Living through the tumultuous end of your marriage is one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do. And the repercussions of it echo through your life in often surprising ways – and sometimes for a long time after your divorce is a done deal.
One of the most common ways to experience the fallout of divorce long after it’s final is in your new relationships.
So, when you meet someone you really like, it’s natural to wonder how to be in a relationship with them or if you even want to be in a relationship again. You wonder if it’s possible to find love after divorce.
Questioning whether you want another relationship usually driven by fear. When your heart has been broken by divorce, it’s very difficult to believe that you could ever have a good relationship.
You struggle with how to be in a relationship again. Maybe you simply fear the past repeating itself. But here’s the thing, the ONLY way this fear is real is if these two things are true:
You’re exactly the same person you were.
Your new love interest is just like your ex.
Now, if you’ve done your work – really done your work – to heal from your divorce, one of the things you now understand is your part in the failure of your marriage.
And because you’re smart and determined, you’ve taken the steps necessary to make sure you no longer behave in that way and you know how to spot it quickly when you do. This alone guarantees that you’re NOT exactly the same person you were.
Another benefit of doing your work to get over your divorce is that there’s very little chance you’re attracted to the same type of person you divorced. (Remember that the person you divorced is seldom the person you thought you married.)
So, if you’ve done all the hard work to heal, your fear of not being able to have a good relationship isn’t based on facts. It’s just a fear of the past that’s holding you back from exploring your new life – the life you’ve been working so hard on making great.
Now when you really take a step back to look at it, it’s your ex and the memory of your marriage that’s keeping you from exploring the connection you have with your new love interest. And you sure don’t want your ex controlling your future!
Another reality is that the connection you have doesn’t guarantee that a relationship with this new person will work out or that you should enter it without caution. It just means that you’re attracted enough to want to explore how to be in a relationship with them.
Taking a chance to learn how to be in a relationship again with someone you genuinely care about can be extremely fun – especially after all the effort you’ve put into moving on with your life. And if this new relationship has the potential to contribute to your happiness, you deserve to explore it without fear.
So silence the echoes of your divorce and don’t let them get in the way of your pursuit of happiness.
Dr. Karen Finn is a divorce coach helping clients learn how to trust again as they navigate being single after divorce. You don’t have to figure it all out on your own. If you want help understanding what to do next, reach out to Karen by emailing her at [email protected] for a private discussion about the best next steps for you to take..