People going through the divorce process often say: I still love her, even after everything she has done. I still love him and I don’t want him to go. These are often from the person RESISTING the divorce. I also hear “I still love him (or her) but I’m not IN love with him.” This is often from the person INITIATING the divorce.
People are often very confused by their feelings when it comes to love, and feelings regarding their ex. (or soon to be ex). There is no one answer as to what is happening but sometimes asking the right questions can yield some powerful answers. Let’s explore that and see if we can’t ask some of these questions to start the process your thoughts and feelings during this transition.
People often question why they still in love their STBX (Soon To Be Ex) and are often in love with the person they married, not the person they have become. People change. Miscommunication builds up over the years. Trust decreases. People become more disconnected in un-heathy relationships. What we hope for is not always what happens.
Are you in love with the person that you hoped they would be?
Or in love with the person that you married?
Jason Mraz sings in one of his songs, “It takes no time to fall in love but it takes years to know what love is.” Many people decided when they got married, “I’m going to trust this person with my heart. I’m going to spend the rest of my life with this person. I feel safe with them. I want to have children with this person.” And then life happens. 5 years goes by, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30. And the partnership changed. What you wanted is not what you have. And that is hard to reconcile when you are not married anymore.
People want to stay married, not because it is a healthy relationship, but for various reasons: common goals, things to aspire for, an image of how you want the future to be, or because they don’t want to feel like a failure. For me it was to have a 50th wedding anniversary. For some it is they love the ideal of marriage or the image of the partner they first married. Loyalty, especially to a partner, matters regardless of what the other person has done; whether it is an internal commitment or their religion that drives them. These are some divorce test questions to ask yourself:
Is it important to still love a person because of something in the future?
Are you still in love with the person that your partner still is?
Are you still in love because you are afraid to let go? A possible future without this person might bring up some difficult thoughts and feelings. Have you thought to yourself, “I’m afraid to be alone”?
What about this question, “Do I even know how to date?”. For a lot of people the thought that comes up is not even about finding a new relationship, it is a basic need; or maybe something like: “I’ve never had to manage money!” All of these questions are due to things in a future that we don’t want to face. Uncertainty can be terrifying.
These questions, and uncertainty, are challenging. Helping you process and understand what is happening inside you is yet another challenge in a difficult time. It is important to talk to someone. Having a group of people that are experiencing what you are experiencing and that can help you talk through these questions can be a very powerful experience. This is what Rebuilders International does. We have coaches that you can help you find the answers and help you process everything that comes up. One hour with our coaches will give you the tools months of therapy may not.
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