Walkaway Wife Is Friendly and Likes Cash

Reader:  Hey Athol,  I’m a long time reader, and I’ve emailed you before, but never for advice. I was hoping you could take a few minutes and give me your perspective on something.

I had the type of marriage that made me wonder how you knew me so well when I read your book. 100% beta, and she pretty much walked all over me and took it all for granted. I spent years doing everything I could to make her happy, and she never was. I couldn’t figure out what to do for years, but I had bad enough oneitis that leaving was never even considered. We even moved across the country because things got so bad at one point that we thought a giant change would help.

Well, it turns out she was cheating on me most of the time. To my knowledge, she never slept with anybody, but there was flirting, then there was dirty texts, then pictures, then skype sessions, etc. At one point there was physical contact with somebody, but she said it never escalated to sex. I don’t know if I believe her. And I knew about some of this at the time, but too put it bluntly, I was too much of a pussy to confront her.

Toward the end of it all, she flew back to California to visit her family. She ended up being gone for a couple of months, and during that time communication got more and more scarce, until she was responding to texts with single acronyms, and telling me she couldn’t talk, citing reasons like, “I’m driving right now.”, “I’m too tired right now”, or “My phone is about to die, I need to charge it before we can talk.” Being the paranoid fellow that I am and knowing that she was acting extremely out of character, I started looking for cheating. I found texts, pictures, and phone calls that lasted for several hours that happened before and after every time her “phone was about to die”.

I wanted to fix things, and ended up finding your book. I read it in a day, and it was enlightening. Armed with that knowledge, I might have been able to make things better, but then I discovered that her online flirting had turned into an emotional affair, and there were “I love you” texts and pictures, as well as pictures of her as a kid, and other things you wouldn’t share with somebody when you were just looking for a quick and fun flirty type of thing.

I decided to finally confront her, and wrote her a letter. She told me about everything before I could give it to her, though. We talked, and we decided to separate. We thought we could do our own things for a while, and in a few months or a couple of years, decide what to do.

We’re both young, and we were only together for 4 years (married for 2). I still care about her, and wanted her to be able to survive and take care of herself, so I agreed to give her alimony. We agreed on an amount that is more than she would get at a low wage job, but doesn’t hurt me much, and I would continue to pay her part of the phone bill until the contract expired in two years. We also both wanted to keep being friends, since we were so close. It was a couple of months before she was able to physically leave the house, and by then we had both started dating other people.

That was about six months ago. As time went on, I became happier in my new life, and started going through a lot of personality changes. I immediately added a ton of alpha to my personality (or maybe it was there and just neutered by my oneitis and overall conditioning in the relationship from early on.) I got a wonderful new job. I met a girl who is so compatible with me in every way it’s insane, the relationship has been amazing and we’re both extremely happy. Not to mention I get laid at least daily. (She also reads your blog, and we’re both happy to know so much about the internal dynamics of our own relationship).

I decided I definitely want a divorce, I’m just saving the money to hire a lawyer. From when me and my soon-to-be-ex-wife talked about it, it wont be contested, which makes things easier. We agreed on the alimony, which I am already giving her, and there is no savings, property, or children. I told her I wanted the divorce a few months ago, and she was okay with that.

(There’s an actual need for perspective coming up, I just needed to give you the back story first. It’s an usual situation when a couple is this friendly after splitting up, so I thought the context was necessary.)

A couple of months, ago, she called me and told me she misses me. That she wants me back even though she knows she can’t have me. She told me that she doesn’t want the divorce anymore. I told her that I still wanted it, and that she can’t have me. She started calling me more and texting me just to talk casually, and I realized that being friends with her is more difficult than I thought. Eventually, I figured out that it’s just not healthy for me to be friends with her, even though that’s what we had wanted when we first decided to split up. I stopped responding to her emails and texts most of the time, and she asked me why I wasn’t responding to her anymore. So I told her that it’s difficult for me to be friends with her, and I can’t talk to her much like she wants.

Guess what? She started calling more. I kept ignoring her. I thought I was clear on the phone, but she didn’t get it. A few days ago, she moved back here. She said she was moving back here to be with a boyfriend she had while she was here, and she’s living with him right now.

We had a couple pets, and I still have them. I told her in the beginning of all this that she could take them as soon as she has a stable place to live where she can keep them. I am also holding on to her stuff in a storage unit I have in my building until she has a stable place to live and can come claim her things.

She sent me an email a few days ago after getting back into town asking if she can arrange a time to come over and see the animals again. I sent her a very clear letter saying that it wasn’t healthy for me to talk to her socially or see her anymore, and that she should see the animals when she came to pick up her things and was here anyway, but other than that I did not want her to come over.

Yesterday, she sent me the following email (the first one that was not friendly, by the way):

“Its kinda fucked up that you won’t let me come and see our animals unless I’m coming to get some of my shit. I don’t hav anywhere for that stuff yet. I need to buy myself some storage drawers for the clothes I do have. You hae to remember that these are my pets too and I want to see them. Its like having kids right now. We don’t have a custody agreement but what if we had kids and I wouldn’t let you come see them unless you were coming to grab some of your stuff? It would be frusterating for you too….I can’t come until I have that other money from you anyways…but still…you’re keeping my kids away from me” [sic]

Even thought it’s not really in my nature, I’m finally starting to get mad. I’ve done nothing but help her, even after a marriage where we had sex only every couple of months, she didn’t contribute to the household or the relationship at all (basically a bored SAHM without any actual kids, who didn’t actually do any housework – yeah, it was bad), and then cheated on me. I’m still helping her with alimony, even though there is no court decision yet because we haven’t filed paperwork. Plus, for what she is costing me in alimony, I could probably hire a lawyer to take this to court so she doesn’t get alimony at all. I have enough evidence of her cheating on me, and I have evidence that I tried to help her work and go to school during the marriage. Everybody I know thinks I am being way more nice to her than I need to be in the first place, and she’s just as ungrateful now as she was while we were married.

It’s only recently that I’ve started seeing the bigger picture here. Her calling me more, moving back here, and trying to bully me with anger like she used to are all some sort of mixture of wanting me back and batshit crazy.

I’m not exactly sure what to do about this last email. Having gotten mad at it, part of me wants to email back angrily and tell her that she should be happy I’m giving her anything at all and not fucking her over in court, seeing as how without the money I’m giving her I would have plenty of cash for a lawyer and she would be lacking rent money. At the moment, I haven’t responded, and plan to ignore her unless she emails me more. More than anything, I just want her to go away. I still want to give her alimony to help her get her life on track, I just don’t want to talk to her anymore. And I don’t want to see her. And if she does contest the divorce, I’ll just make her fight for alimony in court and use that money to pay a lawyer. I just want her to live her life and leave mine alone, and I can see that weather she realizes what she’s doing or not, it looks like she’s trying to get closer to me and hang on as much as she can.

What’s your take on the matter?

P.S. Thank you for reading the essay of my marriage. If you respond to this, I will by another copy of your book lol. And feel free to post this one if you want; I wonder if parts of it might benefit your other readers. “Cheating wife trying to get closer to her husband after he starts cutting her out of his life” probably applies to more men than just me.

Athol:  Hiya, as you know, there’s nothing to salvage in this marriage because she has abandoned it. Her return of interest in you is simply to attempt to get you to continue to provide for her. Nothing more. There’s no reasonable hope at all you could ever let her back home and not have a repeat of the same behavior. It’s over.

To be blunt, she’s not your friend. You’re giving her cash for her doing absolutely nothing. You may as well be paying protection money to the Mafia for all the difference it makes. I’ve heard those sharply dressed gentlemen can be very agreeable and accommodating with their friends that pay them money on a regular basis for doing nothing.

You need to speak to a lawyer immediately. I’m absolutely not kidding about this at all. For now don’t do anything different with your wife until you seek legal advice and get the divorce process started.

My strong hunch is that as soon as you start “fighting back” and cutting off the “alimony” and forcing the issue with her stuff, she’s going to make an aggressive move of some sort toward you. It may be actual violence or property destruction, but will more likely be serious verbal harassment. The most dangerous thing she can be driven to do though is immediately get pregnant. If she gets pregnant to anyone…. you’re the husband and on the hook for child support as a sort of default setting. So there’s simply no time to waste on that account. Guido and Fat Tony swinging by to clear up your “little misunderstanding” is probably going to be less expensive than her getting pregnant while you’re still married to her.

Incidentally she absolutely intends to try and have sex with you on the “pet visit” and you’ve been right to avoid that. That’s just opening yourself up to all sorts of potential nastiness coming around and biting you in the ass.

So the next move you make with her needs to be her getting the divorce papers, and then following through with all the stuff your lawyer recommends for dealing with the “alimony”, the pets and her stuff.

Having said all that…

….you already knew that was the right answer, didn’t you.

The problem is that actually following through on it seems not very nice. The reason it doesn’t seem very nice… is because it isn’t very nice. But it’s certainly just. Look, she had all of your support and love and she abandoned it. If someone gets out of a car and announces “I don’t want this crappy car anymore” and walks away from the car… you don’t start pushing the car behind them in case they change their mind. (You just remove the stereo and tires and get what you can for them.)

In addition, you now have a new girl in your life. So lets review the Shrek, Princess Fiona and Donkey arrangement shall we.

You’re Shrek.

Your wife is acting like a very bad tempered Donkey… and you’re PAYING HER to do so. So you’re treating her like a Princess Fiona.

Your new love interest sounds great and is laying you like tile. So she’s acting like a Princess Fiona and watching you send resources out of the relationship for no good reason. So to at least some extent, you’re treating your girlfriend like a Donkey.

Obviously that’s all messed up. And seeing your girlfriend actually reads MMSL… she’s going be doing the double fist pump woo-hoo in the air thing about now. You’re welcome baby… you are very  welcome.

Your wife wanted pretty badly to be on the Donkey Plan, so actually put her on the Donkey Plan… stop giving a rat’s ass about her and let her be her own beast of burden.

And thanks for buying the books, much appreciated. Plus seeing you’re getting divorced soon, it’s kinda like they are 50% off.




  1. Just a general comment from someone who has lived even longer than Athol. You are really a very nice man and your new girlfriend is very lucky…but …wasting resources by paying for things you don’t have to pay for and for which you get no return is not wise – you’ll rue the day you choose not to buy more retirement insurance or even hire that divorce lawyer earlier. A dollar now is worth a whole lot more in 40 years time invested with compound interest. You’re robbing your future wife and your children. Also, just giving money away to someone who could get her own job is very, very bad for her self-development. You’re just teaching her to be lazy! If you really do not care about money give it away to a good charity!

  2. pdwalker says:

    Stop being so nice. Lawyer up, cut her off and then cut her out of your life completely.

    It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

    Good luck.

  3. Original Poster says:


    I am the man who sent Athol the email that resulted in this thread. I just wanted to point out that a lawyer recommended I pay alimony during the separation because it sets a precedent that can be used in court if she decides to fight for more money during the divorce. Since she’s getting a lot less right now than the 50% a judge could potentially give her, it’s a pretty good deal for me if things get ugly later on.

  4. What the fuck alimony, dude?
    This is how violence towards women happens because, now I want to punch her in face for you.

    Please read this, which was authored by a woman:

    And to put a fine point on it, here’s the video:

  5. If there were kids involved, there would be an incentive to at least remain on speaking terms. But as there’s not, you need to stop being a chump, and kick her to the curb as quickly as possible. Legally, and with finality.

  6. Thank goodness the OP doesn’t have kids with the ex

  7. Anonymous age 70 says:

    That lawyer who told you to pay her alimony? He is not your friend. She abandoned you and you are supposed to pay her alimony? You need a real attorney. What you are doing is proving you feel you should be paying her alimony. Not to worry. You will get to pay her alimony, and once you are paying alimony, she can go back to get it raised when she feels like it.

    Warning to others. This is a How Not To tale. More ways than just the alimony issue.

    Further I said back in 1984 any man who marries in the US with current divorce laws is a fool. Note that is 28 years ago. It has not got any better.

  8. dragnet says:

    Jesus Christ I can’t believe what I just read.

    The beta is strong with this one.

  9. Random Angeleno says:

    The beta is strong with this one.


    The OP needs to file for divorce immediately. Tomorrow morning would not be too soon. Enough being a nice guy! File, dammit, file! Best reason to file? Make sure she can’t accumulate any more debt on your tab! Also never be alone with her before she is served!

    IANAL, but I’m not convinced that is good advice regarding alimony. In my state, the guideline for short-term marriages is that alimony, if awarded, will only be awarded for half the length of the marriage at most. What I think others are telling you is that it’s possible what you’re paying now may not count toward what the court could order. Another reason to file now! Yesterday! In any case, hope you documented everything from the day she left. You may have an argument for a legal separation date in your state. Do your due diligence there. Heck, how are you handling tax returns?

    Athol: Excellent point on the debt issue.

  10. Original Poster says:

    Readers, thank you for your comments! A lot have them helped push me these last couple of days to do what I need to do.

    About the lawyer and the alimony – this state has a separation period of six months. She has no earning potential at all, and I make quite a bit of money. If, during that six months, she had no resources and had trouble fully supporting herself, and I was living happily in an expensive condo with too much disposable income… it’s not unlikely that a judge would decide she needed rehabilitative maintenance, which I am sure she would sit on for as long as she could possibly get away with it legally. The precedent I’ve set for temporary maintenance (not rehabilitative) will clearly say to a judge that she was fully able to support herself during the separation period and does not need any additional assistance. She’s getting a small amount for a small amount of time, and I can live with that, especially since the damage has already been done. (The condo is rented, don’t worry she can’t try to claim any part of it in court).

    But to the good news – I have cut her out of my life completely. A couple of days after this post went up, she emailed me asking for a place to stay because her boyfriend broke up with her. (And by asking, I mean she pretty said, “I need you to give me a couch for a while”). I responded telling her she could not come to my house, she needs to deal with her own messes, and to stop contacting me. I blocked her email address and phone number, and after doing some more research into the legal system, I’m filing the divorce next week. I never alpha’d up with her like this before because I didn’t think it mattered – I don’t want her back and I did not expect her to try to get her way back into my life. Now that she is trying, I’m doing what I should have done a long time ago. Thanks for the reality check everyone.

  11. OP…

    Good on you man.

    It probably feels good to notice how past behaviours did you wrong and how new ones are doing you better.

    Will probably feel a lot better once she is completely out of your life.

    Only comment I would add, you seem to have a great girl now, I would try hard not to let your previous marriage jade you.

    Alpha-Beta balance is key in a LTR and the balance may be different from one chick to the next. Meaning, you beta’ed your marriage to death, but that doesn’t mean your new girl doesn’t deserve some beta now and again.

    Good luck with the divorce, I hope it goes as painlessly as possible.

  12. Athol–

    “The most dangerous thing she can be driven to do though is immediately get pregnant. If she gets pregnant to anyone…. you’re the husband and on the hook for child support as a sort of default setting. ”

    Actually that’s not true in most or all states. Well it is true that any kid she has during the marriage is default assumed to be the husband’s, but in most or all states your emailer can contest paternity with DNA evidence within some quite limited period of time after birth, six months to 2 years in most places. Also her having lived far away from you when she got pregnant is strong evidence as well and that was applied in English common law. Don’t let her sleep in the same dwelling as you when she visits the pets/you. Personally I don’t think I’d allow the visit. Don’t even think of having sex with her even with a condom.

    Also file for divorce pronto. The court is far less likely to made you responsible for a child without your DNA if you’re legally separated pending divorce, and living far apart.

    It will be much better for you if she gets a job. Tell her you’re only going to be sending her support for say three more months while she looks. Tell her you consider it unbelievably lazy of her to not have gotten a job while she wasn’t even living with you or doing anything domestic or sexual for you.

  13. Actually I can’t understand her not having a job when she was married to you without kids. Talk about lazy. No job AND not even going to college???

  14. OT–

    Are you moving your blog to regular free wordpress which doesn’t allow ads? My understanding is that there’s wordpress sortware that looks and acts the same which you do have to pay for upfront or through some licensing fee, but then you can run adverts. Probably have to pay some server company which WordPress might well serve as as part of it’s or an additional fee. You’re getting one hell of a lot of pageviews now.

    Well you probably know more about this than I do.

    Athol: Right now the blog advertises my books, which kicks ass on any other ad revenue I could have.

  15. Athol can’t you implement a filter where listed trusted commenters are put through without moderation subject to subsequent deletion? I’m been in moderation for hours and it’s frustrating.

    Athol: It’s currently flagged as first time commentors need to be approved, then don’t go into moderation. It’s been a long day and just getting to the blog finally.

  16. “But to the good news – I have cut her out of my life completely… I never alpha’d up with her like this before because I didn’t think it mattered – I don’t want her back and I did not expect her to try to get her way back into my life. Now that she is trying, I’m doing what I should have done a long time ago. Thanks for the reality check everyone.”

    Warms the cockles of my heart.

  17. Paying alimony for a 2 year marriage? WHY?!


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