I am the perfect example of an over-thinker. Coupled with insecurity and vulnerability as a direct result of a divorce, it isn’t exactly a marriage made in heaven. Over-analyzing your divorce in your head doesn’t do anyone any favors, especially yourself, and here’s why:
1. You are re-living an emotionally draining time in your life. It would mean you are consciously staying unhappy. Why would you want to stay in that state of mind?
2. Even if you believe you have it all figured out, you can’t go back in time and fix it. It won’t change your current status. It is over.
3. You are probably searching for answers because you believe it will bring you closure. You know what? Forget it. You will only drive yourself crazy with the notion that you can’t move on without the right answers. Have you ever thought about the fact that you may not like the answers? What would you do then?
4. If you can’t let go of the past, how do you intend to move forward? Everything and everyone around you can only move in the same direction with you if you do the same. If you stop, traffic will come to a standstill.
5. Why would you want to fill your head with your ex? I couldn’t think of anything more unproductive and depressing! Your ex does not deserve your time anymore.
6. You will remain status quo until you let go. As Newton suggests, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Imagine if your loved ones are the reactors. Don’t activate the opposite response of abandonment should you not be able to offer them the best of yourself.
7. Divorce is the commencement of a new life. Why would you want to reward that luxury by getting stuck in a rut?
While I may sound like I know what I’m doing, I don’t always practise what I preach purely because it is so hard! It’s easy to use words to articulate what I should be doing because common sense prevails, but sadness, disappointment and fear seems to always win. So how do we become unstuck?
Distract yourself. Find an outlet and channel your energy in a different outlet. For me, I did two things. I started writing and I started going to the gym. I was determined to be mentally and physically exhausted!
Avoid over-thinking triggers. Nostalgia reminds us of what it once was. Try avoiding these situations. For example, stop going to that particular restaurant, do something positive on your anniversary date, don’t listen to that song, etc.
Identify patterns. Try and work out if you have inadvertently created a pattern of over-thinking. For example, does it happen when you sit down in front of the TV at night, does it happen when you tuck the children in bed, or perhaps when you’re alone, going for a run. Break these patterns with a substitute and create new habits of doing the same task but in your own way.
Let go. Easier said than done but yes, let go and set yourself free!
Break the cycle. Do something spontaneous to distract yourself.
Find a new hobby. Create new interests and meet new people.
Retrain your brain. Learn something new to make your brain work differently.
Be grateful for the positives. This will help to put your negatives into perspective and hopefully will allow you to appreciate the good things in your life.
Surround yourself with inspiration, be it in words or people. I turned to Paulo Coelho as part of my healing process and what a difference that made for me.
Use your experience to help others in similar situations which inevitably channels your energy somewhere else. For me, writing this article is my creative outlet – hoping to at least impart one tiny bit of information that may help someone else.
Accept your vulnerability. Until you are able to accept that you may have failed at your marriage, have been hurt by the breakup and understand that being afraid is a natural emotion post-divorce, you can’t move forward. My partner continuously thanks me for taking the leap and letting him in despite my fears.
The journey is not perfect and I continue to stumble along the way. I still have my bad days, but they are less now. I still have sudden breakdowns for absolutely no reason, but I allow myself those moments.
I refuse to let him win. I refuse to waste my precious time by thinking too much and trying to work out the ifs, should haves and whys.
I choose to move on, and I choose to chase my dreams and create beautiful relationships.
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So much easier said then done. When my husband of 35 years walked out of our marriage 2 years ago, without a clue or anything said that he wasn’t happy truly devastated me, sending me into shock, and feeling like the floor beneath me gave way. I didn’t deserve the treatment either, and couldn’t fathom how any person you loved and gave your heart and sould to could do this to a person.
We are divorcing now, with my learning how to put my past life with him behind me and trying to start over again. At age 58 years old, and feeling alone, with no friends nor family near me is keeping me from moving on faster than I want to, but time does move on, and regreats will never allow you to move on.
Learning how to trust not only yourself, buit others has been an obsitcle for me too. Abondment is something you never quite get over in a year, two or three, but slowly but surely I will. Accepting the fact that I cannot change anyone or anything except myself has been most helpful in my healing. I think that once the ties are severed completely with my dicorce will allow me to heal. For now, I am like a plaine circling overhead in a hold pattern waiting to get the cclear-all to land. Taking it a day or minute at a time breathing, and smiling is the way I know to allow myself to move forward.
A.S. Chung says
Absolutely Deborah, I couldn’t’ agree more. I am sorry that you have to go through this and whilst I didn’t have 35 years under my belt, the feelings of abandonment are the same. But all the tips I mentioned above did in some way help me to move forward and I hope you will in some small way take something away from it. I wish you all the best Deborah and thank you for sharing your story.
Amy, you forgot the most important one: Never ever let yourself get emotionally involved with another person. People are fickle, unpredictable and they aren’t worth the effort.