How to handle your ex moving forward when you haven’t yet.
One of the hardest things about divorce is the feeling of being alone and the fear that you will be so for an extended period of time.
Hearing that your ex is remarrying before you can be a shock that rocks you to the core even if you were the one who initiated the divorce.
If you’ve gone through a divorce or breakup, there may be a persistent question that lingers in your mind: Will I be alone forever?
If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, know that you’re not alone, and it’s completely normal to feel this way. When you lose the comfort of a relationship, it can feel like the earth is shaking beneath your feet. Nothing feels as safe as it once did. The future can feel like a vast unknown, and you are there to face it alone.
10 tips to dealing with your ex’s remarriage:
- Admit that you are hurt and suffering. Self-awareness is key to dealing with your ex tying the knot before you do. Most likely you’ll be thinking it’s not fair — especially if you have not forgiven him/her — or let go of the pain from your divorce.
- Ask for support. Call your best friends, your mom or dad; or, just about anyone you trust who has the energy to listen. It’s okay to complain to people who care about you and have patience.
- Have a plan to distract yourself. Try not to be alone the day your ex remarries. Any activity that serves to distract you will do but it’s best to have company so you don’t feel alone.
- Write a positive intention such as “It is my intention to live with purpose and practice self-love.” An intention can give you a strong vision that will help you to fulfill your dream.
- Change your thinking. If your mind is racing with negative thoughts such as “I’ll never meet anyone” or “I’ll be alone forever” substitute these negative thoughts with positive ones such as “I am feeling better about myself every day.”
- Attempt to see your ex in a new light. Focus on any positive qualities he or she has. Perhaps if you can accept your ex having a happier life, it will benefit your children.
- Award forgiveness. I’m not suggesting that forgiveness is easy but begin to practice forgiving yourself and your ex for your divorce. This doesn’t mean you condone their actions but it does mean you are in the process of letting go.
- Consider what’s in your children’s best interest. Children benefit from parents who are happy and cooperate with one another. Try not to show resentment about your ex getting remarried to your children — it will create fewer loyalty conflicts for them.
- Work on yourself. Crafting a new life means learning to love yourself and focusing on those things you can control and work to improve such as your appearance, health, attitude, and relationships with friends, children, and family.
- Get over it. Getting stuck in the past will not help you to heal or meet someone to share your life with. What he or she is doing (getting married) is perfectly acceptable and it’s time to let go and pursue your own vision of a new life.
Forgiving your ex-spouse and trying to see him/her in a new way are difficult tasks – especially when you are faced with them remarrying first. You may be thinking “It really hurts.” Or, “How can I be happy for him (or her) after all the pain they’ve caused me?” However, once you begin to adopt a forgiving mindset you may find that it’s advantageous to release bitterness and resentment. As you begin to let go, you will gain control of your emotions and the control your ex-spouse has over you.
Keep in mind that forgiveness is all about you — not your ex. It does not mean you agree with or accept their behavior — nor that you will you permit it to be repeated in other relationships.
Take a moment and reflect on how holding in anger and resentment may be creating more pain and turmoil in your life. If you are tired of being unhappy and dwelling in the past, it’s time to start practicing forgiveness. Moving on from being stuck in the role of a victim and from blaming your ex, may take time and practice – but you will be rewarded with more contentment.
One powerful way to begin forgiving your ex-spouse is to practice using intentions. In his groundbreaking book “The Power of Intention” Dr. Wayne Dyer posits that people who are out of sorts should visualize their intention and repeat it over and over again in their mind. He believes that it is a reminder to be peaceful and calm. Dr. Dyer writes: “People driven by intention are described as having a strong will that won’t permit anything to interfere with achieving their inner desire.”
When your ex-spouse remarries, you may have difficulty accepting it and it may bring up issues from your relationship that are unresolved. Perhaps you are fixated on the notion that your ex has to apologize before you can forgive him or her. Hopefully, you will come to the awareness that forgiving your ex is more for you than for him/her. After you adopt a forgiving mindset and begin to see him or her in a new light, they simply have less power over you.
In closing, preparing for the day that your ex remarries will help you face it with integrity and self-respect. Staying as positive as possible will assist you in beginning to see him or her with new eyes — and to get through the day without too much anguish or regret.
This article originally appeared on Divorced Moms.
Photo credit: Oliver Li/flickr