Have you ever looked at your spouse and thought about how your feelings for them have changed? Or how about on your morning run, you think about how your relationship has changed and how the hell did you get here? You are changing. Your relationship is changing. Just because something was right for you in the past doesn’t mean it still is.
It happens to you slowly as you grow. Over time, you discover more about who you are, your needs that may not have been met, and what you want out of life. That’s when you realize there are deliberate changes you need to make to keep up with the changes happening around you and within you.
Why do we have so much trouble learning how to let go of someone even if we are going through a divorce? We like to hold on to things, situations, and especially people because they fulfill our need for certainty or as I say, “the known.” Certainty is one of the Six Human Needs that drive every decision we make. Letting go and moving on from a relationship often entails a large amount of uncertainty. Even if your relationship has reached its conclusion or one or both of you are unhappy, there is still an amount of certainty there that can make it hard to know when to let go of a relationship.
We may also use past experiences to base our decisions. Letting go of your spouse, especially if you still love them and didn’t want a divorce, is much harder to do. However, with time and particular practices, it can be done even if you’re struggling. It’s one of the most challenging things you’ll ever have to do. Once you overcome that fear, you’ll feel free and relieved. You’ll know that you have the inner strength to conquer anything. And you can begin to forge your path to happiness and peace.
“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
— Ann Landers
Ways to Let Go and Move On
Holding on is like believing that there’s only a past; letting go and moving on is knowing in your heart that there’s a silver lining ahead. Let’s look at ways to truly let go of someone you love(d).
- Recognizing it may be time. Accepting when it’s time to go, may be the most difficult part of this process. Oftentimes, it’s necessary to move forward in the life you deserve. Moving on may become easier when you realize your future happiness depends on making the necessary changes involved in letting go.
- Accept the truth and be thankful. To let go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and helped you learn and grow. It’s also the acceptance of everything you have, everything you once had, and the possibilities that lie ahead. It’s all about finding the strength to embrace life’s changes, trust your intuition, learn as you go, realize that every experience has value, and continue taking positive steps forward.
- Distance yourself for a while. Sometimes you need to take several steps back to gain clarity on a situation. The best way to do this is to simply take a break or as I refer to it a “pause.” Why? So, you can return to where you started and see things with more clarity. With this, comes confidence that you are doing your best to be objective and not reactive to emotional triggers.
- Rewriting your story. Believing the stories, you tell yourself to justify your decisions will only limit your ability to change your life. If you use your past experiences to justify your current circumstances, you will most likely stay stuck with the limiting beliefs you tell yourself. Instead, use these experiences as empowerment to make the necessary changes and not continue to repeat history. You don’t have to live in the past unless you choose to.
- Stop blaming & focus on what you can change. It’s very easy to use blame when you’re attempting to let go of someone. It’s human nature to point the finger at someone else, therefore, you don’t feel it’s your fault you’re in this situation. Letting go of the past and focusing on what YOU can change, is how people can let go of the person they loved. If you cannot change something, then change how you think about it. Rather than focusing your time and energy on the things beyond your control, use this experience as a tool to learn from this and make the necessary changes so you grow and go on to a healthy relationship in the future.
- Control & embrace your emotions. When a marriage ends it does not have to be filled with anger and chaos even if you didn’t initiate the divorce. Over time, if emotions such as anger do not pass, recognizing this is unhealthy will prevent you from truly moving on to your next chapter. This may require practicing forgiveness.
Continuing to hold on only keeps you stuck and hurts your emotional and physical state. Remember that refusing to let go will not bring someone you care about back and going your separate ways does not have to be an experience filled with anger or judgment. When you recognize that the person is preventing you from growing or achieving your dreams, you can forgive them and forgive yourself for any pain the separation may cause and wish them the best for the future. Remind yourself that to create space for a new, healthy relationship, you must learn how to let go of the old one. Practicing forgiveness is a chance to grow.
The key to letting go of someone you love is admitting what has happened, accepting that you can’t change It, and embracing moving on. When this happens, opportunities will present themselves.
Embrace living in the present and understand that the unknown can be a silver lining if you look at it from the right perspective.
The Divorce Coach For Men