No matter how much you want your divorce or imagine a better life for yourself after your split, loneliness is bound to occur. You may be surprised when this feeling kicks in – it may happen at the most inconvenient and surprising times, in the presence of others or when you’re completely on your own. Coping with the loneliness in a Michigan divorce takes time, a support system, and the presence of mind to recognize the feeling you’re experiencing so you can deal with it head-on.
Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda
If you have children, there will be times that they are with your former spouse and not with you. And some of these moments could be on the holidays when nostalgia and loneliness can feel incredibly strong even in the best of times. You may think about all the things you “should” be doing together as a family or “would” be doing together if you hadn’t divorced. Torturing yourself and stressing yourself out in this way only feeds the loneliness.
Loneliness also makes the smallest to the biggest challenges of life seem insurmountable. The bills you have to pay. The house cleaning you need to do. The health problems a family member is facing. It’s hard to be positive or find the silver lining when you’re feeling alone. Loneliness can shoot holes in your self-esteem too. For example, if you divorced because of your ex’s infidelity, you can feel unworthy and unwanted. You can think of all the ways you “could” have changed the course of your life, but the past is the past and the present is the present. You did not create your loneliness, but you can impact whether or not the feeling continues.
Identify Your Loneliness
You don’t have to be completely without company to feel loneliness. You may be surrounded by family and friends, but feel lonely anyway. This is a common occurrence for divorced people who want intimate companionship, who want a partner to share their worries and happiness alike.
Being divorced means you no longer have someone to commiserate with where the kids are concerned. You don’t have that person you can look at across the dinner table and knowingly appreciate a comment your child just made, or laugh at each other about the discipline you just tried to dish out with a straight face.
But being single and being alone are two different things. Yes, you’re in the throes of a divorce and are no longer part of a couple, but that doesn’t mean you are alone. Make smart choices about who you are spending time with and what you’re doing so that you don’t contribute to the feelings of loneliness you desperately want to avoid.
Social media can be a mood boost when you want to connect with people who aren’t right beside you, but spending hours trolling your feeds and making yourself feel bad about the family photos and fun that other people are posting is a certain road to loneliness. Comparing yourself to others will only make you feel more isolated, and infinitely less happy.
Live in the Loneliness
Loneliness is an experience, not just a state of being, and sometimes you simply must “be” with the loneliness to get past it. If you are booking every minute of every day so you’re constantly busy and distracted from the shambles you feel your life is in, the moment you do find yourself alone or not busy, the loneliness will hit you even harder.
Budget time to feel all the feels, and force yourself to keep the appointment. Go ahead and cry the tears you’ve been holding back for the sake of the kids or your own confidence. Set a timer if you must so you know that there will be an end to how you’re feeling. It’s ok to give yourself a certain amount of time to feel the overwhelming emotions that you’ve been keeping at bay. The mistake is to constantly try to hide from these feelings. It will be that much harder to cope with your divorce when your loneliness hits you without warning and without your permission.
Loneliness is a temporary part of divorce. It helps to have a Michigan divorce attorney you can trust, especially in the times of lonely self-doubt and legal confusion. Contact Femminineo Attorneys in Mt. Clemens to schedule your free initial interview and discuss your divorce.