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19 Sep 2009

I was in an abusive marriage for 16 years. I was living in extreem fear of my spouse. We are currently separated as he ultimately had an affair which led to children been born out of it. My biggest problem these days is that I experience extreem guilt because of this failing marriage. I feel bad as if it is my fault that it fell apart. The marriage was indeed falling by itself. We were at some stage advised to go apart by the magistrate who was dealing with a protection order I had applied for. She said it in her own words that she has worked with abuse cases for a long time and she felt that we can raise our kids better if we are apart. Can you guys please tell me why I feel guilty for a marriage that really felt like prison to me? And can you also tell me if this one of the divorce stages that one goes through and if so which?
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Divorce support expert
Divorce support expert

01 Jan 0001

Hi "Free" and what a beautiful nickname you chose.

Your feelings are absolutely normal. Divorce bears many labels; societal, religious, parental... Your feelings are being fueled by such labels.
Deep down you know that your choice was the right thing, but on a "public" level you are being held hostage to what people may think. Try and recognise who or what in your life may have influenced you to even stay this long in this dysfunctional marriage and understand that this judgment is born out of people's insecurities.

Your divorce is not a breakup point in your life but a change of direction. Yes, do mourn your loss and recognise your hurt and then embrace the opportunities that are awaiting you.

Your subject is "guilt" and your nickname is "Free". Trust your intuition and be free of your guilt.
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