I have a client who is newly separated and going through the divorce process. He is struggling with a deep sense of loneliness. Something he is finding hard to process since he left his marriage due to a sense of loneliness. He has now found himself more alone than ever and not sure how to deal with his feelings.
His present loneliness is causing him to question whether or not his decision to divorce was the right decision to make. He made the choice to divorce thinking it would change a negative feeling he was experiencing in the marriage.
He thought making that choice would magically take care of the loneliness he had felt. He had a good understanding of why he wanted out of her marriage. What he failed to realize is that his loneliness was not about the marriage but, about how he was living in the marriage and was now choosing to live outside the marriage.
I'm not saying that divorce was the wrong choice for my client. What I am saying is that divorce brings with it new stresses, which can exacerbate feelings you were having during the marriage. Divorce was probably the right decision for my client.
What he needs to do is address the changes he needs to make in the way he lives his life. He can't live life outside the marriage, the same way he did inside the marriage. He needs a plan of action, one that will help him move on to a new life that isn't filled with loneliness. You can't start anew and expect positive results if you are willing to make adjustments and stop doing the same old, same old.
If, like my client, you are struggling with feelings of loneliness after divorce below are three useful things you can do to feel less lonely.
- Don't sit around waiting for something to happen. If you want to be with people, then get busy and plan activities that include people. Join a singles club, organize a book club, get a Bunko group going, gather some friends together and play a little poker. Have a dessert night and invite your neighbors over. People are busy; they have lives of their own to live. You can bet though that if they get an invitation, a chance to escape their everyday life they will show up. Get busy mixing and mingling!
- Find meaning and purpose for your life. Do volunteer work. Find an organization you are interested in, one where you will feel needed and appreciated and volunteer a few times a week. Step outside your own needs and give to others. It is the best way to come to the realization that what you have in life is a blessing. It is also a great way to connect with like-mind people and to broaden your horizons.
- Focus on what you have, not on what you don't have. Divorce brings change and loss. Don't get wrapped up and hung up on what you have lost or no longer have. There isn't a person walking this earth who thinks they have all they want. There are people who are able to center their attention on what they have, not on what they don't have. Those are people everyone wants to be around.