The sadness of loving someone who doesn’t love you anymore hurts like nothing else. It’s a deep aching pain that hits you squarely in the heart. It’s what often happens with divorce.
You know what I mean. The sadness is real and deep when your feelings say I still love him. Having someone tell you to get over it and move on doesn’t help.
Yet, you reach a point when you realize that staying stuck in one-sided love becomes a form of self-abuse. The challenge is figuring out how to get past the pain of loving someone who no longer loves you back.
Four Things to Help You Move On
- Accept your feelings. To hurt when you’ve lost love is totally human. It’s natural to feel that way and you need to give yourself time to process that pain even though it hurts. Cry when you need to cry. If possible, find a support group, counselor, or a friend who is willing to listen without judgement.
- Choose an awakening. In my own divorce, I reached a point where I had cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. I had prayed and pleaded and I was emotionally spent. At that point, I realized I had to choose to let go. I also had to realize that it would probably take time and intent to stop loving someone I previously pledged to love for a life-time. Coming to accept the reality of my love not being returned was an awakening I really needed.
- Change what you think. If you’re still loving someone who doesn’t love you back, I can pretty well assure you that changing your thinking will help. For example, if you keep repeating to yourself, “I still love him” (or her) or I’ll never be happy without him (or her)” then that thought will become your reality. It’s self-sabotaging because it feeds your sadness. Instead when “I still love him” (or her) thoughts surface, tell yourself, “Loving someone who doesn’t love me back is just going to prolong my pain. I’m going to switch my focus to finding joy in my new life.”
- Change what you do. Longing for someone who has removed themselves from your life is a deadend.
Here are a few steps you can take to help you cut the ties…
- Stop cyber spying. Checking your ex’s social media accounts doesn’t help you let go. Unfriend them and tell your friends and family you don’t want them snooping on your behalf.
- Don’t use your kids as spies. Quizzing your kids about their other parent is not only bad for you, it is hard on your children.
- Spend your time discovering yourself. Shift your focus to your own interests and growth rather than longing for how things might have been. It hurts to have lost dreams and traditions but dwelling on those losses keeps you bound up in sadness.
- Understand that moving on is about you. Moving on isn’t necessarily about finding a new person to love. In fact, moving on is most successful when you spend enough time healing. Plus, by focusing on your own healing first, you can minimize the amount of baggage you take into a new relationship.
- Talk with God. Seek to understand what he wants you to learn and what he wants you to do. He can take even the worst situations and help you find ways to grow.
As hard as it may seem, with time and intent you can shift the love you feel now toward your ex to a more neutral feeling. Divorce is hard enough without living in the loss forever. Choose to let go of sadness and find a better life.
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31 NIV
Note: Divorce is painful and this blog intends to help those whose lives are touched by the reality of its unsettling effects. If marriage restoration is possible, please seek professional counseling.