The paperwork has been filed, the assets divided, the move out done, and yet you are still struggling to let go of love after a divorce.
It’s the ultimate irony. You have been left, your finances are probably decimated, your family has been torn apart, and yet, you still love your ex. And you don’t like that you do.
There are reasons that it’s so hard to let go of love after a divorce. If you understand what they are, you might find it easier to accept what has happened and move forward in a way that doesn’t involve regret and loss but instead happiness and hope.
5 Reasons Why It’s So Hard To Let Go Of Love After A Divorce
1. Broken vows.
I remember when I asked my husband for a divorce. He said that we had taken vows that he wouldn’t break. I thought that idea ridiculous but the talk of divorce stopped for a while.
5 years later, he asked for a divorce and I was devastated. When he asked, the broken vows weren’t addressed even for a minute. But, in my head, those vows were there, making it hard for me to let go of love for him.
We had stood up in front of 150 of our friends and family and promised to love each other for ever. In sickness and health and until the fat lady sings. And now he was walking away and I was embarrassed. Embarrassed that he would walk away, for another woman, one he paraded out in public with alarming speed.
My mother was also furious at the broken vows. He had promised her that he would always take care of me and he had let her down. She talked on and on about this betrayal which didn’t help me move on.
My husband of 20 years had broken a promise to me, a promise that kept me tied to him for some time after our split, unable to let go of love after a divorce and feeling somewhat broken.
2. Letting go of dreams for the future.
We had been married for 20 years and our kids were headed out to college. We had been talking for years that if we could just make it through these difficult, child-rearing times, we would have a ton of fun. We had always really enjoyed each other before kids and hoped that we could find our way back to each other again.
When he left, 48 hours after our son went off to school, those dreams for the future were immediately dashed. The picture of us traveling together, buying a house in the country, reaping the financial fruits of our years of hard work – all went up in smoke in a single moment.
Letting go of those dreams made it really hard for me to let go of love after a divorce. I no longer had dreams for the future – instead, I had hopelessness and fear because the future was so unclear. What was I going to do, how was I going to build a new family for my kids, what would happen when my alimony stopped? I was scared and I constantly thought that if only he still loved me, my future would be clear again.
3. Letting go of family.
I always loved our little family of four. We were all very close. Every night we had a family dinner that involved lively conversation. We had moved to Tokyo as a family and travelled extensively while we were there. We had a little house by the ocean, our kids were excelling at school, and my husband and I were both very successful in our careers and our finances were secure.
When my husband told me he wanted a divorce, our family was destroyed in one fell swoop. The family that I had worked so hard to ensure that it was healthy, a family that travelled and laughed and supported each other. It was my life’s work and it was destroyed.
I know that it was hard for me to let go of love after a divorce because the image of our connected family was such an important one. I believed that if we could rebuild our relationship, that if we could love each other, our family would be rebuilt and happy again.