Ask The Divorce Coach: Move on? Let Go? Pfft. Yeah, right.


Dear Shelley,

“Moving on” and “letting go”.  These are the two phrases I HATE the most. My ex revealed his affair in July of ’09. I filed for divorce in August and he moved in with his girlfriend. We were married nine years and have two kids. His girlfriend just gave birth to their child in August. I am filled with rage and hatred. I want them to hurt as much as I have been hurt, but I know this is impossible. I am on meds, see a therapist and am trying to cope with being a single mom. I hate the fact that my life was turned upside down by them. I feel like I never had a choice and now I have to “co-parent” with this man that broke my heart and destroyed my family. Moving on, forgiving and letting go seem like impossible tasks to me. I hate that my kids are around the woman that cheated with their father and gave birth to their half sibling. It offends me morally, religiously, at every level. The divorce was final in August. He pays $150 per month to me and won’t help pay for the kids activities and sports and that only makes me angrier. I am 42, divorced with two kids. What now?



Dear Betsy,

First off, in terms of the legal divorce your child support sounds to be very low for two children.  Of course I do not know the particulars, for instance who has the larger income but if I were you, I would check with a legal expert.

Feeling like we want them to suffer as much as we have is a perfectly normal response but who is suffering right now?  Them or you?  The reality of the situation is that your anger is hurting you and not them. Given the fact that you were only divorced in August, you are still in the grieving process and it is marked by all of the negative feelings you are presently experiencing.  You need to grieve as this is a huge loss. Nonetheless, what we come to understand only with time is the fact that there is no going back. There is no controlling him. There is no ‘should be’. There simply is this reality or what is.  We can either accept our life as it is and learn to let go of the anger or we can choose to hold onto the past and suffer.

Acceptance is the conscious acknowledgement of reality without trying to change it.  If your child were to get sick you would probably react with a ‘why my child?’ response initially and be angry and sad BUT that will get you and your child nowhere.  Only when you accept the fact of the illness can you then move on to take matters into your own hands and find a way to combat the illness.  If you are lost in your car and driving around in circles thinking that you aren’t lost …you will stay lost. Only when you accept the fact that you are lost will you be able to make the move to get help.  Acceptance of what is.

I know that letting go and moving on seem like impossible task right now.  You aren’t alone in that feeling. I felt that way too. But I realized what me anger was costing me  and I saw that it was futile. Take back control of your life by accepting this new life.  As the old saying goes, “the best revenge is living well!”

What now?  Your entire future.  Get support.  


Shelley Stile is an ACC certified Divorce Recovery Life Coach and author who guides her clients to let go the pain of their divorce and move on to create new and vibrant lives after divorce. Shelley has been through her own divorce so she knows first-hand about the journey of divorce recovery. Receive her free, powerful e-book, The 10 Secrets to Coping with Divorce’, and her monthly ‘Take Back Your Life After Divorce’ Newsletter by going to:


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    Rebel Rose says

    Oh Betsy! I certainly feel your pain and with every word I cried because I was there once. After 26 years of marriage, my ex decided he needed to “find himself” and was no longer happy being married to me. I filed for divorced shortly after I learned that “finding himself” meant he wanted the freedom to sleep around and feel good about lusting after other women. What I have learned is that letting go and moving on are 2 very hard things to do especially when we are hurting emotionally. But as Shelly advises, if we do not then the only one we are hurting is ourselves. Please think of your children and what you want them to learn from this experience.

    For me, moving on and letting go was a very slow process accomplished step by step, little by little, moment by moment and day by day. I encourage you to join a support group, any group that will help you process your anger and be there to support you. I joined one called DivorceCare and they helped me tremendously.

    I wish you the best in your walk through this very painful experience but I know you will do well. Remember, with every ending is a new beginning! This is about YOU now! Learn to live and be happy with who you are today!

    One more thought I would like to leave you with, uforgiveness is like eating poison every day waiting for the other person to die!

    My best to you and your children! Rebel Rose


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