Divorce creates its share of unfortunate consequences. The stigma itself manifests in countless ways. For some, it’s a sense of shame. Others see it as an uncomfortable label. If nothing else, you need to stop thinking your divorce means you’re a failure.
No doubt when you first joined hands and promised everlasting love for your spouse, you had certain expectations. It wasn’t just the promise of long-time companionship. Perhaps you envisioned a white picket fence and watching your children grow to maturity.
Truth be told, couples may call it quits after decades of marriage. The grey divorce phenomenon brings some reality to the forefront. Would it surprise you to learn that the divorce rate for those over 65 more than doubled during the last decade?
If you’re stuck in the feeling that divorce means you’re a failure, you might want to look back at your marriage. For starters, if you had children together, that’s a primary consideration.
You don’t have to live through your children’s success to appreciate it. However, it’s not just their achievements that make you love them. Meanwhile, there’s something important to remember.
Like it or not, your union with your spouse created the marvel that means so much to you. It’s not only an issue of intertwining of genetics that makes the difference. In some regard, both parents contribute to the growth and development of their offspring. You most likely know that avoiding parental alienation helps children feel good about themselves and their other parent.
It’s the Marriage That Failed: Not You
Language can be complicated. After all, you wouldn’t be wrong if you said your marriage failed. However, that doesn’t mean you need to take it to next step. Just because you’re getting divorced, doesn’t mean you personally are a failure.
A journal article regarding 52 divorced individuals who received premarital education proves interesting. Those studied participated in a program while they were engaged to be married. Named the Prevention and Relationship Program (PREP), the goal focused on keeping the couples together.
Nonetheless, the couples found themselves encountering the same types of issues that lead to the end of marriages. Lack of commitment, infidelity, domestic violence and conflict/arguing represented major contributors for divorce.
For a moment, examine the reason you think your divorce means you’re a failure. Take the two most obvious. If your spouse cheated on you or abused you, why does that make you the one that caused the marital breakdown?
As you reflect back on your marriage, you may reminisce about the times together. The fun you had then created memories. When things start getting bad, the last thing you need are those recollections.
Leaving a failed marriage may actually mean you’re a winner. Without question, it takes courage to walk away from what you thought as forever. However, who’s to say you won’t become a better person as you seek to reinvent yourself? And, maybe find new companionship in the process.
Divorce provides individuals a chance at autonomy. If you’ve been under the thumb of your spouse’s direction, you’ll likely enjoy making your own decisions.
The Problem with Negative Thoughts
If you think of yourself as a failure because your marriage ended, you’re creating problems. As you can well imagine, negative thinking often leads to anxiety and depression. However, it can also do more than lead to emotional and psychological issues.
According to one medical journal, negative thoughts “can escalate, affecting a person’s mental and physical health and cumulatively damaging professional and personal relationships, decisions, and behavior.”
Summed up, your sense of failure imposes great issues for your health. It may be the time to consider support groups or therapy sessions to get yourself back on track.
You deserve to move forward in your life regardless of the circumstances that led to your divorce. At the Law Offices of Sam Stoia, we are here to help you through the process. Give us a call to set up a complimentary appointment to discuss your individual needs.