Women And Divorce
Feeling lonely after a divorce? Although it’s completely normal, the pain and grief can leave you feeling isolated and depressed.
Getting divorced can be one of the most difficult and emotionally draining experiences a woman might ever go through. After the paperwork is signed and the boxes are packed, many women find themselves feeling incredibly lonely.
It doesn’t matter if you wanted a divorce or not, the feelings of loneliness can be overwhelming. You don’t want to be a drain on your friends, or your kids, but damn, some days feel so sad!
Recent research indicates that most middle age divorces are initiated by women. Unwilling to stay in an unsatisfactory marriage, women are choosing to leave their spouses. For most women, there is a blend of excitement and loneliness after a divorce. It’s important to remember that you will have good days and sad days, but eventually, you will find happiness in your new life.
Divorce Advice For Women
Studies have shown that it takes about two years for a divorced person to feel balanced again. We all know that divorce can be emotionally devastating, leaving you feeling isolated and questioning your self-worth. It doesn’t matter how your divorce happened; the hurt goes deep.
It’s normal for a woman to feel lonely after a divorce. Between raising a family and the busyness of home management, some women have not been physically alone for decades! After going through a divorce, the quiet can be disorienting.
It might make you second guess your decision to end your marriage. But remember, silence can be an excellent time to reconnect with your goals and dreams. So don’t be afraid, you can learn how to manage your time alone with gratitude.
Feeling Lonely After A Break-Up
Remember the old saying: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em?
Sometimes we just need to give in to what is happening inside of us. As a trained Marriage and Family Therapist, I know that the emotions that come from divorce are overwhelming. Our first instinct might be to fight against our feelings, denying our anger or sadness. But when we push our feelings down, we just create an emotional volcano that is on the brink of eruption!
One of the most important things you can do for yourself during the divorce process is to let your feelings come to the surface. Feelings of bitterness, rage, regret, and fear are difficult to ignore. Yes, you are also feeling lonely after the divorce, but there are plenty of other big emotions fighting to get out. Don’t deny yourself the time to express your hurt and heartache.
Remember, if we don’t feel it, we can’t heal it.
How To Deal With Loneliness After Divorce
Give yourself the gift of focusing on your mental health. It’s important to recognize that you are riding an emotional rollercoaster. Keep reminding yourself that it is normal to feel a wide range of emotions. There will be days that you feel content and grateful for the changes you have made.
And then almost immediately, guilt and loneliness will show up, smashing the good feelings, causing you to feel emotionally exhausted. Getting professional help can be crucial in understanding your feelings and learning how to manage them.
I remember the loneliness when I went through my divorce. My family relationships were struggling to find a balance and my friends weren’t sure what to say. Most weeks the only human touch I had was a hug from my therapist.
There were days when the loneliness was crushing, and I let myself feel it deeply. Some weeks I spent hours laying on the couch, quietly letting my mind sort through my heartache. On other days, I gave myself time to cry. I let myself sob and snort, giving myself permission to ugly cry as loudly as I needed to feel relief!
Eventually, my emotions became more stable, and I began to build a new life. There were still days that I felt lonely and sad, but there were fewer of those days than in the beginning. I am now years down the road from my divorce, and my lonely days have gone away. I have learned to enjoy my own thoughts and give value to my own ideas. Giving myself the time to grieve and feel the weight of my loneliness was crucial to my long-term healing.
You Need Emotional Support For Divorce
Finding a qualified relationship coach or a therapist is the best way to get the support you might need after a divorce. Look for a person who can listen without judgment as you share your feelings. A good coach or therapist will help you get curious about your emotions and help you move toward healing.
Give Yourself Permission To Be Happy
As human beings, we are born wired for connection. Finding a community where we can belong and feel accepted is important for our overall well-being. When you are feeling lonely after a divorce, try exploring your local community. Before your divorce, you might have been too busy or had a very stressful home life that stopped you from getting to know your neighborhood.
As you know, divorce brings tons of life changes, so now is a great time to get curious about exploring your local area. Attending a farmers’ market or an art walk, getting out, and learning about your community can lead to meaningful connections. Make a promise to yourself that you will set aside time to discover new places in your city.
Find A Spiritual Community That Feels Safe
Maybe you stopped going to church or attending a spiritual community years ago? Now would be a great time to consider attending services or group events that support your beliefs. For some women, attending spiritual services brings a sense of belonging, helping to ease their loneliness.
The truth is that life is more satisfying when we keep ourselves mentally and physically active. Going through a divorce can be a catalyst for self-growth. Spend some time thinking about the hobbies you didn’t have time for when you were married. Giving yourself permission to seek out educational classes and informative meetings that spark your interest.
Finding New Activities Will Help Fix Your Loneliness
If you are looking for ways to balance your negative emotions, workout classes are the perfect opportunity to meet new people and push yourself to your limits. Research shows that exercising with intensity helps balance moods and significantly diminish depression.
Maybe you need something a little softer to help you ease your loneliness. Consider joining a book club, where you share new ideas and perspectives. Book clubs are a great source of inspiration! You might decide to take a solo travel trip or start cooking classes as a result of reading with a group. Whatever your interests, there’s no better time than now to start working to find ways to decrease your loneliness and get re-engaged in life.
Seek Out Support After Your Divorce
Make sure to reach out and connect with friends who can provide comfort and support. Even though socializing may seem like the last thing on your mind, it’s important to keep in touch with people who understand what you are going through. Making new friends who have also gone through a divorce can be incredibly helpful as they can relate to your struggles. When we have a shared experience there is potential for solid advice and compassionate support.
Look For A Divorce Recovery Group
There is a good chance that there is a local divorce support group in your area. Use Google to search the term “divorce recovery” to help you find suitable options. Some divorce support groups are spiritually based, and others focus on building new friendships and committing to self-care. When we share an experience, good or bad, it helps normalize our feelings and gives us a sense of belonging.
Self Love And Healing Take Time
Finally, take the time to reflect on your life and focus on the future. One of the best ways to understand your thoughts is to journal. I know, the word “journaling” might flash a mental picture of pink unicorns and a glitter pen! Journaling is not just for 6th-grade girls anymore!
Spending intentional time recording your thoughts and emotions is a critical piece of understanding yourself and your former marriage. Go ahead and write about feeling lonely, write about your anger, take time to brain-dump all your emotions while going through a divorce! Every thought and idea is worth recording in your journal. Writing is proven to be a healthy release for our emotions that are too painful to share.
Writing Is Good For You
Try this trick for creating positive thoughts: work on replacing negative thoughts with positive ones by writing down 3 positive qualities about yourself each day. It’s important to break the cycle of negative self-talk that can happen after a divorce. Recognizing your positive qualities and appreciating them can help you gain a balanced perspective.
Each day, try writing down three things about yourself that you love or are proud of. It can be as simple as “I am a kind person” or “I have a great sense of humor.” By acknowledging and celebrating our strengths, we can start to shift our focus toward positivity and self-love. Commit to this exercise for 2 weeks, make sure to check in with yourself to see how it improves your mood and mindset!
Focus On Yourself After A Breakup
Take some time to build your self-esteem after going through a divorce. Create a simple list of things that can be done to feel better about yourself such as getting a new haircut, dressing up for special occasions, or taking time to pamper yourself.
Building self-esteem is incredibly important for our mental well-being. If you were in an abusive or dysfunctional marriage, you might need to focus on finding things to admire about yourself. Spending years with an emotionally abusive spouse can destroy your self-image. Thankfully, you are on your own now, and you can begin to work on boosting your confidence.
Take time to get a new, updated haircut and color. Set aside some money to shop for clothes that make you feel sexy. You are doing this for your own enjoyment, not to get back into dating right away! Give yourself the chance to evolve into a modern, more sophisticated version of the woman you were during your marriage.
Staying Positive After A Breakup Can Help Reduce Loneliness
Because the truth is, when we look good on the outside, we feel good on the inside. And don’t forget self-care is serious! Give yourself permission to indulge in a long bath or treat yourself to a massage, it’s important to nurture ourselves both physically and mentally. Building self-esteem is an ongoing process, but small steps can add up to a big impact.
When you are feeling lonely after your divorce, it’s important to keep your goals in mind. Choose to focus on your hope for a better tomorrow. Yes, it’s true, everything in your world has changed, but the good news is that you can change as well! You can design a life you love and build for the future if you stay committed to acceptance and self-compassion.
By actively engaging in activities, connecting with friends, and taking time to reflect on your life, it’s possible to rebuild your confidence, find joy again and start enjoying life after divorce. Remember, you are not in a race to rebuild your life. Take your time, choose carefully, and create a life you love with thoughtful intention.
Divorce can be a tough and uncontrollable experience, but there are many things you can do to cultivate new friendships and feel connected even in lonely times. Searching for a new community and making the choice to engage in positive activities can be helpful beginnings. Make sure to focus on nurturing healthy thoughts and consider working with a mental health professional for great self-growth.
Lastly, give yourself permission to explore new hobbies, don’t talk yourself out of trying new things! Make sure to give yourself space to take care of yourself during this transition. Take time out of your day for yourself to practice self-care and pampering.
You can create a better life for yourself after going through a divorce. Making new choices and developing a stronger sense of self will help you find the strength to get through this challenging situation and come out stronger than ever!
If you have gone through a divorce, please leave a comment sharing the things that helped you deal with loneliness.
Melane Ann is a writer, blogger, and life coach. In 2020, she turned her experience in midlife divorce and creating a new life for herself into midlifeismagical. With a master's in Marriage and Family Therapy, Melane focuses on helping women over 50 navigate their relationships and commit to healthy aging. She and her new husband share 7 children between them. Melane jokes that she has a black belt in blended families! In addition to her writing, Melane works virtually with her coaching clients from her home office.