Home Family & SocietyDivorce Rebuilding Your Self-Esteem Post Divorce

Rebuilding Your Self-Esteem Post Divorce

written by Martha Bodyfelt December 30, 2020
Rebuilding Your Self-Esteem Post Divorce

One of the many things we struggle with as we learn to recover from divorce is learning to rebuild our self-esteem.

It’s easy to understand why this is such an issue. When your marriage ends, you may feel rejected. You may feel unworthy. You sit crying on your couch, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s at hand, wondering why your spouse does not love you anymore. Maybe you think, as you’re stumbling through the list of to-do’s and the stress of everything else going on in your life, that nobody will ever find you attractive and worthy of love.

But I am here to tell you to knock that bullsh*t off because it’s simply not true.

Never forget for a second that you are a badass and that you are strong and beautiful.

So, today, as we get a quick lesson on rebuilding your self-esteem, you need to embrace the following self-esteem revelation:

What happened to you does not define you.

Ending a marriage, and any relationship for that matter, is not fun. It causes us to question who we are, what we thought our life was, and where we are in this universe. We tend to define ourselves solely within the terms of being a partner, and we become dependent on that position as a means to validate ourselves. We start to place our entire value on being a spouse, rather than putting that focus on something healthy—the independent, kind person that you are.

So, it’s no surprise that our self-esteem shatters when the one pillar we have used to define ourselves—the spouse—goes away. We make this false connection that end of marriage equates with being a bad, unworthy person.

It’s no wonder why you’re feeling like crap.

But think about this for a second: When you stumbled and sprained your ankle that one time, the way you defined yourself didn’t become negative just because your ankle hurt. And if you were ever in a car accident, or if you have ever been hospitalized, you didn’t tie your identity and your self-worth into that one event in your life. Hell no. You knew that it was an inconvenience, but you were soon back to life. You would never let a sprained ankle define your self-esteem or self-worth.

So, why not treat your divorce the same way?

Sure, this is a hiccup in your life. It’s stressful dealing with lawyers and worrying about a change in your finances. But that doesn’t mean that you are any less of a person, or somehow not worthy or self-respect and love because you’re going through this situation. It’s quite the opposite. The fact that you have the grace to navigate through this stressful time, and the strength to carry on, taking care of everything else, speaks volumes of your character, of your intellect, and your all-around awesomeness. You should applaud yourself for the amazing job you’re doing and give yourself credit!

But, if you’re still struggling with rebuilding your self-esteem, I understand. And because it can be difficult to change your mindset, I have a few exercises for you.

Rebuild Your Self-Esteem

Exercise: Embrace the fact that you’re freakin’ amazing.

Step 1: List all the things that you’re good at.

Don’t be shy with this one! Every day, you no doubt accomplish things that would cause others to whimper—things that you most likely don’t give yourself credit for. But it’s time to change that. What are things that you know you rock at? This has nothing to do with bragging or being immodest. Acknowledging your awesome skills is an important step to nurture yourself.

If you need some inspiration, take a look at my examples below.

My friends say I’m a good listener.

My mom says that I am good at thinking logically.

I’m a go-getter and know how to take initiative.

I’m good at planning things and getting stuff done.

Now it’s your turn! And if you can’t think of many things all at once, come back to this exercise to continue listing all of the amazing things you’re good at.

Step 2: List all the things that you love about yourself.

Many times, we struggle with celebrating the great stuff about ourselves. Many of us were taught to be modest, and that it was wrong and extravagant to “toot our own horn.” But that misguided thinking meant that many of us weren’t taught how to be self-confident; we didn’t learn to hold ourselves in the high regard that we should. But it’s not too late to kick that negative thinking aside and start acknowledging how beautiful and amazing we really are. So, here are some examples to inspire you:

I love my long hair.

I love to read.

I love to explore new things.

I love that I am a good cook and know how to entertain.

See how easy it is? How about you? What do you love about yourself? Some things may come to you later, so it’s okay to come back to this list as often as you need to!

Step 3: The next time your self-esteem bothers you, how will you incorporate Step 1 and 2 to neutralize the Self-Esteem Monster?

The next time my self-esteem starts playing tricks on me, I will consciously stop myself and remind myself of two things that I am good at, and two things that I love about myself, turning this negativity into kindness.  As an example…

Now that my marriage is over, who in the hell would ever want me?

STOP. I am kind. I am a good friend. And I’m damn good at my profession.

I feel so stupid—this divorce is all my fault.

STOP. I did my best. I have a good heart, and I have much to contribute to this world. This divorce does not define me.

Okay, now it’s your turn! Are there self-esteem issues that you deal with when it comes to recovering from your marriage? What types of thought do you have when you are not feeling confident?

And, more importantly, what kind, loving messages will you start to tell yourself as you begin to repair your self-esteem?

Remember that no matter what anybody has told you in life, you are enough. You are worthy of respect and love. And you are stronger and smarter than you can imagine.

Whenever my self-esteem faltered during divorce, I would come back to this quotation. Image via Etsy.

Next time, we are going to discover how to overcome rejection—a part of rebuilding your self-esteem, and an absolute must when it comes to recovering and moving on to the amazing life that we deserve. Because we’re worth it! And let me know! I love hearing from you, so email me.

Until next time, remember to take care of yourselves! You deserve it.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Log In

Lost Password


The first step to becoming a member of the RD&T Community and the beginning of your personal Journey to Ultimate Success:

Join Now

Click the button below to register for a free membership and have access to unlimited articles.