It’s like a punch in the gut. A punch in the gut EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. For the most part, that’s what it’s like when your ex moves on. It can be indescribably painful to see her smiling face as she wraps her arms around another man.
You know that you should be happy for her and tell the kids how wonderful it is that Mommy has found someone that makes her so happy. Yipee!
You also know that what you really want to do is wallow in your anger, jealousy and/or resentment.
But what should you do?
Acknowledge That Your Ex Has Moved On
You aren’t the only one hurting at this stage.
Your ex moving on is hard on everybody involved – including her. As you try to come to terms with her new relationship, she may be struggling to figure out how to keep everybody happy.
- She needs to be strong for the kids,
- She needs to navigate a brand new relationship, and
- There’s a strong chance she’s worried about how you’re taking this new development
Your children are the other player likely to be hurt or confused, lest you forget. If you have kids with your ex, you need to work insanely hard to put on a happy face. I’m not suggesting you tell them that everything is fine and life is all sunshine and puppies. But you can’t let them see how much this new relationship is affecting you. Be strong, if only for the kids’ sake.
So, now that we have established that the ex moving on is not entirely about you, let’s take a look at what you can do to make it through this process with your dignity intact.
You Split Up for a Reason
Consider this – you split up for a reason right? So why does it matter that shehas found someone else?
Maybe it was a mutual decision to divorce. Maybe you left her. Maybe she left you. Whatever the case, there is a reason that you are not together.
If it was a mutual split or if you left her, there must have been a reason. You don’t love her anymore. You may not even like her anymore.
So why is it killing you that she has someone else now? After all, you didn’t want her anymore.
When your ex moves on, it’s not entirely about you.
I know, I know, there’s the whole “Just because I don’t want her doesn’t mean I want anybody else to have her,” but please tell me that you can hear how crazy that sounds.
Maybe you’re in the third group, though. Maybe she left you. This is probably the most difficult group to be in when it comes to your ex moving on.
There isn’t much wisdom I can offer here but I just have one question for you: Do you really want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you?
I think if you’re really honest with yourself, you’ll say no. You deserve someone who wants you – someone who laughs at your jokes, someone who enjoys your company, someone who doesn’t find your most annoying habits all that annoying. You deserve a woman who loves you, so let the one who didn’t move on to the next guy.
Still not convinced? Let me ask you one more question.
Do You Really Want Her Life?
This is an extremely valuable question to ask yourself any time you feel the Jealously Monster approaching.
Do you really want your ex’s life? Or in this case, do you really want to be your former wife’s new partner?
Really think about it.
If you had their life would you be happy? You’d be going back to living with her. Remember all the little things about her that drove you crazy and caused you to grow apart? Those things would all still be there.
Since the split, you may have been looking back on your relationship through rose-colored lenses but your time together was far from perfect. If it had been that great, you’d still be together.
I promise that if you really think about it, if you consider what you want from life, what the ex wants from life, and think honestly about your relationship you’ll see that actually you don’t want her new life.
You may well want a relationship, just not with her9. After all, if she has moved on maybe you should too.
A word of warning: You should not be moving on simply to prove to her that she is replaceable. This new adventure is for you and you alone. Only start this process if you are genuinely invested in self-development and exploring new relationships.
How to Move On (The Right Way!)
Moving on is not a matter of getting yourself down to the corner bar and buying a drink for the pretty girl across the room. If you do this without any prior self-reflection, you are most likely going to end up right back where you started. Alone.
If you don’t want to end up with another failed relationship behind you there are a couple of things you need to take the time to understand. From experience, I can tell you that these are easier to figure out if you are not in a relationship of any kind.
What do you want?
This is the first thing you need to figure out. I’m sorry to say that nobody can do this work for you. You alone are the leading authority on what you want out of life.
Do you want more children? Are you willing to date a woman with children? Do you want to re-marry? Do you want to live with a woman again or keep separate houses? What are your career goals? Do you want to travel?
Who is the real you?
The answer to this question tends to come out as your deciding what you want.
So often in relationships, we begin to define ourselves by our partners. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, but it’s important to understand that before there was a we, there was just you.
So who are you? What do you want? What are you passionate about? What is your dream?
If you want your next romantic relationship to be successful, you need to understand your relationship with yourself first. Once you know who you are and what you want you will find that your relationships are more successful in every respect.
So What do You do When the Ex Moves On?
Fake It ‘Till You Make It
The first thing you do is smile.
Every time you see them together or your children ask you about the new relationship, just smile. As cheesy as it sounds, if you do it often enough you may not grow to be happy for them exactly but you’ll certainly stop feeling the jealous sting.
Accept that this new reality is hard for everybody and acknowledge that realistically, you don’t even want her new life.
That’s the next step.
Finally, find out who you are.
Treat this as an amazing opportunity to experiment and try on different versions of yourself until you find the one that rings true.
What makes you tick? What do you want to do? What do you want from a relationship? Do you have any deal breakers?
Once you find the answers to these questions you drastically reduce your chances of another divorce. When you know what you want from life, and what you’re willing to sacrifice, you can find the woman who’s own desires fit nicely with yours.
If you take the time to get to know yourself, you’ll find that a lot of women want to get to know you too.
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