Saying – even just thinking, “My husband left me for another woman” – is heartbreaking, but help is here. These tips for coping when your husband leaves you for her will help you survive even when you’re completely shocked that he walked out.
“I can’t believe this happened to me, the pain is unbearable,” said Esmie on How to Get Over the Pain of Being Cheated On. “I spent nearly two decades of my life with my husband, just to watch him walk away. I didn’t know he was unhappy or that I’d be searching for tips on how to cope when your husband leaves you for another woman. Do men who leave their wives after all that time regret it? Do they feel guilty about what they have done? I know it doesn’t matter because when someone wants out, they want out. It’s just sad some people think marriages are so disposable. Before we got married my husband pursued me so hard and he wanted to rush to get married. So I said ‘yes’ and now…he files for divorce and that’s it. Wow. I pray for the day to come when I don’t wake up feeling this huge anchor on my chest, the day where he is a distant memory and I wonder what the heck I ever saw in him.”
I don’t know if men who leave their husbands regret it, or if the pain of betrayal ever really goes away. I don’t even know if time heals all wounds. But, I do believe that you CAN recover and rebuild your life. You might even find a way to be happier and more fulfilled than you ever were before.
You might even Blossom.
7 Ways to Cope When Your Husband Leaves You for Her
Here’s what one famous wife said when her husband walked out:
“I’m not sure what the future holds, but I do know that I’m going to be positive and not wake up feeling desperate,” said Nicole Kidman. “As my dad said ‘Nic, it is what it is, it’s not what it should have been, not what it could have been, it is what it is.’”
It is what it is. These aren’t the most comforting words in the world, are they? But it’s the truth. And the sooner you can accept the truth, the quicker you will begin to heal. Part of accepting the truth might be learning Why He Had an Affair and How to Recover. Your husband’s leaving may be the worst betrayal in marriage and it may be the worst thing your husband could ever do to you…but it’s what happened. The sooner you can accept that it is what it is, the sooner you can move on and create a better, more meaningful, happier life.
Here are seven tips on how to cope when your husband walks out on your marriage. This isn’t legal or financial advice; it’s how to heal your heart and self-esteem.
1. Realize that his leaving isn’t a direct reflection on you
No matter how beautiful, successful, slim, or rich their wives are, some husbands will be unfaithful. Men cheat and leave their marriages for a wide variety of reasons – many of which have nothing to do with their wives. To learn more about cheating husbands, read Is Your Husband Cheating? 5 Signs He’s Having an Affair.
More importantly, remember that your husband left you for another woman because of his problems – which aren’t a reflection of you! It’s not that you’re not good enough, or she’s a better woman. To be able to say “my husband left me for another woman” and survive, keep reminding yourself that your husband left you because he has his own issues.
2. Learn how to forgive your husband for leaving
“When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.” – Bernard Meltzer.
This may be one of the most difficult thing to do after your husband leaves…and it’s the most necessary.
Don’t carry around the bitterness, misery, and pain of an angry woman. Don’t allow his choice to dictate how you live the rest of your life. Don’t let his mistakes drain the joy, love, and spirit out of your life!
Learn how to forgive. Actually, I should have put “grieve the end of your marriage” at the top of these ways to cope when your husband leaves for another woman. Right now, you’re grieving the loss of your dreams, the end of your marriage, and the pain of discovering that your husband won’t be spending the rest of his life with you. Allow yourself to grieve, and learn how to forgive.
3. Stop comparing yourself to the other woman
You have strengths and weaknesses that she doesn’t have, and she has strengths and weaknesses that you don’t have. It’s pointless and futile to compare yourself to her, to try to figure out why your husband left. It’s a waste of time and energy! Accept the fact that for some reason, your husband had to go. It’s not even about you; it’s about him.
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If it makes you feel better, make a list of your strengths and her weaknesses, and read them when you feel down on yourself. But I actually think it’s better not to compare yourself to the other woman at all. You need to focus on moving onwards and upwards after your husband leaves, not on what the other woman has that you don’t. This is your time to concentrate on healing and personal growth. It doesn’t matter who or what she is…what matters is that you have a life to rebuild, a self-image to recreate, and a new identity to focus on.
When He Leaves: Help and Hope for Hurting Wives by Kari West and Noelle Quinn will give you hope and encouragement as you learn how to cope after your husband walks out. There are no easy answers – but you can reach out for companionship and the knowledge that you are not alone.
4. Spend time with women who survived when their husbands walked out
Who will walk alongside you, as you work through the pain and process your loss? If you don’t know who to talk to, consider asking your friends and family members if they know a woman whose husband left her. If she survived the end of her marriage in healthy ways – and if she’s stronger, happier, and healthier – spend time with her. Ask if you can buy her a coffee; learn how she overcame pain of his cheating on you and leaving. Soak up her courage, health, and wisdom.
One of the best ways to survive a traumatic event – and learning how to cope when your husband leaves you for another woman is definitely a type of trauma – is to connect with people who know what you’re going through. Gain strength and healing from women who have survived similar problems in life. Join a grief support group, or form your own little group of women who surviving such a major change in their lives.
5. Let go of your old hopes and dreams for your marriage
If you think your marriage isn’t over, read How to Know if Your Relationship is Worth Fighting For. But don’t fight reality. Don’t allow your wishes and pain to change how you see the truth. It’s better to face and accept the truth – to surrender to what is – instead of wishing your life could go back to the way things were.
And remember that you’re not just grieving the fact that your husband left you for another woman. You’re not simply mourning the loss of him as a man. You’re actually grieving the end of something that was so important to you. Your marriage may have been the focus of your life, and saying “my husband left me for another woman” may be the most painful words you ever utter. You lost something you believed in and thought would last forever. So, you’re grieving the end of the marriage you thought you had, that you hoped you had…you’ve been betrayed, and you aren’t as innocent and trusting as you were before.
This is a huge loss, and I am sorry you have to go through this. But to heal, you have to grieve not only the loss of a husband, but the loss of your marriage, the loss of the things you hoped for on your wedding day. You need to grieve the painful reality that your husband left you for her, and that you have to rebuild your life.
6. Get help coping with the end of your marriage
Counseling is about making sense of your life, and figuring out how to move on after betrayals, heartaches, and heartbreaks. Talking through your problems with an objective counselor, spiritual leader, or psychologist can help you let go. An objective professional can help you see your big life picture and your more detailed personality characteristics.
In He’s History, You’re Not: Surviving Divorce After 40, Erica Manfred Erica Manfred shares her own divorce experience, as well as the advice of experts, with specific sections tailored to women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s.
If you feel lost and helpless because your husband said he doesn’t love you anymore, don’t spin your wheels alone. Invest in yourself emotionally and spiritually – a counselor or a support group for divorced women can help you make sense of what why your husband left. You need to focus on picking up the pieces of your life and starting a fresh new chapter of your life.
Runaway Husbands: The Abandoned Wife’s Guide to Recovery and Renewal by Kari West and Noelle Quinn will help you start feeling better yourself, your life, and your future. It won’t be easy, but you WILL survive.
7. Start something new in your life
This is your chance to embark on a new chapter in your social, professional, personal, or spiritual life! Volunteer, take a solo or group vacation, join a new gym, take a night class, join a support group, check out a new social club, quit your job, go back to school. Surviving a breakup can be about growing into the woman you were meant to be – and about exploring a different part of your life and personality. This may be the end of one stage of your life…but it can be the beginning of a whole new era! It’s up to you…
For more tips on coping when your husband leaves you for her, read How to Let Go of a Relationship.
If you need to talk about why your husband left you for another woman, please share below! Sometimes writing is the healthiest thing you can do. I can’t give advice, but I’m here to listen.
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.