How To Overcome Insecurities After Divorce

Learning how to overcome insecurities is an important aspect of a woman's divorce recovery. Going through a divorce has a way of bruising a person's self-confidence, making it easy to question everything and everyone. After all, look what happened to your marriage.

But you need to get beyond this to be able to truly relate and be open with other people, especially when you start dating again. The following article can shed some insight on how to overcome insecurities in a new relationship.

Dealing with Suspicion and Uncertainty

Insecure woman resting her head on her arm.

A divorce is one of the most painful events that a woman can face over the course of her life. Divorce is stressful because it disrupts every aspect of one's existence.

Nothing remains the same during or immediately after a divorce. The disruption caused by a divorce often involves changes in one's financial security, family dynamics, and social support, just to name a few.

And even smaller changes, like going to the grocery store and shopping for oneself for the first time, can have a profound impact on one's sense of security. Divorce is difficult because it forces people to deal with a host of new and unfamiliar situations resulting in an overwhelming sense of uncertainty. 

And if that were not bad enough, divorce also involves a tremendous sense of loss.

Feelings of Loss

Although many people do not realize it, the end of ALL close relationships, even troublesome ones, is experienced as a loss. In fact, a painful divorce can create feelings very similar to those experienced when a spouse passes away. A loss is a loss, no matter how it happens.

In fact, this sense of loss can be so powerful, that many couples stay together rather than put themselves through the pain that a divorce can inflict.

Unfortunately, this combined uncertainty and sense of loss often leave women not knowing if they can trust their own judgment. After a divorce, it is common for women to question their ability to make sound decisions and act in their own best interest.

This feeling of insecurity can be particularly troublesome as women start to date again. Often a divorce is accompanied by infidelity or other acts of betrayal. And it is not easy to move forward with a new relationship when a past relationship ended on such a negative note.

When Suspicion Controls Your Life

Carrying forward such negative beliefs and suspicions, however, often dooms a new relationship from the start.

For a new relationship to have a chance, it is important to deal directly with one's feelings of suspicion and betrayal.

And while everyone has moments of insecurity, being suspicious on a daily basis is problematic. Suspicion, if left unchecked, can destroy a relationship.

To begin with, people who are chronically suspicious often misinterpret what is going on - taking what might be an innocent event and thinking about it in the most negative way possible. For example, if a new romantic partner does not immediately return a phone call, an insecure individual will jump to a negative conclusion (i.e., he doesn't really care about me or he is seeing someone else).

And life is full of little misunderstandings, coincidences, accidents, and innocent mistakes. But, an insecure individual will tie all of these daily events together in the worst possible way.

Jumping to such conclusions can drive a person crazy and it often fuels one's suspicions even more. Negative thoughts, doubts, and insecurities often lead to more negative thoughts, doubts, and insecurities.

Not only do highly suspicious individuals drive themselves crazy, they often drive their partners crazy as well. Being around a suspicious person is difficult to deal with. No one likes to have everything that happens throughout the day turned into a negative event.

Talk about your insecurities

Typically, the best way to deal with doubts and insecurities is to talk to your romantic partner about them.

When people are suspicious or uncertain, they often try to hide their true feelings from their partners, but ignoring one's emotions never works. Our feelings always get the best of us and influence our behavior whether we like it or not.

So when people have doubts, if they do not talk about it, it comes out through sudden mood changes, acting overly controlling, being overly sensitive and needy, and causing unnecessary arguments, and so on. Ironically, one's insecurities can even lead a person to flirt with others as a way of getting a partner's attention or showing him what it feels like to be insecure.

Again, a lot of research shows that talking to a partner about being insecure is the best way of dealing with it. And as a general rule, when talking about such issues, it helps to focus on one's feelings and not necessarily a partner's behavior.

Quote of the Day

The best way to find your perfect match is to meet love halfway
- Unknown

In other words, do not blame or attack a partner because you feel insecure - rather explain how you feel ("Sometimes my doubts gets the best of me, and I don't like feeling this way..."). If you can talk directly to your partner about how you feel, you are less likely to act in ways that create more distance and disruption in your relationship.

In fact, people often feel closer when they can talk to their partners about their problems in a constructive manner. Talking about problems is important when trying to overcome one's insecurities and move forward. 

Article by Timothy Cole, PhD. Mr. Cole is an Associate Professor of Communication at DePaul University where he does research on and teaches courses about Close Relationships. For more information on how to cope with suspicion, please visit 

Here are some more articles to help you learn how to overcome insecurities and rebuild your self-confidence after divorce: 

  1. Divorce
  2. Dating After Divorce
  3. How to Overcome Insecurities