Guilt. Rejection. Self-love. Self-hate. The importance of sifting through residual emotions after divorce can determine your future self. How do you move on, whether you are the one who filed or not? The key is to examine each emotion. In her article, "5 Ways to Deal with Feelings of Guilt and Rejection Post-divorce, " Terry Gassard outlines the conflicts and the solutions of dealing with life after divorce. There's no magic wand to wave over the feelings, but there are healthy answers to the questions you face in beginning your new life.
Here are five ways to deal with feelings of guilt and rejection about your divorce:
- Accept the fact that it’s normal or typical to have these emotional reactions to the ending of a relationship. They’ve probably been there all along (in your marriage) and are simply intensified during and after the divorce process.
- Get to the root of your feelings of guilt and/or rejection. Self-awareness is the first step in recovering from painful emotions. Examine whether you consider yourself a dumper or dumpee and the impact this has on your emotions.
- Apologize to your ex or children if you behaved badly during or after your divorce. It’s never too late to make amends. A sincere apology can help you to forgive yourself and can promote healing for your children. Asking your ex for forgiveness, if you feel it’s warranted, can help mend the past and promote friendship post-divorce.
- Acknowledge that all relationships end. Just because your relationship is over, it doesn’t mean you’re inadequate or inferior – or there’s something wrong with you. Give yourself a break.
- Cultivate supportive relationships. Being with people who accept and support you can help ease feeling of guilt and rejection. Get energized by the possibilities ahead for you.