Have You Been Dumped by Your Spouse?

I recently have been having a conversation with an intimate stranger. I met her through a series of posts on Facebook, and she contacted me. I don't mind helping others, even people I do not know very well. I do it so often in my personal life. I find that by helping others, I'm really helping myself. She is going through some of the same things I am, however, I'm a little further ahead of her on the road to recovery.

In writing to her, I came up with 12 critical things that I did, that any person can do, to help myself through that very difficult time when a spouse walks out on you. I did many of them to some degree. These actions are critical saving yourself and may in the long run help you to save your marriage too!

The list could get even longer, but I guess I would call these the foundation steps. These are life changers that, altho they seem too simple and too small to make a difference, are actually grand key players that will pack an intense punch later down the road. If you change the course of a compass by only a few degrees, you will see the impact of that change further down the road as you go. These things just take time.

If you know of someone, anyone, who is going through the ringer with their spouse (whether this be a man or woman), or if you know anyone who is going thru a breakup plain and simple, send them my list. 

So, your husband or wife left you and your life is now upside down. This event is overwhelming. I totally understand. I've been through it.

What can you do to feel better?

12 Critical Action Steps to help you feel better when a spouse leaves you:

  1. Do something NICE for yourself today. Get busy today, right this minute. Buy a book. Go get your nails done. Join Weight Watchers. Get your hair colored and get rid of the grey. Get a massage. Garden. Cook. Take a shower. Go for a run. Work out. Swim. Paint the laundry room a bright shade of green. Do ANYTHING to not think of him or her. What would you be doing if he/she weren't doing this to you? Figure that out and then GO DO IT.
  2. Stop talking to everyone about it if you're not getting support. Share your story ONLY with those who will accept you whether you choose to fight for your marriage or not.
  3. Get Michele Weiner-Davis' book, Divorce Remedy, and follow her suggestions. Work with one of her coaches. She is an expert on this subject and has years of experience. Her techniques actually work!!
  4. Get a counselor who is solution-based and pro-marriage (even if you are going by yourself!). They are difficult to find, but they are out there. It wont help you to figure out your childhood right now. Find someone who will help you get back up on your feet today, who will help you save yourself and hopefully your marriage too!
  5. If you are open minded about Christianity check out DivorceCare.org and sign up for a class.*
  6. Take a break from your troubles. Have some fun. GO out with the girls! (My advice: Stay away from opposite-sex friendships for now!) Know YOU WILL get thru this!
  7. Buy the book Jesus Calling and read it daily. (I'm not preaching Christianity, but I received this book as a gift, and it saved my butt!) It helps to feel God is in your corner. (If you don't like this one, get The Secret or any “spiritual” book that will give you hope and calm your fears.) A daily reader is so helpful.*
  8. Find the book, Your Husband's Midlife Crisis by Sally Conway... It's excellent. It's out of print but easy to find. I bought mine for a penny! If you're a guy, this book might still be helpful! Or I think they wrote one for guys.
  9. Be of service to others. Helping others can relieve the obsession in your head. Find an organization to help out, or just call on a friend who needs dinner brought to them. People who just had babies need dinners. Elderly folks might just need a lunch date for a healthy soup and salad!
  10. Try not to talk to to your spouse for a while. Give him / her, and more importantly, yourself, time and space to work things out! Don't panic! And... try not to blame your spouse. Find out what you did to contribute to the mess and work on yourself. It took two to run the marriage into the ground. You're powerless over your spouse. Work on YOU instead! :)
  11. If your spouse is into drugs, alcohol, porn or any other addictive behaviors, whether now or in the past, feel free to check out an Al-Anon meeting.† They are AWESOME! Find one in your area. If your spouse is not an addict, you can still go. Shake your family tree. Maybe someone will fall out who can qualify you for membership.
  12. Write a gratitude list if you can. I write one often. Not every day, but I do write one at least 4 or 5 times a week. I'm sure there are some things going well in your life!

Other things I've done: blogged and wrote about my situation, joined a book club, started a book study (different from the book club), visited/joined a church community*, joined a spiritual chat group (I found Theology on Tap*), read Mort Fertel and signed up for his emails, solicited support from friends and family and avoided this subject with folks who were not supportive of my marriage, avoided saying negative things about my spouse to anyone, sought legal consultation, read as much as I could on the subject, made friends with others who were going thru the same thing, spoke with others whose marriages survived separation, began to be of service to others, attended weekend retreats.

The bottom line: Let it go for the day. Or the hour. Or for the half hour. Eventually, and it doesn't happen right away, you WILL feel better.

Hope this helps! And remember..... keep the garage door OPEN and....

TRY to have a good day!

*Disclaimer: currently, I do not call myself a Christian, but I do read a fair amount of Christian materials, and I have started attending church. I mean to share with you that any spiritual seeking can only help, not hurt, you in this recovery journey.

† I do not mean to state that my husband is an active alcholic or addict, for in fact, he is not.


  1. I've made a couple similar posts. One is more focused on being a good single mom and the other one is focused on what I think is the key point to healing: Confidence. I especially like numbers 1, 9, and 10.

  2. cool! i know, i debated whether or not to put the Christian / spiritual stuff in my post today.... but i guess in my case, it's what worked for me... i needed divine intervention! ;)

    thanks girl!!! :)

    i'm so glad you keep checking in! i have a surprise coming up soon for my blog! can't wait......

  3. Hey pal!

    I now have your blog bookmarked (thanks to Pamela). I just wanted to say that both Pamela and I are very proud of how far you've come! As your friends, we will never quite understand how a man like Matt could simply up and leave such a wonderful and beautiful person as yourself and a blessing like Oliver. But, sadly, there are many things in this world that make zero sense sometimes. I am so very glad that through it all you have kept, fortified and (incredibly) strengthened your faith. And now you are strong enough to reach out and help others who are going through a similar agony. Rick Warren's book, A Purpose-Driven Life, starts out with one of the best lines I've ever read, "It's not about you." I think you get what I'm saying here. Remember, God gave us so many wonderful gifts. The one we so often take for granted is the gift of each other. You are becoming a true, helpful and sincere blessing to others, Andrea. Keep it going.

    The future is at your feet. And God will always have your back.

    : )

  4. Thank you so much Ron and really EVERYONE who has supported me thru this. I've learned so much and I keep learning. Matt and I are both at fault. It's not all me. IT's not all him. It's unfortunate that so far we haven't gotten back together. I know that I will be OK tho, even if we don't. I pray for my husband, that he be relieved of whatever it is that is causing him concern and turmoil, that he learn what he needs to.

    There are so many factors at play here. But your message to me cuts thru the BS and makes a solid point.

    I love you guys! :)

    Hugs, andrea

  5. Hello Andre,

    I am a 45 year old woman with a thirteen year old son, and a husband of 14 years. He stills lives with us, because his attorney has told him not to leave our home. I have mixed emotions on this.I don't want this, he is the man that I truly love. Granted I have made mistakes, and I am sorry, but this is fixable. Needless to say, he does not feel this way. I live in Madison, Alabama, but I am in Mobile , Alabama right now, trying to find serenity before I have to go home and sit down with my husband and figure out the divorce agree. He wants to be amicable about it. I do too but mostly I just don't want to do this at all. I am trying very hard to be a good Christian and a good person, but the hurt is overwhelming at times. I have some very supportive friends and family, that don't understand why he is doing this, but they still care about him at the same time. I really could use some people to talk to that are going through this too.


  6. Tammy, I totally understand. I know how it is. None of this is easy. Feel free to keep checking in here or look me up on FB... :)



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