The Most Harmful Myth About Divorce — And The Truth

Shift out of this toxic divorce mindset. 

Moving on after divorce Rawpixel Ltd | Canva

Checking the "D" box is a big deal in our society. Most of us get married with the wide-eyed belief that we'll stay hitched forever. So what happens to us on the inside when our dream of a life-long marriage ends in divorce? Experts tell us that we need to grieve. We mourn the loss of who we were with our spouse. And we grieve the loss of the life we're never going to have with our ex.  Many of us also go inward and question the choices we made that led us to the separation in the first place. In this self-reflection process, feeling like a failure is not an uncommon response. 


A U.K. study tells us that the top two reasons people regret getting a divorce are these: Missing their partner and feeling like a failure. What does "feeling like a failure" do to you mentally? According to Deborah Schurman-Kauflin Ph.D., spending too much time feeling like you're a failure can become a pattern of negativity that repeats itself. It's almost as if you become "sick on the inside". Your feelings of being "not good enough" or "never getting it right" lead to choices and a mindset that causes you to make decisions where you can live out these beliefs like a habit.

Getting a divorce does not make you a failure.


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So, how can you shift out of that toxic mindset and get your life back on track? We took this question to our YourTango Experts. In part, because we know you're not a failure because of your divorce, but also because we know that if you're reading this post, you have forgotten this fact and you may need a little reminder from seriously smart Experts to remind you that you're still good, a success, and able to move on after your divorce

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Somewhere inside, you've allowed yourself to believe that you're a failure, and that's simply not true. And we want to remind you of this little, yet incredibly important fact. To dig into the question, we asked Thought Leader Charles J. Orlando to lead a discussion with Dr. Foojan Zeine, Anabelle Bugatti, Karen Covy, and Patty Blue Hayes. The panel's collective expertise ranges from counseling and coaching to legal and divorce recovery ... not to mention some very personal experiences dealing with divorce on their own. As you'll read, the group quickly delivered one clear message for us all: Stop feeling like a failure, you must change your thoughts about yourself.

@drmarkhyman When it comes to mindset, most of us believe that changing our mindset begins with changing our thoughts. @melrobbins joined me on The Doctor’s to explain why thinking patterns don’t actually begin with a thought; rather, they are triggered by an emotion. Do you ever notice that you can be super frustrated or feel low energy, and if you go outside for a walk that within 10 minutes, you feel different? It’s because you have shifted your physiological state, and when you shift or relax your physiological state, you relax your mind. Find the full interview on The Doctor’s Farmacy. #melrobbins #drmarkhyman #mindset ♬ Steven Universe - L.Dre

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Yes, it's tragic when a marriage ends. We see our dreams shattered and grieve lost experiences. Our children slowly face the sad and painful truth that Mom and Dad won't be together anymore and that they must learn to love their parents in a new way. It's hard stuff and seeing your kids struggling with it only compounds the pain and shame you feel. But maintaining the belief that you're a failure will only make transitioning to a new life even more challenging (for you and your children). So, if you're stuck with this belief about yourself, there are people who can help. Reach out to them; make it your daily affirmation that you are not a failure. You're merely one of the many navigating hard emotions during a period of change and uncertainty. You can feel more surefooted on this new path as soon as you put your mind to it. Happy healing!


RELATED: It Took Two Divorces For Me To Learn What Destroys A Marriage

Charles J. Orlando is a relationship expert best known as the author of the acclaimed relationship book series, The Problem with Women… is Men. Foojan Zeine is a psychotherapist, Life & Executive Coach, and the author of Life Reset: The Awareness Integration Path to Create the Life You Want. Karen Covy is a divorce coach, mediator, lawyer, speaker, author, and entrepreneur. Anabelle Bugatti is an experienced marriage and family therapist helping couples and individuals solve their relationship problems. Patty Blue Hayes is a life coach and author who aims to help clients find clarity through coaching sessions focused on thought-provoking questions and self-examining and playful practices that provide great insights, lucidity, and most importantly, change.