This Is Why Moving On After Divorce Is So Hard For Most People

Letting go is never easy.

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The paperwork has been filed, the assets divided, the move complete, and yet you're still struggling with moving on in your life after a divorce.

It’s the ultimate irony. Your spouse left, your finances are probably decimated, your family has been torn apart, and yet you still love your ex. And you don’t like that you do.

There are reasons it’s so hard to let go of love after a divorce. If you understand what they are, you might find it easier to accept what has happened and move forward in a way that doesn’t involve regret and loss but instead happiness and hope.


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Here are 5 reasons moving on after divorce is so hard.

1. You've broken vows.

I remember when I first asked my husband for a divorce. He said that we had taken vows he wouldn’t break. I thought the idea was ridiculous, but the talk of divorce stopped for a while.


Five years later, he asked for a divorce and I was devastated. When he asked, the broken vows weren’t addressed even for a minute. But in my head, those vows were there, making it hard for me to let go of love for him.

We stood up in front of 150 of our friends and family and promised to love each other forever. In sickness and health; until the fat lady sings.

And now he was walking away, and I was embarrassed. Embarrassed that he would walk away for another woman — one he paraded out in public with alarming speed.

My mother was also furious at the broken vows. He promised her he would always take care of me, and he let her down. She talked on and on about this betrayal, which didn’t help me move on.


My husband of 20 years broke a promise to me; a promise that kept me tied to him for some time after our split, unable to let go of love after a divorce and feeling somewhat broken.

2. It means letting go of dreams for the future.

We'd been married for 20 years, and our kids were headed out to college. We'd been talking for years that if we could just make it through these difficult child-rearing times, we would have a ton of fun.

We had always really enjoyed each other before kids and hoped that we could find our way back to each other again. When he left, 48 hours after our son went off to school, those dreams for the future were immediately dashed.

The picture of us traveling together, buying a house in the country, reaping the financial fruits of our years of hard work — all went up in smoke in a single moment.


Letting go of those dreams made it really hard for me to let go of love after a divorce. I no longer had dreams for the future. Instead, I had hopelessness and fear because the future was so unclear.

What was I going to do? How was I going to build a new family for my kids? What would happen when my alimony stopped?

I was scared and I constantly thought that if only he still loved me, my future would be clear again.

RELATED: Why I'll Never 'Get Over' My Divorce

3. You're letting go of family.

I always loved our little family of four. We were all very close. Every night, we had a family dinner that involved lively conversation.


We moved to Tokyo as a family and traveled extensively while we were there. We had a little house by the ocean; our kids excelled at school, my husband and I were both very successful in our careers, and our finances were secure.

When my husband told me he wanted a divorce, our family was destroyed in one fell swoop. The family that I'd worked so hard to ensure was healthy; a family that traveled and laughed and supported each other.

It was my life’s work and it was destroyed.

I know it was hard for me to let go of love after a divorce, because the image of our connected family was such an important one. I believed if we could rebuild our relationship and love each other, our family would be rebuilt and happy again.


4. You're afraid of being alone.

One of the worst parts of getting a divorce was that, after 20 years, I was suddenly alone. My kids were off at school, and my husband was gone.

My days, long filled with making lunches, driving everyone around, and supporting my husband, were empty. And I couldn’t see how I could possibly rebuild them.

It was also so hard for me to see a future with another person. I got right onto dating sites and, while I met some great guys, none of them was the guy for me.

I often wondered, "Will Ibe alone forever?"

I loved my husband and the life we built, and I had a hard time letting go of those emotions. In fact, with every disastrous date, I would wish that the love and companionship my ex and I shared was alive again.


If it only was, I would no longer be alone.

5. You believe you can "fix" things.

From the moment my ex asked for a divorce, I believed I would be able to fix our marriage. I believed with enough love and sex and fun, our marriage would be saved and we would live happily ever after.

But that wasn’t to be.

One of the reasons I held on to love for my ex was that I believed that I could fix things if I loved him enough. That if I loved him, he wouldn’t walk away from our family; our dreams for the future would happen, and I wouldn’t be alone.


I held on to that hope for so long, it made it increasingly hard to let go of love after a divorce.

Moving on after a divorce can be incredibly hard.

Marriage is something you hope and dream for as you grew up. The idea of having a teammate in life, someone who would always have your back, who would love you unconditionally is compelling.

When marriage is broken, all of those comforts disappear.

If you can recognize that what you're holding onto is not love for your ex, but dismay at your broken vows with these five issues, you'll be able to move on in a healthy way.

All of those things you're mourning are things you can have with another person. It might take some time and effort, but that person is out there for you.


You don’t have to hold onto love for someone who no longer loves you because your life is still a promising one, out there waiting for you to start living it again.

You can let go of this love and move forward. And you will get your happily ever after if you do.

RELATED: If You Really Want To Get Over Your Ex, Do This (Says Study)

Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based certified life coach and mental health advocate. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live. Contact her for help or send her an email.