Should Wives Have An “In Case He Leaves Me” Plan?

BY: - 19 Dec '13 | Marriage

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Should Wives Have An “In Case He Leaves Me" Plan?

There isn’t a truer statement than the one that says “in life there are no guarantees”. We can make all the plans in the world, but there are certain things we simply have no control over like illnesses, death or the actions of others. As much as we want to believe in a happily ever after, most of us still struggle with that concept. It breaks my heart when I hear wives speak of a future without their spouses. I understand we don’t know what tomorrow brings, but I wonder why more of us don’t assume the happy ending as quickly as we expect the negative.

I’ve heard far too many wives plan for life with the thought that one day their spouse might leave them. I’m not talking life insurance and the natural life planning items we should handle in our marriages. I’m speaking of the “if he grows tired of me, cheats or finds someone else”, thinking that affects how much we put into the marriage.  Some women have decided they better have their own stashed away somewhere, so that when their marriage ends they are able to quickly move right along.

I agree with and understand separate bank accounts, but the secret planning is what causes concern with some relationships. I am an eternal optimist and I trust God in every situation. My friends often tease me about my constant positivity. They sometimes say I must think I live in Pleasantville. A few have even go so far as to nickname me bubbles.

While we all usually laugh at my ideas and how I view the world,  I do honestly expect things to work out. My expectations also include my marriage. Although I have no control over what my husband does or doesn’t do, I still anticipate our marriage lasting. I already see us being one of those couples you read about, who have been married for over 50 or 60 years. It’s a possibility and I want it.

Entering a marriage with the end in mind prevents us from being fully present.

When we forecast the worst, our actions are usually in alignment with that thinking. We don’t give as much of ourselves nor do we try as hard. The first sign of relationship trouble might send us packing because we’ve already decided this wasn’t going to work anyway. But what if just the opposite thinking occurred? If we actually expected a happy healthy marriage, our actions would also align with that thinking. Can you imagine the amount of effort we would put into making our relationship work? We’ve all been hurt before so it makes sense we want to proceed with caution. But we lose when we cheat our marriage and ourselves out of experiencing the happiness that’s truly possible.

I decided to  make a conscious choice not to have any secret exit strategies, agendas or hidden bank accounts, because I’m all in. If things do change, if my hubby does decide I wasn’t the one, at least I won’t have any regrets. Knowing I fully invested in my marriage will be just the comfort I need.

BMWK, what are your thoughts on having an “in case he/she leaves me plan” in place?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 635 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit and


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7 WordPress comments on “Should Wives Have An “In Case He Leaves Me” Plan?

  1. Lorri

    This is how I’d like to have when I marry but I hear so much about having a just in case plan. It makes me question whether having one foot in one foot out is the best way to enter into marriage.

  2. Renee'

    I did not start my marriage with that mind frame nor am I in that mind frame right now BUT I was and understand how easy it is to get there. I am a sahm and my husband is the sole provider, at troublesome times in our marriage divorce/separating was a common conversation between us. I felt helpless because I didn’t know the day he would be tired of me completely and and say be gone. With no money to my name and 2 children to take care of I felt it would irresponsible not to have a plan for my children’s sake. I didn’t want to end my marriage and the threat of divorce actually made me fight harder and depend on God more than ever. It forced me to give all of me to my marriage despite setting up an emergency plan (mine was not an exit plan) THANK GOD that things are much better now. Its in HIS hands.

    1. Ronnie Tyler

      Thanks for Sharing Renee…you definitely give us another perspective for this story. I feel like more than anything that you have empowered yourself…which is not only good for you…it’s good for your marriage!

  3. LJF

    While I totally agree that positivity should stay at the forefront the relationship, husband or wife, there needs to always be a plan B, not only for the sake of divorce, but illness and other things that can impact the relationship, financial. While I am 100% committed, if things did not work, I do not want to have to deal with the pain of the loss, along with the stress of knowing where my next meal is coming from for my kids.

  4. Anonymous

    I can’t believe you are feeding this to women in “2013”. Always have a back up plan. Have you seen how financially devastated a divorce leaves “women” and their “children”. Some foolish naïve woman who possibly may have children may take this advice you’re giving and end up on the street homeless if her husband decides to pack up one day and leave. Trust me I have seen this happen. Do you know how many women are in shelters with their children because they think the way you do or took this type of advice. I also can’t believe they let you post this article on this website. This is just reckless advice and I’m highly disappointed!

    1. Anna

      Nothing wrong w/a backup plan. I do agree that it should not be on ones mind. Marriage is for better or worse. I don’t see after 16 yrs. a divorce as an option. It’s ok to do you. I have seperate bank accounts than my husband. I go to work, as he does each day. My kids are shacking up w/their s/o. I am all for playing house until you are ready for marriage. Marriage is not for the weak, it’s for the “I’m ready”. Nothing wrong with “staching” your own money just in case. Just answered my home phone. My youngest just told me, she is engaged. Yay me! They shacked up a yr. ago, my husband, my ex, his fiance’, my grand, and other kids met his parents, and sis.

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