Friends and family might respond by suggesting you just get on with it and leave the other person in the past where he or she belongs. Even if that is hard to hear, it is the goal you want to strive for. Continuing to focus on your ex can unwittingly keep you stuck in your anger. Even if you have moved into a new relationship, all that negativity can hold you back and run interference in your life and with your current partner.
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Instead of using your anger and sadness to launch an attack that keeps you mired in the past, use it to disengage. Put boundaries in place: formalize the necessary times to see each other, be it for picking up belongings or dropping things off; begin to build up new support systems rather than looking to your ex when you have a problem in the house, a flat tire, or too much laundry; if there are kids, limit communication with your ex to discussing only necessary subjects surrounding the logistics of their caretaking. Wherever you can, fill in and replenish the areas of your life where you feel the most loss. The more you do that, the less resentful and angry you are going to be.
None of this is easy, but if you become aware of how you direct your energy, you might be able to turn things around. Unfortunately for Elin, "hating" Lindsey Vonn, or any future partner or spouse to Tiger, will not heal the wounds inflicted by a devastating divorce. That effort could be better spent investing in herself and her new life.
Please tune in to "Let’s Talk Sex" which streams live on HealthyLife.net every last Tuesday of the month at 2 PM EST, 11 AM Pacific. We look forward to listener call-in questions, dealing with relationships, intimacy, family, and friendships, at 1.800.555.5453. Connect with Dr. Jane Greer on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/DrJaneGreer.
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Jane Greer, Ph.D. is a nationally known marriage and family therapist with a thriving private practice for over twenty years. Her latest book: What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship, published by Sourcebooks. She is the author of How Could You Do This to Me? Learning to Trust after Betrayal, published by Doubleday, The Afterlife Connection: A Therapist Reveals How To Communicate With Departed Loved Ones by Saint Martin’s Press, Gridlock: Finding The Courage To Move On In Love, Work And Life and Adult Sibling Rivalry, published in hardcover by Crown and paperback by Fawcett. Dr. Greer is a Contributing Editor for Redbook Magazine. She is the host of her own weekly radio internet show, Doctor On Call, a live hour long show at www.healthylife.net, every Tuesday at 2 pm ET/11amPT.