Why My Husband Never Thought I’d Leave

It’s because he called himself the Golden Goose.

woman standing in nature Robsonphoto / Shutterstock

Why would you leave the Golden Goose?” my husband asked.

I had gone to him and told him it felt lonely being married to him. I was thinking of leaving. Once I did, his self-appointed monetary significance escalated to indescribable arrogance.

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We owned three homes and spent summers at the Jersey Shore. We had a house in Naples, no financial worries, and enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle.


“Be careful — don’t bite the hand that feeds you,” he said. “If you leave me I’ll make sure there’s no money and you work for the rest of your life.”

These comments were a smug nod to his success. Ironic because it was due to a business and investment property I had helped him build. But our morphed roles of traditional working dad and stay-at-home mom increasingly deluded his reality.

My husband fancied himself the big provider. The man who looked after the little woman. What would poor little ol’ me do without him and gasp, why would I ever leave this lifestyle?

He actually believed he had built an entire life on his own.


But he underestimated me, or should I say my values.

I left those three homes. They no longer had any significance. They were only meaningful while love lived between their walls. Not when tears closed their doors to laughter.

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Values have a way of creeping up on you in discontent.

They force you to itemize your personal liabilities. Which inevitably takes us back to what’s most important. I had spent these years of unhappiness fighting and risking everything for love.

This is who I was once the world was dialed back.

I prioritized love. My husband prioritized money. It wasn’t any wonder I was lonely. Our marriage was never going to work.


One house, three houses, or no houses.

I read this great piece by Elle Silver and I won’t lie: I was initially traumatized my husband kept his word and hid all of our assets. How was it possible I once owned three homes and now have to live in an apartment?

Elle inspired me to write this because I ended up in an apartment not because of our assets being split — but because my husband wanted to punish me for leaving him.

He used to say, “You’re never going to win, Colleen.”

To which I would reply, “If you think there’s winning and losing in love, you’ve already lost.”

An apartment is a loss to the Golden Goose, aka, my husband.


Unfortunately, I don’t think he remembers that fairytale.

It’s a fairytale based on values. It was generosity that landed Simpleton the Golden Goose. After that, the townspeople clamor and greedily follow and attempt to pluck the feathers.

Like my husband, they never understand the true value of riches.


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Colleen Sheehy Orme is a national relationship columnist, journalist. and former business columnist.