Congratulations on your divorce.
There. I said it.
Because if your ex is toxic, divorce is the best thing that could have happened. But while it’s the best thing, it’s certainly not easy. Especially if your ex is manipulative and erratic, what is already a tragic time for you becomes that much more challenging. After all, your emotions were, and are, real.
You may have left the relationship, but you’re still paralyzed. You know it’s over, but you can’t quite let go, even though you know you’re better off without them in your gut. There’s still a lot of confusion about how it all went wrong.
You’re exhausted, disappointed, and quite possibly suffering from chronic pain or other physical ailments. You’re afraid the next relationship will end up the same as the last one. You know something needs to change, but you’re not quite sure what or how to change it. Deep down, you doubt that a loving relationship is available to you. Most of all, you’re lonely. And that loneliness, if you allow it to build up, will push you towards making another decision you regret.
So, how do you move forward?
How to get over your toxic ex.
You need to make two essential decisions if you want healthy and happy relationships in the future.
1. Decide to leave and never go back.
The good news here is that if you are divorcing, you are at least halfway there with this decision. But it’s more than just legalities. It’s choosing to move forward. That means no contact, ever again. This can be challenging if children are involved, so contact should be reduced to a bare minimum. You can find some more advice on that here. The bottom line is that you cannot heal in the same environment that made you sick, so you need to make this choice if you want your life to change.
2. Decide that something within you needs to change and that you need to approach relationships differently from now on.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to know what exactly has to change or how to change it. There’s plenty of help, and this training is a good starting point. It’s about deciding that you’re ready to look inside yourself for answers and no longer seek answers from or look to blame outside sources. Unless you approach relationships differently, patterns are bound to repeat themselves.
They are big decisions to make. Life-changing decisions always are. Making these choices means taking responsibility for your life. And at first, responsibility can be a scary word.
So many people consider themself to be responsible — and they may be when it comes to mundane things like being on time, not spending money that isn’t there, etc. — yet taking a closer look at their life usually reveals they are looking for someone else to fill their needs, be those emotional, physical, financial, etc. Relying on someone else to fill basic needs means you are making them responsible for you. If you can relate to this, then know that you are not alone. Most people walk through life like this, not realizing that they have given away all their power. But as you know, this often ends in heartbreak. Ignorance is a powerful side effect of pain.
So, how can all this become less scary? Consider changing the way you look at responsibility. What the word actually means is an ability to respond. Wouldn’t you agree that this interpretation is rather empowering? I mean, who doesn’t want to be able to respond in the best way possible to any given situation? With great responsibility comes great power!
Ultimately, it’s about choosing YOU. It’s about reconnecting with yourself. It’s about uncovering who you really are and what you want out of life. It’s about forgiving yourself for not choosing you earlier on.
And no, choosing yourself is not selfish. It’s essential. It’s like putting your own oxygen mask on before helping others do the same. If you don’t do it first, you’re no good to anyone else if you’re dead.
Your Ex did not lead you to eternal bliss and the life you always imagined — you are divorcing after all. So, instead of spending your energy worrying about your Ex, what if you were to take this time where you have all the space and freedom and embrace it? If not now, then when? And what will it cost you not to?
Love is not earned. You don’t work for it. You don’t chase it. You don’t plead for it or buy it. Love is an exchange. A relationship is where you give, receive, grow, and make the best of yourself together. And for that to happen, you must first know yourself.
Veronica Weedon is an Integrative Health & Relationship Coach focused on helping people heal on an emotional, mental and physical level after toxic relationships and break the abuse cycle for good. www.revivalhealth.ch