“I Can’t Live Without Him”…Is That True?

Yes, you can be happy alone – even if right now all you can think is “I can’t live without him.” You won’t always feel this way. You won’t always feel so sad, lonely, rejected. Your life will never be the same, but your heart will heal and you will be happy again.

The pain of losing someone you love feels unbearable. You may feel empty, or consumed with pain. Maybe your spirit is broken, your mind numb, your body exhausted from crying. The physical, emotional, spiritual and social aftershocks of a breakup aren’t easy to withstand. They may even stop you from thinking you can be happy without him in your life. But don’t believe everything you think!

You will get over this breakup. You’ll get through this. You will learn how to be happy alone even if you can’t imagine life without him. You may suffer for longer than you’d like, but you will heal. You will be happy without him. Good news: you’ve already been through the worst of it! You experienced the pain of the breakup. You got through with the cold shock of losing him, the confusing thoughts of how to live without him, and the anger of the unfairness and injustice of it all. Now it’s time to learn how to be happy without him in your life.

“Letting go is indisputably one of the hardest things I will ask you to do,” writes therapist Rachel Sussman in The Breakup Bible: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Healing from a Breakup or Divorce. “Although I know you are desperate to recover from your ordeal and move forward, we do tend to hold on tight to our pain, our memories, and our old love feelings out of familiarity and habit. Saying goodbye to that mindset can be very scary.”

How to Get Over a Man You Can’t Live Without

When you think you can’t be happy without him…

Instead of asking “How do I get over him?”, try something different. Here’s a better question to ask yourself: “What will help me learn how to be happy without him?” You don’t even need to have the answer to this question yet. Simply asking yourself “what will help me” will trigger your brain and start healing your heart. Your subconscious is smart. It will pick up this question and start answering it – without you even realizing it! Your brain will start looking for specific ways to get through a breakup when you’re still in love.

When you ask yourself questions about healing, learning, and growing forward you will start feeding your spirit and soul the answers you need to hear. Since you don’t know how to be happy without him (yet), I’ll give you some food for thought.

7 Ways to Start Living Without Him

Yes, you can and will be happy without him. I know, because I’m living happily without people I lost. I thought I’d never learn how to live without him, but I healed. And if my heart healed after what I’ve been through, I know yours will, too.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can’t live without him. You’ll suffocate yourself. Instead, start actively working towards getting over this man and learning how to get over him. If you haven’t been on your own in a long time, read Are You Unhappy Single? 5 Benefits of Being Unattached.

I can't live without him
How to Be Happy Without Him

1. Box up his stuff

Sometimes we refuse to let go of the past because it’s comfortable and familiar. It’s easier to stay stuck in the past than do the work it takes to move forward. Passive healing is crying, sleeping, eating (or not eating), and choosing not to try different ways to heal. Active healing, on the other hand, is finding ways to work through your grief about the breakup so you can move forward in your life.

Do you have his stuff all over your place? Here’s the first step on how to get over him: start getting rid of everything. Seeing his clothes, toiletries, books, or other items just keeps your wounds fresh. Put everything he left behind in a box, and throw or give it away. Clearing out your home, car, and workspace will help clear your mind…which will help you heal from a relationship breakup.

2. Rearrange your home (a visible sign that life is different now)

You’re starting a new stage in your life, right? Then your surroundings should reflect your new life. You don’t need to buy new furniture or move to a new place (though some women find it easier to get over a man when they’re surrounded by new stuff); consider rearranging your bedroom, living room, and even your kitchen. Declutter your stuff at the same time; get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year or more.

“Letting go enables you to explore the world from an entirely different perspective and see how vast and exciting it truly is,” writes Sussman in The Breakup Bible. “It prepares you to rediscover yourself, and, in the process, determine what you really want from life.”

3. Stay emotionally healthy

Maybe you’re scared to be alone. Maybe you hate eating alone, going to parties alone, and attending work events alone. That’s fair – I know I’d rather be with someone that alone! You WILL find someone to be with – after you get over this man that you think you can’t live without.

One of the questions I’m often asked is “How do I get over him?” There aren’t any easy answers, and not everything works for everyone! You need to stay strong and courageous, emotionally and physically healthy.

Healing takes time. Getting over a man when you want to be together is hard, and it requires effort. But you are choosing to let go of the past because you know it’s time. If you find yourself holding on to the past, you’re normal because our natural tendency is to hold on to the comfortable, even when it’s painful and not good for us. You’re growing, though, because you are learning how to be comfortable even when you’re uncomfortable.

If your emotions are stronger than your will to get over this man, read How to Emotionally Detach From Someone You Care About.

4. Give yourself time to grieve your way, for as long as it takes

Learning how to be happy without him takes time. Give yourself space to grieve your loss, to absorb the shock of the breakup, and to adjust to live without him. You’re going from “I can’t live without him” to “I can do this, I can be happy without him” – and it will take time.

Let yourself cry, wail, and weep. True healing only comes when you get all the emotions and feelings out. Express your pain and heartache by writing in your journal, painting dark pictures, and drawing your emotions. Go for long walks, and let the tears flow. Give yourself a few minutes every day to say good-bye to the man, relationship, and life you had.

5. Explore different ways to be happy without him

Some people find breakup music really helpful, while others jump into fitness classes, travel, or meeting new people to date. Some people answer the “How do I get over him?” question with other questions: “Where do I want to be in one year? Who do I want to be with? How do I want to look, act, and feel?” Focusing on your future can be the best way to get over a breakup.

Everybody heals differently. You may need to find ways to put into words and perspective the feelings and emotions you haven’t expressed to anyone – such as by writing in your journal. Or, maybe you need to stop expressing your thoughts and feelings, and start taking practical steps to moving on with your life.

Acceptance is the key. If you really want to learn how to get over a man, surrender to the fact that the relationship is over. What is done is done. It’s time for you to renew yourself, and flourish in a new season of your life! When you clutch the old, you can’t receive anything new in your life.

6. Set your heart on something alive

Your heart is broken because it was set on living happily ever after with him. Now you’re forced to learn how to be happy without him. This means you need to set your heart on something that brings life, purpose, and meaning. It’s time to renew your heart and regenerate your life. It’s time to accept that a relationship – a man – is a wonderful and beautiful gift. So are children, families, beautiful possessions and lives.

If you can accept people and relationships as gifts to hold lightly and release when they’re gone, you already know how to be happy without him. You cherish the time you had, and surrender to the reality of your life now.

Sometimes women hang on to their pain, their disappointment, their anger, their misery. Have you ever met someone who was bitter and infuriated about something someone did to them 10 years ago? A breakup that happened 25 years ago? I have. Sometimes we choose not to let go of the past because it’s easier to stay put. Sometimes we ignore our options for healing because staying put is easier than moving forward.

7. Be kind and gentle with yourself

Sometimes you think you’ll never get over him; other times, you feel happy and good about your future! These ups and downs are normal. Certain days — birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays — can be difficult even years after a relationship breakup.

There are no quick and easy solutions on how to stop living in the past. But, if you deliberately choose to let go of the past you will rediscover yourself. You will figure out what you really want from life, and you will plant your own garden.

How to get happy without him…

In 75 How to Let Go of Someone You Love: 3 Powerful Secrets (and 75 Tips!) for Healing Your Heart, you’ll find a wide variety of practical and personal tips for getting over a man and starting your life over again. Best of all, you’ll find hope and healing.

How to Get Over a Man You Can't Live Without

To write this ebook, I interviewed life coaches, relationship experts, grief and counselors for the most thoughtful and helpful tips on how to get over a man when a relationship ends. It’s devastating and heartbreaking to let someone go – especially because it changes how you see yourself.

May you find healing and love, light and life. May your faith carry you through, and give you strength to love and live with joy again.


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12 thoughts on ““I Can’t Live Without Him”…Is That True?”

  1. Hi I am married to a man who says he love me one minute and hates me the next minute. I think he is bi-polar but unsure of any diagnosis. He treats me like I am on top of the world and then like trash the next. We have a child together and I have two children of my own. He abuses me mentally and physically and I accept it because I love him so much. He does it in front of my children so they hate him. On the other side of things he helps me financially as well sometimes. He belittles me and tell me I don’t have to be with him. He starts fight with me for no reason and he has and real bad anger issue. He makes me feel like I’m the dumbest person in the world one minute. Then the next he makes me feel like loves me and that he will never leave me. I know I deserve better but I put up with it because the fear of being alone with three small children. My first relationship did not work with my two kids that I have on my own and I decided that with this third one I promised myself I would not leave fearing that I will be a single mother and struggling and poor. But the truth is I will hurt if he leave and I am hurting now while being with him. I don’t know who I will get each day the nice guy, the rude guy, or the angry guy. I just need some type of support and help because I know that I am truly insane for staying with him. But I am afraid to be alone and to struggle and I am afraid of the pain and hurt of him just moving on while I am stuck struggling with three children while working and 9 to 5 and trying to complete college what do I do?

  2. I read your article, as I have been googling many on how to let go of the man I love.I even had a good advice by a site, “If your ex was stupid enough to leave you, you have to be smart enough to let them go. It’s difficult, but after a while, you have to remember that you want to be with someone who is in love with you, and wants to be with you -not someone you’ve shared great memories with, but doesn’t want to be with you. It’s difficult to accept, but if someone doesn’t want to be with you, the best thing to do is to let them go, and take care of yourself. Put yourself first, and try to move on optimistically. After all, your vibe attracts your tribe.” I read this enough i start to believe it – BUT i still cry though. I miss him in my bed next to me, miss his snoring, miss his touch, kiss and hugs. I miss him telling me he loves me… i miss him. I have a watch he bought three years ago for me(we were together 4 years), picked it out himself. Do I get rid of it so not to remember him? I have football stuff that i with him acquired, like in my car on my steering wheel, do i throw it out and the tee shirt? I don’t know.

  3. i was really hot right now because every thing seen to turn up side down for me, as a single mother have been having a lot of disappointment from men. the ones that shows me love later turn their back from me, i just need someone to tell me how to move on with my life without a man.

  4. Posting a comment on here will be therapeutic writing for me.
    I’m trying to get over a man that I never had. We had a “ thing” as teenagers and in March I decided to friend him on Facebook. He’s divorced, I’m separated for 2 years. We start chatting and And he tells me he has a girlfriend. After a few months of talking as friends, he tells me he wants to talk to me on an app so his girlfriend doesn’t know.

    He then tells me his girlfriend is married and he rarely sees her and we bring it to the next level. In my mind , because he barely sees her and she’s married, it wasn’t a real relationship.We start chatting every day and he shows me so much attention that I enjoyed , especially coming out of a bad marriage. All along I agreed to keep it casual since he’s still in love with his girlfriend. Over the summer, we decide to meet in person only twice since we live about 2 hrs away from each other and we both have teenagers. This brought it to another level. I felt we had such a connection and him showing me so much attention made me hope that he was developing feelings for me and forgetting about his girlfriend. He was honest with me all along and never misled me.

    After a few months, he could tell I was developing more than just casual feelings for him and he ended it. We’ve talked as friends still for a few weeks but now he’s not talking to me as friends anymore either.

    I feel so lost and I still have a glimmer of hope that they will break up. I know this isn’t healthy but I can’t stop thinking about him and I’m miserable without him. I want to break free from this but I have a gut feeling that he has more feelings for me than he admits. It was about a 3 month fling and I’m going on week 5 since we ended it and I still feel horrible. Maybe I should seek counseling or give myself a little more time. Like I said, I’m lost!

  5. I need help!! I am drowning in a realationship with a man that I truly love and Don’t know what to do. I know he is not good for me.. He tells me he loves me.. that he adores me but, almost all the time I feel the opposite. We have a bad poisonist relationship and we bring out the worse of each other.
    When I decided to move with him, my daighter refused but anyway I did it because inlove him. however, after living with him and got to truly know him, You have no idea how many times I have picked up my stuff wanting to leave, but be begs me not to. I have no one to talk to anymore because they all think I should leave him. I still here because I love him too much but he emotionally hurts me all the time.

    Because of him; the most important person in my life, the most precious , my 14 yrs old daughter have grown appart from me, and I think she even hates me.. just like the rest of my family.. I feel lonely and sad the whole time. I wish someone could tell me what to do!

  6. I have today been assaulted by the man I loved. He had moved in with me 5 weeks ago after a one year relationship. Best of my life and he showed me a love I never had experienced. I had been single for 14 years after a horrible end to my marriage. He showed me love, care, we laughed, we planned our future. My family and friends liked him. Then he lost his job, he got another then lost that, depression set in. And drinking more and more. I tried to support and help. He had to sell his house because he couldn’t afford the mortgage, he finally got divorced after nearly 3 years of negotiations, he struggled to cope with moving in with me. I know things have gone so wrong in the last few weeks, but I loved him, I believe if he did too and we both wanted it to work we would find a solution. But then he has hurt me and left me with several bruises and potential fractured bone. So the lovely man is ill and can’t cope. Which means he has hurt me, which means I need to learn to live without the man I loved more than I had ever loved any man, who made me zing, who gave me physical and emotional love, friendship, practical help. As I did him. But I now need to work out a plan to get over him, we are not allowed contact for 2 weeks or he is in breach of his bail, tomorrow I will pack his clothes and other small stuff and my family will deliver it to his family. The bigger items will need to be moved after his court date. So I will hurt, and heal and shut down likely as I did when my marriage broke down, and eventually I will get to the point that I will be ok. Ok with being alone. Ok with having my dreams in tatters as I will slowly develop new dreams. For now I need to just feel the pain and accept it will take as long as it takes to get better at coping with the intense loneliness I feel right now. The betrayal. But to recognise that it wasn’t meant to be. Wrong time wrong place, too many problems in his life leaving no space to nurture the amazing love we shared. But at least I experienced that magical love. Even if I now have physical bruises as a result.

  7. Very interesting!! You have correctly mentioned a point “Find something else to live for”God created you. He loves you and wants you to be filled with freedom, peace, and joy! He knows every hair on your head, He knows every teardrop you cry, and He hears every prayer you offer. If everyone follows this simple thing then there would be no problems in any relationships.

    1. I am exactly in the same situation. I wish I could talk with someone who understood the pain. I have broken up with him after 7 years yet he will not give up on us. We have serious deep deep issues which cannot be mentioned here. Aside from all of this, I love him so deeply that I have beeb crushed since 1-2 years ago when I decided to leave him. I want him every day… I cry everyday yet the issues we have will never ever resolve. Why did this have to happen. My heart is ripped apart every single day. I live in misery. I wish he was with me every single second yet I had to let him go. The silent torture that no one sees in my life. No one 😢

  8. I was in a serious relationship for seven years. We broke up a month ago and I thought I’d be starting the healing process by now. How long does it take to get over a broken heart? I don’t know how to be single after being in a relationship that was so serious for so long. I don’t want to be single. But I don’t want to be with my ex boyfriend because I know we weren’t good for each other. We brought out the worst in each other. I have nobody to turn to, and I feel more alone than I ever have.

  9. I don’t know what’s wrong these days, we fight a lot over petty issues…..and then turn up hurting each other and then hurts more to be hurting each other……we have gone thru a very bad phase and yet he stood by me…..and supported me…….i know theres love but its faded in the busy schedule of his……we broke up last night just bcz he wants to concentrate on his exams coming in oct and here m in a mess because i have my exams in next two weeks….i can live without this man but not happily

  10. I broke up with my boyfrind last night whom I love so most. Now I’m so sad because I love him so much and am crying for him but he left me here alone. Please help me out, how do I get over a man I can’t live without and this worst circumstance?