From a reader: I need some advice. My ex moved on and it hurts. When he was in denial going through our divorce, we still spoke a lot. He promised that he’d always be there for me– “you’ll see, whether we’re together or not, I’ll be there.” He bought a house a street over from my parents…… Said, “No harm intended, I just thought we all might be back together again.”
The lies continued, divorce became final, still there was hopeful communication and he stayed close to my parents. Now, he is angry and won’t communicate. I feel like such a fool for keeping in contact during the divorce. What does no contact mean from him now? He didn’t want the divorce, thought he could just have his cake and eat it too and we’d be alright….
I guess I’m looking for closure. My ex moved on and it hurts. He won’t admit to me that he is with someone. He told my parents he had a friend. My toxic mom couldn’t wait to tell me. Why won’t he tell me if he’s moved on?
It sounds like there are a lot of mixed emotions going on for you and that’s completely understandable. On the one hand, you really wanted to believe your ex-husband would be a positive part of your life and part of your support team. On the other hand, his lying has led you to not trusting him. You had some hopes and expectations and now those seem to be dashed. Throw in the mix of your parents responses and you’re really struggling.
Let’s break these down a bit. First, it does appear that your ex has moved on in some way. Maybe it’s with another person or maybe not, but either way it doesn’t seem likely that he is going to be a solid source of support in your life. What do you need to do for yourself to start building those support systems in other ways? See a life coach? A therapist? Rely on friends? Maybe a divorce support group? These are just some ideas.
Advice for: My ex moved on and it hurts…
How can you accept that he has moved on and begin the process of starting your own life over? And, what does your new life look like? Is there a passion you have that you’d like to pursue? Maybe you wish to focus on work?
These are hard questions but the more you are able to look at them and begin to answer them, the better you will feel.
Second, what does closure mean to you? Do you need him to tell you that it’s completely done and that he has moved on? If so, why do you need that validation? Can you decide for yourself that it’s done and own that decision? Or do you need to ask your ex for the closure? It can be painful to do so but from what your note said, you wanted this divorce and now you are struggling with realizing that your marriage is over and that your ex has moved on. Of course you are! It’s hard to end a marriage so your mixed feelings are completely normal.
Third, why would you consider yourself a fool for staying in contact with your ex-husband? It’s actually a mature and reasonable desire to want to stay amicable and somewhat connected. Many divorced couples are able to do so and have pleasant friendships throughout their lives. You are no fool but rather a kind person who wanted to stay friendly with her ex-husband. There is never shame in doing the right thing and I hope you can see that in yourself.
Finally, what do you need to do to build your life and your own happiness? Start thinking about what you want for your future. What people do you want in your life? What activities? How can you set some limits with the toxic people in your life? It’s time to own your own happiness with or without your ex-husband. Don’t forget–you are in control of what that looks like.
I’m sending you best wishes to find the joy and happiness that you deserve.
Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D., CPC is a professional certified life and executive coach, psychologist, and professional speaker. She helps people tackle that “One day I’ll do this and then I’ll be happy” goal, today. You can reach Lisa at Lisa@lisakaplin.com or lisakaplin.com
Wow good article. As I go through my own divorce after 16 years of marriage, I’m just beginning to think about moving on, which has only come after completely bottoming out. I get a lot of encouragement from hearing about others being able to thrive after such a difficult time. Thanks for all the posts and good info.