Divorce is a life transition to move through as quickly as possible.
Yet some folks relive it over and over again. Their proceedings are their go-to- topic of conversation, which gets old. There are traps that keep one stuck in divorce instead of moving forward with life.
It is hard to forget about your ex when plotting revenge.
This may be repeatedly taking a former spouse to court for perceived infractions, or starting rumours which border on slander. Revenge is a way to keep attached to your former partner by wishing evil things to happen to them.
These revenge fantasies drain energy and time which could be used for something more productive.
People sometimes project their own emotional states onto someone else, like an ex-spouse.
If they are vindictive, they see their former spouse as that way also. Our views are projected onto others as if they are a screen or mirror. A happy individual interprets interactions as positive and a bitter, angry person encounters a hostile world. A person stating on social media that their ex cannot move on is probably the one who is not letting go.
Could your complaints about your ex really be about your own issues?
Following the same routines as when married, may be a way of hanging on to that relationship. One’s former partner may have jumped ship for someone else, yet they are haunting the places that they went together as a couple.
Dining in your favourite restaurant as you did when married or replaying a song from your wedding keeps you attached. This is like lyrics from the 1980’s band Naked Eyes’ song: “I walk along the city streets you used to walk along with me. And every step I take reminds me of just how we used to be. Well, how can I forget you, girl? When there is always something there to remind me.”
Instead of going to the same Greek island or walking the streets of Paris that you roamed as a duo, discover new destinations.
Grab buddies and go away for a long weekend to somewhere enticing. Shake up your routines by finding new cafes and a favourite pub. It is time to exorcize your ex’s ghost by having new adventures.
Divorce evokes negative feelings such as tension and hurt. It is easy to fall into the habit of staying in the place of anger instead of climbing out of that dark pit. At first it takes effort and practice to notice the sweet things in one’s life – the bakery around the corner, the friendly barista at the coffee shop or indulging in a facial.
When letting go of rage, that clears a space for better things to appear. One cannot add more water to a glass that is already filled to the brim. That applies to people too.
Get help if needed, to empty out the negativity that is not leaving any room for happiness. The point is to replace something that is not working (dwelling in negativity) with something that is beneficial. Look ahead instead of focusing on what is behind in the past.
Get out of your comfort zone and discover new strengths. One’s passions and wishes may have been buried during a tumultuous marriage. Contemplate what was enjoyable when you were younger and see how you can bring that back in your life. Some joined a drama class, others started Tai Chi, and post-divorced folks began running marathons.
The idea is to do something fun or stimulating which adds new purpose to your life. Connect with others, such as seeing friends more frequently and becoming acquainted with neighbours. Bringing more people into your life fills a void that surfaced with divorce.
When one’s ex is a mere dot on the horizon instead of a constant thought, one has moved on. After a few people I know moved on after break ups, they began a different type of relationship with former partners, as good friends.
Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certied in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP).
Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 100 published articles.
Her other book is The Woman’s Holistic Guide to Divorce. Web site is globalguidetodivorce.com.