By Fran Sherman
“OMG! I just saw my ex on a date.”
You didn’t think this day would come, at not so soon. Your divorce became final six months ago. After being married for 15 years, you both decided it would no longer work. You tried therapy and made every effort to repair the marriage, but you just couldn’t find a way to work things out and at least become friends again.
Now you’re trying to stay friends because of your 14-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son. They clearly need both of their parents in their lives on a daily basis. You’ve decided to co-parent, and so far it’s going really well.
Then the world took a scary turn. You were out to dinner with your girlfriends, and at the other end of the restaurant you spy your ex, and he’s on a date. Out with another woman!
You can’t breathe. You run to the bathroom and begin to cry. As you try to compose yourself, you remind yourself that you’re divorced and it’s OK.
So why does it feel so bad?
The reality hits you: Your marriage now is officially over. The family that you treasure is really different.
If your ex really likes this woman, how is she going to act toward your kids? What if she tries to take over your role? It’s so scary and confusing, and worst of all, you still haven’t gone on a date. You’re single, he’s not and you’re jealous.
I can reassure you that no matter how much it hurts, that hurt will lessen over time. Your feelings are normal. If you’d been the first one to date, you’d probably feel excited and giggly and distracted, and he’d feel jealous.
It’s all part of the grieving process. Divorce is a loss, and when someone begins to move on, it exacerbates the feelings of loss, hurt and anger, even if you wanted the divorce in the first place.
We always grieve for the happy moments we remember, and we seem to forget about the pain. It’s important to remember to move forward and find ways to fill your life. You may not be ready to date, but it’s never too early to begin having fun and feel joy.
No one can take your kids from you. You’re their mom, no matter who else comes into their lives. Remember how special you are, remind yourself daily of your worth. Say daily affirmations and gratitudes and flood your brain with positive thoughts.
Remember that even though he went on a date, it’s probably just his way of forgetting and moving past some of the pain. We all have different ways of coping.
Remember that no one will ever take your place. Be strong and be positive.