So you say that your husband has left you, but you want him back.
And by the way, just follow along like this is your story. I realize some of the details could be a far cry from what you are actually experiencing, but the lessons learned should apply to everyone.
So let’s get this straight.
You have explained that your thoughtless husband, the guy who you fell in love with and married, has decided to give up on the relationship.
Even after committing that he was “yours” forever, this man you wed has not only left you, but somehow you still want him back.
Are you really sure?
I mean, are you really, really sure?
And the reason why I ask is not because I am trying to be a wise guy. I have no doubt that on the surface of how you are processing things, you really want your husband back.
Perhaps you feel you have a lot invested in the relationship and so you are going to fight to get him back. Maybe you believe he acted out of immaturity or anger and will come back down to earth.
Let’s just draw the curtain back and take a look at the bigger picture of what is going on.
For whatever reason, he has left you.
Maybe this is not the first time he has left you, literally abandoning you and the commitment he made to overcome “the worst of times“.
I mean, shouldn’t the vows you and your husband exchanged when you were wedded, stand for something. You probably believe they do. But what about your husband?
Is he truly committed to the marriage through thick and thin.
I have found that a lot of guys say their vows, but really don’t think too much about the words. Where women, take those words and the images that they invoke and hold them close to their heart.
Ok, so maybe I am being a little harsh on the guys today. But let me explain where I am coming from.
Things can happen within a marriage that are not so good, right? Indeed, lots of bad stuff could unfold, from constant high-octane arguments to even cheating.
As a result the relationship can suffer and before one can even process it all, the vows are broken and the marriage is declared over by one of the parties.
My experience is that men tend to initiate these kind of outcomes more often.
Women, on the other hand, tend to really listen and absorb every word that makes up the marriage vows. Why do I think this?
Well, I could be completely wrong about this. I have not performed any exhaustive studies. But my experience is that I have many more women contacting me and telling me that their husband quit on the marriage. In such cases, they report their man has left them in the cold, so to speak, and they know not where to turn.
Examples of this would include:
Sarah: “please help me with my marriage. It’s a mess. My husband has suddenly left me after 2 years and I don’t know how to get him back or even get him to open up about what is triggering all this”.
Kat: “I don’t know where to turn. My husband just doesn’t want to try to make the marriage work. We are hanging on by a thread he says, but I really don’t see things like he says they are. I don’t want to lose him and need help with how to get him to come back up. Doesn’t he realize or even think about what he is losing?”
I have tons of these stories.
Of course, there is undoubtedly a lot more going on behind the scenes than what these brief stories reveal. To get to the truth it is necessary to peel back many more layers of what is happening.
And it is always a different combination of things unfolding in these couples’ lives to cause their marriage to come under risk. The truth is always more layered, detailed and complex.
How do I help someone whose husband has left them, but the first thing they seem to want is reuniting with their ex as fast as possible?
It is a bit of psychological challenge for my clients when I start advising them.
So I try to walk them through what is really going on inside their brain. And eventually, I try to convince them that they really do not want to act or behave in a way that would cause their husband to think that their wife wants them back.
This is exactly what most husbands would expect from their wife, whom they have left. They would expect a certain amount of begging or pleading.
So let’s return to this theme of getting something by not pursuing it.
Is It The Best Thing To Want Your Husband Back?
Often, after a break up, a person will find themselves mired with a compulsive desire to make sense of it all. Sometimes thoughts of getting back with one’s husband will start to invade your mind.
Like an elaborate plot, you can find yourself creating an intricate set of possibilities unfolding in just the right way, resulting in your ex husband at your door asking for forgiveness.
By the next day, you realize that the whole scenario unfolding in your mind was just a fantasy. You chastise yourself for thinking this way. But then the fantasy again starts to take form again.
One has to be careful with how the mind works. For some people it is constructed to be a “forgetting machine” when its serves your unconscious desires and wants.
I am amazed at how some of my clients will conveniently forget about all the horrible things they said their ex husband shouted out at them. It is like all of the ugly and painful events of their marriage never occurred.
So instead of concentrating on healing and becoming their own person again, they start thinking that they didn’t do enough. They think that perhaps the problems in the relationship were “mostly their fault”. They begin to muse about having a second chance. They think that if they had such an opportunity to correct certain things, they just knew their husband would much more satisfied with the marriage.
When your husband has left you it can create all types of havoc on your emotional well-being. To escape the onslaught of these feelings, we can turn to certain coping strategies just to survive another day. And one such strategy is denial. We do this because the shock and profound sadness of losing your love connection can feel overwhelming.
Some of my clients have told me;
“I know deep in my husband’s heart, he wants me back. Maybe he is testing me.”
“When my husband explained that he was leaving I am sure he just meant he wanted to take a few hours to cool off. Maybe he didn‘t mean the marriage was over. Maybe that was just his anger talking to me.”
Another way in which your mind will play games with you is when you become convinced that there is a clear path to understanding and solving why your husband has left.
If you find yourself constantly trying to summon up rational explanations for why your Ex husband broke up with you, then take a time out.
There are not always rational explanations for why your marriage partner has decided to hang it up.
There seems to be something inside a lot of us which causes us to endlessly to away at trying to carve out some understanding as to why it all came crashing down.
Those days immediately following the breakup is a slippery slope.
Many experts recommend that you would be better off to avoid trying to make sense of it all, because sometimes none of it makes much sense, particularly in the beginning.
Remember, in most cases, sudden decisions to break up usually flows from anger.
Therapist argue that instead of chasing this endless quest of gaining closure, you are better off to accept you may never understand everything that went down.
Remember, humans are incredibly complicated creatures. We do not always act or think rationally.
We do not always know what we want.
That goes for both You and your husband or boyfriend.
It is very possible, you will never attain full closure. In fact, it is impossible for you to get inside your husband’s mind and understand everything he is thinking.
Even if he tells you certain things, you cannot be certain if he is speaking from his head, his heart, or from that angry and bitter place. You cannot even be sure if he truly knows what he wants.
Perhaps in that single moment when he is telling you that the “marriage is all over“, he feels like it is a truth.
But that feeling can be unduly influenced by certain emotional factors. Our feelings and understanding of what we “truly” want has a way of evolving and maturing.
Time is usually the best arbitrator of what it is we want.
Given this is generally how the truth of what we may really want operates in our minds, it is best to allow things time to settle in.
So what should you do?
I suggest you turn the page.
Turn the page and begin focusing on becoming the best version of Yourself.
Don’t dwell on fantastical notions of getting him back. Nor should you obsess over every single thing that transpired between you and your husband, hoping to assemble the pieces of the puzzle in order to understand completely why he left you.
Accept where you are in your life in that moment. Then turn your focus to becoming your own best friend. Seek to lift up your life. By doing so, you will feel more attractive to yourself and others.
That is where you will find meaning and contentment.
Ending the “Pedestal Effect”
There is this thing that happens after a breakup.
I like to think of it as when Reality meets Myth.
Let’s go back in time, for a moment, and look at the peak of the relationship you had with your husband or boyfriend
Sometimes what happens in relationships is that one or both parties will place their lover on a Pedestal.
It is as if their lover “walks on water” or can do “no wrong“.
Extreme cases of this phenomenon is akin to hero-worship in which a spouse will always set aside her own best interests to serve the needs, wants, and desires of the husband.
The Pedestal Effect can result in a person thinking of their lover as the single most important person to them in the world. Even if there has been a few bumps along the way, a person may look at their husband as absolutely essential to their life and welfare.
Nobody is that important.
You will discover that you can get along quite well without your Ex in your life. Perhaps in this moment, you don’t feel that way. Indeed, if your husband and you have split up and he initiated the break, you may be struggling big time with how you will be able to carve out a new life, filled with new experiences and goals.
So while it may take some time for you to realize this, mark my words, what I am about to tell you is true!
You will rise up from what looks like an impossible personal situation.
You are much more resilient than you think!
What sometimes happens is after the breakup, there is a sort of Pedestal Effect Hangover.
You need to guard against this phenomenon.
You may be desperate to get your Ex husband back. You may be temporarily blinded to any other way of looking at your situation.
But you need to know something very important!
You need to embrace a mindset of learning to “live” without your Ex. By doing so, you increase your chances of potentially reuniting with your husband, if that is in the cards.
And by the way, did you know that over idealizing someone can actually cause them to pull away?
Subjecting a guy to constant attention, seeking to serve almost his every wish, can in the short run make him feel special, but in the long run cause him to become uncomfortable.
So for your own sake, if you are in a relationship with someone, avoid falling into the trap of putting them on a pedestal. It is not healthy for either you or your partner.
It is better for your recovery to move forward without your ex in your life. That is what the No Contact Period is mainly about. Your recovery.
You need to operate under the assumption that your ex husband may no longer be a meaningful part of your life.
Getting in Touch With How You Should Think About Things
Ok, so let’s play a quick game of truth and lies to help you get into the right mindset regarding how you should be thinking about your husband who left you high and dry.
So let’s get started.
Truth: I know I will feel better about my husband breaking it off with me, in time!
Lie: I can’t live without my Ex.
Truth: If things do not work out with your former husband, you will be just fine and will very likely find somebody better for you!
Lie: I will never find someone better than my ex husband. He was the best for me and I think I blew it.
Truth: I will become a better version of a happy me.
Lie: My husband made me who I am. Without him, I am just not going to be able to survive.
Truth: I am much more resilient than I ever realized!
Truth: Your presence here suggests that your husband probably screwed up letting you go! Your interest in learning about and improving your situation speaks volumes.
Truth: You still have much to learn, as do we all!
Perhaps Your Husband Leaving You Was a Godsend
When you find yourself in utter disbelief about your husband’s decision to leave you, it could be because your relationship was predicated on a “Fantasy Bond”.
A psychologist, Robert Firestone, coined this phrase which is defined as:
“An imagined connection a person develops to another person, thereby creating an illusion of security or false sense of safety”.
Let’s do a little role-playing to illustrate this point.
So let’s say you entered into the relationship with high hopes and the special bond you have with your man cements your hopes that this guy is the “one”.
Soon the two of you are married and you are convinced this guy is perfect for you. The way you see it, you struck gold with your husband. He makes you feel strong and happy. You cannot imagine ever finding a husband that makes you feel so safe. You think the world of him.
But over time, the relationship begins to erode. While you can see that the relationship is not what it use to be, you are sure things will eventually get better.
Since your routines are set, you find yourself adapting to conflict and difficult situations, making sacrifices when needed. This is hardly unusual as couples frequently settle for what is in reality a somewhat dysfunctional marriage.
We sometimes tend to ignore the existence of our relationship woes. It is discomforting to think there is something really wrong with the marriage and it may be getting worse.
So often, we cling to the illusion that everything is OK.
This is the false sense of security that is referenced in the quote above.
So when a husband decides he is moving on, leaving his spouse bewildered, trying to absorb what has happened, the wife is not always in the best frame of mind to see the big picture.
In reality, things were not OK before the breakup.
The acts of love and kindness and affection, which may have marked the beginning of the relationship, have now been replaced with suffocating routines.
So when you are trying to pick up the pieces after the breakup, ask yourself which pieces should you be reaching for.
Are you reaching for the guy who you knew during the courtship and the early days of marriage?
Or is it the man you lived with for many years. The same guy who has decided to leave you.
If you are reaching for pieces of your relationship, my advice is to take your time and carefully evaluate which pieces of that past life you wish to take forward.
If you are not careful, you might be reaching for an illusion.
Sometimes it takes a while to realize it is not the loss of your husband that you are mourning, but rather the loss of the illusion of security your ex provided.
Don’t Overestimate the Time it Takes to Recover
Before we part ways today, let me leave you with one other interesting fact.
The good news is you will recover faster than you think.
Your heart is strong and things are almost always better than you think.
Most individuals think it will take longer to get over their break-up due to what is called the “initial intensity bias”.
What happens is we end up fooling ourselves.
Here is how it works!
The more “in love” you were, then the more you will feel a new relationship is out of the question. If you are coming off a breakup, you will not see much light at the end of the tunnel for your own personal recovery.
And if you were the one who was dumped….then the greater the intensity bias.
You will think your personal recovery is far, far away.
The good news for you is that things are not nearly as bad as you may think.
What does not kill us, makes us stronger.
This is what is referred to as our “initial intensity bias.”
Things can get pretty intense when a couple splits up. Expect emotions to be flying everywhere.
Just remember, the future is “always moving” and you will have many opportunities to carve out a better life.