How to Redefine Love Post-Divorce, For The Kids’ Sake
Updated: May 28
Written by: Jamie Dooley, Life and Business Coach
Repurposing—a trendy new phrase taking the interior design world by storm—turning something old and forgotten, into something new, and even better than the original. It’s easy to visualize a piece of furniture being dusted off and treasured again, but what about a relationship? Conscious uncoupling is trending, but how do you love someone before the hurt has healed? I have learned that only Repurposed Love can heal that hurt.
Like an old beat up buffet sitting in your basement with a mouse nest in the drawer, your relationship took a lot of abuse. You wouldn’t be divorced if it was a walk in the park, right Maybe that buffet has seen 4 different coats of paint. Each time you and your spouse were at your wits end, you agreed to try again by covering the old with a fresh new coat, but you were never able to fully strip it down to its base to see where the problem was.
That is your connection with your ex. It’s just sitting there, in a corner of your heart and soul, wishing it was still important. Wishing it had a purpose.
Whether it got there due to lack of use, purchase of a “newer model” or some other catastrophe you’d rather not discuss, you cannot seem to throw it away because it is a part of you. Your daughter helped you set the table with that real silver. Your child’s first visit to the ER was due to jumping off it to try out the new cape you made him. It held every birthday, anniversary, and holiday cake you ever made. And it was the one piece you could not decide on when you split. It meant a lot to both of you. It’s a reminder of the lost love, so neither of you could bear to get rid of it or use it in your new abode. It is homeless, sad, and forgotten, but still yearning to carry out the mission it was created for.
Bring that old love out of the basement. Dust it off, and sand it down. Get to the base of what you are really upset about. Feel the disappointment instead of hiding it.
Once you have it fully stripped down, you should be able to see a glimpse of its original beauty. You no longer need to hide how you once felt, or how you may still feel. You are part of each other, and are reminded of your unique bond each and every time you look at one of your remarkable children.
I love my ex-husband like a brother. I am not in love with him, but I still care about him, his health and safety, and want to see him happy. For many years, he was the most important person in the world to me. I think about his safety, well-being and happiness now as often as I did then. I hope he has the life, and the woman, of his dreams because I was unable to give that to him. Why is that so weird? His happiness and success in life benefits my children greatly!
So, I love my ex-husband. Do I wish I was still married to him? No. We grew apart, not together, but what we have is irrevocable, because we created a life together. Our children will always be only ours. No one will understand them, their idiosyncrasies, or the past events which made them who they are, like we will. No one will care as deeply or advocate their brilliance as frantically like the two of us. That bond is unbreakable. No one will know the road of hope, pain, and then loss we traveled on but us.
I am not uncomfortable with him, because I am not trying to hide any buried emotion. I have no bitterness, resentment, or jealously left because I have a process for letting go of the past. I teach my clients to write what they are ready to let go of (relationships, fat, debt, guilt, shame, etc) and burn it. There is great power in ceremony! It’s like telling the Universe you are ready to move forward again. All of that thinking and analyzing is stealing joy from your future. People don’t have their peace taken from them, they give it away with their thoughts about a person. It doesn’t matter who did what when, it’s in the past. Let it freaking go.
Whether you like it or not, when you have children together, your ex is still your partner. The definition of the relationship has changed, but you are still the parental unit, and therefore your children are looking to you to see how to act. They are watching you and your interactions with each other so much closer than you realize! How you treat each other is important, if not more important, than when you were married. Kids of any age sense tension. They also absorb it. If you cannot repurpose that love for you, can you do it for your kids?
Love and bitterness cannot occupy the same space.
The more we forgive, the more we are able to receive forgiveness.
The more we love, the more we are able to receive love.
Loving your ex is the quickest way to loving yourself again. Soften your heart and open yourself up to the possibility. Ask God to help you. You don’t have to wait for them to agree to this. Just start sending them love from afar. You will be amazed at the difference in energy next time you interact.
Jamie Dooley is a highly intuitive, heart-based life and business coach, who teaches the art of expansion through energy healing and writing. She is the CEO of The Expansion Group, a collaborative for female dreamers, doers, bosses, and entrepreneurs. Jamie is also the author of Self-Coaching Mastery, and a manifesto expert who teaches women how to embody their sexiest, healthiest, wealthiest selves and have fun in the process.