10 Reasons why people remain stuck in limbo after Separation and choose not to move on.

No couples enter married life thinking it will end in the Separation and Divorce courts. When we marry we completely expect it to be for ever – a lifetime commitment between both parties. For better for worse!

Therefore, when the relationship does fail, sometimes one or other of the parties finds it impossible to move on in a healthy manner.  They cling-on to their ex in a way that is harmful and toxic – mostly to themselves, preventing them from moving into the next phase of their life.  They become stuck in the negativity and remain in the ‘temper tantrum’ phase, believing that even negative attention from their ex is better than no attention.  

Why does this happen? Here are some reasons to consider:

  1. I never wanted to become separated:

They refuse to accept the reality of their situation and live in a space of denial.  They never accept that the relationship was bad enough that it had to end.  They see no personal fault at all.

  1. Obsessive love:

They believe that the other person still loves them despite what they are being told.  They believe their partner is ‘going through a phase’ and will eventually see the light and come back to them.  They constantly express their love and their desire to have them back.  They make it clear that they will ‘wait’ for the other person to come to their senses, ignoring all the information and signs pointing to the opposite.

  1. No responsibility:

It’s easier to point the finger and freely park all the blame at the other person’s doorstep.  This way, they don’t have to deal with their own responsibilities towards the demise of the relationship and are spared any self-accountability.

  1. No forgiveness:

Forgiveness is not the same as excusing another person’s behaviour.  It is merely allowing you the freedom to no longer be controlled by your emotions to the extent you are.  By not contemplating forgiveness you choose to remain in a destructive emotional state.

  1. Firmly Stuck in the Past:

They find more comfort in living and rehashing past events than any concept of moving towards or planning a future. For example, they never consider it possible that a future holiday could ever be as good as a holiday they experienced with their Ex.  New experiences appear scary, making it more attractive and easier to dwell on the past.

  1. Fear of the Future:

At the heart of most reasons not to move on is fear.  Fear of the future, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of embarrassment etc.  So, it’s easier to focus on their Ex as an avoidance of facing their fear. Anger is a common way of masking fear.  The more fear that is being experienced, the more anger is manifested towards their ex.

  1. Loss of Standing in their Community:

Often, it’s not even the separation that is causing most anguish, but the fact that the separation is putting focus on them in society.  Many people’s identity is formed based on their relationship status rather than the state of their relationship, and this is overlooked and ignored rather than being labelled as a separated person in their community.

  1. New Relationships:

Having been off the dating market for the duration of their marriage, many people understandably struggle with the concept of actively trying to find something new.  This can be extremely daunting so its often easier to avoid any concept of moving on and remain stuck in limbo.

  1. Idealising their Marriage:

As time passes, some people falsely idealise about how good their marriage was, confusing fantasy with the reality to make it easier to stay stuck in the past.

Most of the above points when drilled down into can be summarised by selfishness allowing the blame for the breakup of the relationship to sit with their Ex and not accepting any responsibility for it themselves, which can be unhealthy and ultimately destructive.

On a positive note, most of the points will be experienced by most people going through separation to some degree or another and it is important to note that it can be a phase or passage of the process.  However, rather than remain stuck, the trick is to try get through this phase as quickly as possible in order not to become so in grained in these thoughts and process.  

Engaging in personal counselling is an excellent way to manoeuvring your way through these emotional brick walls with extremely positive outcomes.

Have a look on our website for counsellors in your area.