12 Jun The secret & silent “side effect” of divorce that you MUST know how to handle
Did you know that 42% of first marriages in the UK and over 50% of first marriages in the USA end in divorce? It’s scary but it’s a fact.
Getting divorced is widely regarded as the second most traumatic life experience after the death of a loved one. You are thrown around on an emotional rollercoaster and it can feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel as you grapple with an overwhelming tidal wave of emotions that appear to batter you from pillar to post. It is well documented that you may experience confusion, depression, hurt, heartache, fear and anger as you move through the process.
As well as all this, you also face the practical challenges that come hand in hand with a break-up including:
- learning to live without your ex
- doing the chores your ex took care of
- socialising on your own
- becoming a single parent
- legal paperwork
- dating again
These are all common “side effects” of breaking up and the good news is that there are lots of things you can do to help you cope with all of the above issues. I have developed simple, yet highly effective, techniques that empower you to grab back your control to enable you to be happy again and move forward with your life.
However, there is one “side effect” that nobody really talks about, in fact I think I only realised it as a result of my own divorce situation. I think it’s something you only learn from first-hand experience and it’s certainly not well documented which is why is has such a paralysing effect on many of us. I know it did on me. This silent side effect had a huge impact on my life as it:
- prevented me from going out of my house
- stopped me from talking about my break-up
- hugely diminished my confidence and self-esteem
- made me doubt my own ability on every level
- isolated me from friends and family
- played on my mind day and night
- made me wonder what everyone was thinking about me
This side effect is extremely debilitating and is often the root cause of loss of confidence and self-esteem as well as hiding away from the world which leads to even more isolation and loneliness.
So, what is this secret side effect that causes so much devastation?
The answer is
You have to deal with the fact that everyone is finding out that your ‘oh so perfect union’ has broken up. You have to cope with the fact that lots of people will be talking about you and they will all have their own opinion about it. The ripple effect will mean that everyone will find out about it from your best friend right through to your work colleagues and the staff in your local shop.
Eventually it will die down as the moment passes and your break-up becomes old news, however the emotional scars can run deep and do need to be dealt with. The great news is that I know that you can get rid of them, as I have done it, even though you would never have been able to convince me it was possible 7 years ago. But it does take courage and massive action from you to take responsibility and make some small changes.
Humiliation is a strange emotion as it triggers shame, even if you didn’t end the relationship and it wasn’t what you wanted. Even in today’s modern society divorce can be seen as a failure in many people’s minds. And the scary truth is that I felt that way before it happened to me.
However now I realise that is far from the truth and have made it a goal of mine to rid us of this outdated stigma. The truth is that divorce is a learning experience when you realise that what you have been doing has not been working as you thought it would. We all strive for that fairy tale ending and would love our marriage to be as pink, fluffy and romantic as we imagined it and maybe expected it to be at the beginning.
However, in life things don’t always go according to plan. 80% of first businesses fail, so why should we put such high expectations on marriage to work every time?
It’s not what happens to you in life that makes you the person you are, it’s what you do about it that defines you.
Here are my 7 steps to overcome humiliation:
- Take responsibility for getting your life back on track
- Focus your mind on what you can learn from your experience
- Don’t worry about what people think as you cannot control that and often what people are thinking is not as bad as you imagine
- Practice what you want to tell people about your break-up so you are prepared
- Stand up straight and put a smile on your face as this will help boost your confidence
- Force yourself to go out of the house even for a short period of time
- Channel your energy into creating a future you are excited to live – take up a class, start a new hobby, take a trip
If you flip the humiliation into something that you learn from and that you can also learn to master then you transform it into a launch pad for better things. It will take effort as it won’t always be the easy option but when you do it will change your life and get you back on track.
So, go ahead – cut those strings of humiliation and grab back your freedom from this secret and silent side effect. When you decide to take massive action, it becomes easy to do and will make you a stronger and more resilient person who is in control of their emotions and ready to embrace life and all the opportunities that come with it.