Few things can bring your world screeching to a halt, like when your spouse decides to leave: my husband left me. The intention of getting married is to have someone to spend your life with. When that bubble bursts and your husband leaves you, it shatters so many of the dreams and plans you had for your life once he has left. But your life is not over. Here are some tips on how to move forward healthily.
Your life has just been drastically changed. You may be tempted to put on a brave face and act like your OK, while inside, you feel like you're dying. You don't have to do that. It's OK to be not OK. In fact, it's normal.
You have to allow yourself time to grieve your marriage. And, the grieving process is going to take you through different stages. Some might take a long time to work through, and you might move through others quickly. That's normal.
You will probably have people that want to check in on you and make sure you're OK. If these people have been through a divorce or know someone who has, they may want to tell you how long things will take or their own experience. Don't get caught up in comparing your recovery process to others. It's different for everyone.
Eventually, you'll be OK. But it might take a while, and it's OK to struggle.
When your husband left, your mind might have filled with all the things you have to figure out. You need to know how you will continue to pay the bills, raise your kids, and handle all of your other responsibilities. There's a lot that is going to demand your attention in the coming days. But don't get caught up in it all at once. Take it one day at a time.
Some days, there might be a lot that demands your attention. Some days, you might struggle to get out of bed. Then, other days, you might feel empowered and like you can conquer the world. It's normal to go back and forth, so focus on one day at a time. Please don't get caught up in figuring out how to make it through the coming year. Just take it one day at a time.
You probably have a lot of questions about why your husband left. And, you probably think that if you get the answers to those questions, you will be able to move on and be OK. It can be hard to accept that you probably won't get all the answers you want.
But know that you don't need those answers to move forward healthily. Healthily, it's better not to know all the answers. They can give you more things to have to deal with and recover.
Forgiveness might be the farthest thing from your mind right now, and that's alright. However, there's going to come a day when you need to be able to forgive your ex-husband for being truly healthy in the future in your own life and with any relationships that you have.
It's important to know that you might never receive an apology. Your ex probably isn't going to ask for your forgiveness. But you don't need him to. This is something that you need to do for yourself, not him.
You may never feel like forgiving him, but you must do. Forgiveness is a choice, and when you make the decision and act on it, the feelings will eventually be there. Living in forgiveness will free you from some of the hurt in your divorce and allow you to move forward more healthily.
While it's true that "it's OK to be not OK," you don't always have to live like it. Feelings can be fickle, and we should let them control our lives. If we always act on our feelings, we can go down a dangerous road. You may find that there are times when you need to decide that you're going to pick yourself up, put on a happy face, and act like everything is better than it is. Sometimes when you do this, you will feel a boost in your mood inside. Your feelings will try to match the decision that you made.
One of the reasons why this works is because your behavior influences your feelings. When you decide and start to act on it, your insides might feel a little spark. Sometimes you have to fake confidence before it shows up.
6. Practice Self-Care
There's a reason why self-care is talked about so much these days. We live in such a busy world where we feel like we need to be constantly running. Women especially have a hard time making time for themselves. It's easy to get so caught up in making sure everyone else is OK and that they have what they need.
If your husband left and you have children to take care of, this might be where you find yourself. You're concerned about your kids and how they are going to adjust to the change. You want to do everything in your power to take their hurt away and make the situation easier on them. And, honestly, it's a little easier for you to deal with the situation when you can use your kids as a distraction from having to process through your pain.
But it would help if you took care of yourself during this time. You might be struggling to eat or not eat. You may be sleeping too much or not enough. And, it might be hard for you to want to do anything at all. Take time to figure out what you need to be healthy during this time. Several things are necessary:
After those three areas, there are plenty of other things that you can choose to do for self-care. Think about what activities help you to recharge and feel better. It could be taking the time to read a book, meditate or journal as a few examples.
There's a chance that your major support system in the past was your husband. Now that he's gone, it's time to build a new one. Find family members and friends that you can turn to during those hard days. These can also be the people that get you out of the house and help you start having fun again when you're ready.
Make sure that these are people that you can trust with your feelings. Not everyone you come across is someone you should let on these deepest feelings and hardest days. But there will be some of those people that you can be completely open and honest.
While a strong support system can help, a therapist can help by providing added support. And, not only will they be able to be a listening ear, but they can also provide you with helpful tips and strategies to move forward healthily. Being left by a spouse can leave you with a lot of emotional pain and doubts about yourself, and you're worth. A therapist can help you address these areas and recover. ReGain has therapists available 24/7 that can help you through this difficult and confusing time.
“Dr. Anstadt is amazing. I appreciate him always reaching out to make sure things are going smoothly in between our sessions. He follows up and genuinely cares about my situation. I would recommend Dr. Anstadt to anyone who is seeking insight on coparenting and new relationships after divorce. Thank you for everything!”
“Christina was very helpful when I told her I left my spouse. I wasn't sure what I wanted, a divorce or reconciliation. She helped me start processing where I was, to where do I see myself, to what do I want, to how do I see myself getting obtaining these goals. She did not influence any of my decisions, but guided me with thought provoking questions. Throughout our short sessions, she continued to reassure me that she or someone else, would always be there for me. Thank you Christina for your professionalism, your guidance and your compassion to help others. I look forward to continuing my therapy sessions with you, as my goals are not yet met.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What are my rights if my husband leaves me?
The rights afforded you will vary from state to state. Some states consider all marital property even and require as close to an even 50/50 split as possible. In contrast, others have extremely variable laws and rules regarding what occurs with a couple during a divorce.
The immersion of your lives will dictate some of the rights you are or are not afforded. If, for instance, you never fused your bank accounts during the course of your marriage, your money may not be touched by your husband, and you may not be able to touch any of his. If the two of you do not share property—you have your own cars, are renting your home, and have no shared investments—dividing your assets will be fairly straightforward and will likely mean allocating your existing property and assets. In other states, even if your lives were not fused, all marital property or all wealth accumulated during the marriage is to be split down the middle.
Determining your rights if your husband leaves you requires either reaching out to a lawyer or thoroughly investigating the laws in your country, state, or country. Marriage may seem simple enough when the two of you are in love and eager to spend your lives together. Still, the process of dissolving a marriage can be extremely confusing and difficult to navigate and often requires you to involve divorce mediators or a series of lawyers. If you are concerned about finances, mediators are often far less expensive than lawyers and provide a two-in-one service, offering both relationship and legal guidance.
What do you do when your husband suddenly leaves you?
Having your spouse suddenly leave you is always a challenge. When a partner unexpectedly leaves, it can feel as though the world you’ve built has come crashing down. Although you cannot avoid or replace the grief that will come crashing down on you, there are some steps to take to increase your chances of landing on your feet and recovering from the loss. These include:
Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to healing from unexpectedly being left by your husband, everyone who experiences such a dramatic upheaval of their life needs to give themselves time, grace, and a plan to tackle the daily responsibilities will face in the aftermath.
Do husbands come back after separation?
There are never guarantees when it comes to separation. For some partners, separation acts as a cooling-off period, in which the couple can better gather their thoughts, collect themselves, and move forward. For others, periods of separation are designed to result in permanent separation and divorce ultimately.
Several components can inform which couples make it past separation and which couples move forward with divorce. Couples who go into a separation already thinking about or planning to divorce are far more likely to follow through with divorce than those who do not. These couples likely move into separation less to get some space to think and more as a way to begin the divorce transition.
Ultimately, the best way to know where your husband is and what he’s thinking is to ask. When you separate, ask your husband where his head and heart are. Is he looking for some space to divide what to do about your relationship or evaluate your life? Or is he pursuing separation as the first in a series of stepping stones to move the two of you toward divorce? Suppositions might offer you some comfort but very rarely help you arrive at the most accurate conclusion. Straightforward, respectful, and considerate communication are the best avenues forward.
If you want your marriage to remain intact, and your husband is open to it, you are both likely to fare well if you involve some form of couple’s therapy or mediation. Although therapy cannot magically fix all of your marital problems, therapy can dramatically improve communication efforts and help the two of you conclude your separation that is best for your unique relationship and situation. If, after speaking to your husband, he communicates that he is not sure what he wants or has hope for your relationship, consider proposing therapy and asking your husband if he would be willing to attend therapy with you.
What are the signs that your husband no longer loves you?
The signs that your husband no longer loves you can be subtle, or they can be overt. In both cases, the signs that your husband no longer loves you will likely follow the same trajectory you follow when you have fallen out of love with someone. If the signs your husband is exhibiting match your own tell-tale signs of losing interest, you can reasonably conclude that your husband is in a similar boat. What are these common signs, exactly? Common signs of a crumbling relationship include:
The exact signs that someone is no longer interested in a relationship will differ from person to person. Still, it is usually safe to assume that someone has lost interest in doing the marriage work if they are constantly absent, refusing to communicate, and denying or avoiding attempts to display affection and intimacy. If your husband is exhibiting the signs above, it may be time to have a heart-to-heart about the state of your relationship.
How do you know when your marriage is really over?
Not everyone experiences a sudden “knowing” about the end of their relationship. The end of a relationship can come on dramatically and unexpectedly when a partner announces without warning that they want a divorce. The end of a marriage can also come as a gradual understanding between your partner and yourself, at which point the two of you decide to split amicably. Although every marriage is different, some classic signs that your marriage is truly over include:
Letting go of a marriage can feel impossible, particularly if your marriage is all you know or has taken up most of your life. Still, there are some instances in which a marriage cannot come back to life. If you are uncertain about the state of your own marriage, consider communicating your concerns to your partner or reaching out for professional relationship help.