If you are facing a partner’s infidelity and the destruction of your marriage, and are considering harming yourself, or if you are worried about a loved one hurting himself or herself, call the number below:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 (Available 24/7)
Thoughts Of Suicide After Divorce Or Cheating Are Common
Feelings of desperate sadness, failure, guilt, fear, and hopelessness are just of the few emotions that overwhelm us during a discovery of infidelity or during the process of divorce. Those are also often the same emotions that accompany thoughts of suicide.
I can understand how divorce suicide or divorce after cheating could enter someone’s thoughts. That’s true especially during cold and cloudy days and during holidays and even in time of stress and local or national emergencies.
The word “suicide” is terrifying, especially for those who have a family history of suicide. I am a very upbeat, grateful, hopeful person. I try to be a God follower. When the kids were growing up, I put Bible verses on the table before school. I always told them when something bad happened, to just trust God and do the right thing and everything would work out.
But during divorce, the intensity of my sadness and my early feelings of despair caught me off guard.
I had trouble accepting that this was happening to me. Most of my day-to-day life (before the cheating and divorce) was built on being a good wife and a good mom. Of course, I had other interests and goals, but when the two main parts of my life came crashing down, the feelings of loss were at times almost unbearable.
I thought I would never really be happy again. I thought I had failed my children by not being able to keep our family together. I was devastated that my wasband (he was my husband, but he’s not anymore) decided he wanted a different life after 33 years together. I felt like a personal and a spiritual failure.
Since I’ve been doing this Midlife Divorce Recovery work, I’ve also encountered people who strayed and had affairs. Ater they were caught and their spouse filed for divorce, and their family destroyed, they had such feelings of guilt and remorse that they, too, had serious depression and thoughts of suicide after cheating.
Sometimes after divorce we think life isn’t worth living. Sometimes we think suicide would be easier than living with the pain. Sometimes the initial hurt is so horrendous that we wonder if divorce or suicide would be easier.
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The Numbers About Divorce And Suicide
Men actually commit suicide at alarmingly greater numbers than women even though a more equal number of men and women think about suicide after divorce. Go to this article for the full study. Divorce is a suicide risk factor for more and more people.
An article written for suicide prevention month for USA Today last year, included this excerpt:
“Men commit suicide more often than women, but the rate for women is increasing faster, especially in my demographic, ages 45-64. Depression is a critical risk factor for suicide, but researchers also point to a disturbing link between suicide and divorce, as divorced and separated people have much higher rates of suicide than people in marriages. And the divorce rate for those over 50 is rising sharply. Even children feel the brunt of their parents’ divorce, with adult children of divorce 14% more likely to attempt suicide than those from intact families.”
Even though I was devastated and unsure of myself and my future after divorce, I always knew, deep down, that I would eventually recover and rebuild my life. My situation was much easier than many that I hear about often.
The really desperate divorce situations, especially when children are involved, are those when a partner leaves and provides no support at all. When a partner disappears, or has no job, or there are family members with special needs, disability or illness, or addiction, the situation is much more dire.
If someone is uprooted from their home after divorce and has no financial or family or social support, the situation is exponentially more difficult. I also hear from women living in countries where women have fewer rights than most of us enjoy. All desperately challenging situations.
But regardless of how bleak your situation seems, there is help!
Even simple actions, like reading the blogs on our site, can help. Getting into our private, protected MDRcommunity of women can bring hope and a feeling of not being alone and being understood and cared for, especially during the discovery of infidelity or during and after the divorce itself.
National Suicide Hotline
Never hesitate to contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline if you are having thoughts about divorce suicide or especially if you, or someone else, has made a suicide attempt. Trained volunteers are there to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 (Available 24/7)
Connect with Friends & Family
Getting help from our family and friends can literally be a life-saver. Do Not try to suffer through your divorce alone. Talk to those who care about you. But here’s one problem: Often our friends and even family, don’t really understand what we’re experiencing if they haven’t been through it. And often we act like we’re doing better than we really are, because we don’t want friends and family to worry. Tell them the truth anyway!
When our divorce is caused by someone we love deciding they want to leave us because they found something different and better (in their thinking), it causes excruciating pain and self doubt.
We wonder why we weren’t good enough. We obsess about what we could have done differently. We can’t believe that our partner of many years decided we’re not worth loving anymore. Those infidelity/divorce thoughts often bring a pain that is hard to accept and hard to communicate to someone else. And we start feeling more and more alone and hopeless. And more isolated.
We might think to ourselves, “I don’t want to suffer like this anymore.”
But reach out!
Tell someone what you’re really thinking … including those thoughts of “ending it all.” Some people think that would be the easiest and best thing … but IT IS NOT! And usually like I said our friends and family have no idea we are struggling like that. If you’re having suicidal thoughts after divorce, tell someone!
Find Appropriate Social Services
Get help if your sadness and pain gets to the point where you are having suicidal thoughts! Connect or reconnect with your faith community. Find social services in your area. If money is the issue, go to a local women’s shelter or find other community services that can help. Walk into a neighborhood free clinic. Just tell someone about how you’re feeling and that you have had thoughts of “ending it all.”
See A Therapist
As I’ve mentioned already, if you are thinking about suicide during or after your divorce, contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline and they can help immediately. They can also often help get you connected to a therapist in your own area.
Call any therapist close by and tell them honestly that you are having self-destructive thoughts after your divorce. They can help you find other resources if they can’t see you themselves.
You Are Not Alone
One of the first things we do at Midlife Divorce Recovery is get you connected with other women who are also going through divorce. Most of us are struggling seriously especially in those early days. Those hopeless feelings also increase when we realize that after divorce our whole life is about to change.
We almost all felt that sense of sadness, depression and hopelessness. WE ARE HERE TO HELP!
Rest assured that you are NOT alone in this journey. Contact us today and we can get you connected in our MDRcommunity where there are other women who have been in that place of despair after divorce like you are, but who are together slowly climbing out of that hole.
You Are Valuable
Remember, too, that just because one dumb person doesn’t “get you” or makes a decision to leave or does things that make it impossible to stay together, that does not mean that you are unworthy or not good enough. We all make mistakes. We all could have done things better in our relationship, but our value as a person is not determined by anyone else.
I don’t know where you are on the God question, but I believe there is something eternal going on. I believe deep down that I am not an accident, and I have a spark in me that was planned and is eternal and is loved. I think the same is true for you and everyone else.
We are all valuable and worthy and life is always worth living. I believe God can take even the most devastating situations and turn them into something good. Something that is for our good and His Glory. Trust that truth! We have seen it over and over and over again in our work with women who are going through divorce especially after infidelity.
Things Will Get Better
Remember, too, that if you are struggling to cope with infidelity and divorce, get help. You wouldn’t be normal if you weren’t in pain. We have been helping women get through this awful struggle called divorce for almost 15 years. We can help you, too.
Let us introduce you to our community of women who understand and listen and encourage, and who have also been feeling as desperate as you may be feeling right now. We have concrete, simple resources to help you grieve and heal and then start figuring out where you go from here.
Don’t give up. Reach out. Let us help. That’s what we’re here for.
You found us. That was not an accident. Now let us help you!
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