4 Ways To Cope With The Guilt Of Divorce

Originally Published: 
Mom and baby girl napping in bed at home

Here you are, beginning the process of a divorce, or maybe you’ve been through one already and the guilt is eating you up. I know it can be crippling–I’ve been there. I had many days and nights in the past four years when I couldn’t stop beating myself up because I wasn’t with the father of my children any longer. It’s not an easy task, but believe me when I tell you you can get through the guilt and stop swimming in self-blame. Here are four suggestions to help.

1.Remember it takes two to make a relationship work.

That means it’s impossible for it to be all your fault. On the days when your guilt gets to you, it’s easy to beat yourself up. It’s also to see your ex with rose-colored glasses after some time has gone by–don’t forget that.

2.Regardless of what happened, it does you zero good if you are going to wallow and blame yourself.

This is going to make you upset and keep you from moving forward, which is what your kids need you to do. And you need to do this for yourself, too.

3.Remember mistakes are how you grow and change.

You are going to evolve into different versions of yourself whether you stay married or not. You will outgrow clothes, styles, fads, friendships, and many other things. You are allowed to change; you are allowed to make mistakes. You are allowed to grow from those mistakes.

You can let guilt be in the driver’s seat, or you can take your divorce as an opportunity to spread your wings and really get in touch with what you want in life, and what you want to avoid.

4.Your kids are happiest when their parents are happy–whether they’re together or not.

That is the truth. If you stayed together for the sake of the kids and they knew it, not only would they grow up in an unhappy home, they might would resent you for not doing what you really wanted to for them.

They know when their parents aren’t in love and no longer want to be together. It’s a much better example if you show them it’s okay to start a new chapter and take care of yourself.

Yes, feeling guilty is a common part of the divorce process. You are going to feel a certain amount of it, and it’s okay to feel it as long as you don’t decide to stop and camp out there for too long. The more grace you give yourself around this, the easier it will become to let the guilt go.

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