Life changes significantly after separation or divorce and with that change comes a lot of emotions. In fact, for many people, the process of grieving—from anger to sadness to acceptance—can be a normal process of divorce. And with so much news on separation and divorce, many people are expecting that grieving process.
What they aren’t expecting, however, is the feeling of loneliness and isolation that can happen after separation or divorce. When that happens, they often feel like they have nowhere to turn to and they are experiencing something that no one else experiences.
But you aren’t alone.
In fact, the majority of couples going through separation or divorce feel a combination of loneliness and isolation after it. Let’s face it, you’ve gone from having a unit to not having that unit intact. The person that you spent most of your free time with is now doing their own thing without you.
That thought alone can be isolating in itself, but there are things that you can do to help cope with the loneliness and isolation you feel after separation or divorce.
Accept the Loneliness as Part of the Process
It can seem counterintuitive to just accept that loneliness but if you don’t accept it, it can be a lot harder to cope with or work through. When you understand that there will be times when you will feel lonely, you can start to identify when those moments are or what triggers those feelings.
And with knowing what those triggers are, you can start to cope with it and prepare things that help alleviate. Everyone alleviates loneliness in different ways so you need to find what works for you. It might be going out for drinks or dinner, calling a friend or family member, heading out for a walk in nature, or simply cuddling up with a book and your cat.
The thing is that it will pass once you learn how to cope with it and how to alleviate it. The best thing to understand is that loneliness will pass…it’s only temporary.
Tell Yourself It’s Okay to Be Alone
And this falls into the temporary. It’s okay to be alone. In today’s society, it may seem odd to be alone. We are always connected with people through social media, our phones, friends, family and so on. It is very unusual for people to be alone, but it is not unusual to feel lonely.
By telling yourself that it is okay to be alone, you can set up moments where you are alone, with your own thoughts. And you can focus on doing things that you love, alone. When you do, this can help prevent feelings of loneliness because you can begin to enjoy those moments alone. This is extremely helpful when your kids are out visiting their other parent and you are missing them.
Being alone can be wonderful and nurturing, but it’s important to go back to alleviating the loneliness if you start feeling it.
Take care of yourself
Another important tip to help combat loneliness is to really take care of yourself. Self care can help you in so many ways.
First, it can help empty your stress bucket. This means that you’ll be able to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation when they come up as opposed to if you never empty your stress bucket. Doing self care from doing a hobby you like to going out with friends to washing your hair will help empty that stress bucket for you.
Second, it can help you discover yourself and your likes and dislikes. This can really go a long way in coping with loneliness as you’ll feel a direction when you feel that loneliness. It can also help you get out.
Third, it will help you maintain your health. When you are healthy, you feel better and it can help you cope with negative emotions, such as loneliness and isolation a lot better.
Remind Yourself that This Won’t Last Forever
Divorce and separation are a season…they aren’t your lifetime. Life will change, you’ll meet new people, find a new life that is different from the one you had with your ex-partner. You will grow and enjoy your life.
Remind yourself that the hardest part, the divorce, is over. Now is the time for you to focus on yourself, your wants and pursue your dreams. Yes, you still have responsibilities with your kids, but you also don’t have the limits that might have been there with your ex-partner.
And all that hurt, loneliness and isolation that you are feeling right now will pass, I promise, and you’ll have so much to look forward to in the future.
This Process Will Take Time
Finally, be aware that coping with loneliness means accepting that it will take time to overcome. You have become used to there being two of you and now that there is just one, it can be a bit overwhelming at times. However, if you take the transition to divorced slowly and start exploring who you are, you will get there.
Eventually, the loneliness and hurt will be a lot less and you’ll be able to enjoy your time alone as much as you enjoy the time with your kids.
And that is something that you should really focus on, your kids. They need you, completely and they want you to be happy. Even when they aren’t there, you can look at pictures and videos of them and reaffirm that you aren’t alone…you have them and they have you and together, you’ll have a unique family with its own happiness.
No matter what, remember that even in those moments when you feel completely alone…you aren’t. Others are there for you. Others understand the loneliness and isolation from separation or divorce, and we are all rooting for your success.