3 Reasons You Hold On to Your Ex, and How to Let Go

by Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries on May 31, 2015

in Affairs, Articles, Break-ups and Divorce, Dating, Heartbreak, Marriage, Men's Help, Relationships, Singles, Singles, Women's Help

how to let goI am frequently contacted by prospective clients who need help letting go of their ex.

These inquiries come from both men and women, as the pain of a breakup or divorce hits both equally. The request is always the same – please let me know if you can help me let go and find a better relationship.

When I get these email requests, I always respond with “yes, indeed, I can help you.” I know I can help because I have helped men and women fully let go of the pain of losing a relationship or marriage hundreds of times, using the strategies I am about to share with you.

Letting go of a relationship is difficult and painful. Our mind and body doesn’t want to accept that it’s over. We get into a traumatic post-break up state, stuck in endless longing for the ex and thinking about the relationship.

To help you begin to let go, let’s look at the 3 reasons you hold on:

#1 Reason:
You are afraid you will not find or meet anyone else nearly as compatible with you, or as right for you, as your ex. Since you don’t believe there’s anyone to move towards, you keep thinking about your ex.

#2 Reason:
You are afraid that you can’t trust your own judgement about a new partner or relationship, since your judgement failed you in the ex-relationship. Your ex is a known person and in that knowledge there’s trust. This keeps you again thinking about your ex.

#3 Reason:
You are stuck in a mental loop of trying to figure out how your ex was able to let go of you. You think about past words or actions that could have kept the two of you together. You may even repetitively think about what you can do to restore the relationship.

When I coach clients to let go of a past relationship, I work with them to directly change these beliefs and get unstuck. We work on changing the belief that there’s no one else for them, and that they can’t trust their own judgement about people. We also work to understand what truly happened in the relationship, so that they can let go of the preoccupation with figuring this out.

Then we do one more thing to solidify the letting go process. This is the thing I want to share with you, as it makes a huge difference in being able to let go.

How to fully let go:

So long as you keep thinking about your ex, you will not be able to let go and move on. Continuing to think about an ex-relationship puts your past front and center in your mind, preoccupying your emotional and mental energy. There is simply no way to let go while your past is hijacking your future. Your future needs to go back to being in its proper place, in front of you, so that it can pull you forward.

The problem with this of course is that when you end a relationship, you also end up with no vision of a future. Your future was tied up with the relationship partner. In having to let go of the relationship, you have to let go of that future as well. Having no future feels painful and disorienting.

One direct and effective way to work on this is to intentionally create a future to look forward to. To start this process, reflect on the following question:

“What do I want now, that would bring me joy, that I can reasonably see myself creating?”

In answering the question, be careful, because creating a fairytale future that you can’t buy into will do you no good. On the other hand, assuming that nothing you want is possible, creating a future with nothing in it to look forward to, will do nothing good for you either.

Create yourself a future that you can reasonably see yourself having, requiring effort and some risk on your part, but nothing you can’t truly handle. Allow this question about the future to gradually preoccupy more and more of your time and mental energy, crowding out the time you spend thinking about your ex. Think repeatedly about the “joy” part of the question – you are creating a future that will bring you joy.

At some point the momentum of the future-building process will take over and you won’t have to work at it so much. You will be moving forward and creating a life that brings you joy as you go. And your ex will be moved to a meaningful part of your past, which is where he or she belongs.

To get help letting go of an ex and moving on, contact me to set up your Get Clarity Coaching session. In this session will we will work on creating a personalized strategy that will make the letting go process easier for you.

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