Nine Steps to Regaining Self Esteem After Divorce
By Debbie Burgin
Divorce is difficult at the best of times. Even
when a couple makes a combined decision to divorce, it can be
What happens if the decision is one sided? What happens to the
party who can sometimes feel blind-sided by one persons
decision that they no longer want to be a part of this union?
Been there, done that. Only I wasnt the one who made the
decision to leave the relationship. It was my ex-husbands
decision. Okay, I helped him make the actual decision to leave
(he didnt have much choice), but the result was the same.
Feelings of whats wrong with me? are abundant.
So here are some things that will help you to get your self
esteem back after
1. Talk to someone
The first step to resolving those feelings is to talk to someone.
Bend a familiar ear
be it biased or unbiased. Whether its
to a trusted friend, or to a counselor, getting it out verbally
is a great start to regaining your sense of self.
2. Be Honest
If you decide that youre going to seek help from a counselor,
make sure that you tell the entire truth about what youre
feeling. Be as honest as you possibly can. How can a counselor
do his/her job properly, if youre not completely honest?
Regardless of what you tell a counselor, he/she is not there
to judge you, merely to listen and to offer some constructive
unbiased advice if necessary
not criticism, advice.
3. Keep a Journal
Writing down whats going on in your head is also helpful,
whether you choose to do that via paper journal, or online journal,
both are helpful. I find that using an online journal is much
easier, as I dont write nearly as quickly as I type.
4. Get to know yourself again
Its typical to lose oneself during the course of a relationship.
I know I did! So after my divorce, I took some time to get to
know Me all over again. Do whatever it is that you
love to do! If you enjoyed snowboarding before you were married,
get back to it! If you enjoyed knitting, put aside some time
to do that. Read some good books, enjoy spending time with new
friends, go away for the weekend, go and be you!
5. Dont let those negative thoughts back in.
Once youve written down thoughts that arent positive
(I hate him/her. I cant believe that he/she did
this to me.) in a journal of some type, youll notice
that if you go back and re-read those bad thoughts (and we all
do it at least once), youre mentally and emotionally back
in that place all over again. Re-reading the ugly details of
my divorce for instance, used to put me in that mood all over
again (Ive since tossed that journal). So my advice with
regard to writing down negative feelings, is to write them down,
then discard them. Tear them up, burn them, flush them if you
have to, do whatever it takes, but dont let those negative
thoughts back in.
6. Meet some new people.
When couples divorce, there may be a feeling amongst some of
the friends of that couple who feel as though there is a need
to take sides. You may find that you will need to meet new people,
and take a step back from that even for a short time. Get yourself
some friends that you and your ex dont have in common.
My ex and I used to work in the same industry, and as a result,
we shared a lot of the same business colleagues. So as soon
as our relationship ended, I started my own business doing something
that wasnt related in any way, shape or form to what he
does for a living. I feel like a zillion bucks ?.
7. Find new interests
The next step to rebuilding your sense of self-esteem would
be to find some new interests. Find something that makes you
feel good/better about yourself. Kickboxing. Kickboxing is an
amazing way to get rid of certain frustrations, AND introduces
you to a new sport (I brought a picture of my ex to my kickboxing
class, and taped it to the heavy bag. It surprised my instructor,
but worked wonders for me). If you enjoy being outdoors, you
might consider joining a running club, a rowing club, or anything
else that allows you to be outdoors while meeting new people.
8. Make peace with yourself.
Understand that what happened, for whatever reason that it happened,
is done. Over. Let it go. Move on. Whatever kind of bitterness
that may have existed when he/she left, is going to have to
get lost or it will get in the way of your true progress. I
know. I did it. Get past it. How do you get past it?
Take time to figure out where you want to be next in your life
and be good to yourself. The previous nine steps will help alot.
Copyright 2010 Debbie Burgin
About the Author
Copyright 2010 Debbie Burgin All Rights Reserved
Debbie Burgin has been divorced for 5 years, and has flourished
in ways she never dreamed since her divorce. "We really
need to look at the fact that divorce isn't always a bad thing.
It's sad, yes, but some help us grow tremendously".