The subtle, or not so subtle stigma, women face when they initiate divorce is still an issue in 2020. I believe there are 3 powerful reasons women feel ashamed after divorce. You’d think after so many years of women’s lib, female empowerment and the rise of women leaders in our society this wouldn’t be a thing. But women still feel ashamed after divorce.
I am going to discuss the 3 powerful reasons women feel ashamed after divorce and what you can do to feel more confident as you navigate this part of your life.
First I want to share the statistics around women that initiate divorce. Michael Rosenfeld, an associate professor of sociology at Stanford University carried out a study in 2009 of 2200 heterosexual married adults ages 19 – 94 by 2015 371 had divorced. Rosenfeld found that 69% of the divorces were initiated by women.
If women are leading the divorce process how can women feel ashamed about divorce?
Women’s lib didn’t change the rules… that much
As much as our society has changed it hasn’t really changed that much. Women are seen as the person behind the man. People still think and expect a woman to be ok with her husband not putting in quality time to their relationship as long as he brings home the bacon.
But it’s not ok for the reverse. If a woman is high achieving and she’s not able to give her marriage 100% attention all the time, she’s a bad wife. If she can’t make every PTA meeting, she’s a bad mom. This gender sabotage still exists and causes so much inner disconnection to your true self. If you’re going through a divorce or already divorced and have experienced this, you are not alone.
When I initiated my divorce I caught weird vibes from family and friends. Unsolicited advice that I wouldn’t share with an enemy and input from people that were ok living in marriage purgatory. Misery loves company and you just decided you no longer wanted that.
Put the focus on you and your Divine guidance, and allow change to happen. It won’t feel easy at first, it never does, but it will get easier.
Women haven’t been honest
As sisters on this journey of womanhood and dealing with heartbreak, we’re not being honest with each other. We’re not really saying the real deep and dirty stuff that we’re going through in a divorce. We’re all scared of the judgment and we don’t want to face it so we mute ourselves.
The funny thing is when we mute ourselves it’s to our own detriment because healing doesn’t happen and we become a dumping ground for people and their comments. Getting questionable comments like:
…But he’s a good dad…
You guys seem so great together…
Why can’t you make it work…
Just stick it out, there’s nothing better out there anyway.
Well, it was your decision to get a divorce so just deal with it.
Why aren’t you over this yet?.
Are you still dealing with this it’s been two years?
People throwing these comments and beliefs in your face will affect your mindset if you allow it. Regret, guilt, and shame will set in and can send you down a negative spiral of emotions faster than you can blink.
I remember how I dealt with this. I’d stuff my emotions deep down as if it didn’t bother me to hear these comments. I wouldn’t tell them to shut up or that I didn’t want to discuss it or even change the subject. I let it hit my spirit and then sit in my body manifesting into self-doubt, sadness, overworking, and overthinking. Before I knew it nothing in my life was changing. I was doing things simply to keep their comments at bay. Eventually, I experienced emotional burnout and this will happen to you too.
As a Love Coach, I guide women on how to connect to their internal GPS to speed up the healing process in order to shift the post-divorce mindset from emotional overwhelm to knowing how to handle the overbearing family members or friends, balancing singlehood with healing, self-esteem issues, and dating.
Life after divorce is a lot to handle and doing it alone isn’t necessary.
Let go of the expectation that everyone will understand your divorce the way you understand it and that’s ok. Maybe eventually they will, maybe they won’t. It’s not their life, it’s yours and you don’t need to waste time explaining yourself. Instead, save that energy and use it to move forward strategically to level up your overall life.
You chose you. This is so controversial for women to follow their hearts because their heart should only belong to their kids, their spouse, their parents, their friends, their job. We feel guilty about the decision to divorce because our higher self and ego end up fighting over following our heart or following our mind. The result is guilt and guilt has never solved anything.
Follow your heart?! That’s a crazy and bold concept even for today. It confuses people because you’re putting yourself first and that makes people uncomfortable and they don’t want to deal with being uncomfortable.
Putting yourself first is the most responsible way to care for others. You are of no service to anyone when you can’t see your self-worth. Putting others over yourself repeatedly is a sign you don’t see yourself as valuable.
I’m flipping the switch and illuminating the light for women to see there is support for them that choose a different path for themselves and their relationship. You don’t go into marriage wishing for a divorce, but it happens.
Surrender to the process of forging your path after divorce, don’t try to control it and don’t hide it.
I wanted to shed some light and give some encouragement to women that initiate the divorce process or want the divorce. Divorce doesn’t mean punishment.
All this decision means is that you care enough about your life while you’re still able to care about your life. It means you care enough to actually do something about it and be accountable.
How has a life after divorce been for you? Leave me a comment.