Is it time to dust yourself off, get over your ex, and start moving beyond the whole divorce drama? While you can't totally wipe the slate clean, there are steps you can take to stop thinking about him all the time so you can concentrate on enjoying the life you have now. Just keep reading to get some ideas to help you jumpstart the healing process.
Divorce is hard enough all on its own. Experiencing lingering thoughts and dwelling on your former spouse is natural, but can hinder your healing progress. Of course, there are plenty of sources to go to for divorce support, however, I believe in teaching self-empowerment so you get the big "win!" at the end of the day. Here are my best practice tips for getting over him and moving on!
Examine the expectations you've placed on yourself.
Are you expecting to neutralize all positive feelings you have towards your ex? Do you still love him and are beating yourself up for it? Stop. While society may have us believe that we should "just get over it", and "he was no good for you", it's just not that simple. Who made it "bad" to love another just because you're not in a relationship anymore?
What would happen if you just accept that you feel love for him, AND that the relationship has run its course? Can you find peace in acknowledging both sides simultaneously? When I discovered this and used it in my own life, it brought great relief to accept that just because the relationship was over didn't necessarily mean I had to let go of my love for him. So whenever I thought of him, instead of feeling bad, I would just mentally send him love, wish him well, and let it go.
Stop checking up on him.
Whether you are doing a drive-by, checking out his Facebook profile, or asking friends about him, this sort of activity is robbing you of your own healing. After all, you cannot be moving your life forward when you are spending your time obsessing over how he is spending his.
Even if you parted on good terms, it's time to Unfriend him on Facebook, take a different route home (one that doesn't go those special places), and pre-plan new topics to chat about when you meet old mutual friends.
Bring in clarity.
Life is a series of stepping stones, and hopefully you are using them to move you upwards. How can this relationship be a stepping stone towards something even better, greater, and more intimate, etc.? What did you learn from this past relationship?
Right after my divorce, I made a list of all the qualities I wanted in my next relationship. Within just two months, I had met someone that nailed all of those qualities. We had a fabulous relationship, but it lacked certain other characteristics that would make it sustainable. What I gained was enormous clarity, so I continued to add to the list. Don't leave your life up to chance, grab your journal and make your crystal clear list.
Who are you becoming?
Using your list of qualities and characteristics you would like in your next relationship, consider who this person would be attracted to. What characteristics can you develop within yourself to make yourself a natural fit? All of life is built upon relationships, so if you can identify a few characteristics that you would like to grow within yourself, there is ample opportunity all around you. Set a new challenge for yourself to bring these qualities into your current friendships and even work relationships. Divorce support begins by seeing yourself growing and becoming more and more happy, fulfilled, and attractive in all your relationships.
Visualize your future self.
It's a fantastic practice to pre-live the future and never re-live the past. Now that you know what you want, and how you will grow to meet that next great guy. Spend a few minutes daily living this new vision like a movie, seen through your own eyes (vs. seeing yourself in the picture), and FEEL what it feels like. After all, it's not the relationship itself you want, it's how it will make you FEEL. Experience that today and you are on your way!
Breathe into the "stuck" feelings.
When you do feel stuck in getting over your ex, overwhelmed with loss and tears, use this exercise. First find a quiet space, and just be with yourself. Become aware of your breath and fill in the blank, "I feel___". Be honest with yourself. Can you feel that emotion somewhere in your body? Is it in your gut? Is it in your throat? Locate it.
Create an intention of accepting what you feel, no resistance. Realize that what you feel is an experience. It does not define you and it will pass. Create a positive affirmation such as "I am always loved unconditionally". With this wisdom, breathe into that space where the emotion resides in your body and visualize it releasing with each breath.
Out with the old and in with the new.
Pay attention to triggers in your environment that remind you of your former spouse. Music, pictures, items purchased together, gifts and so on are better off being set aside at least for a period of time. You don't need to make a decision to get rid of it entirely, just set them aside in a box and stash it away for a bit.
Conversely, inject some new, fresh ideas into your environment and your life. Paint a room or wall a new color, rearrange the furniture, get new bedding, explore new hair styles, or indulge in a new pair of strappy, colorful heels that make you feel alive, youthful, and sexy again. Go for things that you might not have chosen before, just for fun!
Have a ceremony and let go of the story.
One of the things that keep us locked on "what was" is telling the story over and over again. Bring out your journal and write the story of your relationship (or record it in your voice). Go ahead and detail all the great times and dark times. This may be hard, so if it seems overwhelming, you can use a poster board and cut out pictures from magazines instead.
It doesn't need to make sense to anyone but you, so don't get hung up on perfection. Get the story out and end it by blessing it, knowing that it served its purpose when you were in it, and now it's time to open a new door.
If you gathered a few items that you would rather get rid of, bring those together and have a closing ceremony. You can burn the items (along with your written or picture story board if you choose) and spread the ashes at sea, on a cliff, or at the base of a tree. Fire is very cleansing and it always brings forth new life. Know that this is true in your life and your relationships just as much as it is true of nature.
Above all, be patient with yourself as you work through the various ways to get over your ex. Love yourself through the process of healing and rebuilding your life. Divorce support comes in so many forms. Take advantage of them all, and you'll find you are very capable of moving forward more easily than you might have imagined.
Moving on after divorce is a process, and there will be days when you struggle. For more tips to get over your ex and learn better communication skills, check out the following articles: