Divorce can be one of the most stressful experiences of an adult's life. You will experience grief at the loss of the martial relationship and your shared hopes and goals for the future. You'll also have to leave behind your identity as part of a couple and become accustomed to being single. Many spouses struggle with this transition, and one of the hardest aspects can be letting go of the close relationship you had together, especially if it was a supportive and nurturing one. Couples that end their relationships with a lot of conflict may also have a hard time letting go of resentments and moving towards future goals.
Ensure that all paperwork and divorce agreements have been fulfilled. Your ex-husband will have a hard time moving forward if there are any legal agreements, financial concerns or property issues pending. Couple need to have closure in all of the issues in order to decrease their contact with each other and focus on future goals and plans. If any of these issues are pending try to resolve them as soon as possible.
Limit contact with each other for a significant period of time. While it is a nice idea to believe that you and you ex may eventually become friends, this process takes time and separation. You both need to be able to individuate away from the relationship, and it is hard to do that if you still communicate about your daily lives or emotional issues. If there are children from the marriage you may have to be in contact with each other regarding their needs, but this can be done in a way that limits any personal exchange between the two of you. Limit phones contact, do not stay connected on social networking sites, and give each other time to explore new experiences.
Encourage your ex to seek support from a therapist or support group. Some couples have a habit of turning to each other for support, but after a divorce these dynamics will naturally need to change. If you feel that your ex is having trouble letting go, set limits with him, and encourage him to seek support from outside sources. It is important that he finds help and understanding, and a counselor or group may help fill the void he is experiencing in the wake of the divorce.
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Christy Bowles has 15 years of experience in the field of education, with 10 years working in mental health and wellness. She specializes in the treatment of depression, anxiety and substance abuse, with a focus on alternative treatment modalities. Bowles holds a Master of Education from Harvard University.