You won’t find quick and easy tips on how to live without the man you love – because there is nothing quick or easy about letting him go! Here’s how to heal your heart, grieve your loss, and trust God to put the pieces of your life back together. I was inspired to write this post by a reader whose husband recently left her.
“Your article has given me strength for living without the man you married,” says Grace on When to Give Up on a Relationship. “I am finding it so difficult to let go of my marriage. I said my wedding vows and believed in them so much. We have two boys; we’ve been separated for 8 months. Things were wrong and abusive in our relationship. My husband moved back with his parents who have convinced him to stay with them. He will have their house and land. I hoped he would love me more but he doesn’t. I’m very very depressed as my marriage was everything to me. I cannot cope with the thought that I have to live without my husband and marriage. I just want to be the other side where I can feel positive about life again. Every day is a struggle.”
In this article, you’ll learn:
- The power of grief to bring healing
- What to tell your broken heart
- How thoughts affect your emotions
- Why it’s good news that you’ll never be 100% “the same”
- What it’s like to dip into a river of life, joy, power and freedom
- How to start planting seeds of a new life
- Why you need to pay attention to your energy levels
If you’re telling yourself you can’t cope with the thought of life without the man you love, then here’s your your first step towards healing: pay attention to what you’re saying to yourself.
Let go of the “I can’t live without him” and the “he was my life” thoughts, or they will destroy you. Those lies will drag you down and keep you under the oppressive and wrong belief that he is the reason you’re alive.
Instead, focus on these ways to grieve the loss you’re experiencing so you can start healing your heart.
How to Live Without the Man You Love
It’s important to remember that everybody grieves loss in different ways. And, remember that there are no quick or easy tips for living without the man you love. Letting go of someone you love is a process that takes time. Further, you may never truly feel free from your connection to this man you spent a big part of your life with…but you can live in joy and freedom.
The power of grief to bring healing
“Grief can surprise you with its power, its unpredictable timing, its fathomless depths, it’s transformational potential, and the scope of change it brings into your life,” writes Alexandra Kennedy in Honoring Grief: Creating a Space to Let Yourself Heal.
“We discover that grief has its own nature, rhythm, and timing; it resists our attempts to control it. We also discover that grief involves more ongoing changes in our lives than we could ever have imagined. It reaches into every part of our lives – our family, relationships, work, health, sleep, emotions, and sense of identity. No part of our lives is left untouched.”
Grief is powerful because of the waves of emotion it brings. You will find waves of depression, anger, shock, disbelief, and exhaustion. Those waves of grief will hit and overwhelm you at surprising times during the day and night – but if you learn how to swim through those waves of grief, you will experience the powerful freedom of healing. Maybe you need to start by floating through those waves – not swimming – and then you will learn how to live without the man you love.
What to tell your broken heart
Every thought that comes into your mind has the power to drag you under or lift you up. When you are learning how to live without the man you love, you are not feeling as strong or powerful as when you are whole. Now is the time to tell yourself that you are in pain right now and you must grieve your loss.
Imagine holding your heart gently in your two hands, cradling it with love. Your heart is broken and bruised, battered and bashed. Your heart needs you to be kind, gentle, and compassionate. Your heart also needs you to be wise and strong. Your heart needs you to be courageous.
You know what? You will come out on the other side. You will feel positive and happy about your life again! You will heal – but first you must grieve your loss. The end of a relationship is hard. It’s painful. But you’ve lived through the end of things before in your life, and you survived.
Notice how your thoughts affect your emotions
Here’s a wise comment from a reader on How to Cope When the Man You Love is Marrying Someone Else: If you keep telling yourself that you can’t survive or cope without the man you love, then guess what? You won’t be able to survive or cope. You won’t be able to move forward in your life — you won’t be able to heal from the pain.
It hurts to let go of the man you love. You gave your heart, your life, your time to him. You loved him unconditionally and you wanted to spend the rest of your life with him. The fact that he’s moving on is heartbreaking.
Keep breathing through the pain. Stop telling yourself that you’ll never survive or that you can’t forget the man you love. Instead, take a deep breath and look upwards. Look around you, at the people who love you and the beauty that exists in your life.
You’ll never be 100% “the same” – and that’s good news!
Successfully learning how to live without the man you love involves acceptance not just of his absence, but also the absence of the way you were.
Love is a powerful thing; letting go of love doesn’t mean your heart will just go back to the way it was before. You aren’t the same woman you were when you first fell in love with this man. He may not be the same man he was when you fell in love with him.
You will never be the same woman you were before this relationship because it changed you in good and deep ways. The awesome part of this breakup is that you have power! You have power to forge an entirely new direction in your life. You can hold on to your fear, doubt, and anxiety of living without the man you love…or you can stop resisting the pain and grief. You can let go of the lie that you can’t live without the man you love, and you can find a fresh new you in the rubble of this relationship.
Imagine what it’s like to dip into a river of life, joy, power and freedom
“Grief changes us,” writes Kennedy in Honoring Grief: Creating a Space to Let Yourself Heal. “We are no longer the person we were, nor are we the person we will be. We find that what was true about our lives is no longer true. Everything is different; we see with new eyes. What used to be important no longer matters to us. We walk on new, versatile ground.”
You can choose to heal. You can choose to be stronger, wiser, and happier. You can’t choose the way your relationship ended, but you can choose how your life will continue to unfold. You can start working towards a “new normal.”
Here’s what I wrote in my journal this morning: “Father God if I truly, deeply, and humbly accept your love and sovereignty in my life, then there is no need for me to judge or resist anything that happens to me. If I trust You fully and completely, then I wouldn’t resist anything that happens in my life. I thought I’d die when I had to learn how to live without the man I loved, but You brought me a better, happier man. You gave me a life and relationship I never dreamed possible. I am grateful for my husband and marriage – but I am more grateful for the love, freedom, grace and joy You give me.”
If your relationship with God is suffering because of this breakup, read 4 Ways to Hold on to Your Faith When Love Hurts.
Pay attention to your energy levels
Notice what relationships or activities nourish you and which ones drain you. Who brings life and joy in your life? Who steals your peace and happiness? Watch who is showing up for you as you learn how to live without this man you love.
And, experiment with expressing yourself in new ways through art, music, writing, and dance. Follow the muse where she pulls you to create. Maybe you need to make a decorated box of “letting go of this man”, or plant a fresh new garden, write a poem, or make a special meal.
“Most important, pay attention to where your energy is naturally drawn,” writes Kennedy. “Don’t discount a subtle yearning to do something different. Follow the energy; this is a glimpse of the new life that is unfolding. From time to time, a big way of sorrow that you have to learn how to live without the man you love might hit you. Sometimes out of the blue. It can be disconcerting to feel such intense feelings again. These waves are part of a long-term healing process; they will continue to come and go.”
Start planting seeds of a new life
Now, it’s time for you to re-create your life in a way that incorporates new perspectives, new attitudes, new priorities, and new values. One of your new attitudes is acceptance – because you know that resisting this change will stop you from learning how to live happily without the man you love.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What do I need to let go of in my life that is no longer alive?
- What is sacred to me?
- Who or what do I love?
- What have I sacrificed in order to love this man and be in this relationship?
- What is calling to me now in my life?
- How can I start living the life I really want?
- What changes do I need to make so I can learn how to live without the man I love?
Take one question at a time and sit quietly with it. Write about it in your journal, turn it over in your mind. Don’t overanalyze or overthink your answers. Don’t pressure yourself to come up with an answer. Be willing not to know how you will live without him. What is important is that the questioning gets energy moving deep in your emotions and spirit. From here, change will naturally unfold in your life.
What is one thing you can do today to take care of yourself, and help your heart heal?
Help Living Without the Man You Love
I wrote 75 How to Let Go of Someone You Love: 3 Powerful Secrets (and 75 Tips!) for Healing Your Heart not because I had to learn how to live without a man I love. Rather, I had to let go of someone I thought meant more to me than any man: my sister. She cut me out of her life several years ago, and it was the most painful “breakup” I ever experienced.
To write this ebook, I interviewed life coaches, counselors, and grief coaches on letting go. I know how shocking, confusing, and heart-wrenching it is when you’re letting go of a loved one. It’s devastating – and it changes how you see yourself. Learning how to let go of someone you love is about rediscovering your passion and identity.
Here’s what a reader recently emailed me about Letting Go of Someone You Love: “I gobbled the book down. Great help in putting things in perspective and in taking positive thoughtful action. Many thanks for sharing your wisdom and experiences.”
In Madly in Love with ME: The Daring Adventure of Becoming Your Own Best Friend, Christine Arylo shares tips on how to renew your relationship with the person you spend the most time with…your self.
Imagine having the power to:
- Give to yourself first, without guilt
- Shower yourself with loving words instead of criticism and comparison
- Go for your dreams with conviction and courage
- Choose the situations and relationships that make you happiest
- Discover and explore your deepest thoughts and desires — and act on them
Self-love changes all that by taking you beyond the idea of loving, valuing, and caring for yourself into daring acts that will help you experience it. To let go and live without the man you love, you need to find practical, fun ways to explore and embody Christine’s ten branches of self-love every day and in every part of your life.
I welcome your comments below on how to live without the man you love. While I can’t offer advice or personal counseling, I do read every comment. If you haven’t written about your loss yet I encourage you to write here or in your private journal. Writing will help you grieve, heal, and learn about living without a man you thought you couldn’t let go of.
If you’re not ready to let go, read How to Cope When He Says He’s Not in Love With You.
May you find healing comfort may you find healing, comfort, and inspiration in this moment. May you learn to trust the process of grief and let it take you where you need to go to heal. May learning how to live without the man you love become easier and easier every moment of the day…and may your heart heal of old wounds and regrets so that it may open to greater love and joy now – and in the future.
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.