Amongst all the relationships we share in our lives, marriage is considered the most sacred. In India, marriage vows are taken around fire and marriage is regarded as the correlation of souls that doesn’t end with one birth. But with changing scenario and varying mindsets, divorce is no longer taboo in today’s society especially in the metropolitan cities. But still people do feel guilty while divorcing their spouses. Anyone undergoing divorce feels guilty over their behavior that led to separation. Whether you are the one who initiated the divorce process or the one who had been left, you are bound to feel guilty. You may feel guilty towards your spouse or your kids whom you may be leaving.
The true meaning of guilt is “remorseful awareness of having done something wrong; self reproach for supposed inadequacy or misconduct”. If you are ‘the leaver’, you go through a gamut of emotions thinking about the trouble and pain you’ve given to the entire family. Anger, misery, depression, vanity, arrogance and guilt all cross your mind-one by one but it becomes extremely difficult to overcome the gnawing feeling of guilty. It becomes all the more thorny if you’ve cheated on your partner or have been dishonest towards your spouse. But if you are ‘the left’, you may feel angry and miserable. Even ‘the left’ feel guilty since they think that they have failed somewhere that led to the downfall of marriage.
Some people may even feel guilty towards themselves. This may be because they realize that they haven’t done justice to their wedded partner or marital relationship. Some people may feel let down since they were the ones who fell out of love in matrimonial bond or haven’t done adequate to sustain the relations with their spouse. Moreover, when after divorce, people see their children splitting into two separate homes; it becomes difficult for them to accept this fate of their kids with no fault of their own.
Firstly, you need to identify the reasons for your guilt. If you think you have done something wrong, accept your fault and acknowledge accountability for your actions that led to this situation. Apologize to your ex-spouse; even if you are not forgiven, act contrite. This will helps in absolving your guilt, ease off burden from your heart and leads to more constructive behavior. This also keeps your children from blaming themselves for the divorce. If the reason for the breakdown of marriage was lack of communication between the two of you, try therapy and counseling so that you do not commit the same mistake in your future relationships.
To go wrong, is human and to forgive divine. Remember that you are a human being too and may commit mistakes; forgive yourself and your ex-spouse for forfeiting this relationship. Spend some time alone, meditate and extract guilt out of your soul.
Try and transform guilt into remorse. Since guilt eats you up from inside, try and keep you busy. Talk with your family, friends and people who have undergone divorce- it’s necessary to kick start the healing process.
Divorce is an ugly thing and one needs time to come out of this complex situation.