Divorce is difficult at ‘best’ of times. Even when a couple makes a combined decision to divorce, it can be extremely trying.
What happens if decision is one sided? What happens to party who can sometimes feel blind-sided by one person’s decision that they no longer want to be a part of this union?
Been there, done that. Only I wasn’t one who made decision to leave relationship. It was my ex-husband’s decision. Okay, I helped him make actual decision to leave (he didn’t have much choice), but result was same. Feelings of “what’s wrong with me?” are abundant.
So here are some things that will help you to get your self esteem back after a divorce:
1. Talk to someone…
The first step to resolving those feelings is to talk to someone. Bend a familiar ear…be it biased or unbiased. Whether it’s to a trusted friend, or to a counselor, getting it out verbally is a great start to regaining your sense of self.
2. Be Honest…
If you decide that you’re going to seek help from a counselor, make sure that you tell entire truth about what you’re feeling. Be as honest as you possibly can. How can a counselor do his/her job properly, if you’re not completely honest? Regardless of what you tell a counselor, he/she is not there to judge you, merely to listen and to offer some constructive unbiased advice if necessary…not criticism, advice.
3. Keep a Journal…
Writing down what’s going on in your head is also helpful, whether you choose to do that via paper journal, or online journal, both are helpful. I find that using an online journal is much easier, as I don’t write nearly as quickly as I type.
4. Get to know yourself again…
It’s typical to lose oneself during course of a relationship. I know I did! So after my divorce, I took some time to get to know “Me” all over again. Do whatever it is that you love to do! If you enjoyed snowboarding before you were married, get back to it! If you enjoyed knitting, put aside some time to do that. Read some good books, enjoy spending time with new friends, go away for weekend, go and be you!
5. Don’t let those negative thoughts back in.
Once you’ve written down thoughts that aren’t positive (“I hate him/her. I can’t believe that he/she did this to me.”) in a journal of some type, you’ll notice that if you go back and re-read those bad thoughts (and we all do it at least once), you’re mentally and emotionally back in that place all over again. Re-reading ugly details of my divorce for instance, used to put me in that mood all over again (I’ve since tossed that journal). So my advice with regard to writing down negative feelings, is to write them down, then discard them. Tear them up, burn them, flush them if you have to, do whatever it takes, but don’t let those negative thoughts back in.