Some will say that you can never completely get over your ex-wife or husband. Do I agree? Partially. I believe it’s better to say that you can never forget. But get past them? Yes. Learn to thrive? Absolutely. It’s not as hard as it seems, even though you may be currently feeling utterly cheated in life.
At the time of my separation, I had a lot to be angry about. The prior year I sold a beautiful lake house with a private dock in order to move closer to my ex’s new job. We had great neighbors in a wonderful community on a gorgeous lake. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but it was mine. It was a big sacrifice, but I let my ex convince me that it was necessary for her in order to pursue her career. So we sold the lake house and bought a new house together that was in a convenient location for her. She was now close to work, but I had to drive much further.
To be honest, I experienced a long time of feeling betrayed. Taken for a ride. I was extremely angry. Most of all, I was shocked that the person I had spent almost fourteen years with could just walk away after all the new changes and I had sacrificed something so important to me. Life was suddenly a little cruel. Confusing. Unfair.
Sound familiar? I gave up something good and got burned in return, right?
Almost a year later, I can honestly say no. The truth is, in the last year I’ve learned to be brutally honest with myself. I’ve discovered life is a sea of change that gives us new opportunity when we embrace it, even if it initially seems more difficult.
So take your new situation and embrace it by beginning to the process of being brutally honest with yourself.
The truth is, when someone isn’t getting enough fulfillment from you anymore and decides to leave, it’s not worth holding onto. You’re only going to waste more time of your life working hard for something that just isn’t there. In the end, it will be more draining on you then simply walking away and choosing not to look back. The good news is, your ex doesn’t have to have control over you anymore. You just have to incorporate three basic mindsets that are applicable to many aspects of life. These mindsets are:
- Being open to new opportunity
Really. That’s it! Those three mindsets are your ticket to freedom and learning to thrive again, no matter how bad your situation is in your own eyes. It’ll take a little time to realize each one, but let’s have a look at each mindset in the order that you can incorporate them.
The first mindset you need to develop is acceptance. Accept the fact that it’s over. Get up every morning from the time you read this blog post and repeat this mantra:
Accept that he or she has moved on. The only other alternative is non-acceptance, which is simply resistance. Resistance only leads to more pain. Maybe you’ve had enough of that already? Most likely, your ex isn’t even giving you a second thought. So why give them the first anymore?
When we truly accept the reality of a situation, we open up to the possibility of consciously healing. In fact, the attitude of acceptance begins the process of transforming negative emotions into neutral ones. That is something we can all work with. I like to see it as the foundation for building more positive emotions later.
In the first few months of my separation, I had a friend that could see my depression, anger, and resentment. He tried to teach me the attitude of acceptance. I refused to see his logic. My mind and emotions kept bringing me back to the point of resisting. It wasn’t because I couldn’t accept my situation. I simply refused. I wasn’t ready to let go.
Sometimes we’re stubborn and want to force situations. But the universe doesn’t work that way when you’re dealing with another person’s desires. Accept that. From the moment you do, you’ll stop resisting and a sense of balance can come back into your life.
Trust me. Once you have truly accepted the reality of your and your ex’s relationship, new opportunity will take care of itself in due time. So relax. Accept what is. And then move on to the next mindset below:
Forgiveness is even more powerful than acceptance. There’s a good reason why it’s in every major scripture and thoughts of the gurus throughout history. Why is it so powerful?
Forgiveness is for the benefit of the forgiver, not the person you are forgiving. In other words, forgiving has nothing to with them. It’s about you. And it’s for your benefit. When you truly forgive your spouse, you are letting go of all the negativity. Remember, I didn’t say forget. I will never forget what I had to go through (and I’m all the wiser for it), but forgiving my ex after accepting she had moved on began to transform my emotional state into something truly positive. I went from being neutral about the situation to incorporating something that allowed positivity to begin to flow.
Forgiveness is a deeply healing emotion. No longer will you have to waste so much energy, time, and emotion playing the blame game. All of the attachment to the situation and the person begins to fade away.
In time, I was even able to see that she lost out on something good (me). Now, I was free to give myself to someone who deserved it. And then I actually felt a little sorry for her! Strange how that works! 🙂
How I Forgave
Forgiving my ex was a lot harder initially that incorporating the mindset of acceptance. It’s a little more personal. It an unnatural feeling; something akin to our human nature trumping our animal nature. It’s more of a higher emotion, so to speak. Accepting that my ex no longer wanted me after fourteen years was hard, but forgiving her for the pain and suffering that I endured? I’ll admit…it took an extra leap of emotional maturity and patience. But although it was harder initially, the rewards were far greater than anything I could have expected. So how did I do it?
- First, I realized forgiveness was about me and will only improve my situation.
- Next, I learned to play a mental game of sorts with myself.
Whenever a negative thought would pop into my head about what had happened with our situation, and I became consciously aware of it, I would immediately picture my ex enjoying life in her newfound situation. I imagined her happy. I imagined her being where she was supposed to be. It seems counterintuitive at first, but in time I noticed it was an effective way to take a potentially negative emotion and turn them into something positive.
Why did I initially decide to do something so counterintuitive emotionally?
It really goes back to reason number one; I also know that what you put out into the universe comes back to you. The faster you can forgive, the faster the universe can work in your favor. A very wise person once said something akin to the fact that whatever judgment you give to a person, the same amount of judgment will come back to you. It works the same way with forgiveness.
When your judgment is clouded by non-acceptance and unforgiveness, you can’t see the next opportunity, whether that opportunity involves realizing the next great relationship or another area of your life.
Realizing New Opportunity
When you have successfully incorporated the first two mindsets with some consistency, you’re ready to realize new opportunity. Remember, it doesn’t really matter whether your ex deserves your acceptance or forgiveness. You deserve it. If your spouse has expressed a firm desire to move on, don’t see it as their new journey. See it as the start of yours.
I believe that life is always presenting us with new opportunity, but oftentimes we can’t see it because we just get too hung up in the past by refusing to let go.
The point is, now that your focus has shifted from the past to the present, you can notice what’s going on around you with fresh awareness. And when you see the new opportunity that’s all around you, you’re more likely to capitalize on it.
When I had truly developed the mindset of acceptance and forgiveness, not only was I able to jump into a much more satisfying relationship then anything I ever had with the ex, but I was able to do positive things like starting this blog and beginning a new business venture with some friends. Only the future will tell how it all turns out, but I’m having fun. 🙂
Losing the lake house with my own private dock is no longer a concern to me. Sure, it’d still be nice to have, but then I wouldn’t be on the path I am now. Moving opened up the door for the ex and I to see we just weren’t compatible and we’re both better off for it. Ultimately I can honestly say that life is full of excitement again. So in a way, I can now look back and thank her for what she did! Ultimately, it just made me free to bring more happiness into my life.
Do I still have to deal with negative side effects from the split? Depends on how you see it. Sure, my financial situation changed quite a bit. I don’t get to see the kids as much. These situations can be hard, but even with both of them I have learned to see a silver lining. I’ve mentioned in former blog posts that as far as the kids go, we’ve developed a much stronger bond. And while I’ve lost her income and some of the freedoms that come along with that, I’ve gained so much more because now I can spend money on only the things that I deem necessary. You get the point.
If you’ve suddenly found yourself struggling getting past the ex and you found this blog post giving you hope, give the three mindsets mentioned above a try and then don’t forget to come back and provide a comment on how they worked for you. I’d love to hear.