The process of getting a legal separation or a divorce is challenging. What is even more challenging is being emotionally unavailable for your ex-spouse. Oftentimes, tangible items that remind us of our ex-spouses are thrown away, but how many of those memories are actually thrown away from your thoughts? It is difficult to move on with your life if there are consistent reminders of your marriage. Here are some tips from Virginia Clark, a hypnotherapist and relationship coach, that can prevent harmful emotional attachment to your ex-spouse through visualization. She says:
Imagine that you are attached to your ex with colored cords. These cords can look like a rope or wire, whatever works for you.
1. Close your eyes and imagine him in your mind sitting with you.
2. Start to identify the cords that connect you to him. For example there may be a cord you identify as anger that connects you. Give the cord a color, for example red. Open your eyes and write it down.
3. Close your eyes again and identify another cord, perhaps it’s a cord of love, give it color.
4. Continue writing down the cords and their colors until you have identified all the cords that connect you to him (other examples are resentment, shared history, understanding, etc)
5. When you feel complete, go back and go through them one at a time. Decide whether to cut the cord or leave it attached. If you chose to cut it, imagine a knife or scissor and sever it completely.
6. Consider the cords you cut no longer active in your mind; they are over. The cords you’ve chosen to keep now attach you to him in a new way…in a way that’s to your choosing.
As you go through this process you will be reminded that despite how you’re feeling now, there were good things that you shared in the past. Hopefully you’ll keep the connections that feel good rather than the ones that hurt and fill you with negativity.
Choosing what memories tie you to your ex-spouse will ultimately create more space for your thoughts to wander into the future. You do not have to cut out your ex-spouse completely, but have enough closure that you can still remember the good points in your relationship and continue to move forward.