My Spouse Moved Out And I Don’t Know Where To Go From Here

By: Leslie Cane: Even when you know that your spouse was unhappy in your marriage and intended to leave, it can still feel very shocking on those first nights after he has moved out and you are alone. Often, we build our life around our marriage and around him. So when he’s away from us (even if it’s hopefully only temporary,) we can feel very lost and unsure of how to proceed. This is particularly true if we are hoping to save our marriage.

A wife might have a husband who she describes like this one: “my husband talked about moving out long before he actually did it. In fact, it took him so long that I had started to hope that he wasn’t actually going to do it. He was clearly unhappy, but I still hoped that he would stick it out and give us a chance to improve things. Well, my hopes didn’t come to fruition because he moved out last week. I am sort of floundering and lost. We’ve talked a few times and when he hangs up he always says that we will talk again soon. That doesn’t always happen, though. The problem is that I’m extremely lonely. I am so used to my husband being here all of the time. We did everything together and so now I feel very strange and pathetic when I have to do things alone. Last night, it got so bad that I considered just showing up at his house, but I talked myself out of it because I was afraid of being rejected. Still, I dread tonight and more of the same. I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with my time or how I go about making my husband interact with me. I worry that if things stay the same, we will end up divorced.”

Using The Time For Improvement Rather Than For Rumination: I had the same types of issues during my own separation. From my own experience, I can tell you that isolating yourself and sitting alone in a quiet house is sometimes detrimental. Sure, you can’t be with other people all of the time, but you need a mix of activities so that you don’t feel so lonely. In my case, I had family and friends, but because I’d been married and had focused on that for quite some time, it was usual for me to spend most of my time with people who weren’t my husband. However, when I was separated, my family and friends were my most viable option for companionship.  Almost all of them were completely there for me and welcomed me with open arms. I found that most people are more than willing to support me when asked. I felt weird about this at first, but it was a relief to not be alone. So I spent many nights with friends and family. After a while, I felt more comfortable being alone, but I wouldn’t allow myself to just aimlessly sit there and watch TV. I’d do hobbies or read to better myself. I took inventory about what I wanted from my life and from my marriage (assuming that I could save it.) I took an honest look about where I’d contributed to the decline of my marriage and then I brainstormed how I could fix those things. I tried to be proactive rather than reactive.

After a while, I realized that I could not control my husband’s feelings about me or his behavior toward me, but I could influence his thoughts by closely watching our interactions and then making adjustments. I found that when I dialed down the needy, clingy part of myself that pressured my husband and instead channeled the strong part of myself, my husband reacted favorably. I had to move slowly because he still wasn’t sure about our marriage. But I tried to make every interaction, no matter how small, a favorable interaction so that he would willingly continue to participate. One thing lead to another and we eventually reconciled. I am not sure if this would have been possible if I had continued to be lonely, isolated, and clingy.

But to answer the question of where you go from here, I think that you simply try to go forward. If you stay home and isolate yourself, you’re just standing still or worse, moving backward. Surround yourself with the family and friends who will support you. Get out of the house, even if that means volunteering your time. Work on yourself and figure out how you can contribute to a reconciliation rather than detracting from it. As best as you can, always move deliberately and with an eye toward what will be a positive move that gives you the best chance of feeling better and acting conducive towards positive change.

I know that this sounds easier than it actually is. Believe me, I struggled. But I also felt a sense of relief each time I did something that was in my own best interest. Even if it felt awkward or scary, at the end of the day, it just felt better and less isolating. And I do believe that ultimately, it lead me back to my husband.  You can read more at

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