5 Ways to Stop Wanting Him Back

The breakup had to happen, yet it breaks your heart. You can’t stop wanting him back! These tips will help you move forward without your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband, and inspire you to walk into a new season of life.

After a breakup or divorce, you can’t just merrily move on with your life. Unfortunately, it takes time and effort to learn how to stop wanting him back – even when you know the relationship wasn’t good for you. Your heart needs time to heal, and these tips will help you.

The Blossom Tips in this article are inspired by a reader’s comment. “I can’t stop thinking, hurting, and wanting my ex-boyfriend back,” says Indira in response to How to Overcome Depressed Feelings After a Breakup. “This emotional state is paralyzing me. I feel like I am obsessed, I miss him, I can’t stop wanting to see signs that my ex wants me back. I tell myself this breakup was meant to be and we can’t be together. But even though my head knows our relationship is over, my heart wants to be with him. How do I stop wanting him back?”

My “She Blossoms” articles — especially the ones about healing your heart after a breakup — are divided into five different categories. This ensures I cover the whole spectrum: Spirit, Heart, Soul, Body, and Brain. And, the separate Blossom Tips help you identify which works best for you.

5 Ways to Stop Wanting Him Back

One of the most important things to ask yourself is, “What usually works for me?” 

For example, if you’re often comforted by your friendships, then you need to reach out to loved ones for support. If you’re more of a cerebral woman, then you’ll find it helpful to change your thinking about how to stop wanting him back after a breakup. If you’re a woman of faith, you’ll find healing and peace in your relationship with Jesus.

There is no one right tip on how to stop wanting an ex-boyfriend or ex-husband back after a breakup. But, these ideas will help you find what might work for you…

1. Spirit – Set your heart on unfailing love

Sometimes a woman can fall into the trap of believing that a man — whether he’s a husband she’s been married to for 45 years or a new boyfriend she’s madly in love with — is the only purpose in life.

How to Stop Wanting Him Back After a BreakupSometimes, women set their hearts on men and relationships. They expect husbands and boyfriends to make them happy; they forget that husbands and boyfriends aren’t just prone to normal human weaknesses and failures, they’re also candidates for disease and death. 

The healthiest tip on how to stop wanting him back after a breakup, divorce or even death is to set your heart on a love and peace that never fails. No human can offer the joy, freedom, peace and love of Jesus. If your heart is set on God’s love, then you’ll find it easier to stop wanting your ex back after a breakup.

Note that I didn’t say faith makes loss or life easy! Just easier.

2. Heart – Accept the misty shadows of grief

This loss will always be with you. There is no “getting over a breakup” when it comes to losing love. You gave your heart to your boyfriend or husband, and now all you can think about is how much you miss him.

After losing or breaking up with someone you love, your heart will always feel the misty shadows of grief. You’ll always miss him — and this is normal, because you loved him! You gave him your heart, and your heart will never be the same. But, you will stop wanting him back if you focus on healing and moving forward. You will learn how to stop wanting your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband back in your life if you find the balance between grieving and healing. 

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3. Soul – Get it out of your head

Do you write in a journal? Get it all out. Spill your guts on the page, all those heartbreaking emotions and obsessive thoughts and crazy dreams of getting back together with your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband event hough you know it’s unhealthy or even impossible.

Write about how you feel and why you’re struggling with these feelings of wanting him back. If you’re more artistically inclined, get out your crayons or oil paints, glues and glitter guns. Creating something that represents your feelings will help you express those tangled emotions, which will help you heal. And with healing brings freedom from wanting him back after a breakup!

4. Body – Shock your system with a shower!

My most recent and interesting physical tip on how to stop wanting your ex back is to take a cold shower! The shock to your system will jolt you out of the pit of despair, the cold water will take your breath away, and the soap and shampoo will symbolize your journey into a new season of life.

Just try it. The next time you’re struggling with those overwhelming feelings (I want him back, I can’t go on without him), plan a physical gesture that will give you hope for a new beginning when you don’t want to be alone. If you’re like me and hate the idea of a cold shower, plan a different activity. It should be something that shocks your system, though. The shock will remind you that you are growing forward, and that you will stop wanting him back.

5. Brain – Analyze why you want him back

A cognitive tip on how to stop wanting your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband back is to analyze your feelings in writing. If you keep going round and round in your head, you won’t move forward. An intellectual approach is to learn how to stop wanting him back by answering these questions:

  • What do I miss most about him? About being a couple?
  • What would it feel like to stop wanting him back?
  • How have I coped with breakups in the past?
  • Why do I want him back so bad? What does he offer that I’m missing?
  • What am I not willing to do to change?
  • If I prayed about this, what would I say?

Feel free to share your answers in the comments section below. Sometimes it helps to know someone is actually reading your words. Writing for others can sharpen your thinking and clarify your sentences, which will help you see why you can’t seem to stop wanting your ex back after a breakup. 

One final tip on how to stop wanting him back…

How to Stop Wanting Him BackIf you’re obsessed with your ex, read Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts: A CBT-Based Guide to Getting Over Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts. 

In this book, Sally M. Winston and Martin N. Seif offer proven-effective cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) skills to help you get unstuck from disturbing thoughts, overcome the shame these thoughts can bring, and reduce your anxiety. While this book isn’t focused solely on “how to stop wanting him back”, it can change your life. 

Your are not your thoughts. Don’t let them control you — especially if they’re creating anxiety, pain, depression and hopelessness in your life.

You’ve already started recovering from the pain of the breakup. Simply searching for tips on how to stop wanting him back after a breakup is a step towards healing! It’s time to reroot your faith in God and walk forward into a new season of life. 

Here’s another article that may help: 3 Ways to Stop Feeling Lost Without a Relationship.

What do you think about my tips on how to stop wanting him back after a breakup? Your thoughts – big and little – are welcome below! I read every comment, but don’t worry: I won’t give advice or tell you what to do. It’s your turn to talk.

May you Blossom into who God created you to be.


SheBlossoms Laurie Pawlik Kienlen

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5 thoughts on “5 Ways to Stop Wanting Him Back

  • Anita

    I have read your article every time I feel sad about this breakup. It helps. But it is so very, very painful. What I read assures me that I am doing right. I have been trying to break this relationship for a long time. I finally wrote him, to tell him so. 15!yrs of this anguish of waiting is driving me mentally and physically sick.
    I am taking a trip and hope that this will help me.
    It’s so hard, but I know nothing will change

  • Daisy

    I have been in love with my mm for 7 years. I would say that just about everything about us is perfect except our timing. We went to high school together, but didn’t know each other back then and reconnected several years ago through some high school friends’ events/parties. The attraction was intense and far deeper than anything I had ever felt before in my life. I knew immediately that he was special, and felt like I had met him before. It was love at first sight. He told me that he felt exactly the same thing for me. We started communicating, and things developed quickly. Right away we were in love, and began a beautiful affair. Even though I knew it was wrong, I couldn’t help loving my mm because no one had ever made me feel the way he made me feel.

    About a year and a half later, his wife found out about us. He decided he needed to break things off with me, and it was devastating.
    We ended up going virtually “no contact” for about 2 years, which about killed me. His marriage survived – but just barely. A large dynamic is that he “takes care” of his wife, and codependency seems to be keeping them together as well as the guilt involved with hurting their kids, the extended family, the friends, etc. (They have been married 23 years). I do not believe he stayed with her because he is in love with her although I believe he does love her on some level.

    The grief and trauma of losing him for two years was nearly unbearable for me, with the way things ended there was just no closure, and I wasn’t able to fully move on although I tried and just thought about him every day. After 2 years he contacted me again and we resumed our affair. I took it as proof of our true love that he came back and jumped back in full swing. This relationship has given me the highest highs and the lowest lows of my life. He is a wonderful writer, has written the most beautiful letters to me, he is passionate, handsome, and interesting and he makes me feel beautiful and special. Our sex life is unbelievable, but he is also a romantic and my best friend and we tell each other everything. We both believe that we loved each other before we met each other and that we are “split-aparts”. The time we spend together is precious to me and I live for the moments that I can see him. Although we make love all the time, we also spend time together that is not just having sex. We have traveled together, not a whole lot as that just isn’t practical and requires a lot of lying and planning, but we do. We meet up and talk and just hold one another, and we take walks together. We communicate nearly constantly.

    It is NOT an easy relationship and it is NOT a relationship I would recommend to anyone to get into. The instant he leaves me, I start to miss him and the crushing loneliness and depression sets in…. I spend most of my time alone, which includes eating meals, taking long drives, sitting in my room staring at my phone wondering when I will hear from him. I have even taken a trip to the beach by myself for the weekend, just me and ‘him’ on my phone. Holidays and weekends are the worst. We are in constant communication but it isn’t enough. I long for more time with him and to be able to take him to events, for us to travel together, sleep in the same bed at night (something we have only done 3 times in 7 years together). I long to post a photo of us together, to share with people in my real world my mm who is such a part of my internal world and my life. I feel like I am lying to everyone. I spend excessive amounts of time overthinking and worrying about what will happen to him or me and how either of us will know if something bad happens. I spend excessive amounts of time worrying about getting sick and dying and us not having our chance to be together. I do have friends but I don’t talk to most of my friends about him for fear of being criticized or judged. I feel like I have to hide a huge part of who I am and live my life in secrecy. I have become more introverted and prefer to hang out alone rather than be with people most of the time as a result of this relationship.

    Since we started seeing each other again, he has never told me that he will leave his wife. He has told me that he knows we belong together, but he just can not bring himself to leave her and hurt her that way. He has told me that he believes in his heart that we will end up together – he does not know how or when but we will. He says that he is in love with me, but he still loves his wife too, although he loves us in different ways. I do get angry with him that he can’t hurt her, yet somehow in all of this, it is okay for me to hurt. He doesn’t want me to hurt and has told me that he knows he isn’t good for me in this way, but we always come back to the same thing. It’s a pattern we’re in now and we have the same discussions about every month. At times I feel like he has some narcissistic traits, that he lacks empathy for my situation as well as his wife’s true situation as the entire thing is a house of cards built on lies, and everyone is being hurt and lied to in some way and realize how dysfunctional and toxic this entire thing is. I feel foolish and angry with myself and with him that I keep their codependent relationship going by loving him so well and fulfilling his needs to the point where he can avoid making changes in his life – changes that might bring us together. I want him to be authentic and live his life truthfully, but he just can’t do it. I am an honest person in every other area of my own life, and I hate hurting people, but this part of my life that doesn’t reflect those values. And I hate that.

    I have read about trauma bonding and i know that this has a lot to do with why I stay in this relationship. I just wish that it was easy for me to realize that there could be something better out there for me and someone who could give me everything. Instead, all I think about is how much I love him and that he gives me everything in those little moments of time. And I tell myself I would rather have a little bit of something with the right person than everything with the wrong person. I just can’t be with someone I don’t love. I can’t even talk to another man. I don’t know how he can be with two people at once. I can’t do it. I’ve also been faithful to him for almost two years now.
    He recently told me that he still has sex with his wife – ‘not that often’ as he says – but they still do. It was like a knife hitting me right in my heart when he told me that. I guess I knew they did but asking him and hearing his reply was like bringing the genie out of the bottle and it hurt so bad to think about that.

    Sometimes I feel like there is no hope… no way out of this for me. I truly love him and just want our chance, but I know what I am doing is wrong on so many levels. .

  • Sasha t

    Hi. I really need some advice. I got involved with a mm last year and we are still current friends. I badly want to end it. I can’t believe I was so naive and gullible and didn’t think of how badly the situation could’ve turned out . Long story short , not only is this guy married with 2 kids but I can’t help but think he had a thing with one of our coworkers. I don’t know him that well.. but I know the look he gives me… I know how we interact and whenever I see him and our coworker interact it makes me sick bc it is the same way him and I interact. It truly makes me question my worth. But at the same time I don’t want to lose him as a friend. I love him deep Down. I want to tell him everything I feel but I want to end things none the less. It’s to the point where we don’t talk now for days. I only see glimpses of him at work and he still tries to sugar coat things and pretend like everything is ok. I usually play along although it kills me inside. I know he communicate with our other coworker regularly and that also makes me sick. I’ve done so much for him… more than I’ve done for anyone and it hurts that he won’t even acknowledge it. I feel like I’m just a sex object… I don’t know how to end things amicably. Help!!

  • Christine

    Dearest Blosso,
    I was reading this email thinking you know exactly how I feel. Why do I keep wanting my ex back when he doesn’t want me or love me.
    He broke up with me one year ago after 20 years together which was totally unexpected for me. He said he had a wonderful life with me but wants to experience new things in his life now and wants fireworks and doesn’t love me any more.
    Well he went overseas for 12 month keapt writing to on a almost weekly basis about his experiences.
    Silly enough I keapt hanging on thinking he will come back if things don’t work our.
    He did come back and it fealt like he was a different person. I so much wanted my love back but all I got is this man that just doesn’t care.
    Now why do I still feel so sad and heartbroken ? He likes to stay in touch but realy has no idea how much this is hurting me.
    He left again to find a new life and wife (which is like me but not me he says ) how can I make sense of this.
    My brain says let him go you deserve better than that but my thoughts are always with him.
    I just want to let him go
    I just don’t want to think about him all the time
    and most of all I like to get my sleep back and not dream and think about him with this new wife he may have found now.
    I have stopped writing to him and that’s sooo hard to.
    Oh dear now I have written a lot down and knowing that you will read that and understand means so much when your heart is broken.
    Thank you so much for your emails I’m so glad I get to read them and look forward to it.
    Love Christine x