So now you’re divorced and when you go home, there’s no one there.  It’s no secret that being divorced can be a lonely existence.  Even if you were in a miserable marriage, “at least” when you came home, there was someone there, someone to fight with, or not, someone to eat with, fight over the remote control, whatever.  At “least” someone was “there”.

Now you walk around and all you see is everyone is “coupled off”.  The people you used to spend time with are married, and they might think it a bit awkward to spend time with only half of the couple they used to spend time with.  Your single friends don’t want to hang out with you because all you do is talk about your divorce.

This is all common, and you are not alone in worrying about this, even before filing for divorce.

Even when you feel isolated and alone, there are a few things to think about.

SO NOW YOU’RE SINGLE?  WHAT TO DO?

Focus on the Present

The easiest thing to do is obsess over regrets.  What did I do wrong? What could I have done?  “What if” I had done this or that? 

“What ifs” are examples of looking in the past, and dwelling on them. “What ifs” are expressions of regrets, that do you no good now.

Newly alone, you also will tend to think too far in the future.  You may begin to obsess about what the future holds – “Will I be alone forever?”   Thinking about the future makes you obsess about the unknown – and the unknown brings about fear.  This fear and dread can be emotionally draining.

The past is history, and the future is a mystery.  Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present. You only have the present, which is a beautiful gift. Embrace being in the present. You are now free from the discord and stress of a difficult marriage. Take a deep breath. Engage your senses in this moment. Stop and smell the roses. Get grounded. Take a moment to appreciate the world around you. Have a cup of your favorite tea or coffee and really taste it.  Appreciate what you DO have.

Reclaim your Identity

Trying to remember who you really are can be hard.  While you were married you did things together, holidays, celebrations, time with the in-laws, vacations – all had their own identity, a series of compromises and joint decisions.

Compromise and creating new solutions have their place in marriage. But now that you are single, you get to discover what truly represents you! It’s exciting to be without a partner and get reacquainted with yourself. Think about your likes and dislikes when it comes to clothing, food, fitness, sports, movies, friends, vacations, savings, and planning.

Each day, reacquaint yourself with you.  What foods do YOU like?  Is there a restaurant you prefer that you didn’t get to enjoy while married?  Find new interests and do things that interest you for a change.  It’s ok to be a little selfish.  Reclaim who you are.

New Opportunities

Now that you aren’t restrained by having to make compromises for your spouse, you can seek new opportunities.  Maybe it’s time for a new job, new friendships, a new apartment.  Anything that you may have not considered before but would like to do.  Now, we aren’t talking about becoming reckless, but its time for taking care of you.

Consider what you want to explore.  Make a list. You can’t take advantage of new opportunities unless you know what you want to explore.  Think about it day-to-day, week-to-week.  Its ok to change the list, there is nothing stopping you.

So what do I do now?

Getting divorced is difficult enough, without becoming obsessed about what life will be like once the divorce is done.  Take it one day at a time and keep your mind open.  Don’t dwell on the past or become consumed with regret.  Think about the present, and cherish this time, looking at the positives and with an eye toward a new future.  You can get through this.

Ted Alatsas
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Brooklyn, New York Trial Attorney Practicing Family Law, Elder Law, Asset Protection and Bankruptcy Claims
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