An interesting thing happens when you are grieving the loss of love. Facts about your life that were at one point so clear suddenly become distorted. You begin to remember things that weren’t there and forget things that were.

When my marriage ended, I was very clear about the reality of the relationship I was in. I knew in the deepest part of my soul that I was in a highly toxic situation and that removing myself and my son was the absolute best thing for us all. My knowledge of the facts was clear, so clear that I journaled my whole way through the process, providing myself written proofs of the truth of my situation.

And then time went by and somehow reality took on a new form. I would think back and only seem to remember the good times and would make those good times seem even better than they actually were. When I did recall the bad times, I would remember them as not so bad. My thought process would center around those bad times being my fault and me actually making my relationship worse than it really was. I actually began to believe that my Ex would have been a different person if I had been different.

Eventually, in my mind, I went from leaving a toxic relationship to losing an amazing man. My mind and heart were creating a story of the past that simply was not real and delusional, and I was torturing myself at every turn.


I think that so many of us do this. Create a past that doesn’t actually exist, and then, turn it around on yourself and make it seem your fault. Suddenly the “If only” chant begins to repeat in your head, forcing you to question every decision you have made and every memory you thought you had.

There is so much to be learned from this…. so much about yourself. The places where you are distorting the images are places where you can focus in ON you and see what you need to heal within yourself. You are filling deep needs within you with false images of the past.

Look within the distortions themselves and be specific about what parts of the memories you are changing or omitting. Whatever you are creating is a need you have within yourself; something you desire that you feel is missing. By tuning in to exactly what these distortions are, you are able to learn exactly what you need and then set out to fulfill those needs within yourself…. for yourself.

Reality is reality… it doesn’t change because you take space from it. Remind yourself, write it down, and find someone you trust to keep you in check. Do not let yourself create a false past simply to relieve you from the painful work you need to do on you!!!

With love and joy,

This article originally appeared at

Jennifer Butler is a writer and life coach who has navigated through her own divorce as well. To find more of her writing head over to or