When a marriage fails, there’s no shortage of pain which enters your life. Though marriages can be hard, unpleasant and thankless, many of us wish we could turn back time and give it another go.
That desire is rooted firmly in guilt; guilt that you couldn’t make it work, that you feel like you let people down, like you did something wrong. It’s irrational, but that post-divorce guilt can be a hugely damaging emotion, one which holds us back from going forward in live and finding love over 50.
Over the years, we’ve spoken to hundreds of people who re-enter the dating scene and find their chances fatally compromised by the guilt they’re still carrying around. That’s why written this short guide to ridding yourself of divorce guilt. Join us as we share with you some of our top tips:
Know that you’re not alone
Here in the UK, an estimated 42% of all marriages end in divorce, and yet many of us feel deeply alone in our divorce. It can be difficult to open up about our divorce and connect with other people who’ve had similar experiences. However, that’s exactly what you should do.
Chances are, you’ll have more than a handful of friends who’ve gone through what you have in your relationship, so plan a night in and open your heart. You’ll find that simply talking about your divorce and the way it’s left you feeling, you’ll feel a weight lift.
Don’t let yourself feel isolated, and never make the mistake of thinking that you’re all alone, or that nobody cares. The people around you love and care for you, and simply taking some time to air your feelings won’t cause them to turn away.
Clear any toxicity from your mind
Marriages don’t fail for no good reason; there’s always something which poisons the well. It could be infidelity, aggression, money or any other number of issues, but we all come out of our marriage carrying a lot of anger and toxicity within our hearts.
Being bitter, confused and angry at an ex husband or wife is a natural consequence of a messy, complicated divorce, but you can’t let that pain poison your future relationships. Pushing those feelings down and attempting to ignore them will only lead to an internalisation of them, and their later re-emergence.
Give yourself the emotional space to process these feelings and come out the other side, ready to give love another shake as a rejuvenated single senior.
Know your past, but don’t live in it
Hindsight, it’s often said, is 20/20. Through the lens of the present, we can see the decisions of the past with perfect clarity. What if we’d said something different? What if we took a different path? Of course, looking at your mistakes in the past is valuable, as it can help you avoid ones in the future.
However, living in those mistakes is, in itself, a huge mistake. You did what you felt you had to do back then, and the decisions you made were the best you could see.
Learn the lessons from your past and move on, that’s the key to a successful mature dating relationship.