Your Ex Is Dating: 4 Real Emotions You Might Feel
Whether you like it or not, the reality is that after you and your spouse split, they will eventually date again. Moving on with someone new is normal and can be healthy, but it can also bring up a lot of emotions. Dealing with those emotions can be like walking through a minefield. Chances are you are finally feeling good about your new life and finally not thinking much about the pain of ending that relationship so much. You have come to terms with things and then BAM! you are thrust into a whirlwind of emotions that you want to sweep right under the rug, but you don't because, well, you're not doing that anymore. But now, just when you thought you were done dealing with emotions around your ex, he's dating....and happy.
For me there have been 4 emotions that I have had to work through.
Initially, I was overwhelmed with the anxiety of someone new being around my child that I didn't know. I often obsess about how things will affect him and, in this case, I felt very powerless. I don't know this woman and suddenly she is going to be a fixture in my son's life. Will he love her? Will he tell her things he doesn't tell me? Then I realize that I am spinning...Snap out of it woman!!! I started to think about how there were several people in my life that were also in our son's life on a regular basis that his dad didn't know. He can't control every friend of mine that spends time with Ares and I can't control every person that he chooses is allowed to spend time with Ares. I decided that I needed to let go and trust that he loves him as much as I do and wouldn't allow anyone to hurt him or be a negative influence in his life. I also reminded myself that I'm his mom. No one else will ever be his mom and if there is one more person in his life that shows him love, why would I be upset by that.
This one came as a bit of a surprise to me. I found myself angry that someone else was benefiting from all that I had to deal with. This shouldn't have come as much of a surprise for me because I actually predicted it. We had a phone conversation shortly after we separated when I said to him, "What sucks is that someone else is gonna benefit from all of this that I've been through." The truth is that when relationships fail we learn a lot about ourselves and ideally the next person will benefit from those lessons learned. So yes, she will benefit, but it's a two way street because I will also be better from the lessons that I have learned. So when I feel those feelings of anger and see him doing and saying things that I had only dreamed he would have for me, I try to remember that.
For me this was the biggest surprise of all. I've had these random flashbacks to how his mistress made me feel. It was feelings of not being enough. Feelings of "What does she have that I don't". In this case, though, it's different. I don't want to be with him anymore, so why do I feel this way? For me, there's been a tendency to look at the relationship, which I actually know nothing about, other than social media posts, and say, "Wow...apparently she has something that I don't." It's another validation of sorts that I was "not enough". The truth is, pardon my French, THAT'S A BUNCH OF BULLSHIT! The other day when I recognized those thoughts I wanted to slap myself. I know that I was, in fact, enough. I know that no relationship is perfect. I know that, in the beginning of our relationship we were just as happy as they appear. I know that comparing never leads to anything good, but nevertheless, as embarrassing as it is to admit, it did trigger those feelings of insecurity.
It may sound a little cliché, but I always wanted him to be happy. There were times where I about killed myself trying to accomplish that, so it's actually really nice to see him happy without me having to lift a finger. It's nice to know that someone else is dealing with the things that I didn't so much care for dealing with. It's also nice to think that the universe has a greater plan for both of us. I've yet to even consider dating anyone. I want my divorce to be finalized first, but also I just don't want to be in a relationship with anyone, but myself right now. I am loving this time of living my life just for me and my son. Let's be real, I also don't want to start shaving my legs regularly. But I do love the idea of someday finding someone to share my life with and seeing him find love does give me a sense of possibility for myself.
Moving on is hard and watching your ex move on can be equally hard, but no matter what emotions it evokes in you, you have to remember the truth of who you are and where you are. You've come a long way. You have grown and changed and your ex's relationship is no reflection on your self worth. It's like the circle of life, but the circle of love. Everything is cyclical and people do move on to other people. Focus on you. Focus on your own life and being the very best version of you that you can be. Block people on social media if need be, but more than anything else, stop comparing. You are different than her and that's ok. Your relationship's are different and that's ok. The time you take to move on is different and that's ok. Hell, your definition of love may even be different, so quit comparing. Focus on being the bad ass that you are and just let it be. I can promise you that every minute you spend worrying about "them" is a minute you've wasted.