People – women in particular – will lose their self-esteem after a divorce. This isn’t how life was supposed to turn out for you, and the thoughts of your wedding day will play through your mind time and time again.
What happened? What did you do wrong?
Questions will plague your mind day and night, and there is nothing you can do to turn them off immediately. This is a long process, but in time, you’ll be able to get your self-esteem back and start feeling like your old self again – it is possible.
This trying time in your life requires diligence, and if you want to maintain your self-esteem and regain a lot of the confidence you lost, there are a few things you can do:
1. Allow Yourself to Grieve
There needs to be a time of grieving. You’ve lost a companion in life, and there were good and bad times that you experienced along the entire path. There are feelings you’ll have that may seem irrational, but you need to let them out:
But the one thing that you truly need to allow yourself to grieve over is what you lost. If you confront what you lost, you’ll be able to move on from this hardship.
2. Don’t Think the Divorce Was a Failure
Divorce isn’t a failure. Every couple that ties the knot goes into the marriage with the intention of being with their partner forever – I hope. The truth is that you’re not alone in your divorce. Statistics on divorce are often overstated, with a lot of people hearing that the divorce rate is 50%.
First-time marriages have a 41% of ending in divorce.
Subsequent marriages have a higher percentage of divorce. Putting this into perspective, 4 out of 10 marriages end in divorce. It takes a lot to get to know a person, and possibly the marriage was just not meant to be.
Think of divorce as a trial.
You took a gamble on love, and it didn’t work out in the end. The good news is that you learned a lot along the way and can move on from the experience.
3. Keep Your Goals and Future in Mind
Life is different after divorce, and you may face hardships in parenting and even finances. This isn’t going to be an easy time, but you can’t let it put on the brakes in your life. You need to be strong and ready to remember the goals and passions you still have.
Emotions can cause you to lash out at others, or it can cause you to fall into depression and abandon everything you care about.
If you act on immediate emotions, you’ll find a lot of regret along the way. Instead, try to:
- Remain calm and wait before letting emotions control you
- Keep your focus on your long-term goals
Depression and self-wallowing will not make the situation better. And if you say or do something out of emotion, you may find that you regret your actions and are losing self-esteem along the way.
4. Focus on the Children (If They Exist)
Parents that have children can use them as inspiration. You need to be there for your children after a divorce, and this can be done in a variety of ways:
- Help with homework
- Encourage after school activities
- Talk to your children
Children often bring out the best in a person, and this can be a self-esteem boost in itself. The absolute worst thing you can do is talk bad about your ex to your children and get them in the middle of the divorce.
Don’t speak ill of the other parent – it only hurts the children.
5. Stay Active
If you used to play soccer or go to the gym to exercise, divorce isn’t a reason to stop engaging in these activities. You need to stay active, and this is a great way to keep your self-esteem high. If you look and feel great, there is no reason to let your self-esteem falter.
Keep up the activities that make you, you.
Exercise has been shown to produce serotonin in the brain, which is a feel-good chemical.
Even just 30 minutes of exercise can help to produce serotonin and help you feel happier as a result. The good news is that you’re still doing the activities you know and love. Even if your ex will be there, do not stop living your life, or your self-esteem will fade away quickly.
6. Seek Out Support
Divorce isn’t a planned event in life. You’re not prepared to leave your love, and even if you are the person that filed for divorce, your heart may be breaking in the process. It isn’t a form of weakness to go to therapy or seek the help of a support group.
A lot of divorcees will go to support groups to overcome these challenging issues.
Knowing that you’re not alone and talking to people in the same situation can help you feel a lot better.
Addressing your issues will allow you to move on from the divorce. It will take a lot of courage to seek out support, but it may be the best choice you make after your divorce. You owe it to yourself to be happy again, and if support is needed, there are plenty of people willing to help you surmount this pile of emotions and grief.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm focusing exclusively on family law for men and fathers. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. Brad has experience working with high conflict divorce. You can read more on this topic by visiting our prenuptials blog. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.