Last Updated on August 29, 2023 by Angela Vaz
Nothing can describe your pain when your husband leaves you for someone else.
It’s easy to advise others when you’ve not been through it yourself.
But I know what you feel as someone who’s walked in your shoes.
At first, you’re in denial – just for a bit.
You won’t believe that it’s happening.
And as you slowly start to come around to the fact that your husband has chosen someone else over you – it slowly starts to sink in.
You may feel rage, depression, hurt, or betrayal.
All of these are valid feelings.
But regarding what to do about it – that’s what this post is about.
I will tell you what I did and why I did what I did when my husband left me for another woman.
I have written extensively on this topic and will leave links to related resources at the bottom of this post – please check them out as well.
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A little backstory
Before I get into the advice, let me share with you my story.
My ex-husband was pretty abusive.
Nonetheless, I naively clung to him, hoping he would change.
There was almost zero intimacy – it’s very hard to get turned on by a man who beats you and insults you regularly.
So, my relationship was far from perfect.
I tried to keep a friendly and happy exterior – nobody knew about my problems.
But deep down, I was secretly hoping for a miracle.
I was devastated when I found out he was cheating on me.
I couldn’t believe that the man who was so controlling and possessive of my whereabouts was having a full-blown affair for over 2 years.
I felt betrayed.
I had spent 9 years of my life with this person, and instead of leaving me and ending things properly, he chose to have his way and keep me locked in this marriage.
I wasted no time in packing my belongings and moving out.
My parents were very supportive, and friends I had not spoken to in years dropped everything to make me feel better.
Deep down, though, I hated him.
I had all these weird thoughts:
- Was she better than I was? And in what way?
- Why couldn’t he just tell me the truth? Hadn’t I created a safe space for him in our relationship?
- How does he get to move on happily with someone else, and here I am, picking up the pieces of this broken relationship?
- Why am I so devastated when he found the perfect woman to spend the rest of his life with?
- How is any of this fair?
- Why didn’t I see it coming?
On and on, these thoughts would come – and it drove me insane.
I couldn’t sleep in my apartment, so for 2 weeks, I stayed at my parents’ house with my dogs.
I needed to hear people breathe around me – that somewhat calmed me down.
I’d ruminate like there was no tomorrow.
I couldn’t eat or sleep for 2 weeks and lost about 15 pounds.
In this post, I want to tell you everything I wish someone told me so that I could heal and move on the right way.
I did move on – but it took me way longer to figure out because I wasn’t thinking straight, and I was thinking with my broken heart.
Why should you listen to me now?
My name is Angela – I have a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships, and I have faced heartbreak before.
So, let’s dive in.
What to do if your husband leaves you for another woman?
1. Feel your feelings
Before you think of doing anything else, take some time to feel your feelings.
Take time off from work – shut yourself in your room and cry.
Or do both.
Do whatever you feel like doing.
Scream into a pillow, or lay down on your bed for 3 days and cry nonstop.
Explain to your loved ones you need some time alone and then feel your pain.
You’ve had dreams, you’ve envisioned a life with your husband, and in a moment, those dreams have shattered.
So, you deserve to feel your feelings right now.
Don’t let anyone tell you to numb them.
Do not numb it with alcohol, drugs, binge eating, or shopping.
It will temporarily numb the pain before the feelings become stronger than ever.
I tried to solve my pain by shopping, binge eating, and alcohol – but it did not work.
I still cried every night before sleeping and cried till morning.
So, please, feel your feelings.
It’s okay to cry; it’s okay to be numb; it’s okay to be angry or feel betrayed.
You’ve suffered an incredible loss – so don’t feel ashamed or hesitant. Let those feelings out.
2. Do not react in haste
It will be very tempting to want to talk to the other woman.
Let me give you a few reasons why:
- Yes, she may have tempted a married man, but he chose to cheat on you.
- Even if she walked in front of him day in and day out – he’s not a helpless child; he chose to cheat on you or fall in love with her.
- She may be insecure or have a horrible past that has led her to crave the attention of married men – you do not know her story. She owes you nothing.
- Nothing you say to her or him will bring back the relationship you lost.
You need to realize something.
Every single person in this world has the ability to choose.
Love is a decision.
You chose your husband every morning when you woke up. You chose to love him with a full heart.
Likewise, he made a choice too. And he chose her.
It sucks – but it’s okay.
You have to make peace with the fact that he has made this decision
You cannot control him or her or make him choose you after he’s already chosen someone else.
Make peace with the fact that the relationship is over.
3. Know that being strong sometimes means walking away
I always thought that being a strong woman meant fighting for my man.
No – that’s false.
Both the man and the woman need to choose each other.
This is the very definition of a healthy relationship – that’s the definition of love.
You cannot control your partner – nor should you.
And it works both ways.
If he chose someone else – that’s alright. It sucks but there isn’t much you can do about it.
You deserve better.
You deserve someone that chooses you and wants to be with you.
You deserve a man who loves you and respects you.
I understand that you thought your husband would be this man – but the situation has changed.
Don’t fight it because nothing you do will bring back the relationship you lost.
Make peace with the fact that it’s over.
Please understand that it doesn’t mean your life is over.
It simply means that this chapter of your life is over.
4. Know that your relationship wasn’t a waste
Don’t go down that road saying, “Why did I get married to him? What was the point? I made a mistake.”
Maybe you did make a mistake – but don’t regret the past.
This past has taught you valuable lessons that you would have learned nowhere else.
You now know what red flags to watch out for when choosing a partner.
You’re also more able and sharp when it comes to sensing if a man is lying to you.
These are lessons you won’t gain from a book.
Life taught you that.
Take the lessons you have learned and move on with your life.
It’s okay to feel pain and feel betrayed.
As I said earlier, you have gone through an incredible loss. It’s okay to feel sad and upset.
It doesn’t mean you’re helpless.
You’re just choosing not to chase a man who doesn’t want the same things you do.
5. Work on healing
I highly recommend reading 2 books that helped me overcome the pain of overthinking and move forward to heal.
The book that helped me stop overthinking is The Overthinking Cure.
I picked up this book at the airport and read it in one sitting.
For people who can’t shut their brains off – this book will seriously help.
It helped me realize that most of my thoughts were pointless because they just kept going over the same points repeatedly.
The next book that I have recently read and wished I had read back in 2019 is this – When You’re Ready, This is How You Heal
It’s like this author talks to you. No matter what stage in life you are in, you will find this book helpful.
She talks to you about how you can transform your pain into healing – she tells you everything you need to know to move on – and everything she says makes sense.
It’s one book I can read year after year – that’s how solid this advice is.
I highly recommend reading books to heal from your pain because when you read words written by people who have walked in your shoes – you feel very comforted.
Here’s a list of books I recommend reading if you’re suffering from heartbreak.
Nothing compares to reading books written by people who have suffered from great loss.
It actually put things into perspective for me.
Reading, followed by therapy, helped me get back on my feet.
6. Do not date right now
People often do 2 things after a painful split.
They either vow never to date again or go out with absolutely anyone until they find their next spouse.
Don’t do either.
Don’t vow off men – but at the same time, don’t date right now.
Please put yourself as a priority and give yourself the love that you need.
Love yourself from a place of kindness and understanding.
You’ve been neglected.
So, it’s okay to take some time off and do some things that make you fall in love with life again.
Draw, read, dance, go for long walks, cook, and explore what life has to offer.
I don’t deny that a huge part of your life has been ripped away from you – but this doesn’t mean that life is over.
Love exists in many forms.
I remember looking at my cup of tea and feeling so grateful that I got to experience that warm, wonderful taste.
I remember petting my dogs and thinking how lucky I was to feel love from these loyal and beautiful animals that I had raised from little pups.
I remember drawing and being so happy to be able to derive joy from a hobby.
Do something that makes your heart sing.
You may feel that it’s worthless – but force yourself to try.
It’s okay to distract yourself for a while.
Watch some feel-good movies, take walks in parks and, breathe in the fresh air, enjoy some good food.
And trust me, you’re going to be okay.
7. Realize your worth
You are more than a wife.
You are a daughter.
You may be a parent to a child or a pet.
You are a friend.
You are a colleague.
You are a sister.
Your worth doesn’t revolve around 1 person and that relationship with that 1 human being.
Please understand this.
It’s okay to be single at 30 or 40 or 50 or 80.
It doesn’t mean you are unloveable.
It just means that you haven’t found a partner right now, and that’s okay.
That’s all it is.
Stop basing your worth on your relationship with someone.
How do you deal with your husband leaving you for someone else?
1. Realize that nobody is directly to blame
For him to have fallen in love with someone else, it could mean that several things might have been in play:
- He may have been going through several personal issues.
- He may not have been happy for a long time.
- He may have wanted to explore other options for a while but chose not to discuss them with you.
- He might not have been fully vested in this relationship.
- He may not have wanted the same things you did in a relationship.
Either way, you can’t blame him or yourself.
Something was amiss, and that’s okay.
Right now, focus on healing.
But as time passes, think about what could have gone wrong and see if you played any part in the relationship ending.
In my case, my husband may have cheated on me, but we were both unhappy to begin with.
Instead of calling it quits earlier, I continued to live in that relationship, knowing neither of us was happy.
So, although he cheated, that relationship wasn’t all roses.
Like how you’d grieve over losing a loved one, grieve over your relationship.
Take some time off and just do what comes naturally to you – cry, scream, beat your pillow, and feel devastated.
It’s not an easy loss to go through.
I know it feels like the carpet has been ripped out from under you – I’ve been there.
So take some time just to feel that loss – it’s okay.
3. Talk to a therapist
I don’t recommend talking to family and friends and asking for advice unless they are kind loving, and unbiased.
I got some very questionable advice from my friends, who told me to sleep around with people to feel better or just write off men completely because they eventually all cheated.
None of this advice proved to be helpful.
What I needed was to heal and take some time away from everything.
That’s where a therapist comes in.
They allow you space to vent and then slowly see clarity.
They allow you to see reason and draw a path for yourself.
You may have to see a few therapists to find one that fits you like a glove – but that’s okay.
Take the time to heal.
4. Engage in a hobby
This is going to feel forceful at first – but it helps.
It’s a very much-needed distraction when you cannot stop overthinking or cannot stop ruminating.
Forcing yourself to do something out of your comfort zone will help you fall in love with life again.
I remember doing all sorts of things to feel better.
- I would go for long walks while listening to some good music
- I did Sudoku while listening to soft jazz music
- I drew – pencil sketching, pen sketching, you name it.
- I talked to friends – I vented a whole lot.
- I read a lot of books – I kept reading books about loss and relationships; this really helped me get a better understanding of life.
- I spent much time with my dogs – hugging them and taking them for walks.
5. Know that this isn’t the end
I definitely felt like my life was over.
I felt like everything was taken away from me.
But it was not so.
I still had my financial stability, and I had my parents and dogs, I had my friends.
But it took me a while to get things into perspective.
I recommend starting a gratitude journal – I know it sounds corny.
But doing this will help you realize that only 1 part of your life has been affected.
You still have a lot else going on for you, which will keep you afloat.
When you realize that you are worth so much more than your relationship – that’s when the shift happens.
You will need to fall in love with yourself and with your life all over again.
It’s going to be a challenge, but you are going to do it.
6. Take it one day at a time
Stop looking at the bigger picture for now.
Just focus on today – take it 1 day at a time.
You don’t have to do it all today.
Get out of bed – and that’s an achievement.
Make a cup of coffee – well done.
You’ve been through loss – it’s okay to take it easy and just be afloat for now.
With time, you will see this as a blessing in disguise.
I remember thinking, thank heavens, I found out he was cheating on me when I was 27 and not 67.
I was free to pursue life and to pursue love.
There is a silver lining to this – you may not see it now, but you will with time.
Just take it one day at a time.
My husband left me for someone else – will he come back?
I genuinely don’t think it matters.
Whether he comes to his senses and realizes what he’s lost or he doesn’t – it shouldn’t matter to you.
He made his choice.
I understand that it’s absolutely gut-wreching to lose someone you lost, but you have to respect his decision and you need to move on.
Whether you choose to be single or you decide to find love some day – that’s okay.
There is no wrong choice here.
But do not ever consider going back to a man who chose to leave you for someone else.
Because even if you do – you’re indirectly telling him that you’ll always welcome him with open arms no matter what he does.
Deep down, he will lose respect for the relaitonship.
Let him go.
And let him live his life, and you live yours.
Do not wait for him to come back.
Do not go back to someone who chose to be with another human being.
Let them go.
Find someone one else who loves you and respects you for who you are.
You deserve that much.
This pain, although it may seem quite heavy now – is only temporary.
It may take a few weeks or months or, in some cases – years to get over, but you will do it.
I remember sobbing to my best friend, who told me, “Angela, as corny as it sounds, time does heal all wounds.”
I did find it corny, but she was right.
With time, the pain became less and less.
It still aches when I think about all the abuse I endured during that relationship – but I’m so glad that my ex cheated on me.
It was the wake-up call I needed to leave.
If I hadn’t left, I would never have found my partner whom I’m with now. He’s loving and kind and respects me for who I am.
I am happy and know that whatever I’ve been through has led me to this point.
Here are some posts you may find helpful:
- How to look attractive after a breakup – everything I did
- How to glow up after a devastating divorce/breakup
- What to say to the girl he cheated with
- My cheating ex wants to be friends – what do I do
- 35 honest ways to get your life together
- How to deal with emotional pain when it feels like too much to bear
- How to deal with missing your ex when it hurts so much
- Will I ever find love again? Read this
- How I got over my cheating ex
- 29 self-love quotes to help you start your healing journey
- 43 self-love journal prompts to help you move to a peaceful place
- How to recover after a toxic relationship
- 12 signs you are healing from a painful breakup
- How to stop overthinking after being cheated on
- The ultimate guide to getting over a breakup
- How to patiently wait for love
- How to prepare yourself for a new relationship
- How to feel loved when you feel like nobody loves you
- How to deal with nobody caring about you
- How to live alone and not be lonely
- How to let go of the past
- 13 signs you are healing from a breakup