Behavior: Runaway Wives

Alice left home in Wilmette, 111., to work in a San Francisco supermarket. Darlene, from Chicago, took off for Frankfurt, Germany, to live with a bus driver. Florence abandoned Lake Forest, 111., to become an artist in Spain, and Rose left Hartford to live with another woman in Chicago.

All four women have opted for what was once an almost exclusively male prerogative: abandoning their spouses and running away. According to private detectives, there are now more runaway wives than ever before. Ed Goldfader, a Manhattan private investigator, says that two years ago only 2% of the spouses he...

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