Feeling unwanted and lonely during divorce cuts to the core of who we are. I recall feeling as if I was disposable and used simply as a means to have children. Too many people question self-worth for quite a while after a breakup. Here are 4 tips for coping with loneliness after a divorce. It’s time to take back your power and your self-worth! This is yours to manage and to own, not someone else’s. You may need to get a few new tools and embody a new perspective to cope with and overcome the loneliness many get after divorce. But remember this, you are worthy of love. This is personal work that works!
Tip #1 to overcome loneliness after divorce:
Being lonely is a feeling and feelings won’t kill you. They may make you cry or want to withdraw from others, but you won’t die because of a few tears. And they don’t mean you’re not worthy of love. So set some time aside (I recommend 10 minutes) and allow yourself a good cry. Then wash your face and focus on the present moment. You’ve got a life to create.
You are worthy of love and respect.
This is really important. All too often we’ve been taught that tears make us weak, un-masculine or out-of-control. You’ve probably been accused of using tears to keep people from leaving you. Sometimes, the tears of loneliness are just cleansing and necessary. My guess: you’re not just crying out of feeling lonely. You’ve made the divorce a statement about your self-worth and your place in the world. You may even be crying for all the years you felt alone during your marriage.
This meaning is going to haunt you until you choose to make the meaning of your separation bigger than the story you’re telling yourself. Shift the context – you are worthy of being loved and there’s a very good reason why your marriage ended. So, create an empowering story for yourself and your self-worth.
Tip #2 coping with being lonely rather than admitting you messed up.
Sometimes, I’ll have a client who feels they’re not worthy of love, success or happiness because they’re the one who imploded the marriage by having an affair. The fact of the matter may be that you were betrayed by adultery or that you were the one who had sex with someone other than your monogamous spouse. But neither of these actions, in my opinion, warrant a life sentence of loneliness.
I consider affairs a big, ole wake-up call whether or not the marriage survives it.
Punishing yourself by staying aloof and sad, feeling rather sorry for yourself and what you may or may not have done or could have prevented, doesn’t serve anyone. It keeps you depressed, lost, a victim of your own life.
It may be time to rewrite the story of adultery and acknowledge that some marriages no longer serve both partners. Inevitably, as a coach, I learn that both partners were remiss in maintaining the affection and love we have come to expect and want from monogamous relationships. Sometimes, the most loving thing one can do is to end a union. Usually, it’s liberating. An act that’s often ungracious, mean, and self-serving but which can ultimately, lead to enormous growth for both people if looked at in a certain way.
Tip #3 ‘what others think of you is none of your business…’
In feeling sorry for ourselves, we make others’ opinions of us mean so much more than we should. It really doesn’t matter what other people think. It’s up to you to define your life and to create meanings that empower your circumstances.
In other words, you’re the one who has to get up each day, head to work or manage a home, and you’re the one who has to take care of yourself, your loved ones, and your community. You. Not them. The more power we give to others, the more we let them define how we feel, and the more we give our self-awareness and self-worth away.
I hear you-you care what other people have to say. (So do I.) But, not at the expense of my self – worth, peace of mind, and emotional state. I know there are days you feel awful – that’s clear! But how about taking a good look in the mirror and see how you’ve got way more control over yourself and your circumstances than you give yourself credit? I suspect you’re capable of creating a great future… one step at a time. And frankly, it’s no one else’s business what you do (as long as the ‘hurting others’ part doesn’t happen.)
Tip #4 – there are no losers in personal growth
You’ve gotten this far and now you’re stuck. Perhaps, you’re feeling like a wet noodle with snot running down your face, a beer in hand, a cigarette, and the fear of a future by yourself staring you in the face. Ugh! It’s a wonder you’ve gotten out of bed today.
But there comes a time when we must choose to grow and that’s right about the time, you’re feeling sad, scared, lonely and alone. It’s called being vulnerable, not invincible. Sorry, but you’re not invincible on the other side of divorce. We don’t usually talk about this kind of vulnerability.
Being divorced is not a death sentence. You get to decide to heal, to re-rack for a bit and to focus on yourself and mending your broken parts before trying to find someone else to fill that void. If you don’t, if you rush into a new relationship, chances are, it’ll be messy and you’ll end up right back here in sadness.
So do yourself a favor and find a mentor. Know that without a structure, a community or a system for healing, it’s tough to know how to cope with depression or loneliness due to divorce. You’re worth taking a stand for well-being and happiness! You’re worthy of love.