7 Reasons Why You Can’t Let Go of Your Ex

Divorce is hard. You’ve spent a substantial amount of time as one half of a married couple. Two lives had been intertwined and now you must figure out how to fill the gaps your former spouse previously occupied. In essence, you have to pick up the pieces and put yourself, your life, back together. At some point, maybe a year later, you may find that it’s harder than you imagined. As difficult as it may be, you must get to the root of the real reason why you can’t seem to let go.

Here are a few possible reasons:

1. You’re still “married”. Emotionally and mentally you are still connected to your ex. Maybe you were more in love with the idea of being married.  Or, it could be that you genuinely believed your marriage would last ’till death do you part’. Whatever the reason, you haven’t come to terms with the fact that you’re divorced. Knowingly or not, you’re still sleeping on one side of the bed and sitting on one side of couch. You’re still buying groceries for the two of you. No matter the subject of the conversation, you find yourself inserting his name randomly, even still referring to what “WE” used to do.  Right now. Right here. You must STOP. Stop referring to yourself as a divorcée.  Stop announcing to the world that you used to be married. Stop speaking his name or referring to “your ex”. Just stop. That part of your life is over. As an adult, do you keep talking about your high school days? Do you still refer to the place you used to work? What about that best friend turned enemy? Do you still talk about her and the ‘good old days’? Of course not. Well, view your once married life in the same light-something of the past that doesn’t deserve your time and energy. Stop revisiting the grave, sort of speaking. It’s not coming back to life. It’s dead. It’s time that you embrace the fact that you are single.  Only then will you be free of the emotional shackles and ready to live your best life.

2. You’re a dreamer. So, maybe you don’t verbalize your desires to reconnect with your ex. But, you may be consumed with playing make believe about “accidentally” running into him just so he can see how fabulous you are without him. Here’s why this isn’t healthy: you’re looking for validation. You want your ex to feel something for you-regret, pain, sexual attraction, even love. But, your life now does not revolve around what he thinks of you. By entertaining these imaginary encounters, you put yourself in a position to crave his attention. And what happens if you actually do run into him but you don’t get the response you’ve been dreaming of? You’ll be crushed and heartbroken all over again. If you’re going to dream of something, imagine exploring the world, starting a new business, running on the beach or enjoying your favorite hobby. Dream of meeting a new love and a year from now being madly in love. Use your imagination to conceive the best life possible as a confident, single woman.

3. You have selective amnesia. When we miss something or someone, we tend to focus only on the good things, the good moments.  If you’ve ever had to change your diet, you can relate to this feeling.  You can almost taste that juicy burger, barbecue ribs, candied yams, collard greens with ham hocks, etc.  You quickly forget that your cholesterol level was so high and your arteries were so blocked that you were one French fry away from a heart attack.  Do you get the point?  There is a reason why your relationship is over. Maybe your ex was manipulative, unfaithful, and emotionally abusive.  Maybe you just outgrew each other or the constant arguing turned physical. Whatever the reason, you shouldn’t forget it just because you’re lonely. You must force yourself to live in the reality of the situation, and stop glorifying specific moments in time as though they represent your entire relationship. If that were the case, you’d still be together.

4. You’re a victim. ‘How could he do this to ME? I gave him EVERYTHING he wanted. He said he couldn’t live without ME. He lied.’ You can’t keep inflicting pain on yourself by dissecting your entire relationship. More than that, it can’t all be about what he did or didn’t do. Have you ever heard the expression “when you point the finger, there’s three pointing back at you”? Not taking ownership for your part will keep you stuck in limbo, unable to move forward. And know this: any future chances of a better relationship will be hindered by blaming everything on your ex. You must see the role you played and work at improving yourself. As one of my favorite life coaches, Iyanla Vanzant, says, “You must do the work. ” It’s the only way you’ll be ready for Mr. Right.

5. You’re a stalker. With so many social media outlets, it can be very tempting to check up on him without him even knowing it. But, besides it being…well, creepy, it’s also a sure way to prevent yourself from moving on. When you spy (because that’s what it is) on him, you make it more likely that you’ll want to call him. You’ll get angry when you see that he’s moved on and not given any indication of missing you. So, do yourself a favor and block him. And if that doesn’t work, you may just need a social media hiatus. Drastic times call for drastic measures.

6. You’re seeking closure validation. Let’s call it what it really is; you need to hear that the breakup was not due to some character flaw of yours. You may even want to hear your ex tell you that he still loves you. Why? Because your self worth is tied to what he thinks about you. In reality, nothing he says will make you feel better. Only YOU can make YOU feel better. Even with all of your flaws, you are still worth being loved. You must believe that in your heart. It’s the only way to be truly free to open your heart to love and be loved again.

7. You’re bored. An idle mind is a dangerous thing. Stay busy. Get a hobby, volunteer, travel, reconnect with old friends. Get a LIFE. The more you sit around moping, the more you’ll keep thinking about your failed relationship. Now is the time to explore new opportunities and adventures. You owe it to yourself to enjoy living.


If you made it to the end of this article, congratulations! You’ve been brave enough to face the truth. Now, you must make the necessary changes. Trust me; I know it’s not easy. How do you think I knew what you were going through? I’ve experienced most, if not all, of these scenarios. But, there is a calming, joyous, moment, when you can finally let go and exhale. Every failed relationship brings an opportunity to learn and grow. One day you’ll be able to look back, smile and be comforted by the memories, good and bad. You’ll be thankful for the experience to grow.