Alone but Not Lonely: Embracing Your Independence after Divorce
- How to deal with loneliness after divorce
- The gifts of loneliness
- Love being single again
- Finding emotional support
Before your divorce, being married was part of your identity. If you were married for a long time, it was a significant part. During your marriage, life centered around your couplehood. But now, after your divorce, the jolt of being single again may be taking your emotions for a spin.
You may find yourself going down memory lane, remembering all the good times to the exclusion of the bad ones. Holidays, celebrations, vacations. This flood of fond memories may seem counterintuitive – after all, you got divorced for a reason – but it’s normal.
Grieving the end of your marriage, like grieving the death of a loved one, takes time.
Figuring out how to be single again in this new life also takes time.
How do I deal with being lonely after divorce?
There’s something disarming about being alone in a space that used to be occupied by two people. The habits of marriage are like muscle memories, and right now, yours may still be quite fresh. Loneliness can hit whether you wanted the divorce or didn’t have a clue it was coming.
But loneliness comes with gifts if we can learn to recognize them.
The gifts of loneliness
How can you turn this major life change on its head and view your loneliness as a gift?
Think of it this way. Being alone allows you to consider your own needs instead of weighing them against your ex-partner’s needs. It allows you to get reacquainted with the person you once were.
While being alone can be uncomfortable, it might be because you were so focused on someone else that you neglected to focus on yourself.
Love being single again
Think about how you used to feel as a single person. Think about how you may have put your own physical and mental health needs to the side while you were married.
Perhaps you had a thriving career that got put on the back burner to focus on your family. While you might have done that happily, it may have left you missing a huge part of your identity as an independent, self-sufficient person.
Perhaps you had hobbies and interests that, because your ex-spouse didn’t share them, got left behind. Did your role as “spouse” overshadow everything you were as “you?”
Now think about what you envision when you hear the phrase “single person.” Perhaps it’s someone busy enjoying life on their own terms. Someone with friends, interests, their own money, the freedom to make their own decisions, and the time to focus on self-care and good health.
Explore whatever positives come to mind when you contemplate the term “single.” Make a list of how that could look in your own life. Would you travel? Reconnect with old friends? Get involved in your community and help others? Go back to school? Revisit old hobbies or explore new ones? Your slate is clean. Write a new story.
Take deliberate baby steps toward the new independent you. Treat yourself with patience and care. Revel in each small step you take.
Where to find emotional support
Emotional support is essential after a divorce. Your support system can be people you know and love – thick-and-thin friends or family members who offer you positivity without judgment. They’re the ones you can call when the loneliness becomes overwhelming, and you can count on them to understand.
There’s also nothing like talking with others going through the same thing you are. These people can give you validation and help you feel less alone. Support groups are available online and in person where you can meet others navigating divorce and struggling with loneliness. Here, you can share your story without judgment and rely on the community to support you along the way.
And don’t forget the power of working with a professional whose life work is dedicated to helping people in your shoes. Getting the help of a therapist or divorce coach can do wonders for your well-being, helping you gain clarity in your divorce recovery so you can move on.
At Hello Divorce, we believe there is a better way to navigate divorce than the traditional divorce lawyer model. We offer online plans and services that focus on common sense and cooperation whenever possible. When you come through the divorce process feeling strong and less emotionally and financially fragile, you have a better foundation on which to build your independent post-divorce life.
Have questions? Schedule a free 15-minute consultation to learn more about how Hello Divorce can support you.
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