Shame and Divorce

Shame is an extremely common emotion in divorce, but it’s one that not many people speak openly about. Ms. Renee Bauer joins Ben Heldfond and Susan Gutherie to discuss the shame of divorce and how to work through it in order to move forward with a happy divorce.

Ms. Bauer is an award-winning divorce attorney, published author and founder of the family law firm, Bauer Law Group. She is committed to empowering all women to redefine their sense of peace and purpose in their new life. She also went through her own divorce and has personally experienced these feelings of shame and unworth. 

Shame during divorce comes from both internal and external forces. You can feel shameful that your marriage ended, shameful that you failed in some way, shameful about having to tell your family and friends. 

Here’s what you need to know about shame and divorce:

  • You are not alone in your feelings. Although no one really talks about the shame around divorce, it’s an extremely common feeling. And because no one talks about it, the feelings you are experiencing can feel even more shameful. More than 50% of marriages end in divorce, you are NOT alone in this experience. Shame is an equal gender offender, and it’s okay to feel shame during your divorce.
  • Shame is something to work through: It’s important to separate the emotional side of your divorce from the business side of your divorce. There are no shortcuts for shame, and avoiding it isn’t a sustainable approach. This leads to resentment and can make it more difficult to work through the business side of your divorce. It’s important to acknowledge the shame you feel, sit with it, and allow yourself to learn from it. Your divorce isn’t the beginning and ending of your story, it’s just one moment in it. 
  • Putting your kids first can help you deal with your feelings: When you keep your kids first in your divorce and focus on what’s best for them, it can help you begin to move forward. With your focus on the kids, it’s harder to focus on all the negative things about your former partner. Focusing on your kids gives you a purpose and motivation to work through your emotions and be more present. 
  • Divorce brings out the worst, not the best: There is nothing positive or self-esteem building about a divorce. No matter what circumstances led to your divorce, shame and failure are common emotions. It’s common to try to make the divorce someone’s fault. This is a bandaid fix for shame. 
  • Fake it till you make it: It can be difficult to communicate when you are in an emotional divorce. When that’s the case, try faking it until you make it. Communicate with your ex the way you would with your boss: no emojis, no ALL CAPS texts, no negativity. Be cool and professional. Keep your emotions out of your communications. It’s the only way to begin moving forward. 

Listen to the rest of the livestream to learn more about processing the shame you feel in divorce and how a simple cup of coffee can change the tone of your relationship with your ex!

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Learn more about Ms. Renee Bauer on her website and on Instagram.

Discover more about Susan Guthrie and The Divorce and Beyond Podcast on Facebook and Instagram or at Listen to the Divorce and Beyond Podcast here:

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