By Susie and Otto Collins
Carolyn can't believe that her ex-husband, Will, is already dating.
Although they've been having troubles for a couple of years and they've been living separately for months, their divorce hasn't even been finalized yet.
There is no doubt in Carolyn's mind that splitting up was the best thing for them all-- even their two children. What galls her, though, is that Will seemed to waste no time in getting back into dating.
A friend of hers has seen him with another woman at parties and restaurants at least two or three times now.
While Carolyn is a little jealous of this new woman in Will's life, she also feels upset because she doesn't feel nearly ready to date again...the thought hasn't even crossed her mind.
If you are divorced, or in the process of getting a divorce, the news that your ex has moved on in some way may be unsettling for you.
It might be that he or she is dating someone else. It might be that your ex is visibly enjoying life and possibly some new adventures.
Regardless of the way that your ex is moving on with his or her life, seeing or hearing about it might trigger within you a mixture of feelings.
You may feel jealous, angry, sad, hurt and possibly even a little relieved depending on your situation.
You might wonder why you haven't moved on too.
The process of breaking up and healing from a broken heart is certainly different for everyone.
There are those who try to erase all memory of their ex by keeping very busy socially and dating others right away.
There are others who become consumed by the pain and loss that they feel. They hermit themselves away and sometimes don't even care for themselves the way that they used to.
And, of course, there are those who cope with a broken heart and breakup by engaging in a mixture of going out socially and also isolating themselves at other times.
You need to really listen-- and keep listening-- to what you need at any one moment.
Make it your intention to do things and and be with
people who help you feel greater ease.
If you look at your ex and start to wonder why you haven't yet moved on, it could be because you are still very attached to him or her and your ended relationship.
This is completely understandable.
No matter how long you two were married, you probably developed a bond with one another and to your life together.
And now that's all changed.
Carolyn has realized that she still e-mails with Will every day.
Her excuse is to give him updates about how the kids are doing and to arrange schedules, but she also admits that this is part of her attachment to him.
It is what they've done as long as they've been married and have had access to e-mail.
Carolyn sees that she needs to make some completions and let her marriage to Will go. This doesn't mean that she will stop communicating with him about the kids and scheduling.
What it does mean is that she plans to internally release her attachment to him and their marriage.
Once she has done this, the e-mail exchanges will have less emotional charge than they do now.
She decides to re-decorate her bedroom too. It is the same bedroom she shared with Will for 12 years-- she hasn't changed it a bit since he moved out.
Carolyn is a little sad as she resolves to pack away
the photos of she and Will that hang in the bedroom, but she is also excited to pick out colors to re-paint the room.
By making completions, she will be freer to take another step toward the future she wants.
Where are you focused?
Be aware of your focus. How much time do you spend reminiscing about happier times with your ex? How much energy do you put into wondering or worrying about what your ex is doing now?
If you find yourself past-oriented or even present-oriented but concentrated on your ex's life, sit up and take notice!
You can re-direct your focus at any time.
One way to do this is to make a list of everything that is important to you.
Be sure to include the people, pets, activities, causes and especially qualities that you'd like more of in your life.
(You might care about your ex and acknowledge his or her importance to your children and even to you. Do not include your ex on this list for the purposes of this exercise.)
Leave this list out where you will see it often. The next time you realize that you are focused upon your ex and/or the past, choose something on that list that calls out to you.
It might be the nudge that you need to return to your priorities and that can help you to feel better and to move on.
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