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Getting Over a Man You Think You Can’t Live Without

It takes seconds to say hello, and forever to say goodbye. Your heart will never be the same – but you can be happy again! Here’s how to get over a man you think you can’t live without and set your heart free.

“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.”

Asking “How do I get over him?” is the first step to healing because it shows you’re ready to move forward. You’re looking for specific ways to get through a breakup when you’re still in love, and you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I share practical ways to survive the end of a relationship – even if you don’t feel like you’re ready to leave him behind.

This breakup help is about getting stronger, healthier, and happier when a relationship ends – whether he broke up with you or you broke up with him. Your relationship is over, and it’s time to start focusing on activities that move you towards health and healing.

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

Trust me: you can live a happy, healthy, productive life without him. How do I know? Because I’m living without people I though I’d never be able to breathe without. I’m actually happier and healthier now than I was before.

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.

1. Box up his stuff – even if you don’t move it out of your home

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

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

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 practical tip on how to get over a man

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. Find ways to 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. Get over him by allowing yourself to grieve your way

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 simply ignore our options for healing because staying put is easier than moving forward.

Healing from a relationship breakup is different for everyone, but one thing is the same: we all need to learn how to grieve the end of a relationship. This is how to get over a man you can’t live without: go through the most painful emotions. Let yourself cry, wail, and weep. 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 grieve — but don’t obsess about or dwell on your breakup.

You CAN be happy without his love or presence in your life. You WILL get over him, and you CAN live without him.

5. Try different ways to get over the breakup

Getting Over a Man You Can't Live WithoutSome 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. Find something else to live for

What is the purpose of your life? If you haven’t found something meaningful and fulfilling, you’ll make a man the center of your life. This is a mistake because a man was never meant to be the purpose and meaning of your existence!

A man, a relationship, a husband – those are wonderful and beautiful additions to life. Same with children, families, beautiful possessions and lives…but those things and people aren’t the reason you’re alive today.

You’re here because 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. God is the reason you’re alive – not this man that you’ve put on a pedestal.

7. Remember that getting over a man takes time

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 are you feeling? I welcome your thoughts on how to get over a man after a breakup that has torn your heart apart. I can’t offer advice, but you may find it helpful to write about your experience. Writing can bring healing, hope, and insight into your life.

Help Getting Over a Man You Think You Can’t Live Without

How to Get Over a Man You Can’t Live WithoutIn The Breakup Bible – The Smart Woman’s Guide to Healing from a Breakup or Divorce therapist and breakup expert Rachel Sussman reveals the secrets every woman needs to get her life back on track. Not only will you learn effective tips for getting over him and surviving the breakup, you’ll emerge a stronger and more empowered woman. 

Drawing on hundreds of counseling sessions she’s conducted with women at all stages of recovery, Sussman developed a proven 3-phase process for healing from a breakup.

The Breakup Bible takes women through three stages of getting over a man when a relationship ends: Healing, Understanding, and Transformation. She offers new perspectives and advice from real, healed women at each step.


How to Get Over a Man You Can't Live WithoutIn 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.

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 “Getting Over a Man You Think You Can’t Live Without”

  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 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 😢

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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?