Many people and it has to said predominately women, derive much of their identity from their relationship with their spouse and their children - "I'm a wife and mother." However, few men would define themselves predominantly in terms of "I'm a husband and father."
Self esteem and personal value
The effect of divorce and the quality of life after divorce may well be different for women than for men. How you see yourself and who you believe you are within your marriage has a substantial effect upon how you will cope with the new world into which you have unwillingly been pitched. Enhancing your self esteem plus striving for a positive and optimistic identity are key to a better and happier life after divorce.
Self esteem and how it can be badly damaged
The level of self esteem is dependent on on loads of different stuff. Basically there are two overriding factors, how good did you feel about yourself during your marriage and how destructive was your divorce? If you had good self esteem in your marriage and an amicable divorce then your will start your life after divorce in pretty good shape.
However, for many people the marriage slowly disintegrates which saps your self esteem. This is then often followed by a combative divorce which lowers that self esteem still further. This is not a good place to be but there are ways to help get out of the dark place and back into the sunshine.
Self esteem and how to increase it.
The very first thing to do is to believe in yourself and your ability to overcome the difficulties and get yourself through it. This is not an easy thing to do, it comes from within you but it needs to be nurtured and encouraged. Firstly, acknowledge that your marriage was not perfect, you are not perfect and your spouse was not perfect. Also, most importantly acknowledge that it's true for every person and every relationship on the planet. You are not alone.
Grieve the loss of your marriage but not for too long. It may have been a good marriage but it was never totally wonderful or it wouldn't have ended in divorce. The reasons for the divorce need to be shared, although the split may well be 95/5! Understand that you are more than a married person, your identity is unique and is defined by the complete you, all the good things and the not so good things.
Work hard to believe in yourself and go to the gym
To help you to believe in yourself and improving your self esteem you need to be in good shape physically as well mentally. Join a gym and get those endorphins flowing through your body.
Endorphins are similar to morphine and are produced by your body. A great drug, totally natural, completely free and absolutely harmless.
Quite simply endorphins relieve stress and make you feel good. Now it has to be said that having sex, eating spicy foods or chocolate has the same effect. But none of these make you thinner, fitter and help you have good regular sleep patterns.
Work hard to believe in yourself and take up a hobby (Oh no, not really, an evening class!)
Getting out and taking up a new interest like singing, photography or Spanish can be very valuable. It gives you a new challenge with, hopefully interesting company and plenty to talk about. It sounds a bit "Oh, my God, not an evening class!" But when you have got over the initial trauma it could be a great way to find your way back to a fulfilling life after divorce and you might also meet someone really rather nice or just improve your Spanish!