I Miss My Ex Husband After Divorce

2019-01-02T20:36:18+00:00

If we have spent years (or decades) with another person — it’s hard to disconnect after divorce. I was angry and sad, but after the divorce was final, I had to admit to myself that “I miss my ex husband.” I missed the security. The predictability. The sex.  I missed the good parts of what we had together before the trouble started.

Most women miss our ex at some point. We miss the good things we had in our marriage.  We committed our time, energy, support and love in big and little ways. We shared secrets and intimacies along with the tough stuff that comes along with every long relationship. We may have children together. And we miss the love that kept our marriage vibrant and growing — until it didn’t.

So when divorce happens and people say, “You need to get over it,” or “Come on! Forget about him!,” they don’t realize how hard that is unless they have been in this situation themselves. People who care about us want us to feel better. They want us to get over it and be happy again, but it’s not that easy especially after a long marriage.

We usually know in our head that our marriage has become toxic. We know we can’t be the person we want to be and stay in a marriage like that. But it often takes our heart longer to catch up to that reality. We know what we had together –. the good, the bad and the ugly. And we miss the good parts of it — no matter how few and far between they were.

You Spent Many Years Together

Especially if we divorce at midlife, a couple has often spent more time together than we spent apart. My wasband and I got married when I was barely 21. So when we divorced 33 years later, I had been with him longer than I had been without him.

If we have children together, those lives are part of both of us. That is a bond between us that will never be broken. I missed talking to my ex about what was going on with the children.

Parenting is hard enough with two of you trying to figure things out together. When we divorce, it’s harder to maintain that unified relationship with the children, and in my opinion, that’s a great loss for them. So sometimes we think we should stay in the marriage for the kids. That’s not usually a good choice.

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You Spent Many Years Together

Especially if we divorce at midlife, a couple has often spent more time together than we spent apart. My wasband and I got married when I was barely 21. So when we divorced 33 years later, I had been with him longer than I had been without him.

If we have children together, those lives are part of both of us. That is a bond between us that will never be broken. I missed talking to my ex about what was going on with the children.

Parenting is hard enough with two of you trying to figure things out together. When we divorce, it’s harder to maintain that unified relationship with the children, and in my opinion, that’s a great loss for them. So sometimes we think we should stay in the marriage for the kids. That’s not usually a good choice.

You Want Things The Way They Used To Be

Some days during my divorce I wanted my ex husband back and sometimes I wanted him dead. It’s hard to admit that, but it’s the truth. The emotional roller coaster of divorce causes erratic, intense emotions. Some days we want things back like they were before the other woman showed up. Some days we wish we never had to see him again.

Almost all of us tend to sweep the bad things that happened in our marriage under the rug and conveniently forget about the things that were destructive to us and to the family. In looking back, we often forget those times when we felt unloved or abused or had to put up with substance abuse or porn or someone who was controlling and overbearing.

Part of the desire to return to the marriage is that the loneliness after divorce can be so overwhelming that it can push us to want to return to an unacceptable relationship just to have another warm body around. In most marriages we knew what to expect even if it was something destructive. That, at times, seems better than the devastating loneliness that comes after divorce especially when our children have left home and our friends forget about us.  

You Feel Bad For Leaving Him

Many women are the ones who file for divorce. Often they do so because their husband is unwilling to change his destructive behavior. Men will usually stay in a relationship as long as his wife allows him to maintain the facade of a respectable intact family as he continues to do things that hurt the marriage. Some women turn a blind eye to bad behavior because they are afraid to be alone.

I am the one who filed for divorce in my marriage. It broke my heart to do that, but even though I missed things about my ex, I refused to stay married to a man who wouldn’t give up his girlfriend. Most guys are willing to hang around hoping they can have their cake and eat it, too. I allowed that for way too long. I just kept thinking he would come to his senses, give her up and come back home. He didn’t.

I ended the marriage. More wives than husbands end the marriage. This causes a lot of men to take on the role of victim, somehow. They often blame us for not giving them another chance, or “being so unforgiving” or not able to move on — all while they continually refuse to change the behavior that caused the breakup in the first place.

It Won’t Be Different Second Time Around

My ex husband and I separated three times before I finally filed for divorce. Each time I let him come back home, I truly thought that his affair was over, and we were going to rebuild and make our marriage stronger than ever. That’s what he said he wanted. It didn’t happen. He broke my heart over and over again by going back to the woman he said he was through with. Your ex may have broken promises he made to you as well.

Usually once a person goes down the road of infidelity, addiction, or other bad behavior, it is very difficult for them to turn that around. And they often get so far down that road and have invested so much in the new relationship and burned so many bridges in the old relationship that it is very hard to repair the marriage. It’s work, and most people who are destroying the marriage just aren’t willing to do what’s necessary for reconciliation.

How To Get Over A Divorce

Before the divorce, we are filled with uncertainty. We deny what’s going on. We accept the unacceptable in our relationship. We spend hours, days, months and maybe years trying to decide whether to divorce or not.

But once we have made that decision and accept the pain and change and suffering that goes along with it, we have one choice to make: Am I going to keep missing my ex and let this destroy me? Or Am I going to do everything I can to make my life wonderful again? It’s my choice. No one will make it for me. I will figure out how to get over a divorce.

Once we make that decision, we have to give up (1) all those things we can’t control, and (2) all those things we can’t change. The only thing we need to focus on is taking concrete actions every day to move ourselves to a rich, fun and full life again.

Wanting our ex back after our divorce is unproductive. Wishing we had our ex back after our divorce is wasted time and energy. Forgetting why it was that we had to file for divorce is not going to help us rebuild the future we want.

Join our tribe of RADiCAL Women — women who are Rising Above Divorce In Confidence And Love. Looking back doesn’t help. Missing our ex keeps us stuck in the pain. Getting help to grieve and heal and start rebuilding your life does help.

Start our free 10-Day Divorce Recovery Crash Course, and instead of missing your ex husband, who was not good for you, start fighting for the life you have deserved all along!

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About the Author:

Suzy developed Midlife Divorce Recovery as a safe refuge for people healing and surviving the overwhelm of divorce. Starting her first RADiCAL support group in 2003 she's been helping women navigate the journey of divorce ever since.

19 Comments

  1. Krissy August 20, 2018 at 1:54 am - Reply

    I really miss my ex husband

    • Sally August 23, 2018 at 2:50 am - Reply

      Hi Krissy…I’ll be divorced 2 years in September. Although I’ve come a long way in my healing, I still find myself missing mine too. I don’t know your situation but I really do believe that old cliche about time healing all wounds. Well, MOST wounds if we’re willing to forgive…
      Just know you’re not in this alone…

  2. TK October 1, 2018 at 4:56 am - Reply

    I feel so alone. My divorce should be finalized in October. And yes, I filed. 35 years of marriage, 3 adult children, a teenager and 2 grandkids, and I couldn’t take the cruel, ungodly treatment anymore. I had already been being shunned, he slept on the couch, and treated me like I was a disgusting, worthless, undeserving of love person. My faith in Jesus helped me to see I deserve better, but it also caused me to stay way longer than I should have, believing God would work a miracle and turn things around. I’m still hopeful, but I have to move on. My toxic partner was killing me, the emotional abuse almost took me out. So, how do I wake up, and go about my day, each day, and get over him? How do I do that? How do I get rid of the pain and lonliness?

    • Mary Sorenson January 18, 2019 at 1:04 pm - Reply

      I don’t know how you do it… how we do it. I’m divorced now for a month, but I’m sorry for your pain.

    • tawanna robinson January 25, 2019 at 12:40 am - Reply

      I feel your pain. I am in the same boat, 25 years myself. He was an alcoholic and after he got clean(no counseling) just stopped, he decided he wanted a divorce.He became emotionally abusive and only remembers the times I hit him( We both hit each other.) I became angry and bitter. I became withdrawn and depressed, My daughter blamed me because I just couldn’t support his new found sobriety after him trying many times.I thought we could go to counseling and work everything out after he was finished with his raging,but it never happened.We are separated currently,but I knew we will divorce.(He told me he would never want to spend the rest of his life with me in my crazy world.) It’s tough, I feel as I’ve lost everything, myself,my kids , my house everything I tried to keep together, I lost. While he got everything back, the kids ,his family,our house and then a new woman. While I cry almost every day.Its tough and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.Everyone says it will get better, but it doesn’t feel like it.i loved him and now I disgust him. We don’t even talk to each other. I tried but it’s just constant yelling on his part. I send you much love and support, we will get through this maybe not today but we will!

  3. Rameesha October 3, 2018 at 7:10 am - Reply

    Dear Sisters, I haven’t filed a case yet. I was struggling to take a decision, but now, I am almost convinced myself to go for a divorce for mine and my kids emotional well being. I am here to know if any one can guide me on going further.

    I was married before 18, have two adorable kids of 6 and 2 years, I am 31 now, I started working at the age of 21 and I have 10 years working experience, but I am not successful financially, as neither me nor my family thought that I will be a working women for ever (I am the first working women among my grand parent’s 150 grand children and same among my in laws). Through out past years I have been paying whatever I got paid by my employers to my husband as I never thought selfish, never thought we are two and I knew that he needs my support and trusted him that he will take care of me and the rest. But I was wrong. He managed financially well. But as from the very beginning he and his family had considered me and my family as financially inferior to them (despite paying them a huge dowry), they kept humiliating us, when my mother had to come to stay with us for my child care, both of us were ill treated, though there is no domestic violence, there was always emotional harassment and mental torture. From the day second of my marriage they were threatening me of divorce, they (he and his father, mother and sister) never gave my widowed mom any peace of mind, they were complaining a lot. I have been thinking for past two years that why to continue in such a painful relationship, just for my kids to have their father’s address? I cried a lot on the situation which i will go through, the dreams I had of my married life, and so many things which are going to be my own responsibility as a single parent and also I was afraid that if after the divorce, if I will miss my ex. Now that I know, I may miss him some times but I have no sex drive already for past few years, sex is not my need at all where my emotions are never secure, I was never secure, why to miss intimacy we shared? I am not divorcing for a better married life with a new person. I am going to walk out from the extra burden that men give their wives, complaints and demands and never giving ears to my problems and needs.

    Right now, I am trying to find a better job. I need to find my place as a professional. And I need better salary for taking care of myself and kids.

    Dear sisters, I would like to know if you have better peace of mind after divorce, do you have change from getting mad at kids? Did the decision you take turn to be right for you and your family?

    I will wait for your answers to move forward.

    • Zora October 22, 2018 at 11:18 pm - Reply

      Dear Rameesha,
      Money should be a second worry not your first.
      You must take care of yourself!
      You are obviously from another culture than mine. Do you live in the USA or in your country?
      In the USA, where I live, Divorce is also hard.

      I do not have children yet it took me many years to find the courage and strength to put my faith in the universe that I will find my path and file the papers for divorce. I am finding my path and I am a much happier person today.

      My husband spoke to me very cruelly and became very controlling.
      I had to learn to be:
      Confident
      Discover my incredible inner strength (you have it too!)
      Positively focused and living for today
      Smart minded about money and budgeting
      Brave
      Loving myself and accepting when I make mistakes
      And much more.

      Believe in yourself.
      Be free and the better job will be yours when you are wearing a genuine smile of joy on your face, every day because you are aware that you are being TRUE to yourself and living your life in joy, not fear or misery.
      Treat your children with loving kindness.
      Treat your divorce with COLD lack of emotion in every negotiation because that is what divorce is, a business negotiation.

      Forget the past. It is gone. You have your health, your children and your youth and many beautiful years ahead!
      Be Bold!
      FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real

      Best of luck.

    • Jennifer Balliet April 10, 2019 at 11:35 am - Reply

      olá, como você está indo hoje? bonito, bom ouvir de você de novo você sabe o tempo diferente com a gente, eu quero que a gente fale mais sobre whatsapp porque eu vou gostar de sermos bons amigos na sinceridade, honestidade e confiança apesar de apenas sabermos uns aos outros, eu gostaria que compartilhássemos ideias e discutíssemos mais sobre questões, à medida que falássemos mais sobre nós mesmos, e acredito que, com o passar do tempo, pode haver algo de bom para nós no futuro, o que você diz?

      Como está a sua saúde agora que você está indo muito bem?

  4. wanita colman October 5, 2018 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    we simpley grew apart no blame on either side

  5. Maria October 16, 2018 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Hello, My name is Maria, I’m 49 yrs. old. I had been married for 15 yrs. and my husband divorce me and he got a younger gf and they are living together. Our divorce is not final yet, but his having the time of his life. He told me that he wants to divorce me day 1 of our marriage, I was so devastated and feel betrayed. Why did he waited for 15 yrs., we hardly quarrel , I was so shock about the things he said to me. Im really really hurt. I’m trying so hard to move on with my life but I still see him in all the places I go . my friends would take me out, but I still longed for him. He ask fro divorce sept. 11 and we filled the divorce Oct. 11, Why do he wants it so fast. Im glad we don’t have any children, but got 2 dogs. He told me he misses the dogs. Im seeing a therapist for now. I just want this feelings to go away so that I can continue with my life. We work at the same place I’m anxious to see him and his gf.I tried to be productive so that I could forget him.

  6. Sylvia November 25, 2018 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Maria, my name is Sylvia and I’m 52 and my wasband cheated on me while I was working double shifts in a nursing home, he went so far that he spent every weekend with is new younger gf. He called me every name in the book when he got home to me after his weekends. He got rid of our German Shepard without asking me because she is a cat woman, he hated cats when we met over 15 years ago. i staid married to him for 15 years wasted my best years on him always worked cleaned and took care of him, the new gf doesn’t even work that was never an option for me when we were married. I try to move on but occasionally still miss him even though he was a very evil person. I lost 40 pounds this year go to the gym almost every day and look younger and better than I have for years. Again I can’t figure out why I still miss him and why I’m so sad.

  7. Del December 13, 2018 at 6:03 am - Reply

    I’m sorry for all you ladies in your trial of divorce stay strong or will get easier take it one day at a time like I am doing I too have missed my husband but think how he treated me and think what the heck is wrong with you your happier now don’t have to be walking on egg shells, just let him go you will be happier in the end take it one day at a time

  8. Lisa December 15, 2018 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    My husband of 28 years and I divorced a few months ago. He was abusive, verbally, and physically. He got high every night, the last two years of our marriage. He also had a long time girlfriend. He took all of our money out of retirement, and left me nearly nothing. I have three adult kids who are affected. Very sad. I’m discouraged this Christmas. My kids will be home…. but, I am sad, and still can’t believe what has happened. Our Christmas will not have many gifts, but it will have love. I’m concentrating on the things I am thankful for, my kids, a job, my apartment. Trying to find contentment in what I have, not what I’ve lost

  9. Kay Pelote February 22, 2019 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    Did he help you and what is the cost?

  10. Loretta February 23, 2019 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Hello all- I am sorry for the pain that is inevitable here. Know that alcohol and hard drugs will ALWAYS come first. That is their true love no matter what other person they are with. The book Mindsight by Daniel J Siegel describes what happens to the brain and helped me understand why someone has to say cruel things to justice themselves. One day at a time, exercise aerobically to get oxygen deep into your body, be kind even when you’re not feeling kind and life will magically turn into that joy. The planet is in deep transition and some of this is bigger than our us.

  11. V March 3, 2019 at 1:38 am - Reply

    Everything in this article rings a bell with my situation, unfortunately I’m not “most guys” and I am the guy in the relationship. My ex wife found someone else 2 years ago and I found out about it last month, I had to file the divorce because she wasn’t willing to give up the relationship then I was hit with the “I fell out of love with you” while I still want to move the mountains for this woman.

    I am in so much pain that I can’t even express it to another person who hasn’t been or is in my shoes. It’s so hard to move on and it’s hard to see when your ex moves on so willingly and leaves you behind.

    I have my kids and they’re always my focus, I miss my ex wife and I just hope I can move on too.

    • Joel March 12, 2019 at 8:39 am - Reply

      Please if you can seek counseling as a couple as a last ditch effort to save the marriage if you arent divorced yet do it. Sadly my ex wife and I finalized our divorce last week after 22 years. Losing her was one of the hardest things that ever happened to me. Her depression affected the last many years of the marriage. I walked on eggshells for years. I won custody of the kids but the kids lost in the long run by not having 2 parents in the home. It should be so easy to get over her but its not. I will always love her for the good times we shared.

    • TA April 3, 2019 at 7:15 pm - Reply

      I’ am so sorry to hear of all of these sad stories. Unfortunately I am also in the same boat as you are. My husband walked out on me and broke my heart, he then wanted to come back and I just let him without even thinking about what had happened. I then had a break away as I couldn’t quite get my head around it at the time, on my return I told him I needed time and space and even though he left he bombarded me and didn’t give me the space I asked for. Now I have had my space and time for thoughts we are going through with a divorce. I am absolutely broken into pieces and want him to return home to my son and I but he wont, he refuses and said he cannot come back to us. Real shame as I know we could have got through this together if we made a fresh start. I feel totally lost without him and find myself doing nothing during the day because I am so down and unhappy with the thought of him not coming home ever. I suppose this is part of the grieving process and at the moment I cannot see myself with anyone else ever, at 51 years of age it feels like you have had your life and that all of the people now available are those that are rejects or been put on the shelf by their other half. I cant imagine my life with someone else because I still love my husband dearly and I don’t think I am ever going to get over this. we have been together for 15 years and married for 11 and my world has been shattered. He has moved on and apparently has another girlfriend already. Its not the same when you don’t have youth on your side, I don’t go out or socialise and all of my friends have partners so I am pretty much on my own with my son, most days I just cry and I want the pain to stop and go away.

  12. Jennifer March 9, 2019 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    I was with my ex husband for 15 years, divorced 2 years ago. I did not see it coming. I arrived home from work and he had moved out. He left me a letter saying he was in love with someone else and “this was his last chance to have a baby”. I made it clear from the beginning I was not interested in having a child and he seemed okay with that until he turned 40. Perhaps a mid-life crisis, a change of heart, or he was dishonest with me all along. At this point, 2 years later, I miss him as a person. I have known him for 20 years and though not compatible as husband/wife, we were always good friends. There has been a great deal of loss associated with this divorce – loss of my in laws, our cat, my marriage, our hopes and dreams. I am in a better place emotionally than before but I miss him so. I do not miss the marriage but I miss him as a person. We have not seen each other in 2 years and it breaks my heart.

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