Feelings of divorce guilt, much like with shame, tend to be pretty common. However, many people feel this guilt when they really don’t need to. Understanding how to let go of this guilt can help you start to move forward…

Divorce Guilt: Moving Forwards

Understanding guilt

To better understand divorce guilt, it helps to what guilt is itself. We feel guilt when we think we’ve hurt someone else. It also tends to occur when we believe we’ve failed something important to us. Or, it could be caused by feeling like you should’ve moved on, but haven’t yet. Based on this, it’s easy to understand why some people would feel guilty after their divorce. 

Sometimes, this guilt can make sense if a relationship ended due to an affair someone had. Still, most people misplace this guilt. Many times, they’re allowing for other people’s mistakes to be placed onto them, and make them feel guilty as a result.

Initiator guilt

One of the most common causes of divorce guilt is initiator guilt. Many people who initiate a divorce initially don’t want one. They may have tried other options, like marriage counseling, to try and fix things. However, they eventually don’t see any other option but to divorce.

Once they reach that point where they feel “enough is enough”, they’ll go through with the divorce. All the while, they’ll feel guilt over their decision and constantly question themselves. Basically, their placing all the guilt of not being able to save their marriage solely on their shoulders.

Let go of guilt

Feelings of divorce guilt can really make it hard for you to start on your post-divorce life. Therefore, it’s important to try and let go of that guilt. To start, you should first stop taking responsibility for the actions of others. Instead, focus on what you’ve done, and acknowledge any actual, honest mistakes you’ve made.

Once you do this, you can begin to better accept what’s happened and change your focus. Rather than feeling unneeded guilt over the past, you can start to look forward to the future. Of course, if you need extra help, don’t be afraid to seek some professional help.