- You’ve got to end doing it with him/her. It’s really difficult to still be intimate with someone you’re dragging through a divorce because it makes the process super confusing. Even trying to be kind or peaceful or ugh, conscious, makes it tough. When we love we want intimacy, and divorce is the furthest thing from intimacy one can get. So that moment when you want to reach out and plant one on her or the moment of weakness when you think, ‘Oh why not, just a quickie,’ starts to feel really awkward and unkind and dirty once you find yourself back in mediation, or worse yet, the courtroom.
- The stuff. Like really, are you going to fight over the who gets the TV or the antique clock or the piece of art you bought on your honeymoon…crap really? Stuff you have to pay someone to cart away and pay someone else to dust and plead with someone new to love but they won’t because it was never theirs to begin with. It’s simply not worth it. Let the stuff go. It reeks of bad memories even if it full of good memories and brings with it the energy of unhappiness. Let your ex deal with this stuff.
- Who you were. Yep, that image you have of yourself: the self-righteous, holier-than-thou impression you have of your victimhood. Poor you… you who stayed in unhappiness, you who did your damnedest to make it work, you who paid for everything, you who did everything, you who gave birth and cooked and cleaned, you who never got to see the kids. Holding onto the image we have of ourselves keeps us stuck in the past, unable to imagine a future and keeps us untethered to the reality of the situation. That person you were in a relationship with the person you’re divorcing doesn’t get to go into your future with you whether you want it to or not. It can’t.
- Let go of the shared future. It’s not shared anymore. Your future is different than your past. It’s yours. You get a chance to remake it, redefine it, grab hold onto what you find meaningful and create a separate, purpose driven future for yourself. This is what I call a re-do halfway through—halfway is how I felt when I divorced in my forties. Halfway meant I had a chance to do it all differently—on my terms, with my rules and my values, and my new found boundaries. I grew a spine and used it… that future once dreamt of stays in the shoe box in the closet behind a closed door.
- The way you view change. Meaning, if you’re afraid of change (like most reptilian animal brains we have) you’re going to have to seriously get over it. The month everything inside my skin bag completely changed, and I realized there wasn’t a single cell in my body that had had sex with my ex was the beginning of a brand new life for me. We change. We’re allowed to change and no one, including our interior thoughts and feelings and fears, can stop the changes that divorce will thrust upon us. The other way to look at this is, “life happens.” It does, and while going through a divorce it’s best to look at each morning as a chance to do it better, feel better, believe better, and create a better future.
New York, NY