"My Wife Suddenly Wants a Divorce! What Happened?"

She seemed so happy, so why does she suddenly want a divorce? (Hint: it's not sudden!)

"My Wife Suddenly Wants a Divorce! What Happened?"

Divorce is a women's thing, and the numbers show that to be true. Multiple studies show that 66 percent of divorces are initiated by women, and that many of the men who they leave are totally blindsided when they're served papers.

I ought to know; a good friend of mine just got served divorce papers. He was totally shocked, lost as to how this could happen. Truth be told, it felt like he was the only one who seemed surprised by this.

Among relationship experts and lawyers, the "blindsided husband" phenomenon is commonly known as Sudden Divorce Syndrome. If you just got served with papers, here's what you need to know about his issue.

Women don't see things the same way men do.

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In most cases of Sudden Divorce Syndrome, the symptoms were there—but guys didn't notice it. Divorces aren't done at the drop of a hat; there's a lot of forethought that goes into it.

Take a look at your soon-to-be-ex's life. Did she start looking for work? Has she been on the phone more frequently, or did she suddenly stop complaining? If you look back at the little details, you'll see the warning signs there.

In most cases, Sudden Divorce Syndrome happens with Walkaway Wives.

Walkaways are women who have repeatedly brought up relationship issues, only to have their spouses ignore them. After a while, they stopped complaining. Things seem great for the guys, up until they get papers. The wives don't want to reconsider; they are done.

This happens when women stop trying to fix issues in the relationship. They have exhausted themselves and decided its better to leave. Anything else, and it's going to be too little, too late.

If you were having an affair, it may not be so sudden...

True story—some guys are totally stricken by surprise when women dump them for cheating. I suppose some guys believe they are so slick, women won't notice. Some guys might actually get away with affairs for years before they're caught.

I'm just saying, if you had an affair that you think she didn't know about, don't be so sure. She might have been smarter than you think.

Of course, it could also be an affair she's having.

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Women are not faultless, you know. In a lot of cases, Sudden Divorce Syndrome happens because a wife who may have been feeling slightly neglected found someone who paid her more attention.

It's worth noting that most affairs do not culminate in divorce. If your wife has handed you papers, this means that she's been looking for an "escape relationship" for a while.

Midlife crises can spark a divorce in both women and men.

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Sudden Divorce Syndrome can happen with both men and women, especially during your middle age. The reason why is because of the way midlife crises can affect people.

Both women and men can start to feel restricted by the life they created with their partners when they have a midlife crisis. They may yearn for their wild youth again.

In many cases, women who are undergoing a midlife crisis may run off with a younger guy to see if they "still got it."

Bad as this sounds, there is some good news. This is actually one of the few times you may be able to see your wife return after Sudden Divorce Syndrome.

Most of the time, you will not be able to talk your wife out of a divorce.

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For the most part, guys who are blindsided by divorce were given plenty of opportunities to change their ways. They usually nagged, begged, pleaded, until they finally checked out after years of trying to get things to work.

This may be news to you. It's okay to be reeling. You can still attempt to get her back, but it's going to take a lot of work. Even with work, you may never get the results you're hoping for.

A lot of attempts will be met with the phrase "too little, too late."

Most women who initiate divorce thing very long and hard about it. Marriage is a source of stability for both women and men. It's hard to share it unless you're really unhappy.

Women typically will look at the entire situation before they leave. They may have a hard time getting back into the workforce. They may worry about their image to others. They might also worry about childcare or where they will live.

By the time they made up their minds, women usually resent their husbands. It's not going to be easy to turn back the clock.

If you try to get her back, don't resort to emotional blackmail.

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The biggest mistake guys do when they are trying to get their wife back or save their marriage is lose their cool. Women who want to leave do not want to see a crying, angry man begging for a chance to fix things.

Telling her, calmly, that you are willing to change and go to counseling is a good idea. Giving her space is a good idea. Clearing up old hurts, looking your best, and trying to show her you're serious will do more than begging will.

Even with a lot of work, there's still a chance this will fail. However, it's better to say that you tried than say you gave up.

My best advice would be to move on, and learn from this relationship.

A lot of people need to take breakups as a learning experience if they want to potentially get an ex back or find a new love. Be honest with yourself; did you neglect her? Were there times where she begged for attention, only to have you turn it around on her?

Take these things as a lesson in life. You might be able to save your next marriage.

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Ossiana M. Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of NJ. 

See all posts by Ossiana M. Tepfenhart