I was thinking about timing today. It makes a difference which side of the equation you are on. If only one spouse is making money then half of the mortgage principle payments, savings, investments and pension plan contributions may go to the other spouse until the separation agreement or divorce. So you can see how the strategy of one spouse might be to speed things up while the other spouse may want to slow things down.

Sometimes spouses will say to me that they knew it wasn’t going to work from the beginning. When I ask them why they stuck with it so long, they say “because I thought he/she would change.” The amazing part is that I hear this from people that have been married five years, fifteen years and thirty years.

There is an article in the Washington Post today by Alicia Ault that says an unhappy marriage can affect your health. And the longer you stay and older you get, the more damage it does to your health, possibly because of the stress.

Walk Away Wife Syndrome

After you have been a divorce lawyer for as long as I have, 30 years or so, you begin to see some patterns in your cases. One is the Walk Away Wife Syndrome.

There will be about a million divorces this year. And the majority of them will be filed by women.

Men and women handle their relationships differently. A woman monitors the relationship, and if she becomes concerned about it, she tries to fix it. To a man, this may seem like complaining. A man might react to it by withdrawing. Neither party’s needs are met.

The woman may suppress her feelings, in hopes that the man will change. Finally, the wife believes she has only one choice for happiness which is separation and divorce. This is called the Walk Away Wife Syndrome.

The man is often caught unaware by this, and even if he tries to change now, it is too late.

James. J Gross is the co-author of the e-book How to File For Divorce in Maryland, available for download today on DivorceNet.Com for $19.95.

He is also the author or co-author of the following books which are available at Amazon.com:

  • Fathers’ Rights: The Best Interest of Your Child Includes You
  • File for Divorce in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC
  • Money and Divorce

He has been selected by Washingtonian Magazine and Maryland Superlawyers as one of the region’s top divorce lawyers.

Mr. Gross is a practicing partner in the Chevy Chase, Maryland law firm Thyden Gross and Callahan. He is the author of the blogs Maryland Divorce Legal Crier, The Daily Answer Desk, and Not Just Every Other Weekend and the e-mail newsletter In the Courts.

Mr. Gross is a seasoned and experienced divorce lawyer and eminently qualified to answer your questions, provide legal assistance, and to speak with authority on divorce, child custody issues, child support, property distribution, alimony, and family law topics.

We know that you will enjoy reading his insightful commentary and thoughtful blog postings.