guilty father after divorce

Forgive Yourself After Divorce & Separation With Kids (3 Tips)

You step through the door and see a couple engrossed in conversation. They’re smiling at each other, laughing and having fun. They’re even kissing. It’s adorable, but right now it’s making you feel sick to your stomach.

You feel like you’re all by yourself and you regret not having a “normal” family like you used to. You feel like your kids are missing out and you blame yourself for it.

Many fathers experience guilt after divorce or separation. Let’s talk about supporting your kids to live a happy life regardless.

Put On Your Lab Coat

Statistics say that „around 50% of children in the US will experience divorce“. You’re not alone. Some might call this a depressing statistic, I believe it’s a comforting one. There’s nothing wrong with you for being in this situation.

Let’s stay logical and ask another question: „Who’s responsible for making a relationship work?“

Both parties, of course.

Now take a moment to reflect: Are you dividing this responsibility evenly between yourself and your ex? Are you acknowledging her share of it? Tip #1: It never pays off to take what isn’t yours.

Poison For Your Kids Future

The biggest poison for the future of your kids is not the separation, it’s you neglecting your responsibility to be your best. Wallowing in guilt actually means harming your children. If you’re stuck living as a victim then you’re not present. You’re not proactive as the father your kids need you to be.

Victim thinking is just a habit, often learned from our parents. While it’s not easy to shake, research into neuroplasticity of the brain proves it’s absolutely possible.

One powerful antidote is tip #2,  „Targeted Thinking“:

1. When in distress, ask yourself: “What do I want?“, “What’s my outcome?“
2. Once you are clear on that, ask yourself: „What do I need to do to get it?“
3. Take action accordingly.

The power comes from making this a habit. Questions are the steering wheel of the mind. It matters what questions you ask yourself on a regular basis.

Notice that disempowering questions often start with “Why”, like “Why is this always happening to me” or “Why am I always screwing up?” Be mindful of them and switch to targeted thinking instead.

Escaping The Maze Of The Past

When you relive or regret the past, you are putting your life on hold. Wake up! There’s no such thing as a Time Machine.

You may think this rumination does not come at a price, but it does. The price is neglecting your present, which includes your kids.

Regretting things you can’t change makes you feel powerless. To empower yourself, engage in targeted thinking: What do you want and how can you move towards that? Then take small steps. Repeat.

Tip #3: Accept what you cannot change and change what you can. Know the difference.

After separation, guilt is a natural emotion. You want the best for your kids.. Realize that you’re not alone, that 50% of children nowadays will experience divorce at some point in their lives. It’s time to snap out of victim thinking and move forward or pay the price.

Instead of feeling like it was all your fault, grant your ex her responsibility in the relationship.

When you get stuck in the maze of the past, switch your mind to targeted thinking and ask empowering questions like: “What do I want?”, and “How can I make this happen?”

Over time, as you change your habits, you’ll notice your mental state becoming more and more positive. You’ll notice progress in your own life and in your relationship with your kids. You’ll realize that your kids can be happy regardless of their parents being together. You’ll feel empowered because you know that you’re doing your best to make it so.

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