What makes a post-divorce break up different than a divorce? Listen in as one divorced woman talks about how she’s going to get over her (latest) Ex…
I’m going to tell you everything I think about you, felt for you, and feel for you. I am going to EXPLODE!
And you’re never going to know.
In fact, I’m going to record myself so I can evaluate this whole thing later—this whole thing being you, me, and what was us. But for now, I need a witness. A listener. And it can’t be you anymore.
I’m going to walk around a piece of paper I’ve placed on a table, and depending on how I feel at different moments, I’m going to attack it—with bitterness, outbursts, and wet fingers from swiping away tears.
I am scribbling things like …
Rejected! LIVID! HOWLING at the moon!
I am FEELING old.
Why did you let this go on for so long?
Why are you such a coward?
I surprise myself at my depth of raw hurt. It’s clear I unequivocally love you, loved you, yes, love you even now. Because look at me and what I am reduced to.
When my paper is looking more Jackson Pollack than diary entry, I step back and wait — to let it catch more. Because there will be more, I know — waves of rollercoaster shock and grief for what you’ve done. And for me, for being in this place. For feeling this pain. The anguish of what is right now.
I’m going to put my dark, smeared masterpiece in an envelope.
I am not going to mail you this testament, this letter, because it would be lost on you. I am going to put it on a far shelf in a cellar closet. Not forgotten, mind you, but contained. I’ve learned I need to work you and what this story really means out more, and when I have, when I am ready, I’ll pull out this hidden envelope. In sacrament or something else, I’ll burn it. Or bury it. Or maybe post it to a wall of cork and throw darts at it.
(It’s got to be cork. I won’t want to damage the wall behind the letter, because that would be permanent.)
As a divorced woman who has survived before, I know I will get over you.
But I also know, I will always love you.
Until I can live in peace with that truth, here is what else I am going to do to get over my Ex. To get over you, my latest heartbreak.
1. I am going to moan and cry
I am going to come to terms with letting you go only after much resistance. So, cry I must.
2. I am going surround myself with girlfriends
My girlfriends remind me of who I am and the rings of fire I’ve already been through. I am going to feel their love and savor their bias. And I am going to laugh and let them say whatever they want to say about you — and NEVER defend you.
3. I am going to block you
I know my weakness, my tendency to obsess over you. There will be no more Facebook peeks or Instagram stalking from me. I won’t allow it. I’m blocking your texts and number. I’ve learned I must treat you like a drug and go cold turkey.
4. One night (or more) I’m going to eat WTF I want
Remember how you’re allergic to shellfish and nuts? Well, I am going out with my besties, and we’re ordering lobster tails with peanut saté followed by gallons of pistachio ice cream.
5. I am going to repeat aloud what I know: I am going to get over you
People break up with each other all the time. I’ve been here before, and so have so many others.
6. I’m going to commit to regular exercise
Exercising will help me feel and look better about myself. Feeling healthier is going to help me bounce back sooner.
7. I am going to get drunk and curse you out
I exercised, but now I’m hanging with my friend who could always drink you under the table and she’s reminding me why she didn’t like you either! How do I get over my Ex? I’ve already forgotten him.
8. I’m going to try to rebalance
Recovering from my hangover is going to remind me how fragile and very precious I actually am. I am going to try to regulate my sleep and eat healthily to support my heart and immune system as they metabolize the pain and vodka.
9. I’m reconnecting with a trusted professional
Something I learned through my past divorce—I will feel better if I don’t just talk about the pain I am going through but actually DO something with these feelings. Taking action is really important. Hello, Divorce Coach, remember me? I’m back but in a different, improved way.
10. I’m going to find a home for your belongings
Granted, you’ve not got a lot of things here (and there’s no 401(k)). But I’ve discovered a special place where your toothbrush is going to live. And it’s not at my house.
11. I may reactivate my online dating profile—and act out!
I say I might—not because I’ve healed—but because I am an independent woman, and I can! It may feel good to hear someone say I have a pretty smile. Or to go out for a drink with someone who thinks I am special; someone who doesn’t see the tire tracks on my back from where I’ve been dumped.
12. I am going to smudge the house
The last time I had to get over my Ex, I hired a professional energy clearer. I’ve since learned I can buy the sage myself from the health food store, and on my own, purify my house of all the (stinking, rotten) heaviness you left. Poof! Gone!
13. I am going to consider what missteps I took in this ill-fated Tango
What was my responsibility in the downfall of our relationship? And what have you taught me? (But only after I’ve exhausted myself being small and blaming you.)
14. I am going to be kind to myself
I know getting over you is going to hurt, and it’s going to require time and steps. I learned that through a much deeper, momentous trip — my divorce recovery. That’s right, sir. You are not my first.
Since 2012, smart women around the world have chosen SAS for Women to partner them through the challenging experience of divorce and re-creation. Now you can learn the Art of Reinvention through Paloma’s Group, our virtual, online post-divorce group coaching class for women only. To promote sisterhood and protect confidentiality, space is limited.
* This piece was written for SAS for Women, an all-women website. At SAS we respect same-sex marriages, however, for the sake of simplicity in this article we refer to your spouse as a male.