Even if your divorce was amicable and you're on friendly terms, you may still feel pangs of sadness at the idea of your former spouse getting remarried. Feeling this way doesn't mean you regret the divorce or that you wish you were also remarrying; it just means that you still harbor affection for the person you once wanted to spend your life with. Figuring out how to emotionally cope with your ex officially moving on from your relationship may be challenging, but it's definitely possible.
So, if you have some upsetting feelings about your ex remarrying, here's how you can handle it and what you can do to make this difficult time a little more manageable.
Prepare To Mourn
Even though the marriage officially ended when the divorce became final, there's something about your ex moving on with someone else that can also make it feel like a definite end. The best thing to do is just to let yourself feel whatever feelings are bubbling up rather than try to pretend you're fine. Your feelings are warranted, and allow yourself time to feel everything you're feeling. Divorces (and everything that ensues after you both sign the documents) is more emotional than logical, so it makes sense that you'll be feeling something other than joy for them.
Self-care is important during times like these, so make sure that you're doing all of the things that make you feel validated and worthy right now.
Try Move Forward
It may feel like your ex has completely put you and your relationship in the past, but that isn't true. In our opinion, when your ex remarries someone else after your divorce, that doesn't mean he's moved on from you; it just means that he is moving forward with his life. After all, you got divorced so that you could both be happier in life, right?
Try to picture your life in a few months when these negative emotions aren't quite as strong as they are right now. What do you see yourself doing? Who are you with?
Get Them Out of Your System
Once you decide to move on, it's time to work on getting them out of your system. Whether you think of them fondly or with hostility, you have to try to quiet those thoughts because, regardless of whether they're affectionate or angry, they're not healthy for moving forward. Whenever you notice yourself thinking about your ex, force yourself to think about something else. It may be hard at first, but not allowing yourself to dwell on your old relationship will only help you.
Make Plans on the Wedding Day
When your ex gets remarried, be prepared to feel something about it on two occasions: when they tell you that they're engaged and on the actual wedding day. You may think you'll be okay on the wedding day because you've had the entire engagement to prepare, and you definitely might be totally fine, but just in case, make a fun plan for the day to distract yourself. Make this day about something other than your ex getting married.
Whether you go for a weekend getaway with your friends, take a long stroll with a family member, or spend the whole day cuddled up under a pile of cozy blankets with a great book, you have a whole slew of fun options.
Listen To Your Kids
Kids may have their own feelings about their parent's remarriage: They may feel a bit crushed because the new marriages bursts a fantasy about their parents getting back together or they're happy to see their parent so in love. It affects them differently than it does you, so be sure to ask them how they're feeling about it and try to understand where they're coming from.
They may need comfort as much as you do, so be sure to have a thoughtful discussion with them before the nuptials start.
Many people can maintain a good relationship with their former in-laws, especially if children are involved. Some are even invited to family events—especially if their grandkids will be there. However, after your ex's remarriage, those situations may become much more difficult. So take this time to set boundaries with them, and take a step back from a continued relationship with your former in-laws, if possible.
Keep in mind that your ex's new spouse is starting an exciting new chapter of their life, and it may be hard to do that when their spouse's ex is around all the time.
Respect Your Ex
It's important to be respectful of your ex and their new spouse—even more so when kids are involved in the mix. Even though you may not realize or mean to, you can inadvertently hurt your children by outwardly expressing negative feelings about your ex's remarriage.
Unless there are extenuating circumstances from which you feel like you need to protect your kids—like drug or alcohol abuse, for instance—try your best to show your ex and their new spouse respect. Prioritize allowing your kids to have positive relationships with all of their parents.
Talk to Someone
Your ex-spouse remarrying is a lot to deal with emotionally, so don't try to deal with these feelings alone. Find a support group, a good friend, or a counselor to talk with. Verbalizing your negative, jealous, or depressed feelings can help you put them in perspective and, eventually, move on. Even if you don't find their advice very helpful, the act of talking through your problems is a type of catharsis that can help you feel better about the situation.
Keep Your Distance
It is important to draw some new boundaries regarding life with your former spouse after a divorce—especially if it was amicable. Even if you two are still friends and have no bad blood between you, your relationship is inherently different than it was pre-divorce. If you're invited to the wedding, think about how you would feel watching them walk down the aisle towards someone else before deciding whether or not you want to go. If you feel happy for them, by all means, go to the wedding, but if you think it will be too hard for you, don't go just to be polite.