Impact of Divorce on Your Self-Esteem

Impact of Divorce on Your Self-Esteem

Divorce is different for everyone, each case has unique financial, family and property issues. But despite the differences, there is often one underlying impact of divorce, and that’s the effect on self-esteem. This impact extends to both parties, regardless of whether they were the ones who initiated the divorce. The feeling that you have failed at something can be felt by both parties and this can influence your levels of self-esteem.

What is self-esteem?

Feelings of poor self-worth and a lack of confidence are typical markers for low self-esteem. Having negative thoughts and beliefs about yourself can affect the health of your personal relationships, your work life, financial state and education, so it’s important to build a good sense of self-assurance.

What you can do

If you are going through a particularly acrimonious divorce, with a difficult ex-spouse, your self-esteem may have taken a hit, and it can feel impossible to communicate well with your former partner. However, as well as children being impacted by their parent’s lack of cooperation, this can have a continued impact on your self-esteem too. In cases where there is a difficult parent who has ignored a court order, for example, the courts will take this very seriously. While this is reassuring to parents, navigating the court process can be stressful and may compound your feelings of self-doubt or cause you to question yourself.

  • Reframe your divorce

Divorce can trigger feelings of grief, regret and remorse and can make you feel as if you have not been successful in achieving something, try to redefine it in your mind. Think of it as something that was no longer serving you, meeting your needs or making you happy. And now you have the opportunity to change things. Giving yourself a sense of power of a situation in this way will make you feel more in control of your future. Reconfiguring can take a while though so make sure you allow yourself to go through the grieving process first.

  • Let go of the past

Looking back and reliving moments or periods during your marriage is never a good idea. But it’s hard not to ruminate when you have given your commitment to something that hasn’t worked out.  Keep on reminding yourself that you still have a future to look forward to and new chances to make the right decisions and learn from your past. Work towards minimizing your thoughts of the past and try to fill your mind with thoughts of what you are going to do now and in the future. Make time for new adventures, and hobbies where you can meet new people and have new experiences.

  • Remember, divorce is nothing new

If you are plagued by thoughts of what people will think of you and your divorce, let yourself off the hook by recalling a few facts. On average, only 50% of marriages last, and, as the Office of National Statistics reports, in 2021 there was a 9% increase in divorces compared to 2020. Divorce is not unusual and you do not need to feel ostracised because of it. Joining a community group with like-minded people can help remind you that other people are going through similar experiences.

In summary

Self-esteem is a huge factor that can determine the path and happiness of the rest of your life following a divorce. If you are going through a high-conflict or difficult divorce, then remember to keep your self-esteem in check. To keep on building it during a divorce, remind yourself that you are not alone in having to divorce, liberate yourself from thoughts of what happened during your marriage and turn negative thoughts about it on their head.