When we look over the landscape of failed marriages, you might be surprised at the number of ex husbands and ex wives (or ex wife) seeking to reconnect with their former spouse.  It should not be too surprising given that many of these couples probably had some really good times together but somewhere along the journey married individuals can meet up with some tough times.

It could be any number of things that lead to the deterioration of a marital union such that a couple that once was very close are now effectively an ex wife and ex husband. It is a tough road for anyone to travel when marital conflicts and challenges lead to separation or divorce.

It can also be tough when your husband is pulling away or seems really distant. Maybe this happened just before the two of your broke up.  I wrote a post specifically on dealing with getting your husband back if he is acting distant. Take a look….


Once married, you have such high hopes for the future and when a marriage relationship comes to an end, the pain and difficulty of recovering from this challenge in your life is far more difficult than it is for the typical  breakup between boyfriend and girlfriend.

Broken Marriage

Why Does It Hurt So Much When Marriages Break Down?

You see, there are differ dynamics going on when you have been hitched up and then things start to unravel.  Usually, when you have a relationship in which their is often only casual dating or where there is no understanding of exclusivity, the connection is not as strong….certainly in the beginning of such relationships this is true.  Eventually as the relationship between two unmarried individuals matures, a break up can be very painful.

But more often than not, couples that are not married tend to have a greater frequency of breakups.  I see this every day with my other websites (i.e. exboyfriendrecovery.com and exgirlfriendrecovery.com) as the foundation of relationships between a boyfriend and girlfriend are usually on somewhat more shaky ground.   It is somewhat easier to pull away because not as much is usually on the line.

With a marriage, you have much more on the line.  When the marriages come to and end, there is both personal, emotional, family, and legal issues one has to manage.

So from the get go, you have layers upon layers of complications.  The emotional upheaval when you and your husband or wife get upside down with all of the angry, upsetting, frustrating,  and even bewildering feelings can be a heck of a load to carry.

So the pain and devastation is usually more devastating when we are talking about a married couple splitting up.

What you may be dealing with is a marriage survival situation.  I recently wrote a post that can help you and your lover if you are struggling.  So feel free to check this post out after you finish reading the current article you are on!


What is one to do?

Doing nothing and just suffering and hoping for the best is certainly not an alternative.  Staying angry or sad and even lashing out does little in advancing what may be best for you in terms of your future relationship….assuming you conclude you wish to pursue a relationship.

Just letting go of your husband or wife can really be hard. Right?  Is it better to stay the course and work on trying to reconcile?  Or is in your best interest to make a clean break now that the two of you have already in a sense “broken it off”.

The answer to this very complicated question is far from clear.  You will not find the solution in the stars or in the palm of your hand (i.e. palm reader!).  Nor will your family or friends necessarily be in the best position to advise you on what is in your best interest.  Look…while I think I have a lot to offer, not even I have a corner on all things wise and true.

Though it is important I clarify something.  Your family and friends can be helpful during this period of healing.  But even your family or friends can have a different agenda or not understand the full picture of what is going on.

I just want to underscore that making a decision as to whether your marriage is over or should come to an end is never something you want to rush through. Coming to such a realization is a process.  If you truly think your marriage is over, perhaps it is.  But perhaps it is not.  Just know that you may be influenced by a set of emotions that is leading you away from objectivity.  That is why it is wise to take things slow.  Rushing back into a broken marriage or rushing away is seldom the answer.

I think for most marriages that are coming apart at the seams and that has entered a period of a highly dysfunctional co-existence….such as a forced separation or even divorce….. there needs to be an extended time out.

Getting Your Husband or Wife Back After a Break Up

I offer a lot of  advice to men and women at my websites exboyfriendrecovery.com and exgirlfriendrecovery.com and one of the things I have learned in the years that I have been working with thousands of clients is that sometimes it is necessary for a transformational event to happen in order to reset one’s emotions (both your’s and your spouse) and rediscover who you are, what you want, and whether the marriage you once had can be re-discovered.

Before we talk about transforming your situation, do take a few minutes to read my article that offers some valuable marriage tips on getting your ex husband or wife back…


Maybe the marriage you had before was always a bit dysfunctional.  Maybe you came to this post thinking that you want your husband or wife back, but  I want you to consider the possibility that such an outcome may not in your best interest.  I guess what I am trying to tell you is to be careful about getting too set in your ways about what you think you want.

If you are fresh from the marriage breakup, then it is likely you are  operating within a fog of emotions and reactive behaviors.  If that is the case, then be most careful in those early days with any definitive decisions you may make as they may be unduly influenced more by your raw emotions, rather than rationale and pragmatic thought.

Look, I am not trying to pick on you and cause you to second guess everything.  I am just telling your from my experience that I see scores of people that are in the zone of “Recovery” and “Aftermath” and often these folks are ill prepared to making meaningful and important decisions that impact marriage and family.

When emotions run high, logic runs low and your  sense of right and wrong and what might be in your best interest can get skewed.  Even if you are very certain you want your husband or wife back in your life….even if your marriage is in shambles but you are determined to make the marriage relationship work; I would still suggest to you that you likely have more to gain in the long run by embracing the No Contact Principle

Hence, because of the emotional environment that often can cloud one’s judgement, I advocate people take some time away from their spouse and focus more on becoming the best version of themselves.  You can do this while executing the No Contact Rule.

This timeout from the relationship ,which I have written about extensively both here on this site and on the websites I mentioned above, can be instrumental in helping your heal and get in tough with your feelings.

I have even written a comprehensive book on the topic that teaches people how and when to make use of the No Contact Principle….why it works…when you should do it…when you should avoid it…and what are some of the exceptions you may wish to employ depending on your individual situation. So feel free to check it out on my website exboyfriendrecovery.com or exgirlfriendrecovery.com.

It is funny how things work out sometimes.  Let’s say you are in a place where the marriage is not working and it all seems to be over or the end appears near. Perhaps you have plowed a lot of your love and commitment into the marriage but now you find yourself wondering what happened…how it all came to such an abrupt end after many years of effort. Things in your relationship that you took for granted…like the weekend mornings when the two of you would get up together or the evenings after work when you both were trying to decompress….these things which made up such an important part of your life…your routines which you found comfort are over or coming to an end. And it hurts when you try to process these things and begin to realize how things have progressed

But let’s say you are not ready to give up your husband or wife of so many years. So you ask yourself what are you to do?  Ironically, sometimes the best way to re-attract you spouse and re-ignite that spark which could bring the two of you together again is the opposite of what comes natural.

What To Do To Recover Your Ex Husband or Ex Wife

Naturally, you may be of the mind that only if the two of you could just sit down and “really” talk it all out.  Or maybe you are thinking if your husband or wife could join you to participate in some serious marriage counseling, then things could be different.  But what if all these things have been done, but to no avail? What if neither you or your spouse (or both of you) have no interest in airing your dirty laundry in front of a marriage counselor.  Maybe you cannot afford it. Maybe you don’t believe they can help you.  Where do you turn?  How can you turn the marriage slide around?

I say that sometimes it is best to tack away.  What does that mean?  Like a sail boat that is out on the lake or ocean, the skipper of the boat never sails directly into the wind, but rather tacks away, using the angular velocity of the wind to navigate.

Sometimes if you go right into something head on, you will meet with resistance. Sometimes it is better to pull away.  That is what the No Contact Principle is all about.  It affords you an opportunity to get reacquainted with yourself…your needs….your desires.  It gives you an opportunity for some much needed healing. And it also gives much needed space between you and your spouse.  There is a good chance that you will be flooded with emotions and ideas to quickly fix what is wrong.  You may be be willing to accept all the fault of the failed marriage.  But I bet you know, deep in your heart, that marriages rarely break down because of the fault of one partner.  Marriages rise or fall on the strength of the union of two loving people.  It takes two to make it work and to repair the damage.

Often times, space creates an opportunity for your Ex to appreciate more things about you, now that you are no longer available.  There is a psychological principle called, “reactance theory” which basically says that people want or desire that which they can’t have or if something is withheld from an individual, they will desire it more….value it more.   If such thing (or person) is thought of as something that use to belong to the person….or be part of them…a thing that is perceived as a freedom than has now been taken away…the individual will invariable seek it out.

In marriage, you create bonds with your partner.  A connection between husband and wife form and evolve.  This bond or connection operates on many levels (i.e. intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical).  So I think upon refection you will come to appreciate how psychological reactance can work in your favor.  Though by itself, it does not solve your marriage woes.

Sometimes to get what you want and attract it to you….. you need to move away from it.  Space creates a vacuum and all vacuums desire to be filled.  Think about it and read about it more in my writings and learn!

How likely is your marriage to succeed?

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2 responses to “My Marriage is Over: How Do I Get My Ex Husband or Wife Back

  1. Hi Chris,

    About two months ago, my husband told me he didn’t want to be married anymore. I ended up moving out a week later, and made all the wrong mistakes… I text, called, cried, begged……. I then found your site and decided to back WAY off. I then got my hair done, and bought some new clothes. It was tough having no contact because my ex would periodically text me about bills, and I had to talk to him about that. Finally, we got everything situated, and he tells me that he misses nothing about me and that I broke him. He says my bitching and nagging broke us. We were working opposite schedules (I have a new job now so we would be on a normal schedule together now), and he said he grew apart. So, I have been working on me, and haven’t been text or calling (no contact) for about a week now. He hasn’t called me either, and I’m kind of wondering if maybe he has met someone else? Do you think I even have a shot? I’m wondering if it is hopeless……

    1. Hi Brandi…..while obviously I don’t know all the details around your relationship, there is always a chance. I think spending time apart is probably a healthy thing for now. Kudos to you for focusing on yourself. That is where the answer lies in the longrun. As to whether, your ex has found someone else, I would strongly recommend you don’t think about that. You have no control of whether he does or does not pursue other relationships. Since you are still married (it sounds), Your husband seems to want to only blame you for the marital problems. But we know that the truth is that marriages encounter problems because of both people. It is never just the fault of one. I would put a fuse on the No Contact Period. 90 days at most. If your husband does not show significant regret for initating the breakup, then you may want to give serious consideration to moving on with your life. Just know that you have a lot on the ball and you have every opportunity to lead a fulfilling life.