You probably answered that you’re divorced, or asked what the difference is. Although it sounds silly, there is a difference. A divorced woman has divorced herself from the relationship, situation, and her ex. An ex-wife is legally divorced, but still holds on the “wife” ties she has with her ex either mentally or physically. As long as the strong emotional ties are there, it is difficult if not impossible to find true peace in your life.
Holding onto emotional ties with your ex or identifying yourself as his ex-wife keeps you stuck in the same spot, preventing you from moving on and creating your own identity and life that you crave and deserve. If you feel that you are still good friends, he keeps a key to your house and comes and goes as he pleases, or shares meals at your home you’re an ex-wife. You might say you’re doing this to remain friends or for the sake of the kids, but it’s keeping that bond and tie you desired from your marriage.
Of course you want your children to see that Mommy and Daddy can get along and be friendly, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend so much of your time with him. You should build and lead a life separate from him now, even if you aren’t ready to date again. Go out to lunch with friends or meet new people. Most cities have “singles” groups designed to let single people get out together to try new things. Some people within the group may be searching for a partner, but you can just go to meet new people, make friends, and try new things. Or start doing things you enjoy, such as joining a yoga class or book club, and meet new people that way. It’s important to build your own identity other than being his ex-wife and remaining emotionally tied to him.
Moving on and limiting the amount of time and ties you share will make you a divorced woman. Sure, you can talk and share meals at your child’s birthday party. You can be friendly without being “friends.” Keep it short and simple. Build your own life that has nothing to do with him. Find hobbies that interest you and get into them. You know, the things you always wanted to try but he never would.
He shouldn’t be the first person you think to call when your car battery is dead or when you get a promotion. That part of your life is over. It’s time to find new people to share your joys, and your struggles, with.
The reason it’s important to become divorced in every sense of the word is because of the emotional baggage. You both know how to push each other’s buttons. You know how to crawl under each other’s skin and irritate each other. You won’t be able to fully move on with your life and create the life you deserve if you’re too busy holding onto the one that didn’t work out as you had originally planned.
Rediscovering yourself and building your own life allows you to become who you are destined to be. Get in touch with your authentic self, even if she’s been hiding under a rock for the past 30 years. It’s when you let go and look inward that you can find true happiness and peace in your life.