In this article I will show you 5 ways you may be interacting with your ex that keep you from moving on from that relationship. Even one or two of these can keep you emotionally stuck and unable to let go.
Look over the list to see which may apply for you, and start taking the recommended actions in order to become free of the painful attachment to your former partner.
5 Things to Stop Doing with Your Ex
1. Stop using him or her for emotional connection
People tend to lose friends when dealing with relationship trouble, as they lack the energy to invest in other people. In addition, friends can distance from the person going through a breakup as others backup. This can leave you feeling disconnected and alone, tempted to reach out to your ex to get emotional needs met.
The problem with this is that your relationship is over. In order to move on you need to have other people in your life who can meet your emotional needs. No matter how difficult, this is a crucial step to take in order to be able to let go of your ex and the now-dissolved relationship.
Reaching out for connection to your ex can sneak up on you. Here are some of the covert ways that men and women try to connect with their ex that should be avoided:
- Pick a fight about something over text, e-mail, or phone
- Try to make him or her jealous
- Cry in front of him or her
- Call or text to try to understand why the relationship is over
- Tell him or her about very good or very bad events in your life
2. Stop using your ex for help and resources
Men and women going through a breakup or divorce will use each other for a variety of reasons ranging from friends with benefits to help with moving, to fixing things around the house, to financial support.
Being alone is difficult, especially coming out of a long-term relationship. You are used to having someone there, now find you don’t have that other person to rely on. It may seem easy and natural to just reach out to your ex.
Yet, in order to move on, you need to become creative in getting what you need on your own or from other people. Let your ex become the very last emergency contact in all situations. And never allow situations to disintegrate to the point where you need his or her help.
3. Stop reading into what your ex does and says
If you would have been happier if there was a way to work your relationship out, you will likely keep looking for signs that your ex feels the same way.
In fact, your ex may feel the same way, on and off. His or her feelings may fluctuate daily on the subject of the breakup. But, if those feelings don’t reach a certain watershed point, there is no possibility of the two of you getting back together.
If you don’t hear some version of “I want to try again to make it work with you” don’t read into anything your ex does or says. No matter your situation or your ex’s communication style, there will be no reconciliation unless your ex wants the relationship back badly enough to communicate this to you clearly.
4. Stop communicating with your ex unless absolutely necessary
One of the chief ways to move on from your former relationship is to reduce the space it takes up in your life and in your head. You need to replace your ex with other people and meaningful involvements in your life. This is impossible to do if the two of you keep interacting.
You don’t need to have absolutely no contact. But as in the case of getting your ex to meet your emotional and other needs, you want to be clear and honest with yourself about why and when you are communicating. Don’t do it unless it’s absolutely unavoidable and necessary.
5. Stop thinking about your ex
Thinking about your ex and your relationship or marriage is a guaranteed way to keep yourself from moving on. Every time you think about the relationship you are giving yourself the experience of still being in it. This is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing.
The reason men and women continue to think about an ex is because they try to figure out what went wrong in the relationship. Do yourself a favor and figure this out intentionally, so that your mind can stop returning to the past.
To help you, here are questions to ask yourself:
- What exactly went wrong in the relationship?
- When did it go wrong, and what do you wish you would have done differently?
- How did you miss the things that went wrong and how can you go back to trusting your own judgment?
- What was your ex’s part in how it went wrong and what was yours?
- Is it possible for the two of you to still work it out and if so what will this take?
- Does your ex want to work it out and if so, how do you know?
- What do you want to do with your life now?
I find that although men and women are often unable to answer these questions on their own, they do have the answers inside of them. With clients dealing with a breakup or divorce I explore these questions in the Get Clarity Session. Answering these helps provide much-needed relief from the pain of their breakup.
In summary, you can’t move towards a future relationship while you are still trying to stay connected with your ex. Part of learning to deal with the ending of a relationship is becoming intentional and creative in the ways you meet your needs by other trusted, supportive people.
I specialize in helping men and women heal from the breakup of a relationship or divorce. If you would like to begin to recover from your breakup and gain renewed hope that you can have the relationship you want, schedule your Get Clarity Coaching Session now.