Romans 8:1, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus...”
Some relationships work and some don’t. The reasons behind the breakups can be singular or multiple, they can be felt by one person or by both and whether you were the one to end the relationship or not there might come a time when you feel ashamed of your divorce or relationship breakdown. I’m here to tell you that your divorce is nothing to be ashamed of.
Outsiders may judge you. Especially if you are a woman of faith, you may find that many of your friends and family in your faith community, for instance Christianity, are un-supportive and unforgiving, often inadvertently making you feel like a sinner and a dirty failure. It can be even worse if your friends and family think that from the ‘outside’ your relationship looks perfect, they might accuse you of ending the relationship unfairly or of having ulterior motives like cheating. Others may try to make you feel ashamed simply because they don’t approve of divorce, in Christendom the Bible scripture “God Hates Divorce” quickly comes to the fore or it could be the case that they are friends with the other person. Some might even say you’re ruining the lives of your children or that you have sinned against God and therefore are unworthy. My advice…ignore them all!
Even if your relationship ended out of a mutual understanding, feeling ashamed can happen on occasion simply because you’re now single, you may be raising a child alone and you might feel disconnected from your ex-partners family and your ‘couple’ friends.
Shame is deeper than guilt. It is not based on having done something wrong so much as a soul ache of being wrong at the core; and if you let it, feeling ashamed because of your divorce can be so debilitating, isolating and more piercing than condemnation.
If you are reading this and you happen to be a divorced Christian, my heart goes out to you. As a woman of faith too, I understand firsthand the degree of shame which could engulf you.
So, what does shame do? What are the tangible ways that it affects lives, Christian and otherwise? Here is a short, but definitely not comprehensive list:
- As a Christian, shame puts you in a bondage of self-perception. Although you deeply want to believe all of the wonderful things that the Bible says about you, you find that you just can't.
- Shame has the ability to handcuff you to your past. You want to hope for better things in the future, but you can’t seem to overcome your past.
- Shame won’t let you receive love and definitely not give it. You can’t receive authentic compliments and you tend to destroy otherwise healthy relationships.
- Being ashamed steals your joy. “Where is this abundant life the Bible promises?”
- Experiencing shame because of your divorce, could potentially make you settle for less than you deserve. God wants to lead you into wonderful relationships and abundant blessings, but you make poor decisions and live in regret.
- If you allow it, shame is able to thrust you into destructive tendencies. Substances, damaging relationships, self-mutilation, eating disorders and the like often to follow those overwhelmed with shame.
Divorce is not something that is easy to go through. It’s not something that most people enter into with a light heart and things can take a turn for the worse if you start to feel ashamed of yourself, leading you to feel withdrawn and depressed.
Shame regarding a divorce can be both internal and external. It can come from the misguided opinion of others or it can come from within yourself, your own guilty conscience or bad feelings.
The brutal truth is that some relationships work out and some just don’t. You just have to accept that and accept that what has happened, whether it was your choice or not, is the best result for you and your children. You can now move on with your life, make new choices, forgive yourself, make new friends, choose a new career and sculpt a life that is entirely your creation.
Think of it almost as a second chance, a fresh reinvented start for you to be who you really are.
To get through this difficult period in your life you need to face the truth. Some people will be there for you and some won’t. Accept that some of the people you considered ‘friends’ when you were with your ex will choose to support them and not you. Just accept it and move on with the friends you can count on.
“Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness.” – Euripides
Now is the time to be strong, to ignore the negative comments. Don’t fight back, don’t argue, there’s no point – now is the time to focus on you, the friends that matter and the life you want to live.
Every time you feel ashamed whether it is down to someone else’s negative comments or actions, or your own feelings repeat this mantra to yourself: “I am not a bad person. I am not a failure. I am starting afresh. I am leading a new and happy life for myself.”
Learn to love yourself and when you do, any negativity and shame will slip away, making way for new possibilities. Remember that you will love again, your will have new friends, you will be happy!
Whatever you do, take the process in your stride, it is all part of your Believe and Live Again recovery, bounce back and transition journey from being a “we” to becoming a “me”.
If you would like to have an informal chat about it, don't hesitate to get in touch on: +44 208 938 3672 and myself or a member of my team will gladly schedule a Complimentary Believe and Live Again Coaching Discovery session or a no-obligation 30 minute "Forgive and Let Go" consultation and together, we could be embarking upon the Believe and Live Again 5 R's journey to heal your heart, outgrow your challenges and let go of the past so that your glorious future can finally emerge.
Once again, I invite you to contact me or schedule a time to talk, call: +44 (0) 208 938 3672 (24 hours) or click on the pink "Contact" at the bottom right hand side of this page and this will take you into my "Let's Talk" contact form. Kindly complete the form and you will get a call back.
Best Wishes and God's Blessings