If you’re engaging in rebound relationships after divorce, are you sure it’s what you want to be doing?
By definition, “rebound” can mean “to make a recovery” or to “spring back.” And those can be positive advancements for you. But it can also mean “to have an adverse impact” on a person. And that’s where you don’t want to be.
Rebound relationships can be a form of displacement if you haven’t dealt with all the “baggage” you carry forward from the end of your marriage.
You may be trying to avoid the pain of thinking about your marital breakdown by replacing it with a new, happier present. You might miss being with a partner, so you quickly embrace someone else. You want to reignite the flames of passion and excitement of new love. And you may even want to avenge your ex by saying, “You didn’t want me, but someone else does!”
But tread cautiously if you’re trying to put the past behind you too quickly, because unresolved issues can fester and grow into bigger problems that can impact both you and your new partner.
How does that happen? You may be looking for your lover to be everything your old partner wasn’t–and often this person can’t achieve that ideal. You may, over time, start to look at your new love through the lens of your failed relationship, seeing behaviors, attitudes and emotions that may or may not be there. And even if you don’t consciously realize it, you may be expecting your new love to make up for all the past wrongs you’ve experienced in relationships. That can lead to friction and fighting, plus it’s an unfair burden to put on anyone.
The best thing you can do is be honest with yourself and ask the hard questions: “Am I looking for rebound relationships after divorce because I’m trying to avoid dealing with my pain?” “Am I idealizing my new lover to push away the bad memories of my broken relationship?” “Am I using this person as a quick fix, even though it’s not going to last because it’s based on reflex emotions?”
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you’re heading down the path of not only hurting the other person, but also impeding your own growth and recovery. If you’re still working through issues, but want to be involved with someone, make sure you both understand the reality of your rebound relationships after divorce situation. Take time to self-reflect, deal with your “baggage,” then look for a deeper connection.
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