Feeling Lonely After Your Divorce? Use it!

If you’re only “coping” with loneliness, then you’re not really coping at all.

Loneliness is universal. We all know what it feels like, that empty ache in the chest. And loneliness is probably the most common emotion people experience before, during and after divorce. I know I did. Even during my marriage, I was lonely. And that loneliness, that ache, was a signal that something was wrong. I don’t think anyone expects to be lonely ever again after getting married, but it happens. So, what’s worse? Staying in a marriage where you feel alone or truly being alone after a divorce? For me, the choice was clear. I’d rather wrestle with loneliness out in the daylight rather than in the shadows of a broken relationship. Now that I’m here though, I realize that loneliness can’t be about struggle and loss. I can’t hide from it or try to push it down, down, down into my stomach. It’s about really being in it – fully experiencing it – until it has been transformed into acceptance, love and hope. I know it sounds easier said than done.

So, here are my suggestions to help you shift your perspective.

Separate the Feeling of Loneliness from your Loneliness Saboteur

Too often, the feeling of loneliness is tangled up with an inner voice, a saboteur, who incessantly whispers fear in your ear – “You will always be alone. No one is going to love you ever again. You made a terrible mistake.” Fear always gives you the worst possible scenario and never chooses the right path. It creates a feeling of loss that just doesn’t align with reality. It creates anxiety, worry and doubt from your past and into your future. But you have no control over the past or future. So, recognize and acknowledge the saboteur voice for what it is – the voice of fear. And don’t let it choose your future for you. Choosing divorce does NOT mean you choose to be alone. YOU get to choose where you want to go from here. If your saboteur voice is all about the past and future, then the feeling of loneliness is about where you are right now. The feeling of loneliness is just that – a feeling that needs to experienced. You can choose to experience it as your adversary or you can invite it to sit next to you at the table as a friend. Ultimately, you just need to BE with it. No expectation, no judgment. It just is. Accept it.

Ask How Loneliness Serves You

Loneliness is an intense, bright light that is focused just on you, to the exclusion of everything else. It strips everything away and exposes you … to you. And it is most uncomfortable when there are things you don’t want to face. There is no hiding here though. If you don’t look at these things, your saboteurs will use them to fuel your fear. So, try to BE in the loneliness without self-judgment. Once you can look past your saboteurs, you might find that there are gifts for you here too. My loneliness reminded me to slow down and focus on myself during my divorce. It encouraged me to re-group and figure out what I want. Being with loneliness helped me dream again. It’s given me hope for an exciting future. Hopes and dreams are always stronger than saboteurs. And it’s given me clarity. I needed to acknowledge that I am not the person I was. After all this change, I needed to get to know the person I am in the here and now. So now, I interpret that hollow ache in my chest as a signal that I am meant to learn something in this space. So, ask yourself – what is there to learn here? How will it serve me? Take this feeling as a sign to slow down. Be present in the here and now. Face it. Learn from it.

Embrace Loneliness

I cherish my time alone. It is so very rare to have time for ourselves in today’s busy world. Take it for yourself. And when you feel lonely, look for the gifts it has for you. Now, loneliness reminds me of everything I’ve accomplished in my life to get where I am today. It reminds me of how strong I am. It reminds me of how I changed the course of my life all by myself. It reminds me of who I really am and who I want to be. In some ways, loneliness has become my champion showing me how to accept and love myself. How amazing is that? Who knew that loneliness could be a positive energy for growth and change? There is huge creative energy in this space of loneliness as well. Find it. Embrace it. Use that energy to create the life you want. Use it as a springboard to get you there.

In Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert writes “When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life.” Loneliness is universal. We all know what it feels like, that empty ache in our chest. So, don’t just sit there. Indulge in it. Embrace it. Make it yours. Make it uniquely your own. And lastly, make it work for you. You are the only one who can. And maybe, that is the most important lesson loneliness is trying to teach us.

Laura Miolla is a leadership and divorce coach empowering women to use personal and professional challenge as a springboard for positive change. Please contact Laura via moxielifeleadership.com or moxielifedivorce.comOr click HERE to schedule your confidential consultation!

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16 Comments. Leave new

  • There is definitely a way to escape it. You don’t need to stay in that place.

  • I feel better after reading this. Reminded me that what is now will not forever be, and encouraged me to take better control over choosing my destiny. Thanks ?

  • I feel very lonely. I don’t miss my ex-husband, but I feel the longing to have someone love and respect me again some day. Depression comes with feeling lonely. I am trying so hard but it is a long bumpy road. I sit at home alone sometimes and wonder where my life is headed. Through my tears of anger and sadness, I try to occupy myself but every day can be a challenge. I too was lonely a lot of the time while being married.

    • I know I feel the same way right now lonely and bored and depress

    • When are you going to decide to own your life? At what point will you decide that you truly want to change your life? You can. Coaching is about creating transformation. So, when you’re finally done with listening to your negative self-talk and want to find a new way, schedule a consultation with me.

    • You sound exactly like me.
      I’m also tired of hearing ” get out and do something”
      Like I rather sit in bed crying!?.
      No, it’s sometimes physically impossible to move.

    • Wow, sounds like me now. I hope you feel better now.

      • Thanks Lali! Yes, this article was written several years ago … and I can say with 100% confidence that you need to go through this process of rediscovering who you are … and being lonely … after divorce, so that you are clear and free to receive what the Universe sends you next. Post-divorce, my life is 10,000% better than it ever was … and that is only because I did the work on myself FIRST before jumping into another relationship. I wish you that kind of fulfillment and happiness!

  • “So be lonely”, I would rather not, but I can’t bring myself to do things that just are not me – like go do a cooking class, or gym like so many advise.

    No, I just want to find someone to be my best friend, lover and everything inbetween .. But how, I have no friends, don’t get invited places as a result, and my work is isolating – even for a city like Perth

    I don’t see much hope at all

    • Hi TJ, I know what that feels like after divorce and there IS a way to have what you want in your life. It starts with YOU though! It’s about doing some deep work to align your mind, body and spirit … so that you can BE who you want to be and ATTRACT what you want in your life. Feeding your victim saboteur won’t get you anywhere … it will keep you stuck right where you are. So, when you decide to own your life and make the change you want, schedule your free consultation with me.

  • This week I’ve been struggling, on top of it, I’m hormonal. I felt like I could cry at the drop of a hat today. I’m feeling alone. I realize I need someone to be into me in order to feel alive. I thrive on attention, but it isn’t real. It’s like a drug. I am going to be divorced in 3 weeks. I’ve met a couple men, and I feel I’ve latched on. I need to feel connected and desired and if I don’t I feel a lack of worth. Maybe I’m hardcore psming. I am sad. I miss my ex, but I know deep down it wasn’t enough for me, but I still miss him. I was wondering today if he would take me back, maybe its because he seems so happy right now, he even goes to the gym before work!! Before work! Maybe I’m jealous, maybe I didn’t realize I would feel sadness, and feel lonely. I know these men can’t make me feel better, but a distraction is always nice.

    • Hi Jean, what would it mean to you to make real change in your life? You can. There needs to be a focus on you and not your ex. Coaching can help you find your inner wisdom, strength, courage and direction. Schedule a free consultation with me if you are truly interested in making positive change in your life. Click on any of the pink boxes on my website. What do you have to lose?

  • I know what that feels like after divorce. I can relate a lot with this.You may have stayed in an unsatisfactory relationship for a long time because you were afraid of dealing with the changes that splitting up forces upon you.I think many people suffer from loneliness and they really just need to busy themselves with activities and surround themselves with good people

    • Thank you for your feedback! And yes, people stay in unfulfilling relationships for far too long from fear … but also fear of what being alone feels like. In our culture of being “connected” through our devices all the time, people have forgotten how to be alone … and how to benefit from connecting with THEMSELVES on a whole new level. Divorce is an opportunity to do just that. I’m not a fan of just “busying” oneself as a distraction from doing the hard work to create that connection with your authentic self. Focus on who you want to BE in your life … and then choose what to DO to be that.

  • You might be feeling lonely at this time but remember you have hope for the future.
    I’ve been married over 30 years, my grown child has moved overseas, have no grandchildren. I have always been lonely in my marriage, we never have had much in common, he just likes being in his workshop, has never complimented me, he is quiet, good man but boring. Thought of divorce for most part of my marriage but too afraid to go head
    Today have no hope for the future. I have no friends to hang out with. I’ve been told I look good for my age, take care of myself. But what good is that.
    So if you are divorced, reinvent yourself, you are free to go out and enjoy your life the way you wish. You have hope.


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