There isn’t one specific reason a woman leaves a stable marriage or good relationship; different women have different reasons for walking away. There are, however, three common reasons a woman might choose to leave a good man or stable relationship. These are also the most obvious reasons that apply to women in general. Individual women have personal histories, preferences and dreams that affect their choices.
One thing is common for many women: talking about leaving a good relationship is difficult. Who would leave a stable marriage, supportive man, or solid relationship? It’s hard to explain. This leads to feeling misunderstood and criticized, which leads some women to suppress their feelings or express themselves in healthy ways. Not feeling understood – or feeling judged – is the one of the main reasons women don’t talk about leaving good relationships. Sometimes women don’t even understand themselves, and may criticize and judge their own decisions. They may regret getting married but not know how to express or explain their feelings.
“I have been listening to the language of women who have left their marriages or who have committed adultery,” writes Naomi Wolf in Vagina: Revised and Updated. “A substantial theme that surfaces when women say why they left solid, stable marriages or committed adultery against good, devoted, faithful men, is that they were bored.”
It’s easy to understand why women leave unhappy or abusive relationships, but more difficult to understand why someone would walk away from a perfectly stable marriage. It’s easy to accept a woman who leaves an unfaithful husband or unhealthy boyfriend, but difficult to understand why a woman can’t find meaning and fulfillment in her life even if she’s married to a “boring” man.
These three reasons women leave good relationships are based on Naomi Wolf’s book. I summarized her interviews with women who walked away from stable marriages, good relationships, and supportive men. Their individual situations and personal descriptions vary, but the sentiment is the same: women leave good relationships because the relationship is boring. She feels unfulfilled, unchallenged, and even dead inside. So she leaves.
The 3 Most Common Reasons Women Walk Away
“Pain is real when you get other people to believe in it. If no one believes in it but you, your pain is madness or hysteria,” writes Naomi Wolf. Perhaps women don’t talk openly about their reasons for leaving good marriages, men and relationships because they don’t know how to express themselves without feeling selfish or judged. If they can’t explain themselves even to themselves, how can they express their thoughts and feelings to others?
If your wife or girlfriend left you without an explanation, consider the idea that she has reasons she may not be able to express. This doesn’t mean she’s crazy or selfish. It just means she’s working through her own thoughts and feelings. This can be healthy and good – but it is painful and difficult when it affects the people who love her.
1. Lack of intellectual or emotional connection
Emotional disconnection in a marriage or relationship stems from a lack of intellectual connection. If you can’t talk to your partner, you’re not emotionally attached. This leads to less physical connection and intimacy. Here’s what Wolf says about the men who were left: they were incredibly nice, but they had stopped relating intellectually to the women in their lives. There was no growth or adventure, no excitement or challenge.
2. Feeling unappreciated or taken for granted
“They had stopped bringing seduction and drama into the marital bed,” writes Wolf. “They had stopped seeing the women in their lives as if the women themselves needed excitement and drama within the relationship and were themselves not to be taken for granted.” According to Wolf, women need drama in intimate settings so they can stay interested in men. Remember, however, that “drama” means different things to different women! This is one of those reasons women leave good relationships that is open to interpretation.
3. Feeling out of touch with themselves, or even like they’re dying inside
Several women talked about cheating on their husbands because they felt as if they would die if they stayed. They were bored in their good, safe, nice, predictable marriages. They weren’t proud of leaving good relationships or cheating on their husbands, but they felt it was about survival. “By becoming so changeless, so predictable, many husbands lock themselves into the staid, less sexy, provider role in women’s psyches, and they abandon the provocateur role – leaving nothing to fire the imagination when a woman craves adventure, the ‘dance’, and excitement,” writes Wolf.
Is your wife or girlfriend involved with another man? Read When You Find Out Your Wife Cheated on You to learn more about women who have affairs.
Excitement and unpredictability is attractive. Predictability and structure is unexciting for many women. The reason women leave good relationships isn’t because they’re mean or insane…it could just be that they’re bored. All three of these reasons women leave good relationships stem from feelings of unfulfilment and dissatisfaction.
If you’re a woman who wants to leave a good relationship…
Do you see yourself in Wolf’s list of reasons women walk away? Feel free to share your story, your own personal reasons for wanting to leave your relationship. Writing can be a great way to find clarity and insight, and to help you decide what you really need to fill your heart and enhance your life.
Take time to be quiet and still. Just sit in silence, without your phone or kids or coworkers or even a book. Just be. Allow the presence of God to fill your mind and spirit, your heart and soul. There is a power and and life that is stronger than you, bigger than the whole universe! You were created by that power – which is God. You were created for a purpose, and He has a plan for your life.
Be still, and know He is God. Allow His presence to be the excitement and adventure you seek. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and wisdom as you reflect on these reasons women leave good relationships. Do you need to walk away from your life, or are you searching for something deeper? Take time to listen and respond to God’s call.
Many women stay in unfulfilling relationships and unhealthy marriages because they feel financially trapped. If you feel the same way, How Do You Leave Your Husband When You Have No Money?