now have to find a job, a daycare for the youngest, an after school program for the oldest and may not be able to stay in the house. She feels like she's sinking fast. Right now, there is nothing that anyone can say to her that will help. She will come out of this on the other side and find happiness again, but she can't hear that right now. She is blaming herself and wondering what she did or didn't do to deserve this.
It's sad, and even though I don't know her well, I feel just terrible that she and the kids are going through this. I have to wonder though, was it really that sudden? Is it ever that sudden? Were there signs that she missed? Was she too caught up in the kids and her own interests to really pay attention to her husband and what was going on with him? We all get caught up in our own worlds at times.
I can't believe that his decision to leave was just out of the blue, that it ever happens that suddenly, that someone can just fall out of love without talking about it, that it could be so easy to miss the signs of your partner's unhappiness. If any of this could happen, then it could conceivably happen to me. To you. To any of us.
I am in a strong, happy, healthy marriage. I love my husband and he loves me. We complement each other in so many ways and I cannot imagine my life without him by my side every day. I know that if you asked him, he would say the same thing about me. But this woman whose husband just left, she would have said the same thing three weeks ago.
Remember to nurture your relationships, make sure that the people that you love are happy. As cliche as it sounds, the analogy works. Even the healthiest blooms need sunlight and water to stay strong.