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The Secret to Clearing Divorce Guilt

Guilt and shame about divorce can permeate our lives like a fog that never quite lifts all the way, even years later. Those who leave second guess whether they tried hard enough. Those whose Ex initiated the split are left wondering what went wrong.

“It’s six years after my divorce, and I still feel like a failure because my marriage didn’t last.” (response from my survey on challenges of divorce)

I was shopping with my parents when they ran into old friends. I felt embarrassed for them when, in catching up, they admitted that three out of four of their children are divorced.”
(used with permission from coaching client)

“I feel humiliated and embarrassed by my Ex’s affair after 30 years of marriage.”
(used with permission from coaching client)

Unfortunately, our culture agrees with and reinforces our feelings of embarrassment over the end of our marriages. We’re taught that divorce is bad and marriage is good. We all know it’s not that simple, but our society clings to it anyway. It’s no wonder we feel bad about divorce.

You Deserve Your Own Love and Compassion

You are more than your divorce. You’re an amazing and wonderful human being, whether you’re divorced or not.

The truth is, not all marriages are meant to last a lifetime, and that’s OK. Divorce is the end of a relationship that’s run its course, not a failure of character. You don’t have to let the outside world make you feel bad about it. But it’s your inside world that’s probably more of the issue. Almost no one is harder on us than we are on ourselves.

Looking back in guilt and regret holds you hostage to the past—something you have no power to change. Living with a sense of failure for your marriage ending erodes your peace of mind from the inside out. Letting it go is a choice you have the power to make—the secret is compassionate self-forgiveness.

Self-compassion and self-forgiveness help you release the judgment you’ve placed against yourself. This brings peace and frees you up to put your attention on building your new life.
By identifying and releasing your guilt, shame and regret about divorce, you’re doing one of the most healing things you can do for yourself.

Here’s a Simple Three-Step Self-Forgives Process for Releasing Divorce Guilt I developed to assist you.

If you’re struggling with divorce guilt and shame and a self-guided process isn’t enough, please consider working with a therapist or coach.

Helpful Resources:

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