How To “Move On” and “Let Go” After Divorce

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By Debbi Lewis, Featured Columnist - August 15, 2013 - Updated October 27, 2016

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There comes the pivotal moment during the divorce process when you realize it is really over and it is time to move on.  For me, it was about 2 months after my divorce; I was talking with a girlfriend about the latest dating exploits of my Ex.  Expecting her to join in on the bantering; I was surprised when she said "You know this isn't healthy for you; isn't it time for you to focus on you".  I was taken aback by the comment and it stung.  

It was exactly what I needed to hear.  That comment was the pivotal point for me to realize my marriage was truly finished.  I had a choice to either wallow in 'poor me' or pick myself up by bra straps and move on.  And move on is what I chose to do.

It is not uncommon to have an interest in what your Ex is doing; after all, you built your life with him for a period of time.  When our interest does not come from a place of caring but instead from a place of resentment … that is when it's unhealthy. 

For me, I was hurt the week following our decision to divorce.  He had dating services calling the house to arrange dates.  I felt as if I was just tossed aside, I was mad and it demonstrated how much we had fallen out of love. 

Due to my negative feelings, I was enjoying observing his dating relationships not working out for him.  I didn't realize it at the time, but I was keeping mental score in my head; you hurt me so, therefore, I want you to get hurt as well.

Getting called on the carpet for this type of behavior is sometimes what is needed.  Once divorced, my Ex had the right to do whatever he wanted in regard to dating and it is none of my business. When I was able to let go of the situation and not be obsessed by what HE was doing; I was able to focus on what I was doing.

I was surprised to find that suddenly I had a spring in my step because I was finally starting to grasp the fact that I could be free of the emotional wreckage of my marriage; I just needed to make the conscious decision to be free of it.

Here are some suggestions to assist in moving on:

  • Take a look at what you're holding on to.  Are you going out of your way to find out information about your Ex? Do you find yourself asking family, friends or even your kids about what your Ex is doing or who he is seeing.
  • Ask yourself Why you are doing this? 
  • Talk this over with a trusted friend.  It is sometimes an outsider looking in that can give you the best advice.
  • Let Go – Make the conscious decision to focus on you and not him.  Act on your decision. Get rid of things you that remind you of your ex (like your engagement ring!) and get something nice for yourself.
  • Celebrate the willingness you have to let go of the past and step into the joy of being free.
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