What is this thing called adulting, and why must we do it? Things were so much simpler when we were young, and our only worry was which set of swings made us go higher.
Then we meet a boy—our first encounter with the opposite sex. We can’t figure out why they keep throwing rocks and spitting on us.
Then, as teens, we do everything we can to get their attention. When we finally get it, we realize it’s not just us who have their attention. The object of our affection seems to be attracted to anything that catches his eye.
It’s pretty much the same from here on out… until we meet “The One.” Then, as we mature and become more self-sufficient, a guy comes along and knocks us off our feet.
You’re in love.
You get married, have children, and find yourself in marital bliss until one day, your husband wakes up and tells you they’re not happy, so they’re leaving you.
If your husband decides he wants to leave, you may feel the eruption of memories from long ago. You remember the disapproval, abandonment, and rejection like it was yesterday. You have flashbacks of being unwanted. Those haunting memories of being the last one chosen for kickball, if you were chosen at all, return in full force.
It’s incredible, really, how quickly a painful experience can remind you of past heartbreaking incidents you thought you forgot. However, your psyche never forgets. Unfortunately, it stores those memories that have most affected you in every cell of your body.
Even if your husband decides to up and leave you, and you don’t have a point of reference for the emotional feelings, the abandonment will still haunt you.
Eventually, you lose your sense of self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, and hope for the future. You don’t know how you’ll survive because everything you thought you knew has taken a beating, and how do you come back from that?
You feel powerless because now you’re standing in a new reality; you’re alone. So your question is, can you do anything to empower yourself if your husband leaves you?
The short answer is yes. The longer answer is “Hell yes!” Here are 9 powerful things you can do right now if your husband walks out on you, leaving you feeling vulnerable and powerless.
1. Don’t Beg
Who cares what your husband has done and why they’re leaving you? That’s really none of your business at this point. He decided he was going, so that’s that.
If your husband leaves you, he’s thought about it for a while, and now he’s come to this conclusion, so begging him to stay isn’t the right move.
Again, we’re saying, don’t bother. When a husband says to you, “I’m leaving,” he’s been contemplating this for quite some time, so anything you say at this point will be wasted breath.
If you need a reason, calmly ask why. However, please don’t give him the satisfaction of flying off the handle when he tells you.
Tell him you need time to process the information, and you’ll get back to him. What you don’t want to do is beg him to reconsider his decision because he already has one foot out the door. He’s only giving you the heads-up.
2. Document EVERYTHING
When your husband tells you he’s leaving, your first reaction may be to fall apart. And that’s OK, especially if his decision completely blindsided you.
But when you get yourself together, it’s time to take care of your future. It’s not about revenge-although happiness and success make for the perfect revenge.
Instead, this is about protecting yourself and your kids (if you have any) by being smart. So, moving forward, the time is RIGHT NOW if you’re going to look out for your well-being.
Save everything, including emails, texts, documents, pictures, and voice messages. Then, instead of answering, allow your voicemail to pick up so you have a record of every call. When we say everything, we mean everything!
Also, keep a journal for documenting times, dates, financial actions, and communication between you. Even if you believe the split is amicable, you never know what will happen down the line. You may need to prove something, so keep all your receipts.
Basically, you now have a new job, and your title is President of CYA (Cover Your Ass). Treat every transaction and communication like they will eventually attack you, and you’ll have to keep every record for the impending battle you may have to deal with. Hopefully, it won’t come to that. But still, you’ll be 100 percent prepared if it does.
3. Become a Lawyer but Then Hire a Really Good One
This isn’t the appropriate time to DIY when it comes to your future. But, unfortunately, there’s way too much at stake if your husband decides to leave you.
Most likely, he has been contemplating walking out the door for some time, which means you must catch up.
That said, spend a day or two crying and eating an entire cherry cheesecake, but after that, make moves—research ways to find the best divorce attorney for your situation.
You will learn how to prepare yourself for the best outcome for you and only you. If you win, your children win. You’re not necessarily trying to stick it to your wayward husband. You’re simply attempting to secure a beneficial future for your family.
4. Keep Your Details off Social Media
How often have you seen one of your Facebook friends post about their impending divorce? Or, they post cryptic messages about “distancing and separating from the person they believed was their soulmate but only ended up being toxic.” They might as well have posted, “Listen up, everyone, because I’m getting a divorce!!”
Don’t. Do. This
Prudence is essential during this time. You want and need support, but you don’t need to get it by posting about your impending divorce—directly or indirectly.
Even though you probably want to drag your soon-to-be ex-husband through the mud, you don’t want to put out any information that may be detrimental to your cause.
Remember, you need to think like a lawyer and seek support in the right places, and the right places aren’t “friends” commenting on your status.
5. Get Support from an Online Group (Or Two or Three)
This is something new to you, so you feel like a fish out of water. However, this is the perfect time to join a support group. It’s not a want but a need for professional support from legal and financial experts.
You will most likely miss things when you’re dealing with a husband who leaves you. As a result, a support group can share their stories and advise you on which methods worked best for them. They may even have suggestions for an excellent legal team.
Then comes the emotional aspect. Online groups can offer advice on the best ways to navigate your situation. However, be wary about where and with whom you share your specific information. While you want help from others, you don’t want to give too many details about your situation.
Additionally, consider hiring a female divorce coach. (Yes, they are a thing.) They can help you stay on track through this confusing and painful journey.
While it’s good to join an online group or two, consider joining at least one in-person group to help give you a sense of community with those who are empathetic to your situation.
For example, Annie’s Group is an online support group and program for women considering or beginning a divorce. You’ll have an opportunity to talk to others who offer compassion, assurance, and guidance in a confidential setting.
6. Protect Your Kids at All Costs
Whenever you have difficulty standing up for yourself and fighting for everything you know you deserve, think about your children (if you have them.)
How do you plan to navigate your world after your husband leaves you? It’s more than simply getting through the divorce process, you need to look further down the road and envision your happy life with your family, minus your husband. You can be happy looking toward the future while simultaneously checking your rear-view mirror at the life you left behind.
Now, about the children. They are expensive. Outside of food, clothes, and tuition, they also need health insurance, activity fees, college funds, and much more.
This is what you need to focus on. This is also why it’s essential to build a solid professional team that you can afford. Look for a sound support system to provide you with a legal team and support along the way.
7. Take the High Road
“When they go low, we go high.” – Michelle Obama.
Use that as your mantra. We understand how difficult it can be when your husband suddenly leaves you high and dry, but don’t let that situation drag you down to their level. Even outside of your situation, this is a powerful mantra to live by, regardless of the circumstances.
When you take the high road, it has nothing to do with being weak or giving up. Instead, it has everything to do with staying out of the dirty trenches and connecting with those who will only uplift you, which is what you need at this point.
We get it. Sometimes, staying on high ground is hard and can make you feel weak. However, it’s the opposite. Staying on the high road keeps you aligned to receive your best results. Remember karma.
You may sometimes feel temporary agony because of delayed gratification, but stay true to what’s best for you and your family, and you will definitely reap the positive results.
If you need time to get it together, that’s OK. Take breaks when you need it. Then, regroup and come back to your positive attitude. Rest assured; you will win!
8. Look for a New Place to Live
You may love your home to death, but clinging to it will only keep you attached to someone who has abandoned you and your family. This is the perfect opportunity to recreate and reclaim your life.
Even if you have to downsize for now, you still have a place that’s all yours and provides you with peace of mind.
For example, you may have lived in a larger house before your husband decided to leave you, but only his name was on the mortgage. In other words, he could’ve kicked you out anytime he felt the need, and you’d have no legal recourse.
But now, you have a place of your own, and no one can force you (or the children) to leave. This is your place, and no one can take it away from you. Doesn’t that feel like a win?
9. Take Good Care of Yourself
When your husband walks out the door, he may or may not ever glance back. And that’s fine! But naturally, you want him to regret his actions and miss you. But whether or not he’s looking back and contemplating his decision, you should take this time to clear out his negative energy.
This is where self-care comes in. You’re no longer thinking about making him regret his decision at this stage. He’s no longer a factor because you’re focused on caring for yourself.
Step away from abandonment and rejection. Screw him! Work on your health, peace of mind, and self-confidence. This is vital because if you have children, they need you more than ever. Hell, you need you. You still have a life to live, even if he’s not in it, so get to it.
What does self-care look like to you? Is that working out and eating good food? On the other hand, it could be having mom watch the kids and taking a mini vacation.
Whatever it is, do that. It doesn’t have to be anything drastic. Draw a bubble bath, light some candles, and read a book. You are partaking in self-care as long as you take a break from life with an activity that refreshes you.
Remember, self-care isn’t a one-and-done thing. To feel the full effects, you’ll need to do it consistently.
Ways to Give Yourself a Little Self-Care
Self-care means taking time to do things that help you live an improved life. It’s good for your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Here are some pointers to get you started with self-care.
- Get regular exercise: 30 minutes daily is the best amount to help keep your mind, body, and soul in check.
- Prioritize sleep: Stick to a routine sleep schedule. For example, turn off all devices because the blue light from screens can make it harder to fall asleep.
- Eat better: Have regular, healthy meals daily. Drink enough water and stay hydrated. Also, limit caffeinated drinks like coffee and sodas.
- Set goals: Prioritize what needs to get done and what can wait. Learn how to say “no” to extra tasks if you don’t have the time.
- Practice gratitude: Keep a gratitude journal and list those things you’re grateful for every day.
- Keep connected: Reach out to family and friends who provide emotional support.
- Try relaxing activities: Search for wellness and relaxation programs or apps that use muscle relaxation and meditation. Try yoga and stretching classes, and schedule regular time for these and other physical activities.
Being abandoned hurts like hell and is a passive-aggressive form of rejection. Let’s face it, that shit hurts big time. Unfortunately, the wounds abandonment leaves doesn’t simply “heal” over time.
There may not be a cure for that type of betrayal, but one thing will help ground you so you can take a step further toward healing:
The only abandonment that has the power to destroy you is the abandonment of yourself.
The world can give up on you, and that doesn’t matter. But when you give up on yourself, you’ve been truly defeated.
So what, your husband decided he doesn’t want to be with you? You can’t control his decision. Chances are, he’s been thinking about this for a long time, but now is the time he decided to let you in on his choice.
Don’t plead, and don’t beg. If he wants to leave, he will. However, you can accept his decision and take the proper steps to secure your future.
It’s not about being vindictive. It’s about protecting your well-being. Yes, it feels like a dagger to your heart now, but it won’t always hurt. So keep it together, and when you’re ready, get back out there and find the person who is truly meant for you.