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Ep. 122 – Loneliness and Divorce

In the beginning stages of healing after divorce it’s normal to experience grief, sadness, and anger and other emotions can start you on an emotional rollercoaster. Emotions like these may cause you to pull away from others and isolate yourself, which can eventually lead to feelings of loneliness. In this episode Jeff and Doreen discuss loneliness and divorce and what you can do to about it.

Transcript

00;00;00;00 – 00;00;32;19
Unknown
Good day, everybody. Today, we’re going to be talking about loneliness and divorce. So if you are ready, let’s get started. Are you ready to create a life that’s better than ever before? We are Doreen Yaffa and Jeff Wilson, and we are here to give you the strategies you need to create the life after divorce that you deserve and desire as partners, both in marriage and coaching.

00;00;32;26 – 00;00;47;22
Unknown
We use our expertise as well as our own personal experiences to help you make the next chapter of your life. The best chapter.

00;00;47;24 – 00;01;08;14
Unknown
Hello, Doreen. How are you? Hey, Jeff. I’m great. It is a sad subject. Yeah, well, I mean, it can be a good subject. It can be a sad subject. It all depends the way you look at it and what your thoughts are about it. Yeah. I mean, loneliness, I guess, is just common and even expected. When you’re dealing with divorce, it just kind of goes along with it.

00;01;08;17 – 00;01;36;00
Unknown
Yeah. I mean, you were sharing your life with your spouse and maybe raising kids and making plans for your future together. And now that’s all changed. Yeah. And especially with the divorce and, you know, new emotions are coming up for you. And a lot of these emotions can contribute to the feeling of being lonely. Absolutely. So what are the causes and what can you do to help manage feelings of being lonely after divorces?

00;01;36;02 – 00;01;59;20
Unknown
I think the question that we want to address today, you know, what causes it and what can we do to help manage the feelings of being lonely and lonely is a thought. Yes, right. So when we teach about the model, what we which was the last episode, we just went through this. Yes. What we teach is that there’s a circumstance that creates a thought.

00;01;59;23 – 00;02;43;00
Unknown
And here maybe the thought is about the divorce or specifically about something as to the divorce that creates a feeling. And what we’re talking about today is a feeling of loneliness, which creates then an action or inaction and a result. So we’re really just trying you know, a lot of this is for the awareness of the different emotions that people are feeling and dealing with through divorce and, of course, loneliness being one of the prime, you know, feelings, you know, in the beginning stages of healing after divorce, it’s normal to experience emotions like grief and sadness and anger and they can, you know, start you on this emotional rollercoaster that you’re usually on.

00;02;43;02 – 00;03;13;05
Unknown
And emotions like these can cause you to, you know, after your thoughts, your actions might be pulling away from others and isolating yourself, which can eventually lead to the feelings of loneliness. Yeah. And, you know, you can look at it many different ways when you think the thoughts that create loneliness. I mean, obviously you were in some type of a pattern with your ex where even though, you know, the marriage most likely was having challenges.

00;03;13;05 – 00;03;40;13
Unknown
Right? That’s why they’re with us today. But you were in some type of a situation where there were was likely your ex was there meaning in the home, whether it was friendly or not? There were people around. Right. And now you may be dealing with a situation where not only is your ex gone and removed from the home, you guys are living separate, but the children are on a schedule as well.

00;03;40;16 – 00;04;03;25
Unknown
So if you have children now, they’re spending time with both parents and you’re really alone. But you know, loneliness or being, I should say, not loneliness, right? Because if we look up the definition of loneliness in the Googles, I think, yeah, let’s define what that looks like. But being alone is different than loneliness. You know, loneliness. And we’ll look at the Googles.

00;04;03;25 – 00;04;32;10
Unknown
I know that Jeff is pulling it up as we speak right now. So is is one thing which is what, Jeff? Well, it says it’s sadness because one has no friends or company. It’s a quality of being infrequent in a room or your remote isolation. Right. Which I think a lot of us have that have, you know, come across those feelings, even dealing with COVID over the last number of years.

00;04;32;10 – 00;04;54;25
Unknown
But being alone is different. Right, Right. Being alone, you could really try to have a thought of welcoming that, getting to know yourself again and getting reacquainted with yourself is is a beautiful thing. Yeah, right. So the opportunity of being alone as opposed to having loneliness is something that you can really embrace. Yeah. And regressing a little bit.

00;04;54;25 – 00;05;14;12
Unknown
You talked about the kids or with the other spouse, and now you’re by yourself. Also, you get let’s talk about don’t forget about the pets. You know, many divorces and breakups also mean that the beloved family pet is going to be with your one’s partner. Yeah, that’s true. That could be something that could lead you to loneliness, too, because you miss your pet.

00;05;14;13 – 00;05;39;19
Unknown
Sure. Yeah. You know, so that is true. I mean, people are very attached to their their pets as we are. So I consider them part of our family, our little. Our little Zen. Yeah. And Coda. Don’t forget Coda and Coda. Zen and Coda. Yeah, they are part of the family. And when they’re not around, they are missed. Yeah, I think they miss us, too.

00;05;39;21 – 00;06;05;08
Unknown
But, you know, and then the other thing that we’ve just gone through and, you know, Thanksgiving and coming up in the holidays, that also, you know, many couples and families have, you know, you know, holiday traditions that they they go through that they’ve shared with family and friends. And divorce can change all of that. Right. So when those holidays come around, remembering the good times and feelings of nostalgia can set in.

00;06;05;08 – 00;06;46;22
Unknown
Right. And with those feelings can bring with it sad feelings and a sense of loneliness. So we’re dealing with loneliness because your ex is no longer there. The presence of having someone else around loneliness because you’re dealing with children and visitation schedules. So you’re sharing your children. And so the children are with your ex loneliness because of things like your pet is, you know, is not maybe traveling with the children or spending time with your ex loneliness because you’re dealing with past memories such as holiday, what we call the holiday blues, and, you know, dealing with those feelings in nostalgia, you know, those all bring up the sense of loneliness.

00;06;46;23 – 00;07;19;22
Unknown
And I also just had a thought that when before the divorce, sometimes you may have been lonelier in marriage. You know, that was something that I’m sorry I always explained with my first marriage is that even though my ex and I got along and we were pleasant with each other more on a level of like a friendship. Roommates as people sometimes suggests, you know, in marriages are going astray.

00;07;19;23 – 00;07;56;25
Unknown
Right. They become more like roommates living under the same roof. Okay. Right. But I was very lonely. Yeah. You know, and I think that when you have somebody around, at least for me personally, when I had him around and our marriage was falling apart, I felt more lonely with his presence there. Right. I don’t know if that resonates with anybody, but the fact that he was there and we were so distant emotionally and physically, because we would usually navigate into different areas of the home, brought on more of a sense of loneliness.

00;07;56;27 – 00;08;29;06
Unknown
I think that it’s a strange loneliness because somebody is in the in and may be in the room with you or in the same house with you. However, it is a sense of loneliness and it may be worse or better, you know, depending upon your thoughts on it. But right now I would think it, it, it would be a little bit better being by myself because now I least I have total control over my situation and not have to deal with somebody else in the house.

00;08;29;07 – 00;08;53;15
Unknown
Yeah. So yeah, I mean it may, it may for me personally, I can only speak about my own experiences, but I’m sure our listeners have their own as well. And, but for me it was easier for me to not feel the sense of loneliness when he was not in the home. Right. Right. It was easier for me to basically recover right.

00;08;53;15 – 00;09;27;13
Unknown
And to start to get to a better place. Right. Because the fact of having him around just brought back all of those old feelings. And in my case, I preferred to be alone. And I was very comfortable with being alone because of the uncomfortable and as when I was with my spouse. Right. Your ex. So my ex. So, you know, it’s all in I guess in the end, depending on the situation that you’re in at the time.

00;09;27;18 – 00;09;50;18
Unknown
Yeah. So. So let’s talk about some ways we can deal with loneliness after divorce and again, I just want to emphasize the difference between loneliness and being alone. Right. So hopefully what we’re hoping for our listeners is with these tips and with your continued recovery through the divorce and getting stronger and moving on with your life to the next chapter.

00;09;50;21 – 00;10;16;06
Unknown
And it’s going to be amazing promise, especially if you come work with us or you work with another life coach. I really think you need the support, but that you can welcome the opportunity of really getting to know yourself. Like I touched on before and experiencing things that and welcoming the quiet right to do things that you’ve always wanted to do.

00;10;16;06 – 00;10;34;28
Unknown
It might be reading, it might be exploring new activities. It might be as simple as, you know, just not having to care for somebody in the home. Right. That goes along with a lot of you know, when you have others in the home and you’re a parent, for example, you’re constantly taking care of people or your kids, you know, taking care of the family.

00;10;35;01 – 00;10;57;10
Unknown
So I think there’s a real opportunity to explore who you are. And I love that. I love that thought. Right. Yeah. I mean, that’s kind of where this episode came from. I was listening to a Kenny Chesney song and he he sings about being alone but not being lonely. Yeah. Yeah. So I thought it was a great thought.

00;10;57;12 – 00;11;27;02
Unknown
I think the first step that we we we really want to address is that you become aware of your loneliness. You know, your spouse is gone physically as well as emotionally, and you may feel a disconnect and pushed away from others as well. But while you grieve and heal from your divorce, you may experience periods of loneliness that can be a common part of the progress and the process of moving forward.

00;11;27;04 – 00;12;00;29
Unknown
Yeah, I think that the awareness part is the first thing. Yeah. The awareness and acceptance of the feeling of loneliness. Because a lot of times you’re having a feeling and you can’t really identify what that feeling is. Right. So identifying it as loneliness, loneliness is the first key, if that’s what it is. Right. That’s important. Yeah, I think that’s the second tip we want to provide is avoid diving into another relationship or what they commonly call a rebound relationship after divorce.

00;12;01;00 – 00;12;33;13
Unknown
Right? Right. It’s not a good idea generally to fall into another relationship too quickly and more harm than good, actually. Well, and that’s why really discovering yourself and being alone as opposed to, you know, living in loneliness, I think is important. So if you’re using a rebound relationship to avoid loneliness or the emotions of the breakup, you may want to reconsider as they typically do more harm, like you said, than good.

00;12;33;15 – 00;13;01;00
Unknown
Sure. Instead, maybe suggest trying to spend some healing and recovery time with yourself, you know, really understanding who you are before embarking again on the dating path. Absolutely right. However, we still recommend under under any set of circumstances that you take it really slow. Slow down. Take a deep breath. Yeah, we’re ones to talk. Yeah. Well, side note.

00;13;01;07 – 00;13;25;09
Unknown
Side note. Yeah, We got married in four months. Well, 4 to 5 months after we met each other. And we certainly would not recommend that to most people. Even Mary, we just celebrated our 14th year, but that’s rare that you meet somebody and get married and then 4 to 5 months and then. And no, I was not pregnant.

00;13;25;12 – 00;13;42;23
Unknown
There was no reason to get married other than we fell madly in love and we got married, but we had already been divorced for a period a little over a year, more than that, right? So we had already worked through the loneliness and being alone and, you know, rushed, kind of rushed into our marriage, but just went off.

00;13;42;23 – 00;14;05;15
Unknown
I would have married you in four weeks. gosh. Well, I don’t know. I mean, looking back, I probably would have gone a different path, honestly. What? Yeah, I probably would have taken it a little slower. It’s worked out for us, right? But if I was back then and thinking a little bit more clearly today, I probably would have taken it a lot slower.

00;14;05;15 – 00;14;29;00
Unknown
So you would have listened to everybody else? Yeah. What do you do in a divorce? The only people you know, getting married in four months, the only people that it was so, you know, so interesting because the two people in our life that didn’t have any issue with us getting married were the two people that we thought would have the most issue, which was our parents, our moms, moms, our moms.

00;14;29;00 – 00;14;48;05
Unknown
They were they just saw us together. And neither one of them raised any concern, which to me, I still find love with you instantly. So she knew I was doing the right thing. Anyway, back to loneliness. Okay, let’s talk about a third thing that we can recommend is a test. Well, I think a good idea is to join a support group for divorced people.

00;14;48;07 – 00;15;17;06
Unknown
Because, you know, you’re not alone. Divorce is very common nowadays, and therapy groups can offer an opportunity to get help, understanding and insight from others that are also going through the same thing. Yeah, I think that having other others that are going through the same feelings, any circumstance, it could be any number of of common, you know, circumstances, alcohol support groups.

00;15;17;08 – 00;15;50;14
Unknown
I mean, there’s there’s many grieving because of the death of a loved one, those types of things. But there are many, many good divorce support groups that are out there. And if you are the type of person that doesn’t like to be in a group setting, this is where we come in as coaches because we are basically a safe place for you to to speak and to have a sounding board and to not only discuss your feelings and to open up, which relieves loneliness, but also we both have been through a divorce.

00;15;50;14 – 00;16;16;26
Unknown
We understand what it feels like, right? So we can share those thoughts with you and also me being a divorce attorney. I obviously have 30 years of experience with others that have dealt with divorce, but it’s really important that you have somebody or some situation in which you can basically have someone to to talk with who will listen without judgment and to offer advice if that’s what you’re seeking.

00;16;16;29 – 00;16;44;18
Unknown
And sometimes you end up giving them advice that you didn’t even realize you had in your mind. And then it ends up helping yourself. You know, I think it’s really interesting that when you when you realize that you’re not alone, how it helps in any in any situation, any tough situation. Absolutely. The next one I want to talk about is starting a new routine, better known as Reinventing yourself, which is what we love to do and work with our clients on.

00;16;44;20 – 00;17;11;13
Unknown
You know, divorce can mean a new beginning. It really can. And a fresh new you and a wonderful change in your life. When you live with a spouse, you tend to share activities and have common routines. Like I said before, the longer the marriage, the more ingrained the day to day routines, and likely the more time you’ll need in order to to work on that.

00;17;11;13 – 00;17;38;03
Unknown
You know, things like meal times, sleep schedules, even exercise regiments, you know, they can fall by the wayside. Impact your health and overall wellness, of course. So if you, for example, exercise regularly and that’s something that you did during your marriage, a lot of times people when they’re lonely, they tend to kind of just want to stay home and stay under the covers.

00;17;38;05 – 00;18;01;16
Unknown
It’s really important that you get back into your healthy routines and you kind of force yourself, you know, Hey, self, I’m going to get up and I’m going, this is speaking from your prefrontal cortex, which is your thinking brain, right? Smart brain, smart brain. Who can tell you to get up and go, you know how much better you feel when you don’t want to go and do some something like work out, but you go anyhow.

00;18;01;19 – 00;18;25;01
Unknown
Does what we’re suggesting. I mean, the exercise alone helps boost your endorphins, makes you feel happier, not to mention the possibility of meeting new people and making some friends at the gym. Yeah, you know, just getting out there. And we’re not suggesting that you’re going to just like, Hey, I’m single, you know, let’s go do something together. But certainly, you know, it’s an opportunity to make friendships.

00;18;25;02 – 00;18;45;29
Unknown
Yeah. I mean, they say the heaviest weight in the gym is the front door. But once you get in that front door and I think the I think you touched on this, you’re going to be so proud of yourself that you did it. Yeah. That alone is a victory. Well, and I also want to suggest, when it comes to these new healthy habits, don’t don’t expect too much of yourself.

00;18;45;29 – 00;19;15;17
Unknown
You know, go in and and do a gentle workout. It doesn’t have to be the best workout. Just getting out there and getting starting coming back home is going to relieve a lot of the tension and aloneness. So try planning out new routines for yourself. I would strongly suggest because I’m a big fan of yoga and you are a big fan of meditation, so you might find also a local studio that you can bond with that common interest such as that.

00;19;15;20 – 00;19;38;10
Unknown
It really helps, as if you live in our area of Boca Raton, Florida, or nearby, taking a walk along the beach. yes. I mean, there’s nature. So many beautiful nature walks in parks that just can’t help but give you a better feeling. Yeah, I think that’s true for most places. Right? They have such beauty. Another thing that we wanted to recommend was what?

00;19;38;11 – 00;20;08;15
Unknown
Getting involved in volunteering and maybe joining some kind of clubs. Yeah, I think that helping people. Well, we know that volunteering and helping others brings a sense of a good sense of feeling. Yeah, right. So get involved. It boosts your mood and helps you happier to be happier. Look for volunteer options or clubs of like minded people, you know, be open to building lasting friendships and a new support network within these groups.

00;20;08;22 – 00;20;31;17
Unknown
It could be as simple as volunteering at your children’s school. Yeah, right. Like the PTA? Yeah. After school activities, maybe becoming an assistant coach if your kid plays sports. I mean, there’s a lot of things you can do. And, you know, around the holidays, there’s so many opportunities to be involved in meal drives and food drives and helping hands and all of that.

00;20;31;17 – 00;20;54;04
Unknown
So great time to give back to your community and feel good about it, right? It’s not just you’re helping somebody else, but indirectly you’re going to feel so much better about what you’re doing for somebody else. Absolutely. Let’s talk about the next thing, which is be good to yourself. This is we talk a lot about this. When we talk about it, we usually talk about being your best friend.

00;20;54;04 – 00;21;26;10
Unknown
So be good to yourself, Right? Find special things that delight just you, just for you. You deserve it. Right? A lot of you out there have issues taking care of yourself and thinking that you deserve to have great things in your life. But you do. And you know, I want you to consider carving out moments in your day, preferably more than just moments, to really do something just for you.

00;21;26;13 – 00;22;00;21
Unknown
Could be going to work out. It could be enjoying a hike, it could be a bubble bath. It could be, like I said, yoga, could be reading a great book, painting, listening to favorite music, maybe exploring a new, new hobby. I mean, there’s there’s always something out there that in your back of your mind and say, I wish I’d done this, you know, like taking up the guitar and like, I know that learning a new life, a new instrument and now that you have this time alone, it’s a great time to take up something that you’ve always wanted to do and keep busy and stay busy with you.

00;22;00;25 – 00;22;23;07
Unknown
Busy. You know, building good habits like this can help you fight. Feeling lonely, That’s that’s all. The bottom line is. And so as you’re navigating through divorce or the end of any relationship in which you spend a lot of time with this person, these these things really do help. You may be asking yourself, how long will I feel lonely, you know, after the divorce?

00;22;23;09 – 00;22;49;02
Unknown
And the answer is, it’s different for everyone, right? It depends on the factors and what you’re dealing with. Right. But feelings of social isolation and disengagement from others may not be constant. And it may come and go. For example, a holiday that rolls around may bring a period of loneliness and it fades away after, you know, it fades away after the holiday.

00;22;49;04 – 00;23;08;17
Unknown
You know. And one more thing, because we just got back from a cruise. Yes. Yeah, we had a great time. We weren’t expecting it because we’ve had mixed feelings about cruising. We used to do more cruising and then we kind of got like a little, I don’t know, disenchanted with a cruise that we went on. But this was amazing, just beautiful.

00;23;08;17 – 00;23;34;29
Unknown
And so travel is also I just want to throw this in an excellent solution to being lonely. Not only does traveling abroad or anywhere have a positive effect on expanding your horizons, but it also allows you to change the picture in your mind, right? To change your environment. So get together with your friends, your kids, or even go alone on a journey that inspires you.

00;23;35;01 – 00;24;03;23
Unknown
Absorbing new places, atmospheres, people, cultures, all of that. It can help. It can help just to put perspective into it, too. And, you know, again, touching on being alone. You’ve been with somebody for a while now, and I don’t know how long the marriage has lasted, but you may really enjoy yourself and being alone for yourself, lowering yourself.

00;24;03;25 – 00;24;30;02
Unknown
I want I want some alone time. Hey, now, when are you going on that trip? Leaving? As soon as we’re done with the podcast. I have to tell you, though, I do welcome time when I have the house all to myself. It’s. It’s nice, you know, because, you know, how many times do we really get to just be alone and listen to and learn who we are?

00;24;30;04 – 00;24;56;00
Unknown
Discovering who you are and who you want to be is super important, we believe, to reinventing yourself after divorce. And it’s really can be such an amazing, important and exciting time in your life. So I agree. Yeah. And you know, for most people, loneliness that occurs after divorce is temporary and a part of the grieving and healing process is.

00;24;56;03 – 00;25;22;12
Unknown
However, if loneliness goes on and on and seems never ending, it may be time to seek help, like you said earlier. Absolutely. Because it could be a deeper problem. And for that, we certainly would recommend that you seek assistance through a licensed therapist and or a medical provider, because if it gets to that level right, or if it if your loneliness is turning into other ideal patients that are not healthy for you.

00;25;22;12 – 00;25;42;18
Unknown
So please seek advice. But for those of you that are lonely, you know, welcome your long time and we know you’re going to be okay. I’m going to go by myself right now. All right, my love. Yeah, you go do that. All right, All right, everyone. Have an amazing week. Be kind to yourself. Enjoy your your time with yourself.

00;25;42;21 – 00;26;19;07
Unknown
And remember, you, too, can have an amazing life after divorce. We’ll see you next week. Goodbye. You have the vision of what you want your life to look like after divorce, but maybe you just don’t know how to get there. So if you’re ready to take control of your life and want to find out more about our coaching, visit us at Bell and Dash Coaching Dotcom that’s led, as in life after divorce, cash coaching dotcom.

00;26;19;10 – 00;26;38;03
Unknown
Until next time, have an amazing rest of your day. And remember, yes you can have an amazing life after divorce.

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