It is common for a person to experience loneliness after a divorce or separation. The loneliness can lead to serious mental health problems such as depression. The loneliness can become so intense that a person might search for any type of companionship they can find even if that is a harmful relationship. Loneliness can also contribute to many health issues such as weight gain, altered cardiac function, high blood pressure and sleep disorders. It is important that individuals recognize the importance of learning how to deal with loneliness after divorce or separation so that they can avoid these devastating consequences.
People dealing with divorce or separation must first understand why they feel lonely. Most of their social contacts are those they had as a couple. The divorce or separation has typically caused friends to choose sides when inviting the “used to be couple” to social engagements. It may also be that friends you had as a couple, may completely ignore you know that you are not a couple anymore. The divorce or separation may even have caused you to move to a new city forcing you to find new friends. The partner or spouse that you used to do things with is also no longer there creating part of the void that results in loneliness. Until you do find new friends, loneliness will be your only companion.
At first you may not even notice how lonely you are because of all the changes going on in your life. If you have children, you will be kept busy helping them to cope with life without the other parent being around as much as before the divorce or separation. Once things settle down you will notice how lonely you have become since the divorce or separation. You will feel starved for companionship, adult conversation, or just someone to do things with in the evenings or weekends. You will miss your old social life and you will miss doing all the things you did as a couple.
Steps to overcome loneliness
Looking for ways to volunteer in your community is a great way to meet other people and to fill up lonely hours. Being a volunteer makes you feel good about yourself, boosts that ego that may have become bruised during the divorce or separation and will give you a more positive outlook on life in general.
Many organizations cater to those who have been divorced or separated and are wonderful support systems. There may be many of these organizations in your community such as DivorceCare, which is a recovery support groups for those dealing with the ramifications of a divorce. Many churches will host divorce support groups.
The best way to deal with the loneliness after a divorce or separation is to build a strong support group that may include family, friends, co-workers, other divorced individuals in your neighborhood and church members. These individuals are often those who showed caring and support before your divorce or separation and will surround you with love and caring while you cope with your new life.
Now that you know how to deal with the loneliness after divorce or separation you must take action. Don’t just sit around feeling lonely, you must get out there and talk to people; be active in your community and enjoy your life again.