How Do I Handle My Loneliness After My Divorce?
Updated: Jul 27, 2021
We all feel lonely. And loneliness while going through a separation or divorce can be all consuming. I asked one of my friends to write about her experience with loneliness and what has helped her navigate through it.
One of the greatest hardships of divorce is the issue of loneliness. I have struggled with this during my marriage (ironically) and then after my divorce. I used to think I was the loneliest married person I knew. After my divorce, I realized the loneliness didn’t just go away and I still felt very alone. So, the question is, how do you combat loneliness in a healthy and godly way? Here are a few things I have learned to help combat loneliness.
Become comfortable spending time by yourself in prayer and thought.
Technically speaking, you are not alone; God is with you and will provide you with peace, but you must earnestly seek him out. I wish I could tell you this is easy and you will immediately feel his presence, but that is not being realistic. It is a habit that must be developed and nurtured over time before you begin to feel a difference.
Give yourself permission to set boundaries with scenarios that may trigger your loneliness.
For example, you may need a transitional period from being a couple to being by yourself. If you are not ready to go events where other couples/families are present, it is okay. It is better to explain why you aren’t attending than to go and struggle emotionally. I love Andy Stanley’s phrase, “It is a no for now, but not forever.” Extend grace to yourself; you will be better for it.
Learn to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
Your circumstances of loneliness will not change if you stay holed up inside your home. I know you may be hurt, feeling rejected and insecure, but these feelings will stay magnified if you don’t push yourself to try new things. Now more than ever, you have a chance to do the things that interest you. You don’t have to worry about someone else liking it or begging them to go with you. Simply, “Go. Do. It.” People see me as a fairly confident person, but I have to push myself every single day to go outside of my comfort zone.
Allow others to love on you.
When you go through the immense pain of a divorce, you may not allow others to extend love to you. You may become hardened, cynical, non-objective, or unwilling to honestly evaluate your current situation. Let others truly guide you, help you, hold you accountable, and love on you. A unique, positive aspect of divorce is that many of your relationships that might have been strained previously can be utterly renewed during this time. Be open to receiving love from others, including Christ’s love for you.
Find a great support group.
Having support after your divorce is critical. Support groups come in many different forms; think about what brings you joy and start looking for opportunities to get involved. The options are limitless. Eventually, you may want to pour into others. Being a group leader for Oasis, a divorce support group, has allowed me to continue to heal and become whole again and to also be part of someone else’s journey toward that same goal. I tell myself every day, “Trust God’s plan for your life. He loves you, is with you, and will never forsake you.”
I wish I could tell you that I no longer struggle with loneliness, but that would be dishonest. I must consistently remind myself what I can do to overcome loneliness. I trust that God knows my future, and in my loneliest times, he has not left my side. Knowing that allows me to move forward in pursuit of my future and attempt to live with a positive attitude in my present.
1. How comfortable are you spending time alone?
2. In what area(s) do you need to extend grace to yourself?
3. In what area(s) do you need to challenge yourself?
4. Who is your support right now? Who are you allowing to love on you?