Divorce is hard. What am I saying, it’s very hard! Never (or at least that I’ve heard) has someone said to me “well, that was easy!.” No matter whose decision it was, or even if both parties agree(d) to the divorce, it’s one of the hardest experiences you will ever experience. There are always many factors at stake and when emotions run high it’s easy for things to get messy. It is exactly then when things start getting messy that we allow our emotions to get the best of us. Once we allow our emotions to take over and control our decisions it is a self-fulfilling prophecy of disaster. Feelings of hurt, overwhelm and resentment can quickly build up, and all it takes is one jab to escalate things to the next level.
Here are 3 scenarios that you may experience during divorce and things to keep in mind when faced with these experiences.
1. Your Ex is talking badly about you to friends, family, neighbors, or WORSE, your children: Before instantly wanting to stand up for yourself or retaliate back, take a step back. No matter what the other half is preaching to anyone, what is true is true and what isn’t, isn’t. Don’t feed into it. Doing so would make you just as guilty as they are. Instinct may trick you into thinking this is a sign of weakness, but the contrary is true. By NOT feeding into hostility or letting harsh words get a negative reaction out of you, you’ve shown confidence, control and grace. The next time you’re tempted to defend yourself, repeat this mantra: “What my ex thinks about me is none of my business.” Eventually, your ex will learn that their antics don’t work and tire out. It may take some time, but trust me, it works, they will get tired!
2. Your Ex won’t “let go”: Letting go is hard to do, and sometimes an ex has a hard time moving on. In more ways than one, you too could feel hurt, but for different reasons. It is normal at times for people to stay stuck and unable to “let go”. If your ex is struggling and expressing their heart ship with you, remember to try and stay neutral during this time. You are not there to console them and be their emotional safety net, I am sure you are struggling enough with your own emotional challenges. You also don’t want to be mean and ridicule them for their inability to turn off their feelings for you either. Instead, keep a neutral tone and limit conversations that could lead them to feelings of hope that you two will get back together. Time heals and over time things will die down and your ex will eventually move on.
3. Finding out there is someone else: Whether it’s before or after a divorce, sometimes hearing that there is now “someone else” in your ex’s life, can be a shocker. This doesn’t just apply to those that didn’t want a divorce, you may feel this way even if you wanted the divorce. Why is that? Well, it’s somewhat human nature. Deep down you may feel a little jealous. Not in a way that would lead you to wanting your ex back, but in a way that you want a “relationship” back. You start to question why things didn’t work out, what you could have done differently and ultimately, you miss the feeling of being happy and in love. Don’t mistake this tinge of jealousy for anything more than the need for humans to feel complete. This is where mindset comes in. If you are a strong, independent person that loves themselves, you are less likely to feel this form of jealousy or uncertainty. Instead, you may feel more of a relief, or even happy for your ex! If you do find yourself feeling confused about your past decisions, know that it’s false emotions playing tricks on you. Don’t act on these emotions by reaching out to your ex or stalking him/her. If you feel the need to talk about your feelings, speak to a coach, therapist or a close friend. Don’t let those moments of weakness take over and control your actions. Write your feelings down in a journal and figure out the real reason why you are feeling the way you are. Start putting yourself first and doing things for YOU, so that you can fulfill that self-love. Take on a new hobby, go out with friends, meet new people, the options are endless! It’s normal for you to feel confused or emotional knowing that your ex has moved on, but know that your emotions will come down to reality and you will feel better. Stay confident in knowing that everything happens for a reason and that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.
Love yourself, it will love you back. Remain cool when emotions start to get the best of you and never let others dictate or control your mood, happiness or self-worth! Keep reminding yourself that you are choosing to take the high road during this difficult chapter in your life. One day you will look back and be proud of how strong you have become!