Some people are better at romance recovery than others. Recent reports suggest that Elin Nordegren is struggling to accept the new partner of her ex-husband, Tiger Woods. Though it has been rumored that he has been dating Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn for many months, they only recently went public with their romance, stating they are “happy” together. Elin and Tiger divorced in the summer of 2010. Their marriage ended in scandal when it was revealed he’d had multiple affairs, and was soon after treated for an apparent sex addiction.
There are reports that Elin is dating again; she has been connected to billionaire Chris Cline. But that hasn’t seemed to make it easier for her to accept the fact that Tiger’s girlfriend is spending so much time with their children, and comments have been made about restricting his custody access. Though the trio managed to be civil at the kids little league games, it’s not difficult to imagine why there may be some tension behind closed doors. What can people do to ease that tension, leaving those bad feelings behind and trying to finally let them go?
Being betrayed is so traumatic, and then having to face feeling replaced by someone who is now taking the spot you used to occupy with your husband and children can be even harder to take. In some cases, your ex’s new companion may even look like you, perhaps just younger. Adding to that, now you have to share your children with the last person on earth you would want them to be with. Sometimes betrayals are an outgrowth of unaddressed conflicts that were there for a long time and may have created a large enough rift for someone to get in between you. However, regardless of what might have been a catalyst for the infidelity, it doesn’t diminish the intensity of the loss you have to face. Finding the maturity and emotional muscle needed to deal with this difficult experience can be a challenge.
Friends and family might respond by suggesting you just get on with it, and leave the other person in the past where he or she belongs. Even if that is hard to hear, it is the goal you want to strive for. Continuing to focus on your ex can unwittingly keep you stuck in your anger. Even if you have moved into a new relationship, all that negativity can hold you back and run interference in your life and with your current partner.
Instead of using your anger and sadness to launch an attack that keeps you mired in the past, use it to disengage. Put boundaries in place: formalize the necessary times to see each other, be it for picking up belongings or dropping things off; begin to build up new support systems rather than looking to your ex when you have a problem in the house, a flat tire, or too much laundry; if there are kids, limit communication with your ex to discussing only necessary subjects surrounding the logistics of their caretaking. Wherever you can, fill in and replenish the areas of your life where you feel the most loss. The more you do that, the less resentful and angry you are going to be.
None of this is easy, but if you become aware of how you direct your energy, you might be able to turn things around. Unfortunately for Elin, “hating” Lindsey Vonn, or any future partner or spouse to Tiger, will not heal the wounds inflicted by a devastating divorce. That effort could be better spent investing in herself and her new life.
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