Divorce, apart from the difficult proceedings, is a basket of “What ifs” and “What Could’ve Been.” Despite all efforts, there’s that nagging feeling of loss. People said trying harder is the key to making the marriage work, which you did. But things still did not go according to plan.
As a result, you feel guilty for the divorce.
Guilt is an unpleasant yet natural part of the process. Did you not try hard enough? Are you to blame for everything? Did you make the mistake of visiting a lawyer specializing in family law in Littleton rather than try again for the nth time?
No one enjoys feelings of guilt. Still, the path to happiness after divorce requires doses of this unpleasant emotion.
It’s Good for You
Feeling guilty results in a negative mindset: you think of yourself as mean and rotten. It stems from the idea of treating someone in a way you do not want to be treated. Sometimes, you wish the feelings would stop.
But the fact that you feel this way is actually good.
Guilt proves your empathy and compassion for others, which includes the children (if you have any) and even your ex-spouse. These emotions only become destructive when you dwell in the ‘I’m A Bad Person’ mindset. That’s no longer guilt; it’s shame. Feeling shameful is bad for your well-being.
Say No to Guilt from Others
Personal guilt is natural; you can easily accept it. But when others, especially your ex-partner, pin the guilt on you, take a stand.
In some cases, your spouse will use guilt to make their partner stay. It is also a tactic family and close friends may use. Still, there is no reason for you to submit to their opinions. Now is the time to acknowledge your feelings. The best response to this is simple: “Thanks for the concern, but I don’t see it that way.”
Guilt Will Fade Eventually
Fortunately, guilt is not forever (unless you make it stay). As time passes, the mind will eventually calm down, forgive, and forget. It takes time, but you’ll get there. Sometimes, you’ll wonder if you could’ve done something differently, but these feelings will pass.
Don’t just focus on your guilt. For now, focus on what’s best for you and move on.