Most people don’t go into marriage with the intention to divorce. Marriage is something people dream about as children; a union they enter into hoping to live happily ever after with their partner. However, sometimes splitting is the only solution, and it seldom occurs abruptly. According to confidence coach Sabrina Aman, the top three causes of divorce are incompatibility, infidelity, and financial troubles.
Despite this, people whose marriages end in divorce often face blame for not keeping their union together, as well as a plethora of other societal stigmas that take a major toll on their mental and physical well-being.
“Although divorce has become a more acceptable solution to unresolvable problems in marriage, people are typically judged negatively after divorce,” says Aman. “A divorced person is often labeled as too high maintenance, or it is assumed something must be wrong with them—and this can spill over into friendships, career, and a subsequent dating life.”
This can lead to a variety of unhealthy thoughts, including poor self-esteem, low self-worth, insecurity, limiting beliefs, and a chronic fear of not finding love again. In an effort to heal, many find comfort in rebounding with a new partner, binge-eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol, and oversleeping. Some, unfortunately, resort to drugs and suicide.
“Divorce can lead to high stress levels, which can lead to higher levels of inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and more incidents of cardiac arrest. A person’s biggest fear after divorce is the idea of having to start all over again," shares Aman. "The notion that no one will want to be with them in the future, coupled with the shame of disappointing their family and community, leads to insecurity and a lack of confidence in themselves.”
Much of what happens after divorce feels very out of one’s control. There are settlements that seem to be completely in the hands of lawyers. There’s the fallout from mutual friends and family members. Not to mention the emotional burnout. But there are ways that you can take back control of your life and come out of divorce better than ever.
In marriage, people typically pour their whole world into their spouse and their kids, meanwhile neglecting themselves. After divorce, rebuild routines with self-care, self-love, and self-prioritization.
“Create a new lifestyle that allows you to gently pour love and kindness into your empty cup," says the confidence coach. "Healing is a long journey that shouldn’t be rushed, but it can be managed well and happen more quickly if you are creating time and space to do the things you love and the things your body needs.”
Take Some Time for Reflection
Post-divorce, Aman always recommends giving permission to slow down and reflect on the process.
“Because of the shame and guilt around divorce, many folks rush back into relationships and don’t take the time to reflect. Marriages end for many different reasons and in order to take back control of your life, you have to take the time to reflect on what happened and why it ended, and take ownership of the parts of yourself that you want to improve going forward," explains Aman. "For some, that can be past traumas, unresolved family dynamics, characteristics, or insecurities.”
Get Your Finances in Order
Lastly, to take back control of life, take back control of your finances. When you create a lifestyle around financial independence, you are far less likely to fall back into unhealthy relationships after divorce.
“I always tell the women I work with that rebuilding confidence after divorce also means rebuilding confidence around money," says Aman. "Pouring into yourself means pouring into your spiritual self, your physical self, your emotional self, and your career self! Feeling confident, feeling sexy, and feeling independent comes from working hard and doing what you love.”
Ask for Help When You Need It
It’s also important to reach out to others for help when you need it. Whether it be a supportive friend, relative or expert with the knowledge and experience.
“There is a reason divorce is known as one of life’s most traumatic events, second only to the death of a loved one. It is critical that you seek support to avoid losing yourself after divorce. Divorce is not something that you can sail through with ease. There are many resources out there that can help you get back on track. Therapy, coaching, local charities, and suicide hotlines are great resources that can sometimes be found free.”
This year, Aman will be launching free and affordable online courses for women who may not be ready for the 1:1 service, as well as a private, women’s-only Facebook community where single, married, and divorced women can support one another with resources and kind words.