How to Move on After Your Marriage Ends

How do you move on from a broken marriage? It’s different for everyone…but here are a few things to help you cope, heal, and move on after your husband leaves. These tips are inspired by a reader’s comments.

On My Husband Left Me for Another Woman, a reader described how her husband left her for a woman 21 years younger. But the real problem is that she – the betrayed wife – keeps taking his calls and staying involved in his life, even though she knows she needs to let go.

Here’s what she says: “…he still calls me to help him with things, to get my advice. He talks nice to me and makes me feel good and then calls back to tell me that this new girl is helping him and has great ideas about things or he has called twice to tell me that he kicked her out of his truck on the road and they are thru cause she is too young and blah blah blah. All my friends and family keep telling me to stop taking his calls because all of this is just is abusive and although I agree, I cannot seem to stop.”

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Knowing something is so unhealthy and wrong for us, but being unable to stop. I don’t have any solid-gold tips that are 100% guaranteed to help you move on after your marriage ends, but there are several things this reader said that can help her rebuild her life (and you rebuild yours, perhaps!).

Moving on After Your Marriage Ends

My reader says: “I know that I am the real prize in this relationship and that even if I do not eventually move on with another man, my life will be so much happier and more peaceful without him in it, but it has just happened and I know I will get over it, but right now the pain is truly unbearable.”

Did you notice the things she said, which are key to healing after a broken marriage?

Know your own self-worth

She spoke the truth when she said she’s the prize in her marriage. She’s not the spouse who betrayed his vows, and she’s not the careless woman who cheated with another woman’s husband. This reader is the one who loves her husband enough to take his calls even though he treats her like dirt. She’s the treasure, the gem, in this mess. And she knows it!

If you’re trying to move on after your marriage, one of the first things you need to do is rebuild your self-worth, self-confidence, and self-identity. You can’t move on without a strong sense of yourself.

Fix Your Marriage

Know you can be single and happy

“Even if I do not eventually move on with another man, my life will be so much happier and more peaceful without him in it,” says this reader. I know that it seems like your life is over, your heart is shattered, and you’ll never be happy or love again…but the truth is that this marriage breakup may be the best thing that ever happened to you. You can be happier and more peaceful; you can move on after your marriage ends!

If you’re not sure if your marriage is over, you may find Is My Marriage Over? 7 Signs Your Spouse is Ending the Relationship helpful.

Know it takes time to move on after a marriage ends

I think this reader has the strength, wisdom, and self-awareness to not only move on, but be healthier, happier, wiser, and more grounded in who she is.

How to Move on After Your Marriage Ends

How to Move on After Your Marriage Ends

She knows it’ll take time to heal, and she knows that she’s going though the worst of the marriage breakup right now. She “just” needs time to heal, to process the end of her marriage, and to rebuild her self-identity. She knows it…and she knows that you can know something in your heart, but not in your head.

What do you know about yourself? 

What do you know about your marriage, yourself, and your life? What truths will help you move on after your marriage ends? Some things you know to be true, but it’s easier to go down the same old path of unhealthy patterns.

Remember that moving on after your marriage ends is a process that takes time. This reader can’t just ignore her ex-husband’s phone calls no matter how unhealthy it is to keep taking them. She’s simply not ready to take that step. But she will be soon…and so will you.

If you have any questions or thoughts on moving on after your marriage ends, please comment below. I can’t offer advice or counselling, but you may find it helpful to share your experience.

Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.


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11 thoughts on “How to Move on After Your Marriage Ends

  • Paul

    My wife told me our marriage is over 14 weeks ago she is currently going through the mortgage application to buy me out of our house we have 2 kids and have been together for 20 years I honestly didn’t know things had got this bad between us I am still very much in love with her but she says she just doesn’t feel it anymore there has been no infidelity on either side I am truly heartbroken and don’t see any future other than one of loneliness and financial hardship I’m finding this so hard to bare and wish I could be as ok with this as she seams to be do you have any advice for me

  • Honeylet

    I know i just needed time to heal.. But its hard being pregnant and getting my marriage done.. Ive suffered all stress, double the feeling from the usual breakup.. When does it stop? Many says whenever you lost someone, it will be replace with a better one.. I know it is the baby in my tummy, which we both did with love.. I just thought my marriage was the best, that he’ll be my forever, that were complete now, i was wrong.. When does an ex wife learn to forgive and be civil with your ex husband just for the babys sake? When does my heart can forgive and forget after he cheated on me? How long is the processing time, i want to move on already from his memories. I want to move on :'(

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear M,

    Thank you for being courageous enough to share your story! You have so much insight and self-awareness – and that will take you a long way.

    It won’t be easy to move on after your marriage ends, but I believe in you. I believe you are stronger and smarter than you think, and you will be able to rebuild your life and be happier than you thought possible.

    You aren’t happy now, and you feel stuck and helpless. But the truth is the biggest gift your husband could ever give you is to leave. You don’t have the strength to leave him, but if he leaves you…you will be the luckiest woman alive!

    You inspired me to write this article:

    My prayer is that you find the strength and resources you need to leave him. May you find the help, faith, and strength you need to take just one small step in the right direction.


  • M

    Like you I’m also suffering right now. My husband told mo he doesn’t love me anymore and he just wait for our daughter to finish her college then he will leave me. He treats me like a trash but despite all of that I still love him even he told me that he cannot make himself love me again. He womanizes a lot. I always cought him cheating but I just forgave him again and again because I don’t want to end up our relationship. I’m from a broken family and I don’t want my daughter to have what I have had for a family. It’s like you belong to nobody and just asking for a small love and time for your parents whom have had their own family of their own but what should I do when he doesn’t want me anymore. My husband treats me like I have a contagiuos desease that he doesn’t want to go near me. It makes me very very sad that I felt I’m the most worthless and ugly woman in the whole world that nobody even my parents wanted me. What should I do when I only knew how to live my life for my husband? I don’t know how to start my life when I’m already old to find a decent job to support myself? I don’t know what to do with my life. How can I start again?

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Dear Bryan,

    I’m sorry for what you and your family is going through. I can only imagine the heartbreak and pain you’re feeling, and the devastation your son will feel as he processes all that’s happening.

    There are no easy answers or tips on how to move on after your marriage ends — only prayers! I pray for healing in your family, whether that’s reuniting in your marriage or a peaceful resolution to the years you had together. I pray your heart heals and becomes whole again, and that you make all decisions with wisdom and peace in your heart. May you put your son first, and trust that God IS here with you. He is working all things together for your good, even when it seems like you’re alone. May you lean on the love and support of your friends and family, and may your heart be full of joy even in the midst of the pain you’re facing. I pray for peace, security, comfort, and wisdom for you and your wife – and for your marriage. Amen.


  • Bryan

    My wife is having an affair, and now after 27 years together, married for 17, my high school sweetheart is saying she no longer wants to be with me. She wants space and needs to sort through her feelings. It has been a rough 13 days since finding out. I have filed for legal separation, because I need to protect our family. She is now mad that I did that but she still wants to move out and leave… So confused, wish she would just stop talking to the other guy, want to be with me, but she needs to make up her own decisions…. I can’t force her. Feeling lost and broken… Please pray for our family, especially our 9 year old, who will be devastated.

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Susan,

    My prayer for you is that you find other ways to make your life meaningful. Your husband was the focus of your life, and he left you. I pray you find something in your life that is stronger, more meaningful, and more important than a man, house, job, or backyard. May you find something to be passionate about, to live for, and to increase your strength and resilience. And, may the thing you find bring you joy and peace!

    For me, it’s God. I can’t rely on anything – not a man, money, job, pets, house, nothing. People are only human, and houses burn down. Jobs come and go, and children move away. Honestly, the only thing we can rely on is our spiritual connection to something Greater. And we can’t rely on how we FEEL, we have to know deep in our souls that God loves us and is taking care of us.

    May you find acceptance and peace in this new chapter of your life. May you surrender to the reality of what happened, and may you find ways to move forward with energy, strength, and inspiration to rebuild your life.


  • Lisa

    Dear Susan, I am so sorry for what you are going through. Please see a counselor if you are not already. No one should ever have to go through that or feel like that. I am going through a lot right now as well and I can definitely empathize with you.

  • Susan

    I was with my husband for 25 yrs. then he cheated on me with a girl half our age and had a baby with her. It’s been almost 3 yrs now and I can’t seem to move on. He was my whole life. The reason l lived for. Now the pain is unbearable knowing she (the other woman) lives in my house we picked out and decorated together, with my pets and gets to sit in my backyard. Just when I feel ok I see a pic of their baby on Facebook or Instagram and the pain comes back as if the day I found out. The pain hurts so bad sometimes I find myself on the floor, in the corner crying uncontrollably. I just want the pain to stop or I don’t wanna go on with life.