Relationship coach and New York Times bestselling author Laura Doyle discusses proven tips on what you can do to attract your husband back after he left you for another woman.
If your husband has left you for another woman, the rejection, the fear, the shock, the grief – the pain of it all – are gut-wrenching. And if your husband has left you for a younger woman or after decades of marriage, it feels like hurt on top of hurt. Devastating doesn’t begin to describe it.
It makes you wonder, will your husband regret leaving you for her? More importantly, will he come back after leaving for another woman?
And the big question any wife who’s been jilted like that wants to know: Will he eventually wake up and beg you to take him back? Because that would be satisfying!
But if you’re like most women, you’re feeling discouraged. Maybe you’ve seen the percentage of marriages who reconcile after separation is only 9.2% in total. That’s a pretty low number!
Realistically, you want to know if a husband and father leaves his family for another woman, is there any hope? The answer is you have plenty of power to attract him back. I’ll explain about that in a moment.
But that leads to an even bigger question: how to attract your husband back.
How to Get My Husband Who Left Me for Another Woman
It doesn’t feel like you have much power right now, and especially in the attraction department. But now that I’ve had the privilege of seeing so many students become calm, dignified, irresistible magnets to their previously wandering husbands, I’m a firm believer in the power of a wife to repair her marriage.
We even have a saying about it around here, “A wife with the intimacy skills trumps a mistress every day of the week and twice on Sundays.”
In other words, you can do this. Really. Here are five ways to turn your breakdown into a breakthrough and get your man back so your marriage lasts and thrives.
1. Date Your Husband
Imagine two scenarios:
- When her husband comes around, the jilted wife sobs, takes pains to show him how he’s hurting her and their family, begs him to come home, and demands to know what she has done wrong and whether there’s any hope.
- When the same husband comes around, his wife greets him with a smile, lets him know how happy she is to see him, and is dignified, fun and light, reminding him of the woman who attracted him.
Which scenario sounds more likely to magnetize him? In working with thousands of women, what we see again and again is that the latter attracts him back.
“But wait a minute,” you might be thinking, “why should a wife who’s been jilted even pretend to be happy to see her no-good cheating husband? Doesn’t he deserve to feel the guilt of knowing how hurtful he’s been? Shouldn’t he be the one begging her to let him come home?”
Most reasonable women feel that way, yes! And when wives gather together on our campus to discuss this challenge while they’re on their way to fixing their marriages, they get lots of empathy for the whole painful, embarrassing mess he’s put her through. Because it’s awful.
But it doesn’t have to be permanent. It could be just a blip in the overall story of your lasting, thriving marriage. The ending could be a lot better than this middle part that you’re going through now. It could even be a very happy ending, where you reconcile completely and grow old together enjoying each other’s company. And who doesn’t want that?
Maybe what you really want is for him to remember why he fell in love with you and block the other woman’s number for good. Instead of giving in to the very human part of you that wants to punish him and make him suffer, which is likely to drive him further away, one option is to decide to step into that brighter future now and just be happy to see him.
Here are some of the specific ways that I see women do that:
Woman after woman, whose husband came back home, shares that she avoided having a State of the Union talk with her husband, where she asked him 20 questions about the future and his intentions, at all costs.
Instead, she started a smile campaign, smiling at him or anyone around. She sent him fun texts about happy memories or private jokes, with no expectation of reply, just because she was feeling grateful.
She (re)learned how to flirt and treated every face-to-face encounter as a date, even if he was just stopping by to pick up the kids or taxes. That she recommitted to the relationship. That she engaged with him sexually because he was her husband.
She gave her husband the space to pursue her, imagining herself as a lighthouse. Because, as Anne Lamott wrote, “Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”
2. Set Your Intention
In my eyes, these women are superheroes. That’s because this approach is easier said than done! It takes tons of courage, humility and accountability.
Because after what he’s put you through, how are you supposed to be happy? Wouldn’t this be putting on an act – a deceitful one at that – as if you’re a Stepford wife or something? I know it can seem like that, but there’s a big difference in this approach, which I’ll explain in a moment.
First, let’s talk about whether you can ever really trust him again after what he’s done.
Tough question, right? You might be thinking, “NO! Gross. Fuggheadaboutit!” Who can blame you?
It may be some comfort to know you’re not the only one who’s had to ask herself that excruciating question. These women have too, and they’ve answered with a resounding yes.
But that doesn’t mean that’s the right answer for you. Only you know what’s right for you because you’re the expert on your own life.
If reclaiming the life you originally imagined for yourself with this man is what you also want most of all that doesn’t make you a fool, or mean that you’re weak. Quite the opposite. It puts you among the ranks of the superheroes who leaned into their commitment and courage to fix their families. I can’t think of anything I admire more.
And these women didn’t fix their families by just looking the other way and continuing to suffer and get hurt repeatedly. No. They forged a new path that made their marriages better than ever before. Really!
So if that’s the outcome you’re wanting the most, there’s a lot to be said for putting a stake in the ground and declaring it, at least to yourself.
3. Tap into Your True Power
He has done you wrong. Nobody is questioning that. But here’s an idea that’s so crazy it just might work: Consider shifting the magnifying glass away from his shortcomings and wrongdoing to look at your part of this breakdown.
Of course you didn’t make him cheat. You’re not responsible for his terrible choices. I’m not implying that. What I’m asking is, is there anything on your side of the street that could have contributed to this breakdown happening?
That surely seems beside the point right now, but it’s actually the source of your power to transform this situation.
Empowerment wears the disguise of accountability. Becoming accountable for your part (not for his shortcomings – only your own) will feel contrary and unfair. I thought so too when I was working through the breakdown in my marriage, which felt completely lopsided with the intractable problems on his side.
I was astonished to realize I had more power than I knew.
When I thought back on my wedding vows, “to have and to hold,” I realized that I hadn’t exactly met the mark myself. With my criticism and control and dismissing my husband’s thinking, I hadn’t exactly been holding him – more like pushing him away with both hands!
He had to learn to trust me again too, including that the changes in me were genuine, and not just some ploy to manipulate him.
If you decide it’s in your best interest to go all in, then you’ll likely want to make some changes for the good of you both. They’ll likely blow his mind completely, in a good way.
He’s going to notice that you’re different and wonder if those changes are real. I know for me it took time for the new habits to take hold, but once they did, I liked myself so much more than the old me. My husband likes the new me more too.
As Simone Signoret once said, “Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.”
4. Enjoy Your Amazing Solo Life
And you thought my other suggestions were counterintuitive. This one sounds really out there when your mission is to save your marriage, especially since what you focus on increases.
Not that you’re giving up hope that your marriage will last and thrive. Not on my watch! I see every reason to be hopeful about your marriage and I’m standing for you to make it great.
At the same time, truly relinquishing control and attachment, while still nurturing your hope and intention, means also honoring your husband’s decisions. Even if his choice is not what you’re hoping for today, when he does return and says he loves you and only you it will truly be because it was his choice to fulfill your desires.
Sometimes expressing your desire and also showing that you accept his choice to separate or get divorced gives him the freedom to self-examine and realize that’s not what he wants either.
That was the case with one student, whose husband told her she should move back to the state they had just moved from together while he stayed in the new state. She had already expressed her desire to stay together, so she simply responded by saying, “Whatever you think.”
He changed his mind on the spot and said, “I think we should stay together.” And they still are.
Finding the faith that you will be okay with or without him releases you from attachment, not from hope. Imagine how wonderful and moving it will feel when reconciling is 100% his choice!
5. Practice the Cure for Resentment
What is the cure for resentment?
Glad you asked! Because it includes both the indispensable first step to intimacy and the most powerful intimacy skill of all: self-care and gratitude.
Not just any self-care but radical self-care. The extra work you’re doing without him there, the emotions alone can take a toll. So doing three things for your own enjoyment every day as I usually prescribe may not be enough to refill your tank.
Pampering like massages and facials? Creative self-care like learning piano or dusting off your oil paints? Spiritual self-care like making a gratitude list? Social self-care like lunch with girlfriends?
Imagine doing all those things you would do if only you had the time. No wonder women who prioritize their self-care, even when in the throes of separation, marvel that it’s the best of times and worst of times – all at the same time.
Stella shares that the year her husband left her was “simultaneously the most joyous and most painful year of my life.” Even her teenage son said she was more interesting since dad moved out.
So many women get so caught up in caring for others that they forget themselves. How could you get involved in your own life?
6. Give Yourself Grace for What You Didn’t Know
When I saw my power as a wife, as the keeper of my relationship, it came with a lot of remorse. Seeing how a handful of skills attracted him back made me wish I’d had these skills a lot sooner! It also made me feel at fault for the problems in my marriage.
I’d gone through enough pain, so the last thing I needed was feeling even worse by being hard on myself. I just didn’t know what I didn’t know.
I didn’t know that a strong marriage was about having the right skills, and I didn’t have these skills because no one had ever taught me. Giving yourself such grace will go a long way toward creating a culture of grace in your marriage.
Laura Doyle is a relationship coach and New York Times bestselling author. Her book The Surrendered Wife is #1 on Amazon, and was translated into 19 languages in 30 countries. Through her books, blogs and The Empowered Wife Podcast, she shows women how to fix their relationships and become happy wives.
She started a worldwide movement, The Six Intimacy Skills™ and is on the mission to end world divorce. With her latest book, The Empowered Wife, she also started an international relationship coaching school, and starred in the Empowered Wives series on Amazon Prime.
She lives in Orange County, California with her hilarious husband John.