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Marriages aren’t all roses, rainbows, and romantic walks along the beach.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been together one year or twenty years, bumps in the road are common.
But if you’re in the situation where your husband has actually left you for another woman, you’ve probably got a lot of questions you’d like answers to.
Answers are what this article will try to provide.
Let’s start with a biggie…
1. Why did he leave me?
There are lots of reasons why a person might cheat, but when it’s a full-on affair outside of a marriage, it boils down to two core motives:
He has fallen in love with another woman.
Love is a complicated and powerful feeling. It can make a person do things they might not otherwise do – things they didn’t think they were capable of.
This is not meant as an excuse for what your husband has done, but merely an explanation.
Remember what it felt like when you and your husband first fell in love. It was intoxicating, right?
Well, even if you still love him and he still loves you, that intense fire might now be more of a candle. It still burns, but not with the same brightness or heat.
So if your husband meets someone and falls in love with them too, your love has to compete with their love.
But their love is newer and, in some sense, more alluring. Less time has passed for the mundanity of everyday life to have its inevitable effects.
Your husband might convince himself that this new love with his mistress is more real than the love he feels for you.
So, if he feels he has to make a choice between the love you have for each other and the love he feels for this other woman, he might choose the other woman.
He has fallen out of love with you.
The second core motive behind a husband leaving his wife for someone else is that he no longer loves you.
This can be really hard to take, particularly if you still love him, but feelings of love don’t always last forever.
Perhaps that love has simply fizzled out, or maybe it disintegrated in some massive blowout or event at some point in the past. Either way, it’s gone.
Again, this is not to excuse your husband for any infidelity…
…but if the chance of new love came along and he had fewer reasons to stick things out in your relationship, it might explain why he chose the other woman.
2. Will it last?
Whether you still cling to hope of rebuilding your marriage, or you’re just yearning to know, it’s common to ask how long his new relationship will last.
The problem is, you can’t look into some crystal ball and see what the future holds.
Perhaps you think his new relationship is doomed to fail because he’s left you for a younger woman who isn’t really interested in anything long term.
Or maybe you think he is going through a midlife crisis and this relationship is just a symptom of that. You think he might come to his senses once he has gotten this out of his system.
But this is simply speculation.
As painful as it is, you are an outsider in this relationship. You cannot feel what he feels and you don’t know what they are like together as a couple.
Some men might leave their wives for a new woman and find themselves happier than ever before.
Other men might soon realize that the grass is not always greener and that they had it pretty good with their wife.
No one can tell for sure, not even your husband.
3. Will he come back?
If this new relationship of his does falter and fail, you might be willing to take him back.
But would he wish to save your marriage?
This may come down to his reason for leaving you in the first place.
If he simply fell in love with this other woman, but still loved you at the same time, there is a better chance he will come back.
If he fell out of love with you, it’s likely he’ll have to believe that he can fall back in love with you if he is to return.
Of course, there is another possibility. He may not feel a great deal of love for you, but he still wants to be with you for other reasons.
Perhaps he wants the convenience of having you look after him, cook his meals, take care of the house.
Maybe he sees the financial cost of proceeding with a divorce and doesn’t wish to take that road right now given that his new relationship didn’t work out.
He might simply not wish to be alone, even if your marriage isn’t really working as either of you would like it to.
Of course, if he wants you back at any point, you have the freedom to either allow him into your life again or refuse to.
4. Will he regret it?
Like love, regret is a complicated emotion.
Your husband may well regret his decision to leave you, and this could be the case even if he doesn’t want to return to you.
He may realize that the grass is not greener on the other side if his new relationship isn’t everything he had hoped for.
But he may think that it’s too late to save your marriage now that this has happened.
He may have regrets even if he is happy with his decision. He may have moved in with his mistress and be enjoying his new life with her, but still have misgivings about the situation.
He may regret how he handled your separation. He may regret the pain he caused you. If you have children, he may regret being the father who left his family.
If he once loved you – if he still loves you as a person, just not as a spouse – he is bound to feel some regret.
But regret itself might not be enough for him to come back to you.
5. How can I win my husband back?
It’s important from the get-go to remember that you do not own your husband and you never did.
You may think that you lost your husband to this other woman, but it was his choice to leave you.
So when you think about “winning him back,” you have to also remember that it will be his choice to come back.
With that in mind, what can you do?
Respect his decision to leave you.
This sounds counterintuitive, but if you make his life a nightmare after he has left you for this other woman, you’re only pushing him further away.
It’s fine to tell him that you love him, but make it clear that you won’t fight him about this if it is what he really wants.
You’re not going to be able to change his mind anyway.
This helps to leave things on good terms between the two of which is important if he is to ever come back.
Definitely don’t try to guilt trip him back into your marriage by telling him how much he has hurt you or by bringing the kids into the equation.
Remain true to yourself.
Your husband’s choice to leave you may have had something to do with how the two of you have been interacting.
Perhaps you’ve been fighting lots of you’ve simply drifted apart.
And while you are partly responsible for the state of your marriage, it’s not all down to you.
So making big promises of how you can change is not a productive way to approach winning your husband back.
Sure, you can look at your contribution to the demise of your marriage, and you can work on some of your faults if you truly believe they are faults and not simply aspects of your personality that your husband rubs up against.
But if you insist that you can be the woman he wants you to be, you are not only coming across as desperate, but you are setting yourself up for future issues when you realize you cannot live up to every single expectation he has.
You should also understand that if you say you can change to accommodate his wishes, you are apportioning most of the blame for your separation on you, and absolving him of responsibility.
This does two things. Firstly, it confirms in his mind that you are not the right woman for him anymore because you are telling him that it is you who needs to change, not him.
Secondly, it makes him feel less regret about leaving you which makes him less likely to feel compelled to come back, even if his new relationship doesn’t work out.
So, yes, ask yourself whether there are some healthy methods of self-improvement that you might engage in, but don’t compromise who you are just to please him.
Maintain some distance, but remain pleasant toward him.
It’s important to give your husband space if he has left you and is now pursuing a relationship with another woman.
If you try to interfere with them by confronting him or her, you risk giving them something further to bond over – their complaints about you.
Instead, try to remain somewhat friendly whenever you are forced to interact – perhaps because of joint custody of any children or for other practical purposes.
This comes back to respecting his decision and not alienating him by fighting with him about it.
Sometimes, a little distance can make him realize what he had and what he now risks losing, especially as the excitement of his new relationship fades.
To know that you do not hate him leaves the door open for him to come back to you.
Ask if you truly want him back.
Besides what you can do to get your husband to recommit to you, it’s vital that you truly consider whether you want him back.
And if you do, what are your reasons?
If his new relationship started before he told you he wanted to separate, you have to face the fact that he has lied to you and hidden important things from you.
Is this something you can forgive?
And do you want him back simply because you liked how your life was before? If so, do you honestly think things can get back to how they once were?
Do you just hate the idea of being divorced and lonely? Would you take him back just to have some company that you are familiar with?
Would you want him back if neither of you still loved each other and you knew it was going to take a whole lot of work and time to get that love back?
These are the things you’ll have to consider before you even try to win your husband back.
6. How can I get over my husband leaving me for someone else?
If you have no intention of allowing your husband back into your life and marriage, the problem becomes one of overcoming the emotional turmoil his leaving you has caused.
How can you reconcile what has happened and move forward with your life?
Here are some tips for dealing with the situation in your mind.
Avoid feeling guilty or accepting the blame.
As much as you may believe that there are aspects of your personality that you would like to work on, do not blame yourself for your husband’s decision to leave you for another woman.
He acted based on his own views, feelings, and desires. It is on him, not you.
You might have tried your hardest to be a good wife, but it might still not have been enough.
Remember the reasons why he may have left you that were mentioned earlier in the article. He may have fallen out of love with you or fallen in love with someone else.
These are his feelings to own, not yours.
You have nothing to feel guilty about, even if you have children together and you know that this situation is causing them pain and worry.
Do NOT compare yourself to the new woman in his life.
It can be very tempting to look at the other woman and think that she is better than you in some way.
After all, your husband left you for her, so she must have something you don’t, right?
We all have our good points and we all have our flaws. These make up a part of who we are.
Trying to figure out why your husband now prefers her mixture of good and bad points over yours is a fruitless exercise.
What you should do instead is focus on building up your self-esteem which will have undoubtedly taken a knock from all this.
One of the key things to look at is improving your self-talk, particularly in relation to your marriage and your worth as a wife.
Don’t keep thinking or saying that you weren’t a good wife or that you aren’t lovable.
Switch to more positive messages about yourself and how you are worthy of being loved and treated with respect. That you have the qualities of a great partner to someone new whenever that person may enter your life.
You should also find ways to embrace the control you have over your life rather than allowing yourself to drift in some kind of post-marriage limbo.
Now is the time to ask how your new-found freedom might allow you to do something you’ve always wanted to do or change the direction of your life entirely.
It’s empowering to realize the control you have – that you’ve always had – and it can make this difficult situation feel more positive.
Focus on forgiving your husband, but do it for yourself.
When your husband left you for another woman, it will have probably hurt a great deal.
So forgiveness might be the last thing on your mind.
But forgiveness is not for him; it’s for you.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to forget what he did, or say it was okay. It doesn’t ignore the pain he has caused, nor does it mean you have to mend your relationship with him.
Forgiveness is about releasing the emotional burden his leaving has caused you.
It’s about saying, “This will not affect me anymore.”
It is about closing the chapter on your past and starting a new one that you can be the author of.
Forgiveness is something anyone can work on. Here is another of our articles that goes through the process:
Accept the reality of the situation.
If you have decided that your marriage is over and that you will not take your husband back, even if he comes grovelling, you’ve got to accept the hell out of that truth.
You cannot move on from the marriage if you still cling on to any hope – no matter how slim – that you can ever rebuild it.
You may experience the stages of grief just as you would when you lose a loved one.
This is okay. Your marriage represented something that was important to you and your husband is someone you love or once loved.
These are big things to suddenly be gone from your life and so it will take some time to come to terms with it.
If it helps to make things feel more final, you can be the one to file for divorce and get the ball rolling on that formality.
This is an empowering act of acceptance because you are taking charge of the situation to prevent if from dragging out.
Make sure you remove all of his belongings from your home – first by allowing him to take whatever he still wants to keep, and then by throwing the rest out or giving it to charity.
If you have children, be sure to sit them down and discuss how there is no chance of their mom and dad getting back together.
Having to actually speak those words aloud can make it feel more real and final.
Seek counselling if you are struggling.
It can be really tough to face the breakdown of your marriage, particularly as you will have to do most of it alone.
As much as your friends and family might try to support you, it is you who will have to go through the practical and emotional process of separating your life from your now ex-husband’s life.
And as much as they may try to say the right things to you, most people don’t have the ability to remain neutral. You may find them contributing to your pain by fuelling your ill-feeling toward your husband by saying horrible things about him.
You may also not feel comfortable talking about your true feelings to those closest to you.
Instead, you will almost certainly find a counselor more helpful in terms of the advice they give and your ability to pour out all of your feelings without the need to hide how much you may be struggling.
Still not sure what to do about your husband and marriage? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
You may also like:
- 25 No Bullsh*t Signs Your Husband Just Doesn’t Love You Anymore
- 11 Tips To Move On From A Relationship Without Closure
- 16 Ways To Get Your Marriage Back On Track
- Why Do Breakups Hurt So Much? The Pain Of A Relationship Ending.