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8 Signs You’re Limiting Yourself After Divorce & How to Stop It (by: Laura Lifshitz)

You’ve gotten the divorce and made it this far, but you’re not really happy. It’s as if you’ve got one huge dark cloud over you and you can’t seem to escape it. Mostly, because you seem to keep getting in your own way. Your life was supposed to evolve and get better, which is why you got a divorce in the first place, but it’s as if you’re stuck. The real issue is you are limiting yourself and it’s keeping you from fulfilling your full potential, as well as being happy. Here are 8 signs you’re limiting yourself after divorce.


1) You Act as if the Divorce Happened Yesterday

Even if the divorce was a year ago or more, you’re acting still as if it happened yesterday. You’re mourning. Depressed. Angry. You can’t seem to get past the whole drama of the marriage, even though you say you’ve put it behind you.

You haven’t! It’s the shadow that follows you and it limits your potential.


2) You Have a Million Excuses for Everything

When someone asks you when you’ll start dating, exercising, seeking a raise, or doing anything remotely productive, you’ve got an excuse for it.

It’s never the right “time” you say.

You don’t have enough time, encouragement, money, energy etc.

The list of excuses is Old Testament long. Biblical.

Really, you are the biggest problem you’ve got and you hold yourself back.


3) Your List of Must-Have’s to Date Someone Are Ridiculous or Too Loose

You can’t even get a first date with someone because you find something wrong with each person. Or worse, you go out with anyone and everyone. You’re not remotely picky and you settle and are willing to take any scraps of love you can get.


Because you’re using people as either a crutch (in the case of dating anyone) to move on and grow. Or, because you’re shutting down everyone in an attempt to keep yourself so safe, so you refuse to let anyone in.

You don’t need to be in a relationship but you should, if you’re trying to date, be having healthy relationships and dating patterns.


4) You Talk About Your Ex’s New Life Constantly

You ramble about your ex’s new life as if you’re a part of it.

Every single thing your ex does is on your lips for conversation. You’re way too involved and way too emotional about your ex, and it keeps you miserable. Instead of caring what he or she is doing, you should be having your own life. You need to break out of the cycle because it’s keeping you down.


5) Your Career or School Ambitions Are Stalled

You want to go back to school, or so you say.

You want to switch careers or go for a promotion…or so you say.

You talk a lot, but there are never any real plans towards progression. You use the divorce as an excuse, but really, the divorce is done, so that’s not the problem. The problem is you are anxious or depressed, and the fear or the dark feelings are keeping you from having clarity and drive. This is limiting all you could really do to revive your life after divorce. It impedes your happiness.


6) You Rely on Your Ex for Too Much

It’s good to have a nice co-parenting relationship, but some people rely too much on their ex to be a buddy or an emotional support after the marriage is over. By doing this, it keeps you from having any new relationships, which is subconsciously your goal.

By being “BFF’s” with your ex, it’s like the marriage isn’t really over…because emotionally, for whatever reason, you don’t want it to be.

Keep in mind, it’s good to be amicable and friendly with an ex, but if you are too friendly, it blurs boundaries, which is good for no one!


7) You Only Date From A Pool of Ex’s

You won’t meet new people to date. Instead, you pick from your ex’s, whether they date back to high school or right before you got married.

There’s nothing wrong with dating someone from the past if he or she is a good person, but there is something wrong with continuing to date bad people from the past, simply because they are familiar. You’re doing this out of fear, but it’s keeping you from having a good relationship.


8) You Won’t Meet New People or Try New Activities

You’re working too much.

You don’t want the kids to meet anyone new.

You heard that’s not a “fun hobby.”

You are so restricted to whom you see and what you do, and you’re not open to trying anything different post-divorce. Most of this is anxiety related. Divorce brings about so many changes that you may be sticking to the familiar in order to limit dealing with more change. However, by doing this you’re missing out on so many great opportunities, people, and friends!


If this sounds “like you,” what should your next steps be?

Depending on how severe your fear, resistance and/ or depression, will depend on what you should do, but here are a few ideas:

  • See a therapist
  • Work with a life coach
  • Make goals for yourself and have friends who encourage and stay on top of you to work towards those goals
  • Exercise
  • Talk to family and friends about how you’re feeling
  • Pray—or seek spiritual advisement if you’re religious
  • Meditate!
  • Ask for help on DivorceForce

No matter what, you can make it past this, but you have to want to do it for yourself!


Laura Lifshitz is a pint-sized, battery-operated, writer, comedienne, and single mother. Laura will work for chocolate. The former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate is currently writing about divorce, sex, women’s issues, fitness, parenting, marriage and more for the New York Times, DivorceForce, Women’s Health, Redbook, Working Mother, Pop Sugar, Your Tango and numerous other sites. Her own website is frommtvtomommy.com.

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