You Take Responsibility For Your Role
I used to get angry – really angry – whenever somebody suggested that perhaps I had some part in my marriage’s demise.
He was the one who cheated. He was the one who lied. He was the one who stole. He was the one who gaslighted and manipulated and intentionally kept me in the dark.
It wasn’t my fault.
But what I didn’t understand at the time, is that it was my responsibility.
Not to take on the burden of what happened (or to excuse him of his part).
But to do the hard work of self-reflection and taking ownership of my decisions and actions. So that I could learn from what happened and make different choices going forward.
When you no longer see yourself as a helpless victim and you choose to accept responsibility for your own well-being, it is a sign that you have moved on.
You No Longer Avoid Triggers or Memories
I avoided that road for a long time. I would drive twenty minutes out of my way just so that I didn’t have to go by my old neighborhood, with its sign sporting letters that my husband milled and painted.
In fact, the old house was an epicenter of a circle with a ten-mile radius that, upon entry, would make my skin crawl with its negative energy and promises of unwanted and triggered memories.
And then one day, I drove from my new home on the other end of town to a friend’s house, down the street from the no-go place completely on autopilot. And without realizing it, I drove right past the old neighborhood and felt nothing.
It was the best nothing I’ve ever felt.
And now that neighborhood, that area has no particular vibe at all. It still prompts memories, but they no longer come wrapped in emotion.
When you no longer feel the need to avoid triggers and memories, it is a sign that you have moved on.
Six Reasons You’re Struggling to Move On
Any Talk About Your Ex Has Purpose
In the beginning, words about my experience poured forth from my mouth like blood from a fresh and gaping wound.
Because that’s what they were – my soul was screaming out in pain.
And then, those words became ones of thinking and organizing, trying to make sense of it all. No less driven, but a little more rational.
Finally, it got to the point where I didn’t need to talk about it at all and now when I mention him or the marriage, it’s only because I’m sharing a story about one of the dogs or a lesson I learned about home-improvement. He’s no longer the focus, just a character that happened to be in the background at the time.
When you only mention your ex as part of a story from your past, it is a sign that you have moved on.
You Are Grateful For the Experience
When you can honestly say that it was the worst thing that has happened to you.
And also the best.
It is a sign you have moved on.
Moving on is not getting over.
It’s moving through.
Moving on is not forgetting.
Moving on is not never feeling pain.
It’s letting the pain go.
Moving on is not pretending it never happened.
It’s in closing that chapter.
And using its lessons to write the next one.
17 thoughts on “How Do You Know When You’ve Moved On After Divorce?”
Reading about your thoughts, actions and reactions is like reading the journal I never kept. Today, it has been two years since “that day”, and reading this has given me so much peace. There is no more emotion, not even hatred. It is wonderfully liberating.
Yes, it is! Glad you feel it too:)
Reblogged this on Suddenly a Mom and commented:
I just love this piece – so true and such a comforting, comfortable place to be
Great post Lisa. All things pass in time, and I think you are right – when you are still holding on the memories still hurt you, but when you have truly let go then all they are is memories.
Reblogged this on The Moments Between and commented:
Very well written! And encouraging for me to reflect on how far I have come.
Lisa, I continue to admire and marvel at your wisdom……
Thank you so much Maria!
A wise post. It is interesting that I had moved into a very ‘factual’ phase quite some times ago, and have now moved into a more ‘feeling’ phase again … although feelings surrounding the marriage, rather than the divorce itself. I see it that it took me that time to be at a distance (the ‘factual’ phase) before I could look back at the marriage from a different perspective.
I think I did much of the same. Using facts to process and understand the emotions.
I relate exactly ❤️💪☺️
This is a grest, informative and meaningful post. I used to wonder if things could have gone differently where would we be now? I also enjoy being friend, Co parents and grandparents of our family members. I have hope someone, one day a last special someone will enter my life. 🙂
U bet they will. U bet.
Great post!!! I was able to relate to many of you comments. I’m thankful for you sharing your experiences. It has helped as I continue to work through this process of rebuilding and trusting again.
I love reading your articles/blogs, they are always full of good insights and perspectives. Love hearing words of wisdom from someone who has lived through it.
I, however, still struggle on a daily basis to get a grasp on my emotions and it has been 5 years. I have been in therapy, taken anti-depressants, gone wild, closed in on myself and every other distraction you can think of, and yet I still fight these demons every day.
I’m at a loss, but I have the smallest spark of hope deep inside that some day I will be happy again
Keep that spark going. One day it will become an inferno of joy.
Great post. Thank you for that.I am getting divorce or better saying he divorces me after 20 years…for the sake of his mom and hid dad’s inheritance which his mom taken from him.A man who I took care of him for 20 years after he got cancer …he is cured…left me with depression and weak health…no kids as he never wanted one…and his mother never wanted us to be happy…long story short…this unfairness burns me from head to toe and your posts lightening me up…does it go away? It seems I am trying to find the truth about nothing…seems that I’m looking for a piece of puzzle that never has existed…It was just an illusion of having a friend who won’t take me down when I needed. …anyhow….thank you for all the hope you’re sharing…
Sorry for your situation:( My thoughts- The unfairness will persist in some way, coming and going. But, once you build a new life you love, it won’t matter so much. The trick is to focus forward and on what you do have. Hugs.