Coping with Feelings of Inadequacy After Divorce

  • Many challenging divorces leave you feeling inadequate, a resulting sentiment left over from a dysfunctional marriage.
  • Mental health professionals can help you in your recovery.
  • You should not allow your ex-spouse to contribute to your post-divorce identity.

There is a question that you may be asking yourself after your divorce is finalized. It is a question that many who go through the process ask themselves when assessing their emotional state.

“Why wasn’t I enough?”

Whether that question pertains to infidelity that may have occurred during the course of your marriage or the sustainability of the marriage in general, many are forced to deal with feelings of inadequacy after the divorce decree is finalized, and life after divorce begins.

You may be among them, replaying moments in your mind that may have indicated that an affair was taking place. You may be reliving arguments or traumatic moments that made you feel less than. You may feel like you will never be good enough for anyone, leading you to fear future commitment.

The damage to your self-esteem can lead to a variety of mental health issues, that can put your life at risk. You may no longer have the same level of confidence that you once did, and you may find yourself secluding yourself more than usual.

These are all common responses when confronted with the question, regarding being “good enough.” You may wonder if your ex-spouse ever considered you “good enough,” or if their standards of someone who is “good enough,” will ever be met.

External judgment

Whether it was something external like the amount of money you make, the job you have, the size of the marital house, the quality of the car in the garage, or something arbitrary like that, you should not allow your ex-spouse’s opinion of these types of things influence your self-worth, especially in your post-divorce life.

By allowing the inadequacy they made you feel during your marriage to dictate your current self-worth and impact your self-esteem, you are giving them power. You are allowing them to dictate your future, beyond the financial and custodial restraints of alimony, child support and a limited parenting plan that your divorce may have imposed upon you.

Finding help

By finding recovery methods for the feelings you may have had during the course of your difficult marriage and challenging divorce, you are taking an active role in your post-divorce recovery, just as you are by contacting your family law attorney and getting aspects of your divorce decree, such as alimony, parenting plans, and child support modified.

You can take that step in the right direction and combat the influence of your ex-spouse by enlisting the help of a mental health professional. Therapy is a great way of engaging with the complex emotional tapestry of what you have been through and will help any case you have, regarding child custody and parenting plan modification moving forward.

You will be able to show that you have taken steps to improve your health and wellness and deserve to be a larger part of your child’s life.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.

Perceived incompetence

When you were experiencing these feelings of inadequacy, there may have been a sense of incompetence in your role as a spouse that was ascribed to you. While some may state that because your marriage ended in a divorce, one or both of you could be construed as incompetent in what you vowed to be to one another, those that do, were not a part of the unhappy marriage and do not have the proper context to ascribe an accurate sentiment onto either one of you.

Just because you went through the divorce experience, it does not mean you are incompetent and incapable of finding someone new in your life. You have the ability to recover and grow beyond what you experienced in your marriage and during your divorce.

Criticism and precedent

We, as human beings, can be our worst critics and make ourselves feel inadequate, worthless, and overall terrible. Given how long you may have been unhappy in your marriage and how much mental and emotional abuse you may have experienced, you may be more susceptible to buying into those sentiments.

However, it is important to realize that buying into those sentiments sets a precedent. If you are willing to buy into the perceptions that your ex-spouse, who has their own agenda, ascribed to you, then what other aspects of the identity that you carry into your post-divorce life are you willing to let be defined by your ex-spouse?

You cannot allow how your ex-spouse saw you to be how you see yourself. Your identity after a divorce should not be defined by the divorce itself, nor the feelings of your ex-spouse. You are better than those.

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