Your ex's opinion no longer counts. As if it ever did. No kidding. Now don't get me wrong.
Having been married for almost eight years, being divorced involved breaking some hard habits. For a while there I still referred to her as "my wife?er, I mean my ex-wife". I still parked on the right hand side of the garage. And slept on the left hand side of the bed. And made sure the seat was down.
And I remember being held hostage to the negative thoughts and beliefs planted in my head by my ex over the years about who I was and what I was about. That was an unreasonable state of affairs, so I stopped it. I make it sound easy, don't I? It's not. And it's not for other people either.
I mean think about it?having been involved in an actual, outright marriage isn't even necessary. Some of what I'm talking about today can present itself even when a dating relationship falls apart. Sure, once someone close to you has been able to convince you about certain things, it's hard to change. But the most outrageous part about this phenomenon is, of course, the potential for CONTINUATION of the pattern even after the relationship is over! How in the world does this go on? I mean sure?there was a time in every marriage or other long-term relationship, presumably, when there was some teamwork and both partners seemed to be thinking and acting in each others' best interests. But perhaps not so much after a while, thereby contributing to the breakup. So who are we to think that the opinions of our EX have anything at all to do with our best interests after ultimately parting ways? After a divorce, you've just got to move on.
A big part of that is becoming FREE of the influences and opinions of your EX-spouse. The symptoms of failure to free oneself like you need to do can present themselves in direct or more subtle ways. Ironically, carrying on this sort of controlling activity can be important to your ex either because s/he wants to make you "pay" or because s/he wants to eventually win you back. Equally ironic is the reality that it doesn't matter which reason it is-you want to be unfettered by it. As Part One, let's look at the direct, spoken opinions your ex may have, and get to the bottom of what the symptoms of taking your ex's opinions seriously can look like. 1) Opinions about your worthiness to attract another partner Considering you once attracted the bearer of such an opinion, this strongly points to lack of self-esteem, doesn't it? More precisely, your ex is likely dealing with painful thoughts related to the inevitability of your finding someone else.
The obvious strategy here is to plant thoughts in your head to inhibit that from happening, or at least put it off until you wake up and STOP letting him/her control you. So, um?wake up. 2) Opinions about your ability to exist without the ex-spouse's support Any comments projecting failure upon you as a result of the marriage's end or ramifications thereof should be summarily ignored. Such views are merely symptomatic of a manipulative or even vengeful mindset. 3) Opinions about why the marriage broke up The marriage is over, and it's time to move on. Do not let someone else, namely your ex, help you continue reliving the pain and/or hashing it out.
Move on. 4) Opinions about what you should be doing now Whatever "advice" your ex is giving you, think long and hard about whether it is being offered in your best interest. It would take an extraordinarily evolved view on the part of an ex-spouse to take a sincere interest in the future success of the other. I mean, it can happen?but remember, the relationship FAILED, so isn't today's input on success a day late and a dollar short? 5) Opinions about what s/he is doing now Well there are two choices here, depending on what emotional response on your part is desired.
If the ex is hurt, you can be sure you'll hear about all the destructive junkets, sexcapades, etc. and why YOU are the cause of the painful results. Or, if the coin flips the other way, why YOU could have prevented all of it from going on "had you known a good thing when you saw it".
Possibly, if his or her motive is to get you back, you'll hear about the wholesale life changes and improvements backed by an exhortation of how you shouldn't be "missing out" on it. Don't let it get to you. That's not an option. Enough for now. Next time, in Part Two, we'll take a look at the more subtle side of the equation: how your ex can more subjectively continue to influence or even control you in oh-so-subtle ways.
Scot McKay's dating strategies for those who refuse to settle for anything less than the ULTIMATE relationship are found at: http://www.relationship-advice.us/. Stop by right now and grab a FREE e-book ($20 value) when you sign up for the X & Y Communications Newsletter, which is always packed with unique and practical dating tips.