Can't Let Go: How To Move On After Divorce

The challenge is...

It can be so hard to let go.

  • Let go gently.

A lot of people who have gone through divorce have a really difficult time letting go of their ex and their ended marriage. In some ways, it really doesn't matter if you still love your ex or if you can't stand the sight of him or her anymore.

The attachment is still there (even if doesn't make logical sense to you).

Having this other person in your life-- having a mate to share meals, your home and your bed with-- are what you are used to. You are accustomed to being part of a couple and that's what you lived for an extended period of time.

Now, your marriage is over and it can feel scary and sad. It can feel like a void in your life, even if you felt emotionally empty while you were still married.

Be gentle with yourself. There are a lot of reasons why you might feel averse to letting go of your ex and your marriage. Don't criticize or judge yourself harshly for any attachment you still have.

It doesn't have to make logical sense. It's just what you feel at this time.

For right now, just considering the notion of moving on and what that might mean for you is an important step.

  • Let go with little steps.

As you gradually become more comfortable with the idea of moving on, you can start to make some choices. It's likely that you've already been making choices and changes.

This can be overwhelming.

When at all possible, take small and manageable steps instead of giant ones. For example, instead of buying a new home just after your divorce, consider renting or staying with a family member for a pre-determined period of time.

You've already got a lot going on. Give yourself permission to scale back or delay decisions that can wait. If there's a big step that you do have to take soon, ask someone you trust to help you break it down into smaller parts.

The intention here is for you stay as present, clear and calm as you can so that your choices will serve you in the short- and longer-term.

  • Let go with a conscious shift.

Try to stay as conscious about the choices you are making as you can. Too many people walk around clouded by intense emotions or in a dulled haze and they end up making mistakes that add even more difficulties to their lives.

Take the time for your healing. Whatever that looks like for you, do it. It might mean meeting with a therapist or coach. It could be setting aside an hour every couple of days or once a week to write in your journal.

Making completions with your past is key. A completion might involve burning old letters or photos in a fireplace. It could be re-decorating your bedroom. It might be some other symbolic action that is meaningful to you that helps you to let go of your ex.

Get creative and start to make the shift from being past-oriented to present- and future-oriented.

  • Let go with hope for your future.

We know, moving on with your life can feel like stepping into a dark, unfamiliar space. You can't be sure that there will be ground beneath your feet as you take your next step...or the step after that one.

Soothe your fears and worries, but don't allow them to take over. Make room within yourself for hope.

Ask yourself what your hopes and dreams are for your future. If you're used to limiting your dreams, give yourself full freedom to envision the kind of life (and maybe relationship) that you want.

Keep tapping into that sense of hope and continue to move on in the direction of your dreams.
Feeling devastated, alone and heart-broken after your divorce?  We can help.  Click here for Susie and Otto Collins' free mini-course to help you heal after a breakup or divorce.

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