I have just gone through a divorce. It was a very painful process, and I am hurting. I feel as if I am unworthy of love, or maybe relationships. I am not here to blame my wife or paint her as a bad person. I am here because I feel as if I am in a very bad space and shaken. I do not know what to do, in order to feel better or to get to a space where I can love myself. Divorce hurts, and hurts like anything I have ever known…
Dear Sudip, your emotions are very valid. Divorce is a major life event, regardless of how happy or unhappy the marriage was. One of the many reasons for this is a bit of identity crisis one faces after parting ways with one’s long-term partner. When we love and live with someone for a considerable period of time, we start identifying ourselves, or parts of ourselves with our partners. They get subsumed into our identity, and hence when they go away, it feels incomplete. It feels like we’ll have to go looking for ourselves again.
You have evidently been hit badly by a divorce, but take some assurance and comfort if only from the common suffering that most of us would go through in a situation like this. It is important to remind yourself before and after a relationship and almost at every chance we get – that we are complete human beings in ourselves and we desire for other human beings to share happiness that we already have in our respective lives. Looking at our partners as sole sources of fulfilment and happiness may not be entirely functional. It’s through this understanding of being complete that we would feel functionally good about ourselves. Divorce counselling is highly recommended for you.
It is also important to remember and accept that we will never be lovable to everyone and will rarely get along with everyone. Ask yourself, can you love anyone and marry anyone? But just as this is true, what is also true is that being lovable in the eyes of others should not stand in the way of self-love.