Marriage certainly isn’t all sunshine and roses.
Whether you have been with your partner for one year or for 30 years, you are both growing and changing every day. This brings with it inevitable bumps in the road.
Some of these bumps can be worked through easily.
Some take a lot more time and patience.
And in some cases, these bumps can end the marriage altogether.
If your husband has left you for another woman, you’re likely overwhelmed with feelings and thoughts – not to mention a lot of questions.
In this post, we will help answer those troubling questions plaguing you, and provide tips to help you move on.
My husband left me for another woman and now he wants to come back
You may find yourself in this awkward situation.
Your husband left you for another woman, realized his mistake, and is now begging for you back.
What do you do?
Unfortunately, you are the only person who can answer this. And your answer will depend on a number of different factors:
- Do you still love him?
- Was your marriage good before he cheated?
- Will you be able to trust him again?
- Are you going to be able to move past this?
It’s important not to enter back into the relationship lightly. Take your time to consider your thoughts and feelings.
For some, this is exactly what they are hoping for. They have been waiting for this moment from the day he walked out. There is a sense of victory that comes with winning your man back.
For others, the relationship died the day he walked out the door and there is no salvaging it.
Work out where you stand and decided what you want to do.
It’s important to ignore everyone else. People will have opinions on what they think you should do. These opinions don’t matter. The only one that counts is yours.
1) Why did he leave me?
There are so many different reasons he may have chosen to walk out that door.
- He has fallen in love with the other woman: this happens. A mistress becomes the new love of his life and he leaves you for her. Perhaps you were married young and didn’t know what love was. Things change over time and marriage takes hard work and commitment from both sides.
- He’s fallen out of love with you: this can be a hard one to swallow, especially if you are still completely in love with him. There may be a big, pinpoint moment that led to this (think back to your last big fight), or it could have deteriorated over time.
- Your marriage was already struggling: instead of dealing with problems, some men prefer to just run away from them. He started cheating and entered a whole new world with no problems or issues. A long-term marriage simply can’t compete with that.
If you are wondering why he left you, then think about the last year or so of your marriage. Were there warning signs that suggest one of the reasons above?
2) Was it my fault?
Of course, this is naturally where our minds jump. He has gone off and found himself another woman – it must be your fault. Right?
Men cheat for a variety of reasons, some of which are mentioned above. It’s not a reflection on you, but merely a reflection on your marriage.
It takes two people to make a marriage. He has left you because he chose to run away from the problems, rather than face them. This is not your fault.
It’s something you need to tell yourself over and over, whenever you’re feeling down: “my husband left me for another woman because HE has issues.”
3) Can I get him back?
He may be done with the marriage, but you aren’t. This leaves you to ask: can I get him back?
Let’s face it when your partner says they no longer love you, it doesn’t mean the love is dead. Your marriage doesn’t have to be over, even if she says he loves someone else. Even if he has left you.
If you do want him back, there are ways to help it happen:
- Be patient: it’s all too tempting to threaten, yell, and scream at him until he comes back. This won’t work. You need to give you both time to heal, and him time to realize what is missing.
- Control your emotions: if you come across too strong or unhinged, he is going to stay back. You will earn yourself the position of the ‘crazy ex-wife’ in no time.
- Seek help: suggest counseling as a way to resolve your issues and get your marriage back on track. Remember, he left you for a reason. It’s important to get to the bottom of it so you can repair it.
Winning him back is a long-term gain. You have to be willing to give him his space and not come on too strong. Otherwise, you risk pushing him away further.
Of course, you may not want him back at all! This is a decision that only you can make.
4) Will it last?
Whether or not you want him back, you might be wondering if this new relationship of his will last.
Unfortunately, without a crystal ball in hand to tell you the future, only time will tell.
For some men, it is simply a fling. He is looking to escape a hard marriage and enjoy some light-hearted fun. But when the dust settles and the realities of this new relationship settle in, he may discover this isn’t what he wanted.
For other men, they may truly find themselves happier with this new relationship. It was exactly what they need and the love is there.
Then, of course, there is the woman in this relationship. She may have simply like your man because he was unattainable. Some women love sneaking around and hiding relationships. Some simply like taking what isn’t theirs. Once it is out in the open, they may not feel the same way anymore.
The fact is, you will have to just wait and see what happens. There is no way of knowing.
5) When will the pain go away?
The heartbreak that comes from your husband leaving you for another woman is immense. It’s important to recognize that you’re grieving.
You’re grieving for your past relationship.
You’re grieving for the man you used to know.
You’re grieving for the loss of your future together.
It’s a lot to process and it’s going to take time.
Give yourself the space to grieve. Some women are so determined to move on and not let it get to them, but eventually, it will catch up with you.
You need to say goodbye to the relationship and accept what has happened in order to truly be able to move forward.
It also doesn’t help blaming the ‘other woman’ – as tempting as this might be. In most cases, it only makes matters worse.
6) Will I ever forgive him?
Forgiveness takes time, and it is up to you whether you even choose to go down this path. It’s worth noting that forgiveness can be a great way to heal – even if you don’t want to be with him ever again.
Forgiving doesn’t mean you have to forget what he has done to you or condone his actions. It simply turns you from victim to an empowered person.
It can be an important part of recovering from what you have been through. Allowing you to let go of his baggage and move on with a fresh start in life.
Forgiveness is for you – not for him.
“Without forgiveness life is governed by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.” Roberto Assagioli.
7) How do I tell the children?
If you have children in the marriage, then it can definitely make things more difficult. It might have you wondering how you broach the topic with them.
The simple fact is, they need to be told. But the details are up to you and the age of the children. Keep it simple and try not to show your emotions around them. Your feelings aren’t their feelings (ie, anger at dad), so be careful not to project.
It can sometimes help to sit down with your husband and have the talk together. This ensures you are all on the same page with what is going on.
While they don’t need to know all the details, what they do need to know is:
- They are loved by both parents.
- You are both there for them.
- They can rely on both of you.
- It wasn’t their fault.
What do I do now?
This is always the hardest question. When you have been burned so badly and had your trust betrayed, it can be hard to pick up the pieces.
Whether it was a short marriage or more than 20 years, it can be hard to move on. Firstly, and most importantly, you need to make sure you are taking care of yourself emotionally. It can be all too easy to spiral into a place of despair, which will throw the rest of your life into disarray.
Here are some tips to help you move on in your life.
1) Lean on your support network
Your support network is there for a reason, and there has never been a better time to use them.
People want to help. Friends and family want to be there for you – they just don’t know how.
Show them. It will help you both.
If you need a shoulder to cry on, ask for it.
If you are after a fun night out, organize the girls.
If you simply need someone to come be with you, let them know.
If you have children in the relationship, it could be worthwhile getting a helping hand with them. Having friends and family around will not only ease your pain but your children’s pain as well.
2) Don’t give the other woman a second thought
When your husband leaves you for another woman, you can find yourself automatically comparing yourself to her. You might be asking, “What does she have that I don’t?”
Just like any other person that walks this planet, she will have strengths and weaknesses that you don’t have, and you will have strengths and weaknesses that she doesn’t have.
You need to put the focus on moving forwards, and not let yourself get stuck in the what-ifs. There is no good to come of this.
3) Let go of your marriage
Whether you have been married for one year, five years, or 30 years, you no doubt have a set of dreams and hopes for that marriage. This might include:
- Buying your first home together.
- Having a child together.
- Planning overseas trips together.
- Growing old together.
It’s time to let these hopes and dreams go, so you can move on with your life. The more time you spend wishing for your old life back, the less time you spend living in the present.
It’s important to give yourself the time to grieve. You are mourning the life you used to have and the future you yearned for.
Then it’s time to let it go and move on.
4) Give him distance
While you may be hoping he comes running back sooner or later, the best thing you can do in the present is give him some distance.
Try and remain friendly, without being overbearing. Show him you respect his decision, rather than trying to alienate him by fighting further.
When the time is right, he will either realize his mistake and come back to you, or you will realize he is happy in his new relationship and has moved on.
Keeping your distance and remaining civil keeps the door open if he decides the former.
5) Be kind to yourself
Things are different now. Your life has been upended and it will take some time to adjust to this new normal. Go easy on yourself.
If you have kids, then go easy on them too. They are also dealing with the changes.
Don’t expect things to run as they did before. There is an entire person missing from your household.
Let the washing pile up for a couple of days.
Let the dust build on those shelves.
Let the dishes sit in the sink a little longer.
You will no doubt find your new normal soon enough. In the meantime, give yourself a little leeway with the huge adjustment to your life.
Recommended reading: How to forgive yourself: 13 steps to move on from regrets
6) Talk to someone
Getting over infidelity is one of the hardest things you can do in life.
Talking to a counselor can give you an outlet for your feelings, while also giving you a different outlook on the situation.
It can also help you process any feelings you might have.
Depending on where your relationship now stands, it can also help to see a specialized divorce therapist – especially if there are kids involved.
They can help you work out your relationship post-marriage and what it will look like with the kids in the picture.
This can also have the added benefit of helping to resolve your marriage and breaking those ties with your partner. It’s the perfect chance to heal and move on.
7) Keep busy
It’s no secret that those first few months, or even a year or two, after the infidelity are going to be painful.
Keeping yourself busy allows you to remain positive about life and gives you new and fresh things to focus on.
There are lots of ways you can stay busy:
- Take up a new hobby.
- Go back to study and get yourself a degree.
- Organize to go out with your girlfriends more often.
- Join a gym or an exercise class.
- Sign up for a community project.
8) Do something for you
Instead of sitting back and feeling depressed at the failure of your marriage, take it as a sign to start fresh.
Do this with baby steps. Think about one thing you have always wanted to do for yourself:
- Dye your hair.
- Cut your hair off.
- Join a gym.
- Take up an art class.
- Buy a new wardrobe.
Instead of seeing the end of your marriage, think of it as a new beginning for you.
It’s a chance to redefine yourself and think about what you want to get out of life. It’s an exciting opportunity to put you first and shake things up a bit.
9) Start dating again
When the time is right – and only you can know this – you need to think about re-entering the dating world.
Just because your husband left you, doesn’t mean you need to remain single for the rest of your life. Get out there and own it.
These days, there are so many different ways to approach the dating world. From speed dating to dating apps, or just regular meeting at a bar, find the way you are most comfortable with and get going!
What should I do if my husband wants a divorce?
At the end of the day, there is only so much you can do if your husband chooses to leave you.
While you might try and win him back, there are no guarantees this will work.
At the same time, you may decide you don’t even want him back anymore.
If your husband wants a divorce, it can send a flurry of emotions through your head. Don’t let them cloud your judgment. Sure, it feels like an extra kick in the gut, but don’t forget how well you’ve been doing without him.
Start by talking to him so you can both come to terms with the marriage being over. Hearing his side of things may bring you some clarity on the matter.
The best thing you can do is respect his decision and plan a way forward. Start thinking about whether you need to get a lawyer involved to divide the assets and arrange custody of the kids (if you have them), or this is something you can achieve together.
No-one wants to be left for another woman, but in many cases, it’s for the best.
You may find you have been saved from another decade in a loveless marriage, pushing your own dreams aside to make things work.
There are two scenarios:
- He comes back to you and you work on your marriage: it’s the perfect chance to discover what wasn’t working and to fix it. Your marriage will end up stronger as a result.
- He comes back and you don’t want him, or he doesn’t come back: you have worked out how much better you are on your own and it took his infidelity to help you see.
It can help to see the positives in the situation. While it can hurt immensely at the beginning, time will heal you.
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