How To Deal With Loneliness And Resentment After Divorce
Wellness | 24th March 2022 by Natalie Maximents
After a divorce, feelings of loneliness and resentment are usually especially aggravated. We get used to a particular person, lifestyle, habits, and shared rituals.
Loneliness After Divorce
5 Ways to Cope
Loneliness accompanies us all in our lives. It’s part of the journey of finding yourself. In the broadest sense, loneliness is about abandonment or having no one to talk to or spend time with, often identified as not belonging to any group and the devastation associated with it.
On a deeper psychological level, loneliness after divorce separation is not dreadful. It is about “returning home” because we come into this world alone and leave it alone too.
The concept of “returning home” means that you accept the state of loneliness as a given from birth. Therefore, you do not need to resist loneliness, but instead, make it your true friend and comrade-in-arms. How?
First of all, you are not morally and completely financially dependent on other people after divorce. And if everything is more or less clear with financial independence, the moral freedom of not being responsible for a partner brings the opportunity to work hard on oneself and one’s identity.
Secondly, when loneliness is your good friend, you get high from everything you love in this life, without “tying” your happiness to any particular person or love relationship in general.
We determine what loneliness is for us. If we treat it as something devastating, then it will be so. But, on the other hand, if you see advantages and even some romance in loneliness, it will be an exciting journey for you.
However, extreme loneliness after divorce has its specific outcomes since it is directly connected with personal relationships and feelings of uselessness and insecurity in love affairs.
The sphere of relations is very vulnerable. That is why even when realising our value and being self-sufficient, we experience stress when a gap occurs in personal relationships. Divorce can undermine the self-confidence of absolutely any person, as it affects the most “painful” points — self-love, confidence in the future, realisation through relationships.
Such an attitude can qualitatively lower self-esteem, but it is possible to cope with loneliness and get to know your most exciting self if you follow our working techniques.
So, how to start a new life, move forward, and discover the positive side of this feeling?
1. Build self-reliance
In Gestalt therapy, there is such a thing as “self-reliance”. It means that a person has an inner confidence and understands they can live without another. But, naturally, this does not cancel the feeling of loss (physical and emotional).
Self-reliance is not about indifference to others. It is about taking responsibility for your life, the relationships you build with people, and the place you occupy in your system of values. The problem is that as long as we choose another person for direct support, all our strength will be spent on controlling their behaviour, which we can’t really control. It only reinforces the emptiness after divorce.
After any painful breakup or divorce, the main thing is not to have a pity party. Instead, shift the focus from the situation and the ex-partner to yourself. Start building self-reliance that will allow you to avoid feeling lost after divorce, and grow your self-confidence, a sense of self-worth, and uniqueness.
Other people are situational support. The proper support is on the inner core of oneself. Your inner self is an excellent resource to share and be ourselves simultaneously.
Being happy alone after divorce is our primary goal. If you feel good about yourself, if you don’t need the presence of another to feel okay, you can choose a suitable environment. As a result, you can have satisfying relationships and don’t be afraid to talk about what is comfortable for you. That’s what helps you defend your rights and boundaries.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, essayist, lecturer, and philosopher, also wrote about self-reliance. In his essay, he states that society hurts people’s growth. However, Emerson believed that self-sufficiency gives a person in society the freedom to discover their true self and achieve their true independence.
2. Find a new routine
If you have lived with a person for a long time, it is natural that you have an everyday routine. And the longer your union, the more ingrained habits. It’s time to find and create a new pattern! Post-divorce is the surest reason to start a new life, and it consists of new habits. Regular intake of healthy food, daily routine, sleep schedule, and exercise will positively affect your mental health and physical wellbeing.
Think about what really pleases you. Perhaps you have long wanted to try yoga or a dance class. Or maybe it’s time to change your hairstyle and hair colour? Let divorce not be a tragedy for you (even if it felt that way at first), but the beginning of a new life where there is room for self-love and positive changes.
The very concept of “fighting loneliness after divorce” is fundamentally wrong. On the contrary, embrace this feeling of independence and make it your ally.
3. Travel! It’s worth it
Divorce combat is usually fraught with being “stuck” in the same emotions. Travel is an excellent solution to this problem. Not only does travelling abroad have a positive effect on expanding our horizons, but it also allows us to “change the picture” in our minds. So get together with your friends or your kids and go on a journey that inspires you. Absorb new places, atmosphere, people, the beauty of new surroundings. Allow yourself to indulge in living alone after divorce!
4. Not lonely after divorce, but grateful
When a stressful period comes into our lives, we forget how important it is to be grateful. So if you are surviving loneliness after divorce, do a daily gratitude practice. Don’t be in a hurry to roll your eyes: if it seems to you that the gratitude journal is stupid at first glance, just try it.
For example, thank the universe for your children and the time you spend with them. Thank yourself too — for your fortitude, courage, desire to have a better and happier life. Don’t be stingy with the big or small “thank you moments.”
For example, write how happy and grateful you are for being healthy and prosperous. Rejoice at the opportunity to be who you want and develop (a woman does not have such a privilege in all countries). Or perhaps the morning routine spent over coffee and a croissant makes you a little happier today? Write anything that makes you smile in your gratitude journal.
5. Remember the most important person in your life is you
Never be your own enemy. Don’t force yourself to feel happy if you don’t. Accept the loneliness after the end of a relationship. It is natural, as you have lost someone important in your life. This person is gone physically and emotionally.
During this period, you may also feel alienated and not need to communicate with others. Let yourself have this “social respite.” Loneliness is part of the process of moving forward. If you are two years after divorce still depressed, contact a psychologist and start therapy. If you feel like you can’t do it yourself, get help. Treatment has every chance of changing your life for the better forever.