Divorce requires letting go – of the marriage, the dreams, the regrets and even the promises. Yet we often struggle to let go. If feels wrong. Scary. Unfamiliar and untested.
So instead, we grip, holding on even when the thing we’re holding on to only causes us harm.
We Hold On to An Image Of Our Former Partner
Maybe you still see them as they were in the beginning of the relationship. Or, you see them as you want them to be. Regardless, you’re holding on to an image of them, a picture that is more in line with your wishes than their reality.
We Hold On to Our Dreams of What the Relationship Should Have Been
If only the affair hadn’t happened. Or the addiction. Or the growing distance after having children. Then, we tell ourselves, the marriage would still be okay. We cultivate this image of what our lives are supposed to be like and even when life trajectories change, we have a hard time letting go of Plan A.
We Hold On to Our Anger and Blame
We rail against our ex-partner, or their affair partner or some other factor that we blame for the relationship’s demise. We feel powerful in our anger, righteous and also purposeful. As long as we are angry, we at least have something.
We Hold On to Our Pain and Victimhood
It’s scary facing the world alone. And so we curl up in our cloak of “wronged one,” prompting others to render aide and support. Our pain becomes our identity. It’s proof that the relationship was important. That we were important.
We Hold On to a Need For Fairness
We place our faith in the courts. Or God. Or karma. Thinking that bad things come to exes for those who simply wait long enough. We hold on to the idea that in order for us to be okay, we need for them to not be okay. We just want them to feel the pain too.