Feeling stuck or still hooked into your ex one, two, or ten years after you finalized your divorce? It’s time for some closure! Try these 5 ways to finally start moving on with your life.
1. Admit that you have a problem. When you still feel angry with your ex long after your divorce is over, the problem is probably not your ex; it’s the way you relate to your ex. You are allowing them to dominate your thoughts and distract you from the present. Even if your ex moved to moon, you know that nothing would change. You would still be left with the same thought patterns and behaviors that are preventing you from moving forward with your life. If you want to get over your divorce, you must be accountable for how you manage it. Admit that you’ve got things to work on — and then get moving!
2. Commit to working on yourself. Now that you’ve decided that you are no longer willing to let your divorce and your ex consume your life, you must focus on your personal growth. Are you still allowing your ex’s attitudes and behaviors to dictate what you do or think? If so, you will continue to feel victimized, perpetually buffeted by your ex’s whims. Notice when you’re making him or her your “Higher Power,” and then pause to reflect on the wisest course of action. What would be better: losing the entire day to resentment, or utilizing coping skills to calm yourself down? Thinking before you act will allow you to make choices that are in your – and your children’s – best interest.
3. Focus on what you want and deserve. This will not work if what you want is to obliterate your ex. You attract what you give out. If you ruminate about what’s wrong — my ex is a monster/I don’t have enough money/my kids took her side/I’ll die alone with my cats — you will approach life from a scarcity mindset. Becoming entrenched in lack and fear impacts our mood, body language, and willingness to take risks. If you’re so focused on what’s wrong, you’ll miss opportunities to create abundance in your life. Obsessing about your ex will just keep you trapped and miserable, so focus on what you want and how to get it.
4. Practice detachment. Detachment means that you separate yourself emotionally and gracefully from your ex. You don’t resort to stony silence, compulsive resentment, or refusing to communicate. Your goal is to heal your relationship with your ex by changing the way you relate to him or her. When you practice detachment, you stop taking what your ex says and does personally. You do not allow his or her behavior to control your thoughts, your actions, and whether or not you enjoy the day. You choose your words and behaviors wisely, letting go of the compulsion to control your ex and the outcome of your interchange.
5. Forgive. Even if your ex has behaved egregiously, they did the best they could at the time (even if their best is way below your standards). You did your best too. Harboring resentment is like giving the other person free rent in your head. They won’t feel a thing, while you’ll be simmering in negative emotions and reliving old wounds. Don’t you have better things to do with your life? The past can’t be changed. Let it go. Think of it this way: forgiveness isn’t really about forgiving your ex; it’s about allowing yourself to move forward. To paraphrase Steve Jobs, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
You determine if you move on from divorce, not your ex. So start focusing your energy on new goals, aligning your actions to your values, and creating healthy relationships with everyone – especially yourself.
Have questions about your divorce, or are you dealing with post-divorce legal issues? We can help you resolve your matter and move on with your life. Secure your future — and your peace of mind. Contact us today for an initial consultation with one of our skilled family law attorneys.