Last week for Tip #3 of a countdown of 3 tips to confidently
navigate divorce, I suggested that you dive deep into your
heart and explore WHY you want to divorce.
You were given writing prompts to discover what’s really
happening for you. I hope that exercise gave you clarity. If
you still haven’t written on it, no worries. Do it now.
Tip #2) Adapt an attitude of forgiveness and compassion for
yourself as you navigate this growth and healing journey.
Deciding to get divorced, even if you initiated it, can make you
feel like a failure because most likely you made vows to love this person
for the rest of your life.
We can feel SO guilty for wanting to end the relationship or so
ashamed for having it ended for us, that we make poor decisions
that have a negative impact on everyone for a long time to come.
No matter who initiated the divorce, it doesn’t mean you’re a
failure or that something is wrong with you.
There are many reasons for wanting a divorce.
Falling out of love.
Has this happened and why? Are you still seeing them as their
old self and holding on to old hurts and grievances?
Or are they abusive or negligent, taking you for granted, and
you’ve had enough?
When someone begins treating you worse than you treat yourself,
you will want to leave the relationship.
Is there someone else?
Have you fallen in love with someone else? Sometimes someone else
IS better suited for you. I’m not here to judge or make that decision for you.
And sometimes we think the “grass is greener” over there but it really isn’t.
The problem is that if we don’t do the necessary healing and inner work,
we will repeat the same relationship patterns with another partner.
Relationships are messy and often the patterns can be healed in the
current relationship if we commit to it with no plan B (no escape
route when the going gets tough).
Has your spouse stepped outside of the marriage and had an affair?
Naturally you’d feel hurt and self-protective. You’d feel angry and out of
control, disappointed, shocked that they could do this.
It’s very tempting to want to kick them out, especially if this wasn’t a
one-time deal, but a longer term, more serious relationship in which
they’ve been unfaithful for some time.
Again, I’m not advising you one way or the other, because I’m not
in your shoes. I am asking you to stay open to possibilities and decide
what feels right for you.
At this point, I understand if you don’t want to rebuild the marriage.
But let’s say that your spouse is showing signs of remorse for whatever
reason, and they sincerely want to reconcile.
Would it make sense to dig deeper into your own heart to see what
created the disconnection with you two in the first place?
Each partner has a responsibility for where the relationship is at.
Affairs don’t just happen. There is a reason for them. There has been
a breakdown in communication, in connection, in trust BEFORE the affair.
Neither party is innocent or blameless.
If the partner has NO interest in repairing the marriage, then allow
yourself to bow out as gracefully as possible, and be aware not to
collapse into shame and self-blame that somehow you are bad, wrong,
unlovable, unworthy, not good enough for them, and totally responsible
for the divorce.
Their leaving and not wanting to work it out has every bit as much to do
with THEM and their feelings, thoughts, experiences, and beliefs as it has
to do with you. It’s the outcome of a 50/50 relationship and all of its
accompanying beliefs, experiences and traumas.
Their leaving may be one of the biggest blessings to you, that you just
don’t see yet.
Is there abuse?
I’m not advocating you should stay with someone if there is abuse, and
the spouse is not sincerely willing to get help to heal them self. You can
tell if they are just “going through the motions” and getting coaching or
counseling because they feel threatened, or if they are sincere and really
want to change.
What I AM advocating is that if your partner is willing and sincere about
getting help and you see a consistent effort on their part to take responsibility
for their part in where your marriage is at, then it may be worth considering
staying and working on self-healing, assuming there is still some love there
ONLY YOU know in your heart what feels right. Maybe you just KNOW that you
need to move on. Maybe you knew when you got married that you weren’t
I remember when I got married, I was thinking, “Well if it doesn’t work out I
can always get divorced.”
That’s not the best way to start a marriage. And obviously I had doubts about
the union. We tended to fight a lot. I loved his parents, and I didn’t want to hurt
him or his parents. So I took the easy way out. I didn’t express my feelings so
that we could either 1) resolve the doubt or 2) not get married.
Instead I kept these shameful feelings to myself and they grew over time.
I developed a habit of keeping thoughts like this to myself, and that
contributed to destroying our marriage.
If you are ready to get divorced, please do it without regret and guilt.
Have compassion for yourself. This isn’t an easy decision.
If you choose to stay, have compassion, because either way, there is
healing work ahead that tends to bring out the inner critic, making
you bad or wrong for your thoughts and feelings.
If we knew how to do better, we would have. The past is over. Going
forward, we need to learn how to nurture and care for ourselves first
How you treat yourself during this transition will have a positive or
negative ripple effect on you, your kids and your spouse, depending
on how you go about it.
If you’re ready to take the next step and get more clarity around this
milestone in your life, download the Confident Mom Morning Routine.
You can learn to be the confident mom you and your kids need during
this challenging time.
What The Confident Mom Morning Routine Will Teach You:
Simple daily actions you can take (15 mins or less) to create a safe
foundation for you and your kids
How to feel confident in your decisions for your family
How to release the guilt and shame around the divorce trauma
How to let go of worrying about others criticism of you
How to gain strength to advocate for you and your children
Next week, I’ll cover Tip #1.
PS: You deserve to be kind and have compassion for yourself
as you go through this divorce process.