Your relationship began the moment that you met. You may not have been interested in her right away. You may have started out as friends or acquaintances. Maybe she lived nearby, and you had mutual friends that you both spent time with. Either way, once you began dating, you took a new step in your relationship.
The next new step came when you asked her to marry you, and as scary as it was, it gave you the thrill of knowing that you felt confident in your relationship that you were willing to take the next step. You were willing to spend the rest of your life with this person.
After you got married and possibly had children, there were not steps left to take. You already were committed to one another and were so ingrained in one another’s lives that when problems began to form in your marriage, you could not rely on the next step. You began to face problems, questions, and concerns that you could not ignore, and you had to think about you.
Logic and emotion
While you may have logic behind each and every one of your decisions, regarding your divorce, you still may face individual struggles related to the end of your marriage and the end of your relationship to your ex-spouse.
It is never easy to end things. You may feel a void left where your ex-spouse once was, or you may feel the sweet release of all of the animosity and anxiety that has built up within you, as a result of your unhappy and dysfunctional marriage.
Whether you are paying alimony or child support or not, you still may feel some level of attachment to your marriage and to a relationship that did not quite work out. The reality of the situation can be a difficult pill to swallow, even in the most toxic of marriages. You may feel a sense of safety and familiarity in the dysfunctional or possibly abusive marriage that you were in.
Scarring and holding on
The emotional scarring involved in these types of relationships make it difficult to walk away. Whether the scarring comes from physical abuse, dishonesty, mental abuse, manipulation, or infidelity, staying in a relationship marred by these afflictions may feel safer. This occurrence is motivated by the idea that that the victim would rather view the relationship positively than honestly, which causes the negative traits to be obscured or misperceived.
Holding onto these types of relationships may feel harmless, but they are not. They are unhealthy and can make the recovery process even more difficult. Instead of creating the best version of yourself for yourself, so that way you can head into life after divorce on your own terms, you are motivated by the thought of rekindling a failed relationship. You are not focused on yourself and are allowing your ex-spouse to factor into your future without considering the factors that led to your divorce or the person they became when you decided to end it.
These aspects of your relationship and how you felt about the end of your marriage are only some of the sentiments you need to sort through, and it can seem like a lot. That is why it is helpful to seek out the guidance of a mental health professional, who is trained to handle many of the challenges that moving on from your marriage entails.
Health and comfort
Letting go does not mean shutting that aspect of your life out. You still may have to deal with your ex-spouse when issues surrounding alimony, child support, or parenting time arise. You still may need to communicate and make co-parenting decisions, in order to be an active and dedicated parent. Letting go means putting yourself first, until you are in a healthy enough place where you can handle a conversation with someone you were once married to without thinking of them as anything but your ex-spouse.
When your decree is initially finalized, the idea of letting go may seem impossible, but with time and support, you can feel safe enough to do so. You can feel comfortable enough to move forward without looking back.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.