Divorce and Loneliness
Dear Positive Way, I am going through the divorce now. I am scared for the loneliness of being alone later. I don’t think about remarried because I don’t feel that I can trust any one . I did completely trust my husband with no doubt and I was so impressed by his words and his awareness. He turned 360 degree on me. I was so shock and hurt. How can I get over the lonely feeling so it won’t scare me. I am so afraid and feel sorry for my children that they have to go thru this with me. Would you please also help me on how to tell my children when they ask me why don’t we stay in the same house with daddy. Or when they are crying, they always ask for daddy. This hurt me too much. I just don’t want to hurt them more since they already hurt. Thank you so much. signed, Lonelywoman 1970, age 36
Dear Lonely1970, Everything you are feeling is normal and understandable. When the person we love and trusted turns on us it is like a death in the family. There are a range of feelings that will show up and fluctuate day by day. The range of emotions are shock and denial, anger, bargaining, depression and then finally acceptance will come. The fear of being alone and loneliness is one of the main reasons people stay in unhealthy and unhappy relationships. Many people are afraid of being alone. With that said I do have some suggestions and some advice for you to consider that can help you and your children during this transition in life.
1. Your children will do better as you do better. Children mirror our feelings and emotions. They can sense your sadness and fear and will react to that. The best way to handle the children when they ask about why you don’t stay in the same house with daddy is to be honest without putting down or demeaning their father in anyway. For example you could say something like this “Many Mommies and Daddies don’t live in the same house because they have adult issues that get in the way of being together. But they do and always will love you as their children and that will never change”. When they cry or miss Daddy then listen to them for a few minutes and then redirect them. For instance you could suggest they write a note or color a picture for their Daddy. Maybe you could encourage them to call him during that time. The point is to allow them their feelings for a few minutes and then offer some solution by redirecting their focus.
2. Instead of fearing the loneliness embrace it. Loneliness allows for much personal growth and awareness and it can be very beneficial. Use your alone time to do some of the following. Please read our article on Divorce and the aftermath and then get one or both of the books we recommend in that article. They have great insight and wisdom on this subject and you will learn and benefit from the advice given. Also read our article on Loneliness and take action on what is recommended there.
3. Ask yourself “What can I learn from this experience?” There are life lessons here and use your alone time to figure out the life lessons presented. Once you learn those lessons you will be able to move forward in a positive way. You are wise to not rush into another marriage or even consider that for now. Doubting whether you can trust someone else after this experience is normal and you shouldn’t trust so easily. Educate yourself during this time. Read as much as you can on this subject, learn from it and you will be able to see more clearly and make better choices for yourself and for your children along the way.
The good news is that there is life after divorce. Yes, I know you don’t believe that now but I promise you there is a light at the end of this tunnel. You will be a wiser and more confident person through all of this and there is much living and joy ahead. I speak from experience and of course I have also counseled many over the years that have been where you are today. I have seen first hand how good life can be once you go through the stages of grief and then experience the good that comes from all things. Remember the better you do the better the children will do. Take care of yourself, feel those feelings, take action to move beyond them and then go on to the next life experiences that can bring happiness and joy back into your life. You and your children will find happiness again.
If you feel you need some extra help with all of this please see a counselor. You could get a referral from your family Doctor, local Church, or social services. Sometimes it helps to have an outsider looking in that can guide you along the way. I wish you well.
Please understand you have free will. This advice is given only in the realm of personal growth and self-help. This is not to be considered a substitute for therapy or professional counseling. We wish you well.