Monday, February 05, 2007

How To Deal With Your Ex-Husband’s New Girlfriend

Many of us find a new mate immediately after divorce. Your ex-husband may be one of them. This can be hard on you emotionally. My own ex took no break whatsoever. His relationship was the cause of our breakup. She moved in with him two months after he left my home. She left him after little more than a year. I was elated.Her departure was satisfying on several levels. My feelings stemmed from my own hurt, and they also came from the disruption and pain she’d brought to my children’s lives. But I admit that revenge was a factor. I liked the feeling that my ex was finally getting his comeuppance. Now he would feel the sting of rejection. I wanted him to suffer this. I had good reason. He had thrown out 13 years of marriage, and I wanted him to pay for it.His girlfriend had been a painful reminder of all that, and I couldn’t help but feel relief that her life no longer intersected with mine or my children’s.But these feelings of relief and satisfaction were quickly tempered by the fact that he soon found another girlfriend. I decided that any woman was better than the last, but still I wondered, how could anyone want to date a broke, often-unemployed, overweight, balding man?His new girlfriend was only 24, 14 years younger than he was. She seemed nice enough, but deep down it still bothered me that he was happy. Despite all the books I had read on spirituality, forgiveness, and love, I still felt rage.Try as I might, I couldn’t understand these feelings. I no longer had any physical attraction to this man. I didn’t even like him. Why would I care? The real reason was that I wanted him to suffer for what he had done to me.It is normal to have confusing feelings long after the divorce is final. An ex’s new partner can stir hostility whenever she comes in contact with your children. This is inevitable. Your life has been turned upside down. The familiar and routine are changed forever. Even if your marriage was filled with anger, it was still the life you knew. Some inmates find security in a prison cell. Marriage can be the same.With divorce new people enter your life, some not by choice. You must find a way to deal with your ex’s new love. This is difficult if you are not currently in a relationship yourself. Why him, but not me? You ask over and over.You feel you are a good person, and you deserve love. You feel as if your ex deserves loneliness and pain. Stop taking it personally. The right person will show up. Though it may not seem so now, he will arrive at exactly the right moment. Be cautious. Look before you leap. There’s no need to risk repeating a painful experience. Take your ex’s success as an omen. You know that if it can happen to him quickly, you too will find love. If his new love proves fleeting, don’t rejoice or worry about it. The longer you wait the better chance you have for a truly lasting love.Don’t jump into something just to prove yourself. This is not a competition. This is a serious search for a love that will last a lifetime. You do not need to suffer again.That doesn’t mean you should ignore your negative emotions. Release them. Talk to a friend or therapist. Punch a pillow. Wait until you are alone, then call your ex every dirty name in the book. Shout it and scream it. Let all of it go. Let go of all of the pain, hurt, and betrayal. The process may take months, or even years, but you will feel better in time.That special someone will come, and your divorce will fade into memory. You will no longer harbor hateful feelings toward your ex. You will come to accept your ex for who he is and wish him well.

Christina Rowe is the author of the new book "Seven Secrets To A Successful Divorce-What Every Woman Needs To Know". Find out the survival skills that will save you time, money and heartache during your divorce.

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