How Do You Move On From a Divorce If You Still Love Your Ex?

Love & Learn 31

We've all been through that kind of breakup or divorce.

Y'know, the one that leaves us weak in the knees, gasping for air, and wondering how it all went so wrong. The one that leaves our hearts breaking, wondering how we are going to get through the next five minutes, let alone next five years.

Yeah. That breakup. The one where you are beyond crushed because you are still very much in love with your soon-to-be ex -- and you don't want the relationship to end.

So if that's how you feel, is it wise to stay friends? How do you move on? How do you keep those romantic feelings at bay?

As most of you know, I'm in the middle of a divorce. It's amicable, which doesn't mean that we're the very best of friends, just that we don't need a mediator for every phone call and a bodyguard for every interaction. We have kids together, so we remain civil.

And I won't lie: There have been times I've laid on the floor in my new apartment weeping; I missed my husband, I missed my old life, and I was having a challenging time adjusting to a life alone. I'm sure there will always be those times.

But I know we're better off in the end as friendly exes, no matter how much it hurts. We're not the same people we used to be, we're not good for each other, and that, in turn, affects our children. Like it or not (mostly not), it's what's best for them.

Every now and then, though, I feel those familiar feelings for him slip back. My mind wanders and I wonder if maybe, just maybe, we could work things out. Maybe.

Then I remember all the reasons we weren't a good pair and focus on those for awhile. I certainly don't hate him, and I'm very sad that we're getting a divorce, but we can't be together and be a good team. It's simply not in the cards for us.

My advice to anyone going through a gut-wrenching breakup or divorce who's still in love with his or her partner is to establish some proper boundaries. Remember what made you a bad couple and allow that to further your resolve.

And if you decide that you can't see your ex without wanting to fall into his or her arms, it's probably wise to remain as far away from that mess as possible.

Your heart is special, and needs to be protected. Never allow someone who has been callous or cruel to it hold it in their hands again. You deserve better. Period.

Are you friends with your exes?


Image via jinterwas/Flickr

breakups, divorce, exes


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Karma... KarmaGrant

At first we were on friendly terms but that didn't last. We simply have zero contact unless there's a special function, like a child's graduation to attend. Our kids are late teens/early 20s, the age that contact between he and I is no longer needed and hasn't been needed for quite a while. When in the special function situations we are cordial, sometimes appearing friendly but at the core we really can't stand each other. We've been apart 17 yrs and really, don't "know" each other anymore which is fine by both of us.

nonmember avatar mommyof3

I needed to read spouse of 9years and I split a month ago. Today was our sons 9th birthday and I had to see him and it hurt so bad. We easily slipped into old routines and chatted so I sit here typing this I am soo overwhelmed with sadness that our marriage has ended and I lost my best friend. I hadnt cried all week..and today is just tough.

Coles... Coles_mom

Aunt Becky, may I ask what is causing the divorce? I doubt you ever answer someone directly, so I'm not expecting a reply, but I'm just curious if you're still in love with him why you can't give it another shot. If its because HE'S decided it won't happen, then I understand. That's what is causing me to be in a similar situation. My husband wants a divorce. I don't. I'm willing to fight for out marriage, but it does take two. It's heartbreaking. :(

Vegeta Vegeta

I was friends with my ex but they haven't responded to my occasional calls/texts/facebook posts in almost 2 months (but they do post new things on their wall so they're ok, not dead or something) we used to text all the time but I have a feeling their new love interest won't let them contact me. Which sucks, cause that's paranoid and controlling, we're just friends now that's all. I hate when partners don't let the other person talk to certain people, that just shows how much they don't trust their partner.

Karma... KarmaGrant

@Coles_mom - If AB doesn't answer here, you can always find the answer at her blog 

Karma... KarmaGrant

@Vegata - the problem should be that your ex is letting someone control them. People are only controlled when they let themselves be. Us letting ourselves think anything else simply enables us to be in denial and not blame them for lack of contact etc. But hey, it could be not that the new person is controlling them but that they've "moved on" and don't really care to be bothered anymore. That's what happened with my last ex. They only keep in contact with those that they have a need for.

mommy... mommyof5cutties

Sometimes remembering the bad is better for moving on. Its rough to do that but that's what I have to do. He was an over all good guy with very very very very and I emphasize very bad habits that caused a lot of grief on the relationship.

mommy... mommyof5cutties

@ mommy of 3.. be strong. Its hard even after all this time I cry trying to think on how things could be and all the good times we had.. I'm in the stage where I still don't find the little querks annoying as many couples do when they break it off.. I'm always still fascinated with him and deeply in love but sadly his habits outweigh the all the good.

nonmember avatar mommyof3

@MOMMYOF5CUTIES..Thanks for the encouraging words. It is tough but I am in a similar situation..great great guy awesome dad but some very bad habits that make it impossible to be in a committed relationship any longer. I know I will be fine eventually..glad to know I am not alone.

mommy... mommyof5cutties

Just remember no matter what we are mothers first and we must protect our little ones and hold up the world usually by ourselves.. sometimes even women in "wonderful marriages" feel they are alone. That's why we have to stay strong and support each other. I don't know you and you don't know me but it doesn't matter... be strong and live happy.

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