One of the most common questions I see in divorce communities is this: “How long will it take? How much longer will I feel as lonely as I do now?”
Because that’s the feeling:
When you have lost your ex, who, everything else aside, was the person in the world who you were most close with and deeply attached to in all sorts of ways …
When you perhaps have lost friends as well, because they couldn’t cope with the divorce so they just withdrew, choosing him, or were embarrassed to invite a divorced woman to social gatherings…
When you, on top of that perhaps also had to move and in this way find yourself in strange surroundings, apart from the community that you were part of…
It hurts so deeply, the pain is so persistent, and you don’t know how to make it stop… The only cure you can think of is getting the life back that you have lost. But that is not possible. Plus you don’t really want it back…
And so, not seeing any options other than waiting for time to heal this, all you’re left with is one question:
How much longer?
There is no simple answer to that question, obviously.
The truth is, it can take weeks (it’s rare but it happens). And it can take years or forever, and everything in between.
It depends. Perhaps more than anything else it depends on understanding the post-divorce loneliness (and also the pre-divorce loneliness, for that matter) and then addressing it from that bigger perspective.
Because the thing is that divorce doesn’t just lead to loneliness:
Divorce also triggers the loneliness that was there already.
You see, even if loneliness is not something we talk much about in our society, it’s a state that most human beings, divorced or not, are familiar with. And, in most cases, it starts early in life.
But we – human beings in general, that is – are not aware of it. We tend to forget about it or we get used to it or we find ways to escape it. But the loneliness is still there.
And if it’s there in a significant degree then the emotional upheaval of the divorce will take you back to that pain. Except, you probably won’t be aware of it happening. Because pain is pain.
So, in essence, if there wasn’t much loneliness in you prior to the divorce, if you’re a balanced, independent person, it may not take all that long to move on. And, that’s quite rare.
Please know though that even if there are much more lonely feelings inside than you’re aware of, it still doesn’t have to take all that long to overcome it. It could be a matter of 6-12 months or so, rather than years or forever.
I’ve seen that in my life and I’ve seen that in the lives of my clients.
But it does require that you address it. To transform the pain of loneliness, appropriate inner work is needed, as opposed to emotional Band-Aids, however they may look.
The first step towards overcoming loneliness is to …
Acknowledge the reality of loneliness
Acknowledge that it’s not just about who and what you just lost. Understand that the new wound has also opened an old one.
This is, actually, truly empowering! Because once you realize it, you will also understand that you do not have to go back to your old life in order to heal the pain. On the contrary – you need to build a new life for yourself.
That’s the next step …
Do whatever it takes to heal
You are free to heal the new wound and the old as well.
In committing to it, and doing the inner work that it takes, you will experience not only that loneliness will gradually dissolve, but that it will be replaced by something entirely different: joy. Because joy goes even further back than loneliness!
Joy is our nature
As you heal the pain, emptiness inside will be gradually filled by joy, and love.
With that, you can create a more joyful life than you ever had before!
It’s absolutely doable. And, if you’re like most people, you probably need help for that process.
Which is a good thing! Reach out for support for this process too.
Just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean that you have to go it alone.
Halina Goldstein is a Love To Loneliness coach, based in Denmark, working globally over phone/Skype. She helps divorced women effortlessly connect with people who love, appreciate, and support them. Visit Halina’s blog or schedule a free Love and Support Discovery Session.
Latest posts by Halina (see all)
- Overcoming loneliness after divorce – how long does it take? - September 9, 2016