My Marriage Fell Apart And Now I Feel Like A Failure

Updated April 30, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Many people struggle with rebooting their lives and picking up the pieces after ending a marriage or a long-time relationship. Have you recently gotten separated or divorced—and now you feel like a failure? It’s important to understand that you’re not alone. 

Getting a divorce can be a challenging and emotional time. Sometimes divorce is the best solution to take when a relationship is no longer sustainable. For some people, getting divorced gives them a sense of relief and a renewed sense of freedom. For others, getting divorced is a sign of a significant life failure, and they aren’t sure how or where to start picking up the pieces.

In this article, we discuss the signs of an impending divorce or separation and provide healthy ways to begin picking up the pieces of your life and improve your mental health after ending a relationship. Most importantly, we talk about the emotional effects of getting divorced and what to do when you feel like a failure after a divorce. Let’s start by looking at the warning signs that a relationship may be ending.

The end of a marriage is never easy

Signs your marriage may be heading toward divorce

Before most people end up on the pathway to divorce, there are signs that their marriage is falling apart. Looking back at the end of a divorce, you may recognize these signs. If you start to experience the following regularly, chances are there is a serious issue in your relationship that needs your immediate attention if you want to save your marriage. Let’s look at a few signs of an impending divorce.

Sign #1. Escalating arguments

If you and your partner are having more arguments than usual, this could be a sign of trouble on the home front. Every married couple is bound to disagree from time-to-time; however, when daily arguments become the rule—rather than the exception—this is definitely an issue that needs attention.

Sign #2. Coldness

Does it seem like you and your partner are drifting further and further apart? If gestures of love and affection have also become a distant memory, this can be a sign that your partner is cooling to your affections. It’s essential to address issues like these when they come up in a marriage. Sweeping issues like these under the rug could be the kiss of death for your marriage.

Sign #3. Mounting issues: Financial, emotional, family, work, pressure

While some people thrive under pressure, we don’t all handle disappointment, being overwhelmed, and pressure in the same way. If your marriage is under loads of additional stress, chances are you will begin to notice cracks in the foundation of your marriage that weren’t there before. For example, during times of crisis, job loss, financial struggles, and raising children, the mounting pressures may be more than you and your spouse can handle.

The combination of these escalating behaviors being left unchecked often results in diminished affection and expressions of love and support between married partners. Love, respect, and affection are critical components that help keep a marriage together in times of high stress.

Some divorces are simply inevitable based on the increasing negative tempo of the relationship. Whether we like it or not, we are all emotional creatures with specific emotional and physical needs. If those needs aren’t being met, these issues can present challenges in our close relationships and cause them to fall apart.

Why do I feel like a failure after my divorce?

The end of a marriage is never easy

Are you finding it hard to regroup after getting a divorce or separating from your spouse? The feeling of failure is a common emotion that many of us experience when we watch one of the most important relationships in our lives fall apart. When we set out to achieve our goals in life, many of us have an internal image of what we want our lives to look like, and divorce is usually not included.

Often, having a “happy marriage” and finding our “happily ever after” is high on our priority lists. Divorce, separation, and the pain of loneliness that can accompany this process are most likely at the bottom of that list. It stands to reason that when a marriage fails, we, in turn, feel like a failure. In actuality, having the courage to make necessary changes is the opposite of failure. Failure isn’t a punishment—it’s a teacher.

Every time you fail, you learn

Whether you learn something new about yourself, your spouse, the world, or society at large, each time you fail, you’re actually bringing yourself one step closer to success. This is why it’s important to learn how to deal with failure and embrace it as a teacher, rather than an enemy. To put failure into perspective, think about how many times you fell down when you were learning to walk, learning to ride a bike, or starting a new job, etc. At those times, failing didn’t feel good—but failing eventually led you to success.

Imagine spending your entire life wearing the wrong-sized shoes. Whether the shoes are too small and pinch, or if they are too big and flop around on your feet, it doesn’t take you very long to realize that the shoe is not a good fit. Marriage, divorce, and separation are the same way; if you don’t find your best fit, you’re bound to be uncomfortable.

Finding the right fit in any situation takes time—this is especially true when it comes to finding the right person to spend the rest of your life with. If your marriage ended in divorce, it’s important to understand that neither you nor your partner is a failure. You simply haven’t found the right fit.

Having this mindset is the best way to overcome feeling like a failure. It’s important to understand that while failure is part of life—every ending is a new beginning.

Three easy way to start picking up the pieces after a divorce

Now that you’re beginning to understand that getting a divorce doesn’t make you a failure, let’s look at some healthy strategies that can help you start picking up the pieces after a divorce. The following are healthy strategies for dealing with the fallout of a divorce.

Tip #1. Learn how to cope with life as an individual

To heal from the pain of divorce, it’s essential to learn how to cope with being “suddenly single” and recognize value in yourself as an individual. Being one half of a married couple, then suddenly finding yourself alone can be traumatizing as you learn to cope and function without your other half. Learning how to keep a positive outlook on the situation is one of the best ways to heal from divorce and move on with your life.

Tip #2. Find a way to accept the new beginning

If you’re already divorced, instead of fighting or arguing with your former spouse (or yourself) about who’s at fault for the breakup, you must learn how to accept the new beginning. You can’t move forward if you’re looking at what’s behind you. Take the lessons learned from the marriage about a partnership, communication, and family, and keep those behaviors that result in the kind of relationships you want.

Tip #3. Embrace this new chapter of your life

It's time to start over. This is an opportunity to try something new. Embrace the possibilities. Allow yourself to enjoy getting to try something different. Reconnect with friends and family, and take the chances that come your way. It can be fun to see where things will go.

If you're struggling with your new start, talking to a licensed therapy professional like a relationship counselor or couples therapist can help provide the support and comfort you need to heal and move forward with this next chapter of your life. A therapy professional can provide unique insights into behavioral patterns and identify areas where you can learn how to improve.

For example, if during the marriage you had issues with setting personal boundaries and saying “no” to your spouse without feeling guilty, sessions with a therapist can help you to identify these issues and arm you with new behavioral responses to use in the future.

Getting to know yourself again

The most important thing you can do for yourself after getting a divorce is to take the time to get to know yourself again. When you’re in a relationship, especially a marriage, you may develop new behaviors, interests, likes, and dislikes that are possibly very different than those you had before entering the marriage. Take this downtime to reconnect with yourself, learn who you are, and discover what brings you joy.

Once you’ve clearly identified who you are, what you want, and what makes you unique, you’ll be more prepared to get back into the dating world to attract a partner that fits better with the brand new you. It may surprise you to learn that you’re happier after the divorce and that you’re thankful for all that marriage (and getting a divorce) has taught you. You may find that you’re more informed and confident after you have successfully navigated your way through the legal system and ended a toxic marriage.

Online support for healing from divorce

Getting divorced may be the best decision for you and your partner, but it certainly isn't an easy process. The licensed therapy professionals at Regain are here to help you regain your confidence, self-respect, and learn how to pick up the pieces of broken relationships. Therapy professionals at Regain provide affordable teletherapy solutions for couples in crisis, families in crisis, and individuals who are struggling with the pain of loss and a sense of failure after a divorce.

Getting started with online mental health therapy is as easy as registering for an account and logging in for your therapy sessions. Online sessions at Regain are held via video chat, telephone therapy, SMS, and email. Regain relationship counselors are licensed and board-certified therapy professionals that are available to provide online therapy and support 24-hours a day.

Online therapy has helped many individuals cope with the effects of divorce. Many issues can arise when a relationship is ending, and online therapy has proven to be a valid, effective way of working through them, either individually or together.


Take the next step to begin picking up the pieces of your life after a divorce. Contact a Regain relationship expert online and begin your journey toward a happy post-divorce life.

For Additional Help & Support With Your ConcernsThis website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started
This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.