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First comes what you thought was love, maybe marriage, possibly a baby and then… a split.

If you are reading this there has been a split and the rest has happened in no specific order. Welcome to modern relationships.

The freedom of choice, social acceptance of divorce and unmarried co-parenting brings complications, leaving some of us to deal with complex emotions and experiences that our elders may not understand.

We are in new relational territory.

Most of us don’t have a role model to teach us how to exactly cope when an ex moves on, either through marriage or simple cohabitation with another. Many people have thought they are over the old relationship when all of those old feelings of anger and sadness rush back when the new person enters the scene. Further complications occur for those who have kids with their ex and are faced with the need to assimilate another parent into the mix.

How can I let go of the anger and sadness so I can continue living happily?


  1. Understand that breaking up is hard to do especially after years and years together. It’s just going to be hard, that’s okay. If you have kids and it is a strained co-parenting situation try to give up changing the person; you aren’t together anymore so you are free from the responsibility of having to navigate small parts of life with them. Enjoy that constellation prize.
  2. You did what you could with what you had at the time, hindsight is always 20/20. When we get out of a bad relationship, because no good relationship ends in a split, we tend to idealize what we were capable of.
  3. Concentrate on personal growth and true love will come your way.
  4. It will benefit the kids for their parents to be in a happy, stable adult relationship even if it is not with each other. Many adults who split and don’t re-couple use their kids as emotional crutches creating intimacy issues for the children in the future.
  5. Stay in the present. What do you enjoy NOW? Who are your friends NOW? Who are you with NOW? Staying out of the past in your head will help a lot. A good tool to use for this is to use your 5 senses and focus on sights, sounds and sensations in the present moment to connect with your immediate surroundings.
  6. Keep busy. What is the saying about the idle mind? Be present in your own life by doing things you love and finding or growing in your relationships with a partner or even friends.
  7. Your ex is certainly navigating their own emotions about breaking up and moving on too. Know it is a sad situation for everyone that most ex’s don’t discuss. Everyone feels some level of pain and just wants to get back to normal life, allow each other to do that.
  8. See a therapist. A good time to visit a therapist is when you can’t seem to process a loss fully on your own. You do not have to go to therapy forever. Use it the same way you would temporarily use Prozac or Xanax;  go for a few months and see how you feel. Therapy is 100% organic and gluten free!
Kristen Craren
Witten By Kristen Craren

Kristen Craren is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Clinical Director at Greenway Therapy . Learn more about her on her BIO page.