Most women who have ended their marriage have dealt with some form of divorce guilt or shame. They may think they didn’t try hard enough to make the marriage work or wonder if they made the right decision to get a divorce in the first place. Maybe they worry that being a divorcee has demoted their stance with their family or in certain social circles. Read guide about Dealing with Divorce Guilt.
But all this second-guessing and self-blame won’t help you heal or move forward with your life. So if you are struggling with lingering guilt and shame from your divorce, keep reading for ways to overcome these emotions so you can start embracing the good things in your life. In divorce the main issue is family.Berfas and associates Provide you complete assistance.If you need any family divorce attorney berfas and associates will help you in every situation.
Guilt and Shame in Divorce
When we think of the word “divorce,” we immediately have an opinion, or at least I had one, before getting a divorce, that is. Well, the truth is sad actually; we tend to feel sorry for “those people,” incredibly sorry for the women.Even though the divorce rate has declined since 1980, the lifelong probability of a marriage ending in divorce is roughly 39%. Furthermore, in a survey of over 2,000 heterosexual couples, it was discovered that women initiate nearly 70% of all divorces. So, with most divorces initiated by women, why aren’t we celebrating our newfound freedom and feeling proud instead of feeling judged by others and most likely ourselves. Why, instead of pride, do many of us tend to feel shame as if we’re broken beyond repair, and how do we change that narrative?
Where the divorce guilt comes from
To change anything, it’s essential to recognize, talk about, and explore why it’s there in the first place. Talking about shame is the first step in ridding ourselves of the dark cloak that covers it up and makes it worse
One of the breeding grounds for judgment is within society itself. Society is “pro-relationship” and certainly not “pro-divorce.” When you’re single, every married friend wants to “couple you up,” at least when you’re a woman. And when you’re married, your vows reinforce the belief that that union is until death do you part.
Society doesn’t like divorce, it represents being broken, and it’s hard not to take that personally.
I was feeling like a failure.
Divorce is perceived as a failed marriage, when in truth, at least according to comedian Lewis Black, “No good marriage ends in divorce.” And who says every relationship is meant to last forever? Well, those vows do, and when they’re broken, we can feel like we failed, didn’t try enough, weren’t good enough, and those feelings, thoughts, beliefs can be devastating.
Perceived wrong choices
We’re just not good enough, should’ve recognized the problems sooner, stayed too long, or shouldn’t have married the wrong person. Unfortunately, all of those messages, each one contradicting the other, and lacking any foundation in reality, still add fuel to the fire of divorce guilt and shame. Important point in our guide of Dealing with Divorce Guilt.
Whether someone points the finger at you, or whether it’s the voice of your inner critic, the judgment can be thick, and the guilt based on perceived wrong choices can be relentless.
How to move past the guilt and shame
So how can we stop, rid ourselves of the guilt and shame that often accompanies the stigma of divorce, and not allow those damaging feelings to take up more space than they deserve?
As women, we often take on much more responsibility than we should in everything. That burden, especially when mistakes are made, can be daunting. But it’s important to remember that if you take the blame, you should also take the credit.I don’t think I’m alone in admitting that taking the credit isn’t something I’m great at, but taking the blame, well, I tend to nail that one more easily. But neither the responsibility nor the credit is owned by us.
A marriage involves two people, two responsible adults who make choices, and we’re all accountable for our own decisions. The burden of someone else’s choices isn’t designed for us to bear. So it’s essential to let go of the responsibilities of others.
Start forgiving yourself
Unfortunately, we tend to focus on the forgiveness of others more quickly than the forgiveness of ourselves. As a result, we tend to take ourselves for granted while staying angry with ourselves unknowingly.
Take care of yourself and treat yourself like you have value
Treat yourself as well as you treat others with kindness, patience, and understanding. When you fall, when you make mistakes, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, hug yourself, and love yourself unconditionally. Remind yourself that mistakes are a necessary part of growth, and the love you have for yourself is not conditional based on being perfect. We don’t like those “perfect” people anyway. They’re so irritating.
Talk to someone
A friend, a family member, or a professional, anyone. Talk about your feelings with someone safe who won’t judge you and someone who will listen. Someone you trust with your emotions. And most importantly, give yourself time to heal. Healing takes time and patience, and feelings are just that, feelings. Just because you “feel” something doesn’t mean it’s reality, and it also means that it will pass.
Even the good feelings go away eventually, unfortunately. Remember, the choices you made, and still make, all of them, are neither bad nor good, they’re just choices, and we all make them. The outcome may not be something we like, but that doesn’t mean we made the wrong choice. Our decisions don’t define who we are. So try to be your best ally. It would be best if you had you on your side.
Through personal experiences in her divorce, Michelle has learned more about herself than ever before, often learning the hard way. She’s a single mom now, spending her time experiencing life with an amazing 14-year-old son, two rather aggressive cats, and a brand new puppy, with a very patient partner by her side. She writes professionally and for pleasure, sharing her story, hoping that her experiences will help others find support and humor on their journey through divorce into singlehood. Hope you love reading about “Dealing with Divorce Guilt”
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