Let's say a friend of mine has just gotten divorced. It was his ex-wife's decision. So now he has moved out while his ex-wife is staying in the house with their children.

If I have just learned all that, could I say this: "How could she just leave you, after all those years?"? Would "leave" be the most natural word to use even though the consequence of her decision is that he's the one who had to move out/leave while she's staying in the house with their children? Or would you steer out of it and phrase the question differently?

1 Answer 1


The use of "leave" here is fine: both natural and idiomatic. Because when you talk about someone leaving their spouse, you are talking about them leaving a relationship, which is a separate matter than leaving a place of residence. You could also say, "His wife is leaving him while keeping the house."

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