How to Detach from Your Spouse After Divorce

man and woman divorced image by Ivonne Wierink from

The divorce process is difficult enough, but detaching from your spouse after it's over can be quite an adjustment. To make a trying situation as easy as possible, it is best to think about your present and future instead of the past. Even if distancing yourself is the last thing you want, it could be one of the best things you ever do.

Focus on yourself. In a marriage, many seem to focus the majority of their free time on their spouse and only a fraction on themselves. Take this time to concentrate on yourself. Get a massage and a pedicure, buy some new outfits or take a vacation. Don't look at it as if you're missing something from your life; look at it as an opportunity to gain more.

Take your time. The more you push yourself to quickly detach from your spouse, the more you'll create problems by trying to do too much before you're ready. Take things day-by-day.

Train yourself to refer to the person by a different title. Instead of ex-husband or ex-wife, just say ex. The last part may be painful to say and could cause you to backtrack in your progress. Another option is to refer to him or her only by first name. It may also help to avoid bringing up your ex at all.

Avoid unnecessary encounters. Necessary encounters would include anything involving the kids or meetings with lawyers. Any unnecessary encounters involve just meeting up to talk. If possible, depending on the circumstances, you may also want to consider not being there when he or she picks up personal belongings from the home.

Skip the negative thoughts. Coming down on yourself isn't going to help you boost your positivity. Insulting your ex might feel good temporarily, but may not make you feel great past that point. Speaking negatively about your ex also still keeps him or her on your mind more often than necessary. Any negative thoughts just take up room where positive thoughts could be.

Never speak badly of your spouse in front of your children. Don't try to alienate your children from their other parent, no matter how difficult the situation may be.

Ask for help if you need it. Whether it be from family, friends, a therapist or a spiritual advisor, if you feel as though you are having an especially difficult time detaching from your spouse, express your feelings or ask for advice. Make sure the person you choose to speak with is someone you trust who will help lead you down the right path.