Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Is Divorce Lonely Better Than Married Lonely?

Thanks to Mumsnet Bloggers Network for featuring this piece on their front page on 20th March 2014. I would love any comments x

To be or not to be Lonely now that is a Divorce Question ...
Loneliness is an uninvited guest that knocks on your door, is always happy to overstay its welcome and engulfs you at a moment's notice.

You can feel the most loved person in a room full of friends, family and other people.  If though, there is an iota of loneliness camped out in your heart, there is no one person but you who can bid it farewell. Loneliness is a necessary demon we all come face to face with at some point. It is wily, it is needy and random.

It can appear in your marriage, in separation or divorce and it leaves you starving for love, the loneliness corporation carries its baggage stuffed with sadness, grief and bitterness.
Through my marriage and divorce I felt different aspects of loneliness. I spent so much of my marriage alone, a husband away working for weeks at a time.  I was used to loneliness. I also understood early on in my divorce that in order to function as a primary parent, a wife, friend and daughter to those I spent time with, I had to learn to live with myself. 
I spent time alone, utterly miserable, crying myself to sleep, questioning why did I not have my Husband to spend my life holding, laughing and even arguing with. I also began to understand that no matter how much time I spent with others, I still had to come home and live with myself.

That was my lonely married status, with the umbrella of a husband somewhere over me affording me a degree of protection. Not as much as I would have liked, but nonetheless I stayed dry, sad and lonely.  I made friends with the Internet, shopping mainly with a large glass of red.  In fact I made friends with everyone and I was still lonely. 

Did it matter that my husband was never there or was it a lesson in life that I needed to learn to help me move on? Was it a sign of what was to come, a learning and training ground for post separation and divorce? 

Do we stay longer in an unhappy marriage because we are afraid of loneliness, of what we will find once our marital other is no longer there to fill that space reserved for it?  Are we all at the real base camp of humanity desperately fearful of being on our own?

On separating I found it easy to continue on with life. Nothing had changed much in terms of single parenting, I just got on with it. To live alone, without a someone still caring and thinking about me wherever they were in the world, made me realise I had systematically invited another aspect of loneliness in.

I congratulated myself for being so resilient and capable.  I knew I was, I had some good training but what I was not prepared for was the loneliness attached to the lack of availability of help from my now Ex. I began to realise that he had been there for me in our marriage, that my situation now was real and devoid of any backup and that equalled the huge loneliness factor. 
Your family and friends are there for you in those desperate hours. Your children fill a void with their emotional needs, BUT once the house is quiet, you are left with yourself and your ability to deal with the loneliness monkeys raging around your head.  You cannot banish them, they like the fact that there is space for them to party. They make you aware of what really exists when a marriage breaks down. There is no solace until acceptance of the new you without the dreadful lonelies becomes your inner fabulous lighter life.  

You make errors of judgement, you find those able, you think, to replace what you need.  These are the delaying tactics employed, counteracting loneliness with booze, fags, bad sex and even worse company leaving you bereft of energy. 

So how do you send this loneliness away? Why you make loneliness your friend.  You start keeping loneliness close, you live with loneliness and once the acceptance of its existence is within your life, cold loneliness will leave. 

Make friends with yourself, really truly start to make friends with yourself.  Be kinder to yourself, buy yourself flowers, a book, go to the cinema, watch a film on your own and feel like you have no mates. Be the singleton at a party, on a holiday and pick up the brave, smiling and gracious you AND celebrate it!

Enjoy, embrace and acknowledge these times as part of a process, give yourself permission to cry yourself to sleep in your big empty bed. Sleep holding a pillow or hot water bottle and be proud of how you are managing this difficult time. 

Every day know that whatever the loneliness you are feeling, that it is shared by so many around the world. Embracing this scary emotion is recognising your strength in your truth and life.

Time spent on my own has been the most valuable.  I have had time to think, to disseminate and to truly understand the benefits of being able to have time on my own. 

I know within my next relationship or marriage that I will be whole. I will not be dependent on the requirement of a partner to fill a void that has existed within me for such a long time as it will just no longer be there!

With love Natasha x

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11 comments:

  1. A really thought-provoking entry. It has never occurred to me to accept my loneliness and work with it. I will try that now!

    xx

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment... I hope the acceptance is helping you xx

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  2. This was really inspiring and resonated deeply with my own personal experience. Thank you so much!

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  3. Thank you for your comments, lovely to read !

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  4. Thank you for sharing the differences during marriage and after. I too lonely in my marriage of 10 years. We started great during dating, but now, I really rather live on my own instead of having a husband who dont want to cherish me anymore. I can't stop thinking how more acceptable it is for me to just be with myself, do the things that make me happy instead of worrying and must listened to husband yay or nay. I am feeling so miserable in this marriage that depression sink in. I so long to be on my own and be free. I still have a small child unfortunately. If not, I would have asked for divorce long time ago

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  5. I surprised with the analysis you made to make this particular post amazing. Great task! get more information

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    1. Don't be surprised... when truth comes from the heart it is easy ... thank you for your comment!

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  6. Two things. My husband didn't need to be away for me to be lonely. He was just emotionally absent. The second thing was loneliness came rushing back when in some sense of false dawn an old (male) school friend started doing that thing you mention (caring and thinking about me) which I had never had except from my mother, and then took it away again. By and large yes, being kind to myself, nurturing myself like a child and being gracious in my current life state seems to work.

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    1. Thank you for leaving your thoughts, really appreciate it. I really believe that nurturing our inner self is how we can best deal and understand what has happened before and gives us the best chance of a different gentler future. As you say in your last sentence being kind, nurturing and being gracious seems to be working, that makes me very happy and I wish you well x

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