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Dealing with Divorce Stigma: It Still Exists

Four decades ago, there was a considerable stigma surrounding divorce. The extent of divorce stigma certainly has significantly dissipated over the course of the past couple of generations. However, in some places and among some people, a stigma continues to attach to a divorce.

As you go through your marriage dissolution case, as you continue on with your life as a divorced person, you may feel that you are being stigmatized (at least to some degree). Through this article, we share some thoughts as to why divorce is still stigmatized in some quarters in this day and age. This article also provides some suggestions about how you can deal with social, religious, family, or some other type of divorce stigma you may feel you are experiencing.

We begin with discussing the four most commonplace ways a person in the midst of a divorce case or who is divorced can experience a sense of stigma:

  • Stigma and speculation of others
  • People think something is wrong with you
  • Divorce remains a taboo among some people
  • Self-stigmatization is a real thing
Stigma and Speculation of Others

One way in which stigma can attach to a divorce even in this day and age is because people will speculate about what happened in a marriage. This can result in the creation of what very well can be salacious speculation about the circumstances surrounding the end of a marriage.

People Think Something is Wrong with You

Unfortunately, even at this juncture of the 21st century, there can be people in your life that actually conclude that there is something wrong with you because your marriage ended in divorce. Unfounded speculation can spread and become a sort of “truth” among some people in your life.

Divorce Remains a Taboo Among Some People

Divorce is a taboo among some people in New Jersey and elsewhere around the country today. For example, there remain religions that take a dim view of divorce. In some faiths divorce is impermissible.

Self-Stigmatization is a Real Thing

Oftentimes, a sense of stigma doesn’t stem from something external. Self-stigmatization is a real phenomenon. A person who self-stigmatizes ends up making a divorce a part of their sense of self. As is discussed in a moment, a divorce should not define you – it is something that happens in your life, but it is not who you are.

Self-stigmatization can be the hardest form of stigma to conquer. In the end, you need to work through self-stigmatization to move onward with your life in a healthy manner.

Now that we have considered the most common ways a divorcing or divorced person can feel stigmatized, we present four effective ways in which you can cope with divorce stigma. These are:

  • Divorce does not define you
  • There is nothing wrong with you
  • You are a likable person
  • Surround yourself with supportive people
Divorce Does Not Define You

When it comes to addressing the stigma associated with divorce, you need to keep in mind that divorce does not define you. The end of your marriage is something you experience, but simply put, divorce is not what you are about.

There is Nothing Wrong with You

A divorce means that your marriage did not work out. Divorce doesn’t mean that you do not work or that there is something wrong with you. People can feel that the end of a marriage is somehow his or her fault. You need to move away from blaming yourself. You certainly should not shame yourself because your marriage came to an end.

You are a Likable Person

Stressing the fact that you’ve experienced a divorce doesn’t mean you’re not a likable, even lovable, person. Again, a divorce does not define you. It means that the relationship you were in with someone else did not work out in the end.

Surround Yourself with Supportive People

Finally, when it comes to coping with divorce, an important step you need to take is to surround yourself with supportive people, trusted family members and friends. Divorce can make you feel alone at times. A sense of divorce stigma can make that feeling of loneliness and isolation even stronger. You are best able to conquer it by developing a support group of trusted people in your life. Call today for a free consultation at (201) 845-7400.

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