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By Jackie Pilossoph, Divorced Girl Smiling Editor-in-Chief

I received the email below from a woman seeking divorce advice regarding her husband leaving her.

Jackie, My ex husband and I dated for 10 years, and we were
married for 6 and a half years, we have no children. We are both 34 years
old.  My ex husband was behaving very weird for months, he swore
everything was fine but I was suspicious, I even confronted him and asked
him if he was seeing someone else which he denied completely and even got
mad at me for asking. 

 Still after that, he was still very distant, he did a lot of traveling due to business.  One day he told me he wanted to talk, I was happy because I thought he finally wanted to share with me what was bothering him, I never thought he was going to tell me he wanted to leave, he gave me no more explanation than saying he was overwhelmed by the marriage and wanted to be alone and single, that I was not the problem that it was all him, this helped me a little to manage my own guilt, but still all this has crushed me. He asked for a divorce 3 weeks later, two months after that, we were already divorced.


It’s been 5 months today since the day he left, I’ve been in therapy which
has helped me a lot but still hurts like hell.  He damaged both his and my
family, even our friends were shocked by his behavior … the thing is, he
moved out of the country, less than a month after we signed the divorce,
he supposedly was given this job offer after he decided to leave me, I
guess no one will ever know if that is true. He still swears there is not
someone else, he lives alone in this new country, I guess no one will ever
know if that is true either. The last time I spoke to him was 4 months
ago, my birthday was 3 weeks ago, he texted me but I didn’t text him back,
not even to say thank you … I feel betrayed, hurt, humiliated, I
expected an apology, a more elaborated explanation or maybe even a good
bye … he walked out of almost 17 years of relationship and forgot
everything very easily and left me here.

 What hurts me the most is that he thought divorce was the only option, he didn’t fight for our marriage, he didn’t even give us a chance, no couples therapy … Nothing.

I have, since he left, joined the gym, being a lot closer to friends and
family, even his family because they love me and I love them, I have been
working on moving on and being happy by myself and being more spiritual,
but still hurts a lot … The date of our anniversary is on Monday … It
was always very special to us, my ex used to be very loving and always
planned something for us to celebrate before he transformed into this
stranger.

Of course, I first want to tell you how sorry I am for the pain you are going through. How awful not to have the answers and know the real reason your husband chose to leave. That’s a hard way to live. So, I’d like to offer you 6 pieces of divorce advice that might make sense and make what happened to you a little bit easier.

  • Stop trying to guess why he left. I know myself and if I were you, I would be coming up with a new explanation every day of why he MIGHT have left. And, it would drive me insane. So, if you are doing that, trying to figure it out, stop. Just stop. You might never find out, or one day, you might. I have a friend who was separated for four years and never really knew for sure why his wife wanted a divorce. Four years later, the ex-wife of some guy called him and read him emails from four years earlier between her now ex and his ex-wife. It was then he found out she was having an affair. (The guy ended up dumping her, by the way). I have a feeling you might find out some day. But for now, just say to yourself that you might never know and accept it. Come to peace with that.
  • Stop blaming yourself. If I were you, I would probably be saying things like, “Maybe if I would have paid more attention to him…” “Maybe if I was a better wife…” “Maybe if I would have appreciated him more and shown him for affection…” Stop. Say these words to yourself: “I was the best wife I knew how to be and I will never look back or regret anything because it won’t bring him back.” Be kind to yourself. I suspect the reason he left had much more to do with HIM.
  • Write to him. When I was separated, I used to write really long letters to my ex (which makes sense because I’m a writer) but the thing is, I never sent them to him. I just wrote them to soothe my pain, and guess what? It worked. Pour out your feelings. Tell him everything you want to say. Call him every name. Tell him you still miss the smell of his pillow. Write whatever helps you feel better. But, do not send anything to him. Writing can feel so good, and can be better than any alcoholic drink or drug you’ve ever taken!
  • Minimize time with his family. Probably none of my business, but hanging around his family is not helping you. I’m sure they are very nice people and I’m sure they love you, but you need to focus on YOUR friends and family, and meeting new friends. I’m not saying never see them, but it’s just hurting you more right now.
  • Nurture and love yourself. This is really big. Please take care of yourself and love yourself. Just because a man didn’t love you enough to stay with you, that doesn’t mean you aren’t lovable. That is just one man. Again, be kind to yourself. You deserve that.
  • Celebrate the rest of your life. You are only 34! I’d give anything to be 34 again! I didn’t get married until I was 35! Do you realize that you have an entire life ahead of you, maybe with someone who will love you enough to never leave you? Maybe you’ll have children. Maybe you’ll live somewhere really cool. Maybe you’ll experience things you never would have had this marriage worked out.
Divorced Girl Smiling, a novel by Jackie Pilossoph Free Gift With Purchase, a novel by Jackie Pilossoph

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Author: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Girl Smiling offers advice, inspiration and hugs. If you want a Cinderella story, be your own fairy godmother. You're the only one who can pick out that perfect glass slipper!

30 Responses to “6 Pieces of Divorce Advice for the Person Who Was Left”

  1. Michelle

    This post was extremely helpful and really hit home. This happened to me 6 weeks ago. We do have a 19-month-old and unfortunately for us, he lives in the area and wants to see our daughter. I almost think it would have been easier if he moved away. I agree with all these tips and am trying to use them in my own life right now.

    Reply
  2. Karen

    This is great advice. I have moved on from asking why and trying to figure it out. It is so hard to quiet your mind of these questions.
    I will be working on your other steps.
    I am so glad I found your blog! You have no idea how much your blog is helping me through this! Thank you sincerely !

    Reply
  3. Tiffany

    Great advice!!! I need to follow this advice better. After dating for 5 years and married for almost 3 my ex said he wasn’t happy and that he was done. No explanation, no reason, nothing. I blamed myself and still do at times. I try to come up with answers in my head as to why this happened. I hear from others that this is hard for him as well…. If this is hard for him then why didn’t he want to try to figure this out? Why didn’t he put effort into counseling? We’ve been divorced for almost 3 months, I’ve been thinking about going to our marriage counselor that we met with once but u keep putting it off. I just need to do it!

    Reply
  4. JoAnn

    Reading this blog has helped me somewhat. I am two weeks into my husband of 14 years of marriage and a 2 year relationship before that moving out. It feels as though he is just throwing all of it away. And right before the holidays. I’m trying to figure out what happened but your advise to not do that I will ponder. And continue to read blogs. Very helpful. Thankyou

    Reply
    • Jackie Pilossoph

      God bless you. I wish you all the best during the holiday season and after. You’re going to be OK. Believe that.

      Reply
  5. Susan

    My husband left after 4 weeks of marriage with very little explanation, just that he wasn’t happy and wanted space. Before we got married we lived together for 20 years and together 2 years before that, so over 22 years in total. I asked why he married me and he just said that he had felt happy to do that.
    I am devastated, he won’t discuss anything with me and has refused any counseling. He has stopped contacting me completely now. It is as if he threw a grenade into the room then ran.

    Reply
    • Jackie Pilossoph

      I am so so sorry! What a traumatic, devastating experience. I am thinking of you.

      Reply
      • Susan

        Thank you Jackie. Yes, I am finding it very hard to comprehend. We had a really good relationship for all the years before we married, in fact he seemed the perfect partner. Totally kind and supportive of me. I suppose it goes to show that you can never really trust a situation or a person. Sorry to sound so cynical.

        Reply
        • Jackie Pilossoph

          I think you are only temporarily cynical. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that there are no guarantees with anyone or any situation, which is why walking away appreciating the time you had is important. I get it. I’m sure you are beyond hurt and angry and as you said cynical. But I think that will fade over time, and will depend on who you meet. There are certain people you meet and you trust instantly trust them. Listen to your gut. I wish you the best.

          Reply
  6. Renee

    All these comments are similar to my situation with a husband that changes and is gone physically and emotionally from along relationship. Long courtship, longer marriage. He wanted to start over while he was still young enough, he said. He has been horrible thoughout the divorce. Does bad behavior during the divorce erase all the good years we had? Every mean thing he does now seems to erase more of the good times.

    Reply
    • Jackie Pilossoph

      I always beleived that was God’s way of helping me get over the divorce quicker. You can’t long for someone who is acting like an asshole. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Deb

    Almost 4 months now that my husband of 20 yrs walked out for another woman. We didn’t have the best marriage and he was never willing to talk or do anything to make it better. I’m trying to accept that this is my life now. I’m not exaggerating when I say he’s a horrible person. True narcissist. I hurt and he doesn’t. He just threw me away. I am bashed in social media daily by his family. I just want to stop hurting.

    Reply
    • Jackie Pilossoph

      Your husband did you a huge favor, you just don’t realize that yet because it’s too soon. It sounds like you have a lot of anger and resentment towards him and I can understand that. But I think you are wrong when you say he isn’t hurting. He doesn’t appear to be hurting, but he is. He doesn’t even realize he’s hurting because he is covering up his hurt with a new relationship. Try not to look at it as “he threw me away,” but rather, this is an opportunity for you to live another life. The hardest part is now, because you have to find that life. When you do, you will look back and be so glad things turned out this way. “We didn’t have the best marriage” is no way to live. You deserve to say, “We have the best relationship!!” Trust me, you will be better off, it just takes awhile. It’s a journey. It’s a hard journey but try to focus on the good parts of it. xoxo

      Reply
      • Deb

        Thank you for responding. I can only take it day by day and I appreciate hearing from you what my friends and family have also said-I will be better off. Again, thank you so much for reenforcing what I need to believe.

        Reply
  8. Annie

    My husband of 9 years and partner for 14 years left in January. We reconciled in March and he left again 3 weeks ago. No reasons. We have no drama, no addiction, no financial challenges. We share base core values. He called an atty today and I will, apparently, have papers at the end of next week for our uncontested divorce. I’m crushed. In his mind it’s been coming a long time. In mine, it just happened. I wish he were heartbroken, too. But he’s not.

    Reply
  9. Jeff

    Jackies advice is spot on. I’m a guy-married exactly 25 years,3 wonderful children and in-fact a lovely,great wife. She just came home,separated, (ugh 5 years ) and then divorced. Several deaths in our families, a great deal of baggage from how she observed her parents marriage and probably baggage from her childhood, (that we all bring into marriages) were all contributors. Gosh it took a long time to heal. But you will make it. Don’t give up,pray and keep your faith. Also read this column. Even as a guy it did wonders for me. Your young,go get “your dreams”! Make it happen.
    Jeff 😉

    Reply

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