A marital breakup in most cases is preceded by some signs – awkward silences, less time spent together and frequent fights are more or less indicative that a marriage is on the verge of unraveling. No matter how painful the breakup, spouses can see the writing on the wall that things are heading to separation or divorce. However the trauma of broken marriage is multiplied several times over if one spouse suddenly exits the marriage. If you have been at the receiving end of such a situation with your husband leaving unexpectedly, here are a few ways of coping.
TIP: Read the guide to prevent a break up or get back with your ex.
Prepare yourself to let it sink in
The realization that your husband has really left you might not sink in immediately. The first couple of you might seem ok or that he has gone on an out of town work-related tour, like so many times in the past; you might even feel like you are in a surreal situation. Then a night will come when the home is quiet and it really hits you. You might feel yourself reeling from sheer terror, despair or helplessness. Stop for a moment, take a breath and do something that will comfort you like having a cup of warm cocoa or taking a shower; most of all, don't do anything irrational. This moment of shock - when you find yourself keeling over at the blow of the situation - will pass. Hold on to your kids and good sense and sure as day follows night, soon you will be able to get a grip on the situation.
Accept the reality
Whether or not you may have seen it coming, once your husband walks out on you, it is the end of your relationship, at least in its present form. Accept the fact, no matter how impossible it may seem. Do not scheme and strategize to get him back. Shake yourself out of daydreams in which you see your husband repenting his decision and returning to you. in the days to come, ff you know of his family, friends or pastor urging him to go back to his family, distance yourself from these efforts since as far as you are concerned, he has already made his choice clear. Any decision that he may take separately will concern you only when he communicates them directly to you.
Avoid rationalizing what happened
When you are coping with your husband suddenly abandoning you, you may try to grope for reasons what led to it. You may think it was because you were too fat, too thin, too busy or too lazy. Or perhaps he met another woman who is all that you aren’t or maybe he hates the kids and simply wanted to get away. Understand that this is not the time to look for answers since you are too overwhelmed by your grief. The biggest priority right now is to pull yourself together and look after your kids, if you have any.
Look after yourself
As mentioned in the point above, it is crucial that you don’t stop taking care of yourself. Force yourself to eat a healthy diet even when you feel that nothing can go down your throat. Continue to exercise if you were in the habit of doing so before your husband left. If you feel it impossible to meet your gym mates, then go for a brisk walk in the park after sundown. Above all, stay away from unhealthy choices like rebound sex, alcohol or drug abuse since none of these will make your pain go away. They will merely take away your natural ability to heal yourself.
Get back to your routine
After your husband leaves, you may find it impossible to get back to your professional and social life. The shame and pain of being abandoned may seem to be multiplied by curious co-workers and social acquaintances. You may somehow get the feeling that people consider you a fool for having missed the signs and not taken pre-emptive measures. Or else there may be an outpouring of pity which you may feel equally uncomfortable with. But it is imperative that you shrug off these negative reactions and get back to your routine. Join your office if you had taken off for a few days and stop at the grocery to stock up your freezer. No man is worth eating out of a tin for days on end.
Look for support
Spousal abandonment is traumatic as it is and there is no need for you to do it alone. Look for people who genuinely care about you like a close family member, a trusted friend or even a co-worker whose good sense you have always admired. Better still make an appointment with a therapist or counselor since such sudden abandonment is bound to raise a host of issues which are extremely difficult to deal on your own. Having a close support network will first of all assure you that you are loved and cherished and moreover it will help you to pick up the pieces of your life on the practical level.
Clarify legal issues
Once you have regained a measure of equanimity, consult a legal expert on your situation. since most legal systems follow no-fault divorce these days, The spouse who abandons the marriage will not be forced to return but he/she will be held financially responsible for things such as child support, spousal support and property division via a divorce court order. So ask your lawyer about what your current marital status is, what are the best options on getting a divorce/legal separation or preventing your husband from divorcing you without your knowledge. If the whereabouts of your husband are unknown, clarify issues like how long before you can be declared a single again and what is the procedure for the same. It is no longer enough to wait for a certain number of years to wait for a missing spouse after which you can remarry; a married person must, for purposes of remarriage, file the necessary action in court and ask for a declaration of presumptive death of the “absent” spouse. Discussing all these matters with an experienced family law expert will help you to understand your legal position and take appropriate measures to best protect your interests.
Reassure your kids
The breakdown of a family is equally if not tougher on the kids. So if your husband has left his kids along with you, make sure that they are alright. Seeing their mom abandoned without any explanations may intensify their own feelings of sorrow and insecurity. Have a chat with your kids and let them know that there will be a few changes in the family. It is a good idea to let them know why their dad left but keep their age in mind before you decide how much to reveal to them. If your kids are particularly close to a grandparent or an aunt, enlist their help in making your kids feel secure and loved. Finally reassure your kids that no matter what happens, their mom will always be there for them and you all will be together.
Look ahead and around you
After you have emerged from the immediate turbulence of your experience, try to have life with varied interests. Pick up a new hobby or learn a new language. Join a course in which you were always interested but never had time for. If you did not have a job earlier, look for one now. Once you fill your life with things to do and learn, you will be too busy to obsess about your husband leaving you. Around this time, you can also get back to the social circuit. Go out with friends and co-workers. Attend parties and celebrations but try to be part of a larger group. Give yourself time to put your pain behind before you rejoin the dating scene. Keep yourself open to making friends and meeting interesting people but take your time to settle into a new relationship.