Why am I hurt that ex is dating?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I am going through a divorce after 25 years of an abusive marriage and I am dating someone. Now my ex is dating too but its hurting me…..Why??

A: What you are feeling is quite normal and typical. It’s one thing to be the person who is moving on. It’s another to be the one who is being replaced by someone else. You may be divorcing, but separating from 25 years of emotional attachment isn’t easy. Even though your head tells you that it’s only right and fair for him to move on too, even though a part of you may even feel relieved that he has turned his attention to someone else, your emotional self can’t help but feel rejected. It doesn’t make rational sense because it isn’t rational. It’s emotional.

Give yourself permission to feel the feelings of sadness, regret, and perhaps guilt and anger that are often in the mix when people end a long marriage. Then refocus your attention on the good reasons and maybe even relief that you are separating. Both sets of feelings can be simultaneously true for a time. As you work on creating the next chapter of your life, as you let yourself enjoy being loved by someone new, the hurt will fade.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Apr 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Why am I hurt that ex is dating?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/04/11/why-am-i-hurt-that-ex-is-dating/