A divorce can have the power to turn your life upside down for better and for worse. If you have been in an unhappy marriage for many years, it’s likely that you’ll have known that divorce was inevitable, but to actually go through it can still be heartbreaking and saddening. You may feel that you have, in some way, failed your children by not managing to stay as one happy family, but you should remember that prioritizing your mental health as a parent is a key to being a good parent.
The process of going through the divorce and coming out of it as a single person can feel like going through peaks and valleys. While you’ll undoubtedly go through periods of feeling sadness or guilt, you’ll also experience periods of relief and excitement. You may also feel that you have lost a sense of who you are as you become single again. The following is an overview of why it is common to suffer an identity crisis during and after a divorce.
You lose your role in the relationship
All relationships include roles that each spouse fits into. For example, while in your professional life you may be a manager with a high amount of responsibility, in your marriage you may have felt that your spouse was the decision-maker. Not having someone to make decisions for you in your personal life may seem freeing, but you may struggle with navigating this since this is not how you see yourself.
You change your perception of how you’re viewed by others
A significant aspect of our sense of identity comes from how we believe we’re seen by others. When you become divorced, you may imagine that people see you in a completely different light — you’re no longer a part of a family, but a divorcee. This can impact your identity.
If you are struggling in your marriage or going through a divorce, it is important that you manage both the emotional and logistic aspects of the divorce. Make sure that you take action and start planning a divorce strategy.