As you are living through a divorce and for a few months after, your mind will be full of the memories from your marriage. That’s only natural, as that life was all you knew for years. Many people who get divorced also keep going over the past to understand what went wrong so they can avoid those mistakes in their future relationships.
The pain and anger from the divorce will also keep you thinking about the marriage. You may try to figure out what you did wrong or just keep going over the things your ex did, so you can keep telling people how everything is your ex’s fault and how you are the wronged one. Again, this is natural, as no one wants to admit they made mistakes that caused the end of the marriage.
The problem with thinking about the past is when it consumes you. Memories keep you from moving on and healing from the divorce. You cannot hope to find happiness again if the pain from the past keep pulling you back. If you are still stuck in memories several months after the divorce is final, it is time to move on.
Many people refuse to move on because they are scared of the future. Fear of the unknown seems worse than an unhappy marriage to some people so they simply stay stuck in their memories instead of reaching out to new people. For your mental and emotional health, you need to move on.
It would be unreasonable to think you will instantly stop thinking about your marriage. Each day, you need to strive to limit the time you spend remembering. Perhaps you allow yourself to remember only while you are in the kitchen or while you are driving. The point is to set a limit and consciously not think about it.
If you simply cannot stop thinking about the past, and your friends and family are tired of hearing about it, it is time to ask for help. Find a therapist who can listen to your memories and then offer ways to help you move on. A therapist can help you discover why you don’t want to move on – whether it is fear, anger or guilt. Once you know why the future is so scary, you can work on skills to help you move past your fears.
You will always have memories from your marriage. Often, after many years, the bad things start to fade and you can remember fun times without pain and anger. Your marriage may have ended in divorce, but at some point, you were happy and in love and those are memories you don’t want to forget.
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