Post Divorce Or Break-up Jealousy? Here’s What You Can Do To Tackle It!

Posted: November 8, 2019

You recently went through a break up or a divorce. And while your partner hasn’t had issues with moving on, you do. Here’s why you need not be jealous of them moving on

You know that feeling—some of us know it all too well during and after divorce.

When one of your children, after spending the weekend with your ex, tells you about the ‘new friend’ who was at the ex’s house. The ‘friend’ who was there the whole weekend, who went out with them.

Or when you hear about the trip your ex is taking, while you’re still stressed out, wondering if you will make it till the next salary. Let alone taking a  nice vacation.

Ah, the jealousy

The Green Eyed Monster that consumes us, makes us despise our current situation. It causes us to put all of our energy and attention on someone else- when what we should really be doing is focusing on our own life and our own recovery.

Sound familiar?

Let’s talk about this paralysing emotion that brings out the worst in us. The one prevents us from moving on with our own lives and finding our own independence and happiness.

And I have to share two very ugly truths about this emotion with you.

Jealousy is selfish

Have you ever known someone in your life who always goes “me me me!” and never bothers to ask about you, your day, hopes and dreams?

Hell, you may have been married to that person. Well, jealousy is a bit like that person. It’s a barrier that causes you to worry about something (your ex’s new life) that you have no control over.

And instead of focusing on yourself and healing, jealously is there. It’s all, “Oh, look at their wonderful life! Oh, look at all the things they’re doing that are amazing!”

Tell me, what benefit is it to you to be focusing your energy on what the other person is doing? How does it benefit you to be thinking of how good your ex has it when you feel like you were screwed over? Or even how does it benefit you to be obsessing over their new partner/house/car/vacation? Especially given how it has nothing to do with you!

You already know the answer. Being jealous is of no benefit. So why is it still something that we can’t seem to shake while trying to move on from divorce?

The truth hurts and you’re about to learn why.

Jealousy is also lazy

You know what’s easier than working on yourself?

Sitting there, stewing over about how much better your ex has it than you.

One of the many reasons that jealousy brings out the worst in us is because it diverts our attention away from putting ourselves first. Instead of doing the hard work and focusing on how we can move on and healing, jealousy leads us astray. It takes the easy road of being reactive about things you can’t control.

And while you’re worrying about that, you waste precious time that could be spend focusing on the most important person- YOU.

It’s easier to say, “Oh, it should be ME taking that vacation instead of my ex” than to focus on your own finances and schedule. Or even plan a vacation that fits your lifestyle and budget.

Just like it’s easier to say, “They already have a new partner! How can this happen! It’s not fair!” Rather than taking care of yourself, learning how to plan for your own future. And  more importantly, focusing on getting out of your rut and getting your life back on track.

See what I mean?

Jealousy is sapping you of your energy to move the hell on. It’s forcing you to stay stuck, unable to move on. Because it’s a lot easier to stew and be hateful over something you can’t control than it is to be responsible for your own happiness and moving ahead under your terms.

I’m jealous, Martha! So what am I supposed to do?!

I know, I know. You’re human and you may be hurting, not knowing what to do about your jealousy. But here’s a system you can put into place to do something about it!

Exercise- Turn your jealousy into productivity.

The next time you’re feeling jealous about whatever your ex is doing, or anything going on in your life for that matter, do the following.

Pinpoint what is making you jealous

These are your jealousy triggers.

“I heard from my son that his father is going to Europe in the fall with his new girlfriend, and I’m here having trouble paying rent. What the hell?”

Dig deeper

What is it exactly that you’re jealous of? List it, and be honest with yourself. Jealousy rarely has anything to do with the other person. It has everything to with what you’re doing and how you’re thinking about yourself. It is an emotion that has no power when you are being mindful and proactive with your own life.

“I am jealous because I am hurt. And I feel hurt because we never did anything fun or adventurous or travel in our relationship and I feel left out. I am also jealous because I feel like financially, I cannot treat myself.

Ask yourself what you can do instead

How can you divert that energy you are spending being jealous into something actionable for you?

“My feelings are hurt and maybe I can’t fix that pain myself. The next time I am triggered, perhaps I can reach out to friends or family for support, or instead direct that energy into doing an activity that I like to do.  As far as finances go…sure, I can’t go anywhere exotic right now. But I can start looking at my finances and budget, and maybe start planning a getaway or a nice trip for myself that is within my budget.

How about you? Do you struggle with jealousy? And if so, what are some of the triggers that make you feel this way? More importantly, what type of steps will you take this week to turn that jealousy into something that puts you first?

First published here.

Picture credits: Pexels

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Martha Bodyfelt is a divorce coach whose website, Surviving Your Split, helps women navigate their

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