Two queries about what to do when your husband leaves you for "a little fun with other females" - one warns of hopeless strategies to get him back; the other describes guided imagery to help get over him... Dear Belleruth,

If your husband just up and leaves and you separate, can you still have an intimate relationship even if he is not present in the home? Is there a chance that he’ll come back to the home after he is done having his little fun with other females?


Dear Melanie,

Anything is possible, but this doesn’t strike me as a strategy with much promise. He would be calling all the shots, and you would be accepting conditions that would be very harsh on you - emotionally punishing and not very self-respectful. Additionally, he would be getting no idea what life would be like without you, since he wouldn’t be without you. So it seems to me, he’d be more likely to come back if he doesn’t have a lot of access to you while he’s off fooling around.

Either way, you may want to consider what exactly this guy adds to your life. It might be a good idea to do some guided imagery to envision what life would look like and feel like without him, and the liberation and empowerment of being over him.

Sorry. I know this is hard and this advice is not offered glibly!


[Ed. Note. Melanie replied, "Okay, Thanks for the response. I have been doing that. But when you love someone it is very hard. But I will take your advice. Thanks."]

A related question came the same week from Francine:

Dear Belleruth,

I am going through a separation from my husband of 26 years (he found a new friend). Do you have anything particular to help with separation and divorce or is the one on Grief and General Healing the closest thing you’ve got? I also assume the Anger and Forgiveness would be appropriate.


Dear Francine,
First, let me say I’m sorry. If this came as a total shock that essentially undid your life as you knew it and now your sense of yourself is totally up for grabs, then you may want to try Healing Trauma. Ease Grief would also be good. If this happened pretty recently, I’d lay off the Anger & Forgiveness for a while - it may be too soon, and you don’t want to disrespect yourself by forcing forgiveness on your weary psyche too early. Your heart will know if/when it’s time, so don’t push it.

Emmett Miller has some really good imagery on Accepting Change and Moving On that might be just the ticket for this situation. And finally, if your self-esteem has taken a hit from this cruel turn of events, you may want to try our HJ Self-Confidence or David Illig’s Self-Esteem.

Also, don’t try to do all these at once. Start with one or two, work with those, and then when you’re ready, incorporate another into your regimen. Don’t try to rush this process of healing - it’s got its own time table and you need to roll with it. Be patient with yourself and tell your friends to do the same!