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Moving beyond feelings of shame after divorce

Divorce is one of the most difficult experiences many will face. Even in the best of circumstances where the couple works together to resolve issues like parenting plans and custody, determining child support or other thorny issues, there is still a feeling of mixed emotions. Some will no doubt be a sense of relief at putting the marital dysfunction behind oneself, but there can also be a nagging sense of shame.

The negative inside

The voice inside may question your inability to make the relationship work, and perhaps spawn fear that the split will impact the lives of children and other loved ones. Perhaps there are religious values that are violated, or concern of how others in your community will perceive you after the divorce.

Allowing these negative feelings to fester can have an impact that carries over to other parts of your life. According to experts, common feelings include:

  • The failed marriage is my fault.
  • I failed to make the marriage work.
  • I failed because my ex no longer loves me.
  • I failed as a parent.

Acceptance and forgiveness

The road to recovery starts by accepting the fact that the marriage is over. Once this painful truth is acknowledged and accepted, individuals can move on to forgiving themselves. It can often be helpful to analyze feelings of shame and why they have such a powerful hold over yourself. Then one can ask themselves: How are these feelings serving me?

Creating a new reality

One life coach who works with divorced individuals recommends that her clients take time to consider how these negative or limiting beliefs are keeping them stuck in the past. She then asks clients to write new core beliefs that can provide a solid foundation for rebuilding their life as they envision it. This next step enables one to feel better about their choices will result in actions that bring new and better future.

Change can be hard

Many of the emotions and even core beliefs involved in divorce will be daunting to reconcile or resolve. Enabling clients to focus on these important issues, a knowledgeable family law attorney can handle the legal details of a divorce while clients take these important steps to toward building a brighter future.

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