While many people get a divorce because they don’t love their spouses anymore for whatever reason—martial problem breakdown, abuse, neglect, lack of sex, lack of respect, etc.—I occasionally hear from women that they still love their husbands during the divorce process.
What gives? It doesn’t seem to make sense in this scenario, or does it? You can technically love someone but not “be in love” with them anymore, although, to me, that means the love is dead. Let’s be honest, you’re not getting hot and heavy or committing to someone that you fell out of love with. But there are many women who when divorcing, share that they still love their husbands—and it becomes a source of personal conflict for some time. If this is you, these are the reasons you may be struggling with this very issue as you go through the divorce process. And hang tight—it gets better and over time, you will feel assured you made the right choice by getting a divorce.
If your husband cheated or spent your money, or some other deceiving action, you may be struggling with the man you now know, versus the one you thought you knew. In this case, it can be normal to still harbor old feelings because most likely, you’re still grieving and accepting that this person is not the same man you thought you married.
Eventually, you will be glad you divorced and that love will be long gone.
You might still love him because he’s the one who set the divorce ball in motion. Now that you know he doesn’t want to be with you, you obviously are moving forward with the divorce … but your heart may still be hurting. This wasn’t your plan so even if you know it’s the right thing to do since he doesn’t love you, you’re not over him yet.
But trust me—your wounds will heal!
If you took the first big step in filing for divorce, kudos to you! However, if you’re still holding love for this man it’s possible that you have an unhealthy love for an unhealthy man. I’ve seen this many times where the woman still pines over the abusive man—even if he’s a total horror show. If these words ring true and you think this might be you, consider therapy because you can’t be in a healthy relationship until you are healthy first.
You may be married to a good man, but perhaps you two have drifted apart. Maybe you married very young. Maybe his long-term goals changed drastically and don’t fit your life vision for yourself. Maybe you want kids and he decided he doesn’t—or the reverse situation. Whatever the reason behind your feelings, he may be a good person but not right for you. In this scenario, I could see someone hanging onto feelings for a while and maybe even feeling some regret until the person heals.
It’s ok to go separate ways even if the person is a good person.
If you are co-dependent or financially dependent on this individual, you may find the feelings harder to shake for a variety of reasons. You may be afraid to be alone or go back to work. You may be afraid of going back into the dating world. Dependency can make moving on and starting over very difficult for you. You may not even really love the person but instead, are co-dependent on him. That is a whole other ball game.
Therapy is very beneficial if you feel you are too dependent on others to stand tall on your own. By working in yourself, you will empower yourself, enrich your life and give yourself the chance to have a healthy relationship, next time around.
Even if you don’t fall into one of these categories, it’s normal to have some feelings for your soon-to-be former spouse. Eventually, though, those feelings will be hard to recall and you will feel stronger and ready to love again.
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