Self-esteem and Separation

Standing in a capsule at the SkyWalk in Stockholm, enjoying the sunshine and sightseeing.

It’s been half term this week, so I headed off to Sweden for a few days with my family. And while researching royal palaces, child-friendly saunas and the best cinnamon buns, I discovered the Swedes have the highest divorce rate in Europe. And I don’t think it’s because they’re a disagreeable nation. I had a great time.

It’s a mixture of gender wage equality, affordable childcare, and a cultural acceptance that sometimes relationships just run their course. Quite simply, in Sweden, if you separate there’s little stigma and you probably won’t end up in financial freefall. These two reasons combined, means self-esteem and separation are more easily managed in Sweden.

There’s no doubt that being, or even feeling, judged can be a deterrent to divorce. But that’s rarely a good thing. In counselling sessions, I often explore a client’s conditions of worth with them. These are the standards a person believes they must adhere to, in order to secure love and acceptance from friends, family or society. Often one of these conditions is the belief they must continue their relationship to appear adult, worthy and successful. Or simply to please their mum and fulfil societal obligations of the ‘perfect woman.’

Here’s some expert help if you’re considering separation…

Couple in white shirts, sitting on a bench near a port with a ship in the foreground.

If you are in the midst of a difficult separation then it can be brutal on your self-esteem. And so many factors, barely within our awareness, can contribute to keeping us stuck. Divorce Specialist and counsellor Sue Grogan advises us not to worry about what others might think. Speaking to Platinum magazine, she says;

“You might be surprised to find friends and colleagues say they always wondered why you didn’t do this years ago. It’s scary at first but it doesn’t take long to realise you are now enjoying life, rather than being expected to do what your ex-spouse wanted.”

There’s also this lovely downloadable, put together by me. Hopefully, it will help see you through the tricky times and on to brighter days. And for a more positive and reassuring look at separation then I highly recommend Get Divorced Be Happy.

And if you want to share your own tips for managing self-esteem during separation, then I’d love to hear them. Simply comment below.

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