In order to allow for a healthy relationship with a new partner, you need to take time to heal from your divorce. Even in the best circumstances, however, healing can be limited by variables over which you have limited control, such as mental or physical illness, betrayal, or finances. Be aware that when you enter a new relationship, you may bring with you some of the wounds and patterns of behavior from your previous marriage and family. This can act like an anchor that weighs down your emerging relationship.
To remove that weight and create a foundation that will allow you and your new partner to grow, it is necessary to unravel where one relationship ended and the new one began. Recognize that due to past patterns and behaviors, you may find yourself inadvertently holding your new partner accountable for things they didn’t do. Similarly, your new partner may hold you responsible for certain situations that aren’t your fault. Try to recognize when the past is creeping into the present in ways that sabotage your new relationship. By identifying these patterns and doing the work individually to heal, you can adjust your responses and expectations in relation to these triggers from the past.
It is worth noting that if you are involved with someone who has come out of a very dysfunctional relationship where there was quite a bit of emotional, verbal, or even physical abuse, it will be a greater challenge. Understand and accept that it will require a lot of time and effort to work through the different layers that are being played out. It is not healthy to just accept the dysfunctional behavior as this perpetuates the behavior and prevents either of you from growing or moving on from the painful past encounters. You end up repeating old patterns and the damage compounds over time.
Take heart, there are ways to limit the damage from continuing into the future. A commitment to self-reflection and to doing individual healing work will really pay off. If you engage in self-reflection, which is a form of self-mastery, and then communicate your fears and feelings, it will put you on the road to healing old wounds and creating a higher state of awareness. You’ll be raising the bar for both your lives.