Divorce Without Guilt

When you're not the one who is divorced, it's easy to say, "just pick up and move on." But sometimes the emotions you go through when a divorce is settled can be overwhelming. One feeling that unexpectedly can creep up on you is guilt. Dealing with guilt after a divorce is an important step so that you can finally get around to the "moving on" part.

But until you deal with the guilt, that's just baggage you're going to be carrying around with you throughout your life, whether alone or in other relationships. All that baggage can really start to weigh you down. This visualization can help you lose it.

Why feel Guilty?

There was a time when you were in love with someone enough to swear a sacred oath to be together for better or for worse, till death do you part. When a marriage goes downhill and finally ends, guilt can well up because you feel like you've dropped the ball somewhere along the line. You may feel bad about things you did, or things you said.

Dealing with guilt after a divorce is an important step so that you can finally get around to the "moving on" part.

You might feel bad about the things you didn't do or didn't say. You might be beating yourself up over how you handled the situation-- should you have tried harder? Could you have been more understanding? The kind of thoughts that can enter your head in a time of distress are seemingly endless.

Be Realistic

You can't berate yourself over "maybes" and "should haves" so get those out of your head; maybe you did everything right, maybe you did what you should have done given the circumstances, and it still was not enough. Don't get stuck on "what might have been"; you have to accept what "is". Marriage is hard and sometimes it just doesn't work out through no fault of anyone in particular.

If you feel you have to apologize or make amends for something you did do that was out of line, place a phone call or write a heartfelt letter. Realize, then, it's in your past and out of your hands. Seek forgiveness, if not of your ex-spouse, then of yourself.

Bury the Guilt

One great exercise for getting rid of the guilt is to meditate and visualize yourself 'burying' it somewhere. Creative visualization can be a way to change your attitude and your feelings on an issue, and can help you release such feelings and become more positive.

Just close your eyes and relax; envision yourself somewhere packing a bag. It can be a suitcase, or a grocery bag-- whatever you like. Pack it up and imagine what your guilt would look like-- heavy, dark blankets? Ropes and chains? Black tufts of cloud? In your visualization, pack it up.

Close the bags and seal them shut, then go for a walk down a road-- a road to your new life. It may start desolate and barren. Look around, and you'll come to a deep, deep hole in the ground. Envision yourself throwing those bags of guilt right in there. Notice how free you feel without them, how light and happy. Pick up a shovel and begin scooping dirt on them to bury them for good-- and with each shovel full of dirt, imagine yourself feeling lighter and better. Imagine the sun getting brighter and the air getting fresher.

When you're ready, envision yourself walking down the road-- which gets more scenic and picturesque by the moment. Your new life lies on the horizon ahead, and you feel better and better as you draw closer to it.

Do this as often as you need to—once per day if you like—and you’ll find those feelings of guilt beginning to transform into optimism for the future.