Unmooring your Emotional Anchors

After the dust settles from your divorce and you start to become comfortable in your new normal, you will soon become aware of all the…stuff that reminds you of your ex. Something as simple as a bath towel can cause strong feelings and emotions to bubble up. These items are commonly referred to as “emotional anchors” and can be pesky for people who are struggling to move on after a nasty split. 

While dealing with these emotional anchors can eventually become overwhelming, know that you are not alone. Every single person in this country who has divorced (of which there are millions) has struggled with deciding what to do with personal mementos. Many divorcees immediately box up their ex’s belongings until they have the emotional wherewithal to deal with them. 

Sooner or later, though, you will have to deal with them. You should not make space in your new life for items that remind you of pain and anguish. Credible studies have also shown that divorcees who promptly get rid of their ex’s possessions also recover emotionally from their divorce more quickly. However, a recent survey showed that more than one of four of its respondents kept a physical item from a past relationship that they don’t want their current partner to discover. 

Taking Action

When determining what to do with a particular physical item, take note of how it makes you feel. If it brings about negative feelings, such as wistfulness, sadness, or anger, it is best to somehow get rid of it. While your divorce is still pending, it is best not to physically destroy things. Once your split is finalized, though, you are generally free to do whatever you want with your emotional anchors. 

Many divorcees donate items to a charitable organization so that the item may go on to have a much more positive usefulness. Holding a yard sale is also acceptable. For those nasty items that cause an almost-physical reaction, there are therapeutic destruction methods that you may choose to execute – burning, smashing with a sledgehammer, or dropping off a cliff, for instance. 


Moving on from a past relationship will be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. After recovering emotionally, those pesky physical items lying around the house can cause you to regress and cling to what’s no longer there. When it comes to that, the overwhelmingly best practice is to get rid of the emotionally toxic anchors so you can make room in your life for new, positive experiences. 

If you are seeking caring and empathetic legal support during your divorce process, please reach out to Indiana Divorce Lawyers.

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Indiana Divorce Lawyers, Pastrana LLC

At Indiana Divorce Lawyers, we look at how divorce affects you on every level. We don’t believe in a dry, stoic approach that handles the legal aspects of divorce while leaving you alone to address the complicated emotions and growth that you’re bound to experience. The end of your marriage is a new beginning for you, and we’re ready to walk you through every step.

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