1. People & Relationships

Tips to Help You Process Negative Emotions When Your Ex-Spouse Starts Dating

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Whether the divorce was your idea or your spouse’s, most people find themselves experiencing negative emotions when their ex-spouse starts dating again. Does this mean you still love them? Are these feelings normal? These are common questions you may ask yourself when your ex-spouse starts dating again. Below are tips that will help you process those negative emotions.

  1. These feelings are perfectly normal. You spent a large part of your life with this person, and during the years you were together, dating and married, you came to think of that person as YOUR significant other. You two were a couple, and to see your spouse with someone else will trigger feelings in you that may be surprising. It does not mean you are still in love but rather you are witnessing the evidence that your spouse now has someone else in the place you used to fill. Though you may not understand the feelings you are having, they are a natural part of moving on after a divorce.
  2. Expect to feel jealousy. Most people are puzzled as to why they are jealous of someone they didn’t want in their life any longer. It’s a common reaction. This was YOUR husband or YOUR wife, you expected fidelity, and now it may feel like cheating to see them with someone else. Remember what you think and what you feel can sometimes be at odds, but it’s perfectly normal to feel some jealousy and even look for things to criticize in the your ex’s new partner.
  3. Remember the reasons you divorced. Divorce is not entered into lightly, and you probably have legitimate reasons for the divorce. Keeping this in mind will help you to accept the changes that have come as a result.
  4. Move forward in your life. I’m sure you’ve heard that saying, “The best revenge is living well.” Well, it’s true! If you are feeling jealous, the last thing you want is for your ex to know. Instead of focusing on what he/she is doing, focus on living the best life you can and before you know it, you won’t be concerned with whether or not your ex is dating.
  5. No two relationships are the same. They involve different people. The relationship that you had with your ex will never be reproduced with anyone else. Each relationship between two people is different, and what you had together during your marriage will never be the same with someone else. The special things you had together were unique to the two of you. So, when you feel jealousy, remember that no one can really take the same place in your ex’s life that you had. So, keep in mind how unique you are and that you also will have someone new to share your life with.
  6. Remember that your ex deserves to be happy. No matter how much conflict you lived through during the divorce process, if you search your heart, you really don’t want your ex to not move forward. You also don’t want to stay stuck yourself. You really don’t want him/her to be miserable. Letting go is a process, and it may take you some time and effort to get there.

Seeing your ex-spouse with someone else can be a shocking experience, but ultimately you will come to accept it, just as your ex will have to adjust to seeing new people in your life. Concentrate on the good memories you had and the good times to come.

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