You’ve lost your husband and you want to get him back.
He’s lost you.
A simple semantic trick is the key to getting your husband back after he’s left. It’s all about your attitude, about the way you approach the situation. Don’t waste time thinking that you’ve lost him and you need to “get him back.” Turn that whole idea around and think about it the other way – he’s actually lost you, and he needs to get you back.
Don’t worry; I do understand that it will take more than magical thinking to get your husband back. So keep on reading. I’m not saying you can just sit in your home with the curtains drawn, shutting out the whole world, crying and freaking out, and then just change your mind and he will come back to you. It will take a lot of work to save your marriage, and there’s a chance you will fail. But it can be done, and the path to reunion and reconciliation starts by changing your mind.
Another way to think about this is that in order to get him back, you need to first let him go. That’s not easy, but you have to do it. That means you have to accept, right now, that your marriage may be over and that you and your husband may never reunite. And you need to accept, right now, that you will be OK if that happens.
Accepting these two things helps you to take back some control over the situation. Your breakup, whether a walkout, trial separation or full blown divorce, has a lot of power over you, and you want to reduce that power as much as you can in order to focus on what you need to do to heal the damage.
The next thing to do is to take some time to clear your mind and let your turbulent emotions settle down. It’s best during this period to minimize or completely cut off communication with your husband. There may be certain housekeeping chores related to children or your finances that have to be handled, but other than that, avoid communication with your husband. Too much contact with him will keep you from ever being able to calm down, because every time you see him or talk to him you are likely to find something new to get angry or miserable about.
So, for a period of about a month, don’t call him, don’t text him, don’t email him. Ignore him, except when absolutely necessary.
This thirty-day period of silence is your gift to yourself. It gives you a chance to focus on something else other than how miserable or furious you are about your breakup.
During this quiet time, you need to do some serious thinking. First, you need to take the time you need to figure out whether you really want your husband back. It’s no good starting on the difficult job of getting him back and then finding out later that you didn’t really want him back. Better to figure that out now.
At first, it may seem like you are so miserable and unhappy that you want your husband back, no matter what you have to do. But taking a quiet period of no contact or limited contact with your husband will give you a chance to calm the hurricane of anger and unhappiness inside you. Your own thoughts will have a chance to come out more clearly. Right now, you can’t have an honest conversation with yourself because you are such a storm of sadness.
During this period of emotional and mental separation from your husband, a good way to think about whether you want him back is to meditate quietly once a day, even for just five minutes. You can also make a list on a bit of paper every day, a list of positive and negative things about your marriage and your husband. If you make this kind of list once a day, by the end of a week or two you will have a clearer idea of whether you want your husband back in the first place.
If you decide, after all this thinking, that you still want him back, then here’s how to go about it: Keep the focus on yourself, not on your husband.
Take a good hard look at yourself. Think of ways you contributed to the breakup, or of temperamental traits, like a bad temper or laziness, that created friction in your relationship.
You may want to work specifically on changing some negative traits about yourself, such as a bad temper. Attend an anger-management class at your local hospital or community center, for example.
But even more important is focusing on learning new things, having good experiences, and enjoying your life. Forget about your husband for a while and sign up for a class – learn a new language, or learn how to paint or play a musical instrument, learn how to cook French or Italian or Chinese cuisine, learn to kayak or sail. Read some interesting books, either on your own, or, even better, in a reading group. Join a gym, and when you get there, don’t work out by yourself, swimming endless laps in the pool or lifting endless weights with your earphones firmly inserted so no one talks to you. Instead, join a class at your gym, whether indoor cycling or hip hop dance or boxing or cardio group exercise, something where you meet other people and suffer together. Social interaction is key right now – you need to meet and spend time with other human beings. In a language class or reading group, you will also meet and interact with other people, something that will remind you that you are capable of being happy, having fun, and enjoying life even without your husband.
After a while, when you’ve been getting out there and using your mind, and getting out there and meeting new people, and getting out there and enjoying your life, you will have become a much more interesting and attractive person. You won’t be sitting around crying that the only possible way you can ever be happy is if your husband comes back. You won’t be wallowing in victimhood, which isn’t a very attractive thing. Instead, you’ll have new experiences to talk and laugh about, you’ll know new and interesting friends, and you’ll have read some good books, or maybe some bad books, but either way you’ll have something to say about them.
Remaking yourself this way not only teaches you that you can change your life and find happiness with or without your husband, but it also gives you the best chance of getting him back. When the two of you begin to meet and communicate again, he won’t see you hiding from the world and crying. Instead, he’ll see a lively, social, intellectual you. That’s the key to attracting him and getting him back. Let him go and focus on yourself. Even if he doesn’t come back, you will be much more likely to meet a new and interesting partner because of your focus on yourself.