Jackie, I can’t get over my ex-wife and wondering how I ever will. A few years ago, a friend of mine was going through a long divorce and she said…..
Jackie, I can’t get over my ex-wife and wondering how I ever will.
A few years ago, a friend of mine was going through a long divorce and she said to me, “It’s been two years and I’m still not over it. I WANT to be over it—over him, but I just don’t know how to do it.”
I felt sorry for her because I get it. No one can help a person get over their ex-husband/ex-wife. The person has to do it on their own, and on their own timetable.
Sure, there are things you can do to TRY to get over your ex–like see a therapist, engage in a new hobby, find faith, exercise, start volunteering, focus on career, etc. etc. and they might help, but the letting go part is all up to you. YOU are the one deciding when you can accept it and move on. No one else can do that for you.
As far as WHY you can’t get over your ex-wife, there are several possible reasons. But instead of listing them, I am going to offer:
6 things to do if you NEVER want to get over your ex
- Play the victim. The victim mentality is poisonous. What victims do is fantasize that their ex’s new life is perfect while theirs is lonely and sad. They say things like “My wife dumped me” and “I can’t believe this happened to me.” They talk as if something horrible has been done to them. While I think everyone going through a divorce deserves an amount of time to feel sorry for themselves, that time needs to be short lived. The focus needs to become so much larger than “this is what was done to me.”
- Stay angry. Anger will destroy you. It will prevent you from ever moving on in a real way, or with any productivity. Again, it’s OK and normal (healthy actually) to feel angry for a little while, but know when enough is enough. Anger is a complete waste of energy. It’s bad for you and very bad for your kids. Instead of being angry, channel that energy into perseverance that will lead to finding your new life; one that will make you truly happy.
- Rewrite history. When you miss someone, it is human nature to forget everything bad that happened in the marriage and drum up all the good stuff. Our minds want to protect our feelings, so we block out the bad. What you end up with is, “I will never understand why he/she did this to us and our family. We had the perfect life. We were so happy.” When you do begin to let go, you start thinking about the clues that you missed, what you didn’t want to see, what he/she did that bugged you and drove you nuts. That’s when healing can really begin.
- Stalk her (or him). Half the people I know who are divorced block each other from their Facebook pages and other social media outlets. But, if you are one of the few who have access to your ex’s social media pages, it isn’t healthy to keep track of what he/she is doing, their photos, etc. It will just hurt you if you see something that shows he/she is moving on.
- Blame yourself. “If only I’d been a better wife…” “I should have taken that trip to Europe with her when she asked me last year…” “I never appreciated him…” These are really bad things to say to yourself or to your friends. No one goes into a marriage wanting to make mistakes, but the fact is that we all make them, and when people get divorced, they come out of the marriage with regrets. Actually, even people who are still happily married have regrets. Remember that you were the best husband/wife you thought you could be at the time. No need to look back and take responsibility. Does it really matter now?
- Stay home/refuse to date or even go out socially. The best way to get over an ex-wife/husband is to socialize, meet new people, take your mind off of him/her. There are 6 billion people on this earth. Your ex is ONE person. I’m not saying you have to date if you aren’t ready, but just making new friends keeps our minds fresh, our spirits alive and our lives exciting and fun.
The beauty about getting over your ex-wife/husband is that it happens when you least expect it (in my opinion.) All of a sudden, you realize that you didn’t cry today. And then two weeks later, you realize you haven’t cried in a week, and then in a month and then 6 months. You find yourself enjoying life and thinking less and less about him or her. It’s a little sad, in a way, and you almost miss that pain, just because you lived with it for such a long, long time. But healing can feel empowering and liberating. There’s nothing better than that moment you look in the mirror and think, “Wow, look where I was a year ago, and look at me now.”