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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Being Single: The Divorced Ones -Shame and Guilt

Photo by Chance Agrella
Shame and guilt are just two of the many feelings divorced singles experience in the days, even years, following their divorce.

The gospel is heavily about eternal couples and families, so anything experienced in life which is less than that can leave a person feeling like an utter failure. Not a good feeling to have when you already may have those feelings of failure, just by virtue of having gone through a divorce.

It is common to experience a drastic drop in self-worth, and to feel utterly overwhelmed by new life circumstances which are to be dealt with alone. Most do not get married expecting to get divorced. Divorce is against all that most people believe and hope for when they first make their wedding vows.

It doesn’t help matters when outsiders, well-meaning or not, feel at liberty to commentate on our predicament. We realize, better than outsiders, what we and our children (if applicable) are going through. We need help and support and compassion: not judgment, criticism, or lecturing.

Why we got a divorce is not relevant to anyone other than us and our partner. It is good for us to understand why so we can correct it and have a better chance for a successful union down the road. Unless something happened which involves or needs to involve confession to our bishop, counseling, or law enforcement involvement, no one outside of the marital union has a ‘need’ to know the circumstances. Please respect our privacy. You don’t have to know details in order to love and compassionately serve us.

We just need to know that we have value and worth: that we are needed and loved. More on that will be covered in a future blog.

Making sure we know you are available WHEN we need you, is one of the best things you can do. Hugs, babysitting (when applicable), a lunch date, mowing the lawn for us, are all great examples of ways to compassionately serve us.

This blog post is one in a series on Being Single. Through the run of this series, please give feedback regarding YOUR experiences with being single and LDS, or ask any questions you may have that I have not addressed.

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