Divorce can be devastating even when both parties agree. Letting go after your divorce is difficult at best. It’s an emotional roller coaster, particularly when children are involved. Sometimes, one party has been the “fixer” in the relationship; the one who has tried to resolve all emotional issues. The other party may be a bit resentful of the other spouse’s need to “fix” things, seeing it as a control problem. In fact, it may not be that at all. It could just be the way the spouse solves problems. An example: Wife states the following to Husband, “our house is falling down around us. I feel like we spend all of our time and money repairing things. When I got home from work today, it was the dishwasher. Yesterday, it was the microwave.” Husband replies: “I am working as hard as I can! What more do you want me to do!? I will try to get to it tomorrow after work.” He is obviously upset. Wife says “Wait, I am not asking you to fix the appliances. I was just telling you about it. We both work. We will resolve this together.” Husband says, “No, it’s my job and I will get it done so you aren’t complaining.” This leads to major breakdowns in communications over a period of time.
Does this sound familiar? Sure it does! We have all had some type of miscommunication in our marriage or relationship. And the reality is that even after you divorce, if you were the “fixer” in your marriage, you will still be the “fixer” in other ways. So, how do you move on and let things go so you can live a good “post-divorce” life? Here are some sound tips that I have seen work with others during my years of practice.
- Learn to really listen to the person’s words. They may not be asking you to do anything. They may just be venting. Listening is easy. Listening is free. You just have to listen and do nothing unless you are asked to do something. Or perhaps, ask “is there something that I can do to help?”
- The past is the past. If things in your marriage are bothering you, but you are now divorced, let it go. You can’t change what happened in the past. You can only make changes in the future. Communicate differently to have a better relationship.
- Sometimes focusing on what was broken will only drive you crazy. Forge ahead and focus on a new life with new things to accomplish.
I don’t expect these pointers to solve everything, but hopefully they will give you some simple ideas of things you can do to live your life without being chained to the past. Moving on is important, and for most, the relationship with the former spouse continues (ie if you have children together). Make it a positive future.
Are you considering divorce or a separation? Contact my office. I will work with you for the right solution.