Don’t beat yourself up during divorce

2018-01-10T18:10:47+00:00

During a divorce, especially a divorce where your wasband was (or still is) having an affair, there are many times we will probably need to apologize for things we’ve done or things we’ve said or things we’ve broken or words we’ve screamed … (okay, you get the picture!).

There will never be a time in your life when you are more furious or more out of control with anger.  As hard as I tried to stay in control, sometimes without thinking, I would blurt out something I would later have to apologize for. Apologizing is a consideration for the feelings of others and seeing things from their perspective.  As as often as not, it’s an offering to someone who was a bystander to the outburst, like our children or others close to us

A true apology is a “frank admission of fault and an expression of regret that is sincere and from the heart.”  But don’t end up in the trap of apologizing too much or making it sound as if you had killed someone (even if you might have had thoughts of that!)   Your mistake most likely was an understandable lapse in judgement or control.  It probably wasn’t a huge error that involves more an asking for forgiveness than giving an apology.  I read something by writer, Beth Mende Conny, that helped me get things in perspective when I had done or said something I was sorry for:  “Apologize, don’t agonize.”  That’s good advice during divorce.

For most situations, an honest taking responsibility for your mistake and a simple straightforward “I’m sorry,” is enough. It demonstrates  your ability to empathize with others and keeps you from falling into either “the Devil made me do it,” or “he made me do it,” or “she made me do it” mentality.  You did it yourself, no matter what the provocation.  It also keeps us from thinking that we are a bad, evil person that had a normal reaction to terrible behavior on his part. Let’s learn to apologize sincerely, make amends and then move on.

 

Don’t beat yourself up about those occasional outbursts.  Be sincerely sorry. Offer a willing apology, and then move on.  I always felt lucky I hadn’t done something that demanded some sort of incarceration, so the sincere apologies were a small price to pay for my failures of control. A child psychologist I interviewed for one of the MasterPlan CDs, said that another benefit of apologizing is the example we set for our children.  Taking responsibility for our behavior and making amends is a powerful lesson at a time when our wasband most likely is blaming everyone else but himself for his actions.

 

“Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interests of others.”  Philippians 2:4

About the Author:

Suzy developed Midlife Divorce Recovery as a safe refuge for people healing and surviving the overwhelm of divorce. Starting her first RADiCAL support group in 2003 she's been helping women navigate the journey of divorce ever since.

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