Divorced After 23 Years – How Do I Move On?

It’s difficult when any relationship ends, whether you’re the one who ends it or not.

It can be especially difficult if the relationship has lasted for several years, even twenty or more years. If you’re not the one who broke it off, being on the losing end of a break up or divorce can be a tough thing to handle.

How do you begin moving on? Where do you start?

Dear Dan and Jennifer,

We have 2 kids and were married for 23 years and suddenly she asked me to leave and said it’s over. We’re now divorced and she’s dating again. Now she acts like she hates me.

All these questions torment me. I need answers. How do I move on when she won’t even talk to me?

– Youtube Viewer

The only thing you can control is yourself.

If your partner is the one who ended things with you, you probably feel rejected and out of control. You may want to find out why they left you or what went wrong. Your partner, however, may not be ready to give these answers to you and even more likely, they don’t know the answers either.

The truth is, you can’t control anyone but yourself. You can’t make your partner take you back, you can’t make them tell you why they left and you can’t make them act the way you want them to.

You can, however, control how you react to the situation. You can be petty and vindictive if you choose, but you can also be calm and forgiving too. Only you can choose how you act towards the situation. It will be more difficult to move on, however, if you choose to be vindictive or if you harbor ill feelings and anger towards your partner for ending things.

If you choose to take the higher road and work through your feelings of anger and ultimately let them go, it will be easier to move on.

Working through your anger.

After a relationship ends, it’s normal to go through the stages of grief. You lost something and someone that was dear to you and to the human psyche, it’s the same as if someone you loved passed away. You’re going to feel guilt, denial, anger and frustration. You’re going to be hurt and sad, and you’re even going to want to try to get back together with your partner.

The first step to moving on after a break up or a divorce is to realize that all the feelings you are having are normal. It may not help you feel any better right away, but telling yourself that “you shouldn’t feel this way” is not going to do you a bit of good.

When you’re feeling a particular feeling, let yourself feel it. Let yourself be angry and let yourself feel hurt. Then, let it go. Don’t harbor it. Don’t give those feelings a place to stay. Work through your anger and frustration rather than letting it consume you. In time, you’ll feel better about the end of the relationship and you’ll feel yourself start to move on. Don’t rush the process. It takes time.

The end of a relationship, especially a very long one, is tough for both parties involved. There may never be an answer as to what exactly happened to end the relationship because in almost all relationships, it’s more than a single thing. When you begin to focus on yourself and realize that you are in control of only you, you can start to let go of the hurt and anger and make room for a newer, happier state of being.


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