After a divorce, feelings of loneliness and resentment are usually especially aggravated. We get used to a particular person, lifestyle, habits, and shared rituals.
When we break up with a partner, it’s time to rebuild our lives. So, how can we cope with living alone after divorce, and is it necessary to cope with it at all? Let’s find out in this article.
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.
What if I feel resentment after a divorce?
Divorce emotions can vary. There are a number of reasons why you might experience resentment after divorce, loneliness or depression.
A painful breakup can take you down an emotional roller coaster of anger, grief, sadness, and even shame. If you got divorced because of infidelity or abuse, you need to be mindful of your emotions. Accept them, allow yourself to live them, but don’t let them take over your life.
If you have children and are lonely after your partner left, you must remember that only one rule always works: happy parent = happy children. This means that you must do everything to be a happy person.
How do you deal with resentment after divorce?
As with the gratitude journal, use pen and paper to complete an exercise for letting resentment go. Be specific about what upsets you. For example:
“I am angry and feel jealous that my ex has divorced me and is already going to marry again,” or
“I am bitter that the person whom I loved and from whom I gave birth to children cheated on me without any remorse.”
Put your pain on paper and do it until you feel better.
The next step is to reformulate the first statement. The problem with resentment is that it makes us look at something in a negative light when it is actually a blessing in disguise.
“They have a new passion? Great! Now they will have to listen to the boring stories about work” or
“I thank my ex for great children and will always be grateful for this, despite our relationship story.”
Write and forget. Usually, in such practices, fire is used to symbolise purification. So burn your affirmations and move on to a new life. Being alone after divorce is an opportunity to become the best version of yourself. To enjoy life. So many new and exciting things are waiting for you!
Divorce is often associated with a sad end, but it is an opportunity to start life from scratch. To love all the people who surround you even more. Work on your self-development, and see how amazing and inspiring this world can be.
The article makes some interesting points. I noted that the word “lonely” kept coming up, I am now 2 years and 4 months past my divorce and I honestly I have almost never felt lonely, even though the pandemic and self isolation alone with Covid. I figured out fairly early that my roll as a Husband was just one roll in my life and that I was much more than just a Husband. I am a Father, Son, Brothers, Colleague, Friend and much more besides. I figured that the key was to nurture and grow these other relationship more than ever and most importantly the one with my kids. Being a separated Dad is about the toughest thing a man goes through. Divorce is the worst chapter of my life, but nutureing these other relationship really did help. I honestly don’t think people are meant to be alone, we need social connections. William Shakespeare wrote “No man is an Island”. To be honest I don’t agree with much of the article, but interesting read non the less.