After your divorce, you might be thinking that you can begin to move on with the next stage of your life. However, your emotions still might be conflicted, especially in regards to your ex. You might be struggling with the emotional divorce: the process of separating yourself emotionally from your spouse. This can be a hard task to do, but not impossible. To help, here are some tips for when it comes to understanding emotional divorce.

Emotional Divorce: Cutting Spousal Ties

Understand Your Circumstances

Understanding the circumstances of your divorce is a key part of your emotional divorce. For example, if you and your ex have any children, you’ll have to remain in contact and still see each other. This can make it harder to get rid of those emotions. If you understand these circumstances for what they are, however, then it can become an easier process. You and your ex are both individuals now, and your interactions will have to change to reflect that. It can be hard to be more business-like with someone you were intimate with. This difficulty will be worth it for the sake of you and your children’s well-being.

Being the Initiator

With a divorce, usually one spouse brings up the idea to another, taking on the role of the “initiator”. Generally, the initiator has already begun the emotional divorce process. That doesn’t mean they can’t run into their own issues, however. The initiator can feel guilt over being the one to “officially” ending the marriage, even if both spouses are unhappy with how things are. This can lead to the initiator trying to keep emotional connections to their ex because the pain they think they’ve caused them.

Unfortunately, this can create more emotional pain for their ex rather than comfort. Initiators shouldn’t leave their ex hanging onto the idea of reconciliation if it isn’t there. Instead, it’s best for them to be honest with their ex about how they feel and why they left. This is so their ex can begin to process their own emotions and move on.

Being the “Left” Spouse

Additionally, there’s also the spouses who are being left during a divorce. These spouses tend to struggle the most with emotional divorce. Feelings of failure, and worthlessness are quite common even after the legal divorce is over. Even if the divorce is bitter, feelings of spite and trying to push their ex’s buttons can creep up.

To start to let go of these emotions, first one has to be honest with themselves. It helps to self-reflect on why they have these feelings, and where they are at with letting them go. From here, one can then see what they still need to work on letting go of and plan on how too. For emotions that are more challenging to let go of, getting professional help might be the way to go.