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When To Let Go

Lately it seems that I have seen a lot of clients that are returning with issues many years after their marriage has ended.  One of the reasons for this it appears, is that one party unfortunately has been unable to let go and move on.

I am sure at the time they married they thought it would last forever.  Things were good, they were so happy, what could go wrong?  And then something did.  Whatever it was one or both of the parties had changed and it was time to move on, things were not going to get any better and the writing was on the wall, for one of them.

Usually one person wants the divorce more than the other.  During the process one party may drag things out a little longer, argue about the small things a little more, and generally make things more difficult in order to hold on as long as possible.  So it’s no wonder after that Decree is finally signed that we see things continue to pop up such that the parties need to be in contact once again.  In one particular case I had a wife that was so bitter and angry about the divorce she absolutely refused to let go.  She dragged out the actual divorce for years and then almost as soon as it was final she started filing pleadings with the court asking for this and that.  It mostly had to do with the kids and the marital home she refused to sell.  She was mainly angry because the husband had not only moved on but he started a new family with a new wife, that did not sit well with her. She made his life a living hell and in turn the children with whom she dragged right along with her.  She went through just about every attorney she could find in the State and then had to find an attorney in another State that was licensed to practice here.

That was an extreme case but not too far off from others I have seen.  Hanging on to a relationship that no longer exists is exhausting, fruitless and downright humiliating.  Why do that to yourself?  What do you hope to gain?  Do you think the other person will magically see the light and say “wait! I made a mistake, I do love you and want to be with you again.  What was I thinking!?”  If anything it will be more like “What the hell was I thinking?! How could I have ever loved this person?” And why the hell did I marry them?

I read a study once that basically said that as humans we were never meant to be monogamous.  That the whole idea of “til death do us part” was created when death occurred at an early age, like somewhere around 40.  Now we are living twice that long – who can be with the same person for all that time? I think anybody that can is simply amazing.  I would love that, but in general it just doesn’t happen.  So when the time comes make yourself a list, the good and the bad about the other person and the marriage.  I can almost guarantee the bad will outweigh the good.  You will probably look at that list and say “Thank God I don’t have to deal with that anymore.”  If you put things into perspective, would you really want to be with this person for the next 40 years or would you like the chance to rediscover yourself and maybe a new relationship along the way.  So many good things can come to you if you just turn around and look towards the future instead of longingly towards the past.  You spend so much time romanticizing all of the good things you forget about what brought you to this point in the first place.

Being alone is hard, especially as a single parent.  It’s lonely and it’s scary sometimes.  Even if you don’t find a new partner the kids are only young for so long. Take advantage of that time, savor every moment and put all of your energy into bonding with your kids and re-imagining yourself instead of fighting your ex.  Love yourself, love your life, love your future – what choice do you have?

One comment on “When To Let Go

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