Here is the definition of divorce, according to Webster’s: “The action or an instance of legally dissolving a marriage.” Here is what I think should be the definition of divorce: “The action or instance of legally dissolving a marriage and then taking on as much guilt as you possibly can.”
I don’t know any divorced man or woman who doesn’t have guilt. AND, unless they are exhibiting unethical, immoral behavior, or doing something illegal, I don’t know why they feel guilty!
Here are the reasons divorced people might feel guilty:
- They aren’t living with their kids anymore, so they are having nights without them.
- They are secretly a little psyched when they get a night without their kids.
- They are conflicted because they want to spend time with their new boyfriend or girlfriend.
- They are just generally feeling happier not living in the house anymore-not because of the kids, but because of their soon to be ex spouse.
- They have to miss a kid’s event because of work. (They wouldn’t have felt guilty if they were still married)
- They feel guilty every time their child cries, even if it has nothing to do with the divorce (which in most cases it doesn’t.)
- They feel guilty if the child asks for something and they don’t give it to them. (Saying “no” to a child becomes much more difficult and children of divorce sometimes end up really spoiled.)
Here’s my question. WHY are you punishing yourself?? Get rid of the guilt, please! It isn’t helping anything. It’s just making you feel worse.
I think it is truly okay to feel happy or excited when you get time alone without your kids. You felt that way when you were married, right? Alone time is good, and when the kids come back, you appreciate them more, and you are a better parent. (married or divorced.)
Secondly, if you find yourself infatuated or even in love with someone (hopefully not too soon after the divorce) but when you have that feeling that you can’t wait to see your new guy or girl again, enjoy it! Let yourself be happy. You deserve it after the months or years of unhappiness you probably had in your marriage.
And lastly, I think it’s very important to be the same parent that you were when you were married. Don’t change who you are, or go easier on the kids because of your own guilt. That won’t help. It will just cause them to become spoiled. Kids need discipline and structure. Give them that, and you can still be loving and caring and over the top affectionate.
Here are synonyms for “guilt:” Fault, responsibility, blame, culpability, shame. Here is the definition of “guilt:” Awareness of wrongdoing, an awareness of having done wrong or committed a crime, accompanied by feelings of shame and regret.
How is this related at all to what you have done by getting divorced? IT ISN’T!! So, stop feeling guilty. You didn’t commit a crime by getting divorced. You did what you thought was best for you and your family. You are living your life. You are not a bad person for getting divorced!
All guilt does is make you feel bad about yourself. Plus, it can cause stress and anxiety, which can lead to physical symptoms, such as stomach issues, depression, etc.
The last thing I will say about guilt is, here are some reasons you SHOULD feel guilty as a divorced person:
- If you are trashing your ex to your kids.
- If you are making things difficult for your ex, regarding payments or scheduling changes, etc. (because that ultimately hurts the kids.)
- If you are rude to your ex (or give him or her the silent treatment) in front of your kids.
- If you send your ex texts and emails using foul language
- If you fight with your ex in front of the kids.
- If you are bringing multiple boyfriends (or girlfriends) around your kids.
and the biggest one:
7. If you are taking out your guilt on your ex spouse! I see this so often. A man or woman leaves their spouse and then instead of fessing up to the guilt, they take it out on the spouse, almost as if they are enraged at the person. Who they are really enraged at is themselves, and they are trying to get rid of the guilt they feel by shifting the blame to the other person. No psychology degree, just sayin…
So, if you are aren’t doing any of these things, LOSE THE GUILT and start enjoying your life!