How to Be Happy Without Your Husband’s Love

Today, you might not be able to imagine how to be happy outside of your marriage. You don’t know how you’ll live without your husband’s love, money, support, or presence in your home. Whether you were blindsided by an unexpected separation or you chose to leave your marriage, know that you won’t always feel the way you do right now. You will be happy again. You will get your life – and your self – back.

“I’ve been married to same man for 30 years, and he has manipulated and controlled me to the point that I have no self-esteem or confidence,” says Mary on How Do You Help an Unhappy Husband? “I have isolated myself from family and friends for 20 years. I have no job and no money, and I feel he set me up like this. My husband has been unhappy for years, and recently blamed me for our financial ruin. I’m 57 with no money, no job, no family, friends or confidence. I’m miserable and exhausted from this….the contempt just grows and grows. So does the rage and the hate.”

Mary reminds me of the wife in a fiction book called The Gatecrasher. This wife, Phillipa, was in exactly the same type of marriage. Phillipa’s husband insulted her, destroyed her self-esteem, belittled her, and blamed her for everything bad in their lives. She thought she’d never recover from his abuse or be able to live happily without her husband. Guess what? It was a happy ending! Phillipa discovered that she can be happy without her husband’s version of love or his piles of money.

Phillipa’s story isn’t just a story in a book. Many women tell their own version same story. They felt stuck and trapped in unhappy or even abusive marriages. They didn’t know how they could ever be happy without their husbands. And they hit rock bottom financially, emotionally, professionally and socially. Many of these women thought they’d never recover.

But they did recover. They healed. They found the strength and courage they needed to start over, become financially independent, and live without their husband’s love or money.

And if millions of women can do it, so can you.

5 Steps to Being Happy Without Your Husband

This is just a start – a general list of ideas that can put you on the road to finding freedom and breaking free from an unhappy marriage. You’ll need more specific help and support if you’re serious about being happy without your husband. You need to contact a lawyer, or a divorce counselor, or a social worker.

But first, you need to…

1. Tell your family and friends the truth

The unhealthiest, most destructive husbands are the guys that isolate you from your friends and family. The more isolated you are, the more power he has over you – until you have nobody to turn to. That is, you THINK you have nobody to turn to – but you do! You don’t need your husband’s twisted love or money, you can be happy without a husband, and you CAN stand on your own two feet.

“I finally told my sister some of the things that are going on in my marriage,” says Elizabeth on Did Your Husband Have a Long Affair? How to Recover. “My husband thinks I’m the bad guy now even though he’s the one who cheated. He took life insurance out on me and dropped my medical coverage. I told him, if you can’t help take care of me while I am living, you are not going to benefit on my insurance when I’m gone. We have decided to go our separate ways. I should not have hid how my husband treated me from my family and friends all these years.”

2. Focus on the resources and support you have

Mary said she has no money, no job, and no support. That may be true – but what does she have? A brain. A mouth. Two feet. She has what she needs to get money, to get a job, to get support, and to start being happy without her husband. To start over without your husband – and be happy – all you need is what you already have: your body, your brain, and your spirit. Yes, it’s hard to start over. Yes, it’s scary and what will people think? Yes, finding a job in this economy will be a pain in the a$$. Yes, life isn’t fair…and yes you wish things were different!

But this is your life, and you have the power to change it. You have the power to be happy without your husband’s money or “love.”

3. Identify two obstacles holding you back

Women often say they can’t leave their husbands or pursue their dreams because they aren’t financially independent. In How Do You Leave Your Husband When You Have No Money?, I list a few tips for accumulating money and learning how to be independent. I’m not saying it’s easy – but I am saying it’s worth the pain and effort. It takes time and effort to rebuild yourself financially, but it’s better than being unhappy with a husband who treats you like garbage.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. That’s what social services is for, what friends and family are for, and what neighbors are for! Eat that humble pie, for it will make you stronger and self-sufficient. Then one day, you will be able to help another woman who is scared she’ll never be happy without HER husband’s money or love. What goes around comes around, my friend.

4. Find women who know how to be happy without a husband’s love

The hardest thing may be to speak up and ask for the help you need. It’s also the best, smartest, and most courageous thing you could do for yourself! Being honest hurts and is even embarrassing. It hurts to tell the truth…but the truth will set you free. Talk to other women, women who understand what happens when a marriage unravels. Find women who understand how hard it is, how painful, sad and even shameful. Sharing your burden will ease your pain and lighten the load.

“You sound like you would like to leave but you’re torn by your responsibilities to yourself, your children and even your feelings for your deadbeat husband,” says Jessie on When You Live With a Moody Husband – Loving What Is. “Take it from me (45 years married), he won’t change. If you are ready to be on your own again, you need to call a hotline for abused women. They can help you leave and be happy without your husband’s money or love without endangering yourself or your children.”

5. Make time to be still and quiet

Starting your life over, learning how to be happy without your husband, moving your kids and maintaining your sanity…it’s not possible alone! But your faith makes it possible.

Make time every morning to get still and quiet. Spend time with God. Let your thoughts flutter and fly until they calm down. Watch the flurry of fear and doubt. Wait for it to settle. Then, when all is calm in your mind and heart, pay attention to the presence in you. That is God. You might feel like praying for strength and courage, safety and comfort. You might just sit in His presence and allow peace to descend. However you choose to spend time with God, do it with all your heart. The more time you spend with Him, the more peace and love you will feel deep in your spirit.

How to Be Happy Without Your Husband's Love
How to Be Happy Without Your Husband’s Love

What do you think? Feel free to share your story below. Writing is a great way to work through your feelings and gain clarity on your thoughts. You may also find a few gems you didn’t even know were hidden in your mind and heart!

In peace and passion,



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19 thoughts on “How to Be Happy Without Your Husband’s Love”

  1. Laurie,

    I’m so glad I came upon your blogs and your book. What thoughtful insights and fresh perspectives you present! Thank you for your honesty and willingness to be vulnerable. I share your trust and joy in God’s providence. He’s always been there for me, even in my darkest hours.

    After nearly forty-five years of marriage to my high school sweetheart (a fifty-year relationship), I found myself divorced at age sixty-four, a situation I’d never anticipated. Rebuilding my life and my relationship with God has been an amazing journey, one that has taught me many lessons. I’ve spent the past fourteen months writing a book, You Are Still Beloved: When Your Long-Term Marriage Ends in Divorce. It will be released in mid-May. I’ve found no way to reach you other than through your blog. Would you consider taking a look at a few chapters and writing a short endorsement for the book? If so, please let me know where I can email you a preview. Thank you for your consideration.

    Blessings and best wishes,
    Mary Jo Gremling

  2. We are not intimate at all. There is zero passion. We talk about it, he always listens and says we need to fix it and he’ll do his part…but there is no action to match his words. I told him I need to be fulfilled as a woman and as a partner for me to stay in the marriage. It doesn’t seem to bother him at all. We could have a great marriage except for this one part – the intimacy that will bond us in a deeper way. I have no idea where else to turn. We have gone to counselors together, I have gone alone. At this point, I realize my husband will never be interested in changing our intimate life, and it is up to me to accept this marriage as it is or to leave. Where can I turn to help me decide what to do? I can’t be happy with him. Can I be happy without my husband?

  3. My husband told me he doesn’t love me anymore. He’s just waiting for our daughter to finish college and then he will leave me. He treats me like a trash but despite all of that I still love him. He told me that he cannot make himself love me again. He womanizes a lot. I forgive him again and again because I don’t want to end our relationship. I’m from a broken family and I don’t want my daughter to have what I have had for a family. My husband treats me like I have a contagious disease, and he doesn’t want to come near me.
    I’m not asking for advice. I already know what I should do. I also know I won’t do it. I’ll just keep trying to be happy without my husband’s love.

  4. I don’t know if I will have the courage to leave him. We were happy. Sometimes not, because he is blaming me all the time. Though I am the one who works. He always says Im ugly and comparing me with other woman. We are married for 7 years. Please need advise

  5. I was tried make the life successful with him for last two yrs.but all my efforts gave me the results limited for very short period.when i memorised the past i realized same thing happened again and still 30 have no kids.finally i realized no point of being trying to make this marriage successful. Its better to make the move now. Otherwise i ll be too late.i dont have anyone to tell this.i decided to leave the country without informing anyone.

  6. I am living separately in a different state after my marriage of 1 year.I started living separately as my husband didn’t respect me at all. He never looked on me.whether I am happy or staying properly wasn’t his concern.His bother used to stay with us too after our marriage.he keeps himself busy with him only.most of the nights I sleep crying for entire nights Beside him. But he never comes to console n behaves as if he doesn’t know anythng. Now after staying apart for 2 y2 yrs we came close. We used to meet every month. Mostly I used to fly to meet him.Finally I decided to come dwn to stay together.But now I find things at going lyk d precious one. He started abusing me for my settled life. Each n every time we find as he can’t heko me financially n can’t even buy simple stuffs for me. I was planning to quit job for a while to stay with him. But if he can’t even buy me my few essentials how will he sustain me!! He earns good amount. I don’t know where is he utilitizing his salary. I am so damn confused. As m in very good form of work. Star performer in my organisation. I was ready to leave everything and come to him. Pls suggest what shud I do?

    1. You should not leave your job as you are saying that your husband behavior has changed again. Is your job is another station where you husband is living. If not, you should continue you job.

  7. Hello everyone!
    I m married for 7 years now, I have an adorable girl 4 years old. I was happy with my husband for the first year, then it turned to hell, especially when I was pregnant, somehow he didn’t help at all, I had to work full time job, managing the household, and caring fir my child, finding day cares, babysitters, he is just watching.
    He left us for 5 times and came back, left us alone for 5 months lately then from nowhere he showed up again.
    Many of you ladies, will say why I m taking him back? Because I do not want my child to grow with no father.
    I support myself and my child, I learned from ex that women should not rely on a men financially!
    So few weeks now, he starts to act up again like before, and he is really getting on my nerves, like staying outside, when I m
    Off st home, he leaves 6 hours before his job time. So now I m thinking to really live by myself, I think I can do it since I did it when he left us before.
    But the only issue I have is my daughter that she asks about him when he doesn’t show up.
    My question is, do you ladies, Laurie think that I won’t be blamed from my child for her father? Also I don’t want him to leave then come back, it needs to be OVER for good!
    Please spare some advice if you can.

    Thank you!!

  8. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Sometimes being happy without your husband’s love or money is a process that takes time. I don’t think you can just wake up learning how to be happy without your husband! Rather, you need to create your happiness slowly, and learn that happiness doesn’t come from a man or a marriage.

    The true source of happiness is peace, which comes from God. There is so much freedom and joy in God!

  9. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear ratry,

    It sounds like you want to leave your husband because you’re not happy with him, but you want to stay married for your child. And, you have nowhere to go and no way to support yourself. It really does sound like you’re stuck. How will you find happiness without your husband’s money or love?

    You may need to take control of the things you can change. Since the only person you can change is yourself, you need to let go of the wish to change your husband. You can change your financial situation (by getting a job, or talking to Social Services about financial support for single moms). You can change your perspective of your marriage (by accepting your husband for who he is and not wishing he or your marriage was different). You can change the possibilities for your future by calling a women’s help line and talking about the possibilities for you and your son.

    My prayer for you is that you find a solution that makes you happy. May you find peace in your life, whether you stay in your marriage or leave your husband. May you learn how to be independent – even if you stay married, and may you learn how to be happy without being totally reliant on your husband’s money and love. I pray for emotional and spiritual strength, and for hope and faith. May you dig deep into your self, and find the answers you need. May you connect with God, and allow Him to guide you and fill you with wisdom.


  10. hi i have been married for 4 years and have a 16 months old baby boy.i m so confused about my life dont know what to do.i m not happy with my husband he fights and argue with me and never accept his mistakes.cant take it any more sometimes feel like leaving him but when i think for my child then i step back.i have no job no money completely dependent on my husband.we just live together without any physical relationship.plz suggest me what to do.

  11. I can’t give advice, but I can offer you a blessing. My prayer for all women who are learning how to be happy without their husbands – or trying to figure out if it’s time to end a marriage – is for peace and strength. May you gain wisdom and clarity as you move forward in your life. May you connect with the right people and resources, and may you be blessed with a strong sense of God’s peace and joy.

  12. My ex husband left me, our 3 weeks old baby and our 3 year old son over 6 years ago. I moved on, although it wasn’t easy. We had occasional arguments, mostly regarding him seeing the kids. Eventually I allowed for their sake. I am doing pretty go for myself. As of now I am still single. My choice. Recently he has tried to reenter into my life (meaning he now wants us to do things with the kids together, which before he didn’t). He has moved his girlfriend into his home, which only about 8 months ago had had another female living with him. This concerned me that my kids are going through this move-one woman in move another out process. I told him my concerns and denied me meeting this new girlfriend who is spending time with my kids. Its like he is trying to through her in my face. I find it appalling. I don’t have any feelings for him, which I related to him, But he always says that I am just jealous. Believe me I am not, What should I do? Or is there anything I can do regarding my children being caught in the middle of whatever this journey my ex husband is going through?

  13. Dear Margaret,

    I’m sorry you’re not with your husband, and you can’t find ways to be happy without him. Sometimes the best way to be happy is to accept our current situation for what it is, and not fight it. For some reason, it may be better for you and your husband to be apart for a time.

    It sounds like you’re grieving the end of your marriage and the loss of your husband in your life. This is very difficult, and I hope you find friends, family, and faith to see you through.

  14. Me and my husband are having problems we not together for a month I miss him so much, I don’t know what to do.

  15. Hello Susan,

    It sounds like you’re coping with alot right now – not just the end of your marriage, but also raising our grandchildren. I can tell that you’re a strong, kind woman! You’re doing your best to hold it all together, but your husband’s leaving has really hurt you.

    As far as coping with it – is there a way to get Social Assistance to help raise your grandchildren and pay the bills? Some governments offer services for grandparents who are taking care of their grandkids.

    I think you should let your husband go. I know it’s scary to think of starting over, but he has made his decision to leave. If you’re desperate to get him back, you’ll only push him farther away. If you find a source of strength and hope and courage within you (or even better, in God), you’ll not only be happier, you may even attract him back.

    What supports and resources do you have in your life, to help you through this?

  16. My husband and I have been together for 16 years and everything started getting real bad for the last year or so.I’m older than him 57 and he is 38,it was love at first sight for both of us and then I got custody of my 2 grandchildren,the first one he just took over and raised like his own,he never wanted kids,13 years later i got a 1 year old she’s 3 now,and things started getting bad,he started getting mean to me and staying gone a lot,and now he has left me.I have no education and now cleaning houses to try and make it.I cry all the time and have lost so much weight because I can’t eat or sleep,i’m now living in a daze.He comes and get’s the older child and coaches her softball team,he won’t speak to me at the games but when he drops her off he talks a little.He wants away from me so bad he has said that he will pay off the house and help me till I get on my feet,that seems like a slap in the face but I have to accept it.He say’s there is no one else but I can’t except that as being true,I’m so hurt and confusedI know things weren’t perfect but just 3 months ago he was telling me he loved me,this happened so fast.I’m scared now and feel like I’m to old to start over.I ask him if we could fix this and try again and he said no.How do I cope with this and what can I do?I’m so insecure about myself.I can’t stop crying and I don’t know if I can make it financially,I have to take care of these kid’s for life.