If you are going through a divorce, you may be energized by the thought of more freedom, the possibility of new friendships, and the opportunity to rediscover yourself. Imaging dating and a new relationship might be exciting and scary at the same time. While these dynamics will likely unfold, what you might not consider is the feeling of isolation that comes along with such a change in your relationship status.
In this post, we’ll share what clients in our Denver, Colorado therapy practice experience during a divorce related to isolation, how to identify the reality of it, and what to do to overcome it.
What Creates Isolation
When you are married, or in a long-term relationship, you are part of a union that likely connected you to other married couples at the same stage in life. You probably had close “couple” friends that might not know how to respond to your change in relationship status and pending divorce. The friends you met throughout your marriage may feel compelled to “choose sides” or stop inviting both of you to social gatherings because they aren’t sure how to navigate the waters of your breakup. At the same time, you likely feel caught between worlds, not ready to connect with your limited pool of single, happy friends, and not ready to let go of those friends who may need some time and space to process your divorce. Feeling isolated from your community and without the support you need, divorce can be more challenging. It’s common to feel misunderstood and uncertain about where you fit into social circles during this time.
Reality vs. Stories
Even if you feel isolated during your divorce, some friends will stay in the loop, so it’s important not to turn inward too much. Recognize whether friends are truly turning away or whether you are telling yourself a story that they are checked out because your life is currently “messy” and “they are tired of hearing about it”. Avoid backing away and continue to reach out to those who you know will support you during this time. While talking about your divorce is essential to your journey, also challenge yourself to remember to ask about their life and talk about things besides the divorce. Work to not let the important friendships in your life dwindle by being honest with your friends about where you are at, what you need, and what you fear during this time of transition. Acknowledge how they might feel during this time as well and thank them regularly for their support.
Ways to Get Support
The good and bad news is that, with divorce affecting nearly 50% of Americans, resources are available. Sometimes, it takes attending a singles happy hour or divorce-specific meetup group to realize that you are not alone. Work to connect with those who are in the same place in life, which will help you feel more understood during this time. Therapy is another obvious choice for support -- whether that be divorce-specific group therapy, such as CSIP’s Divorce Recovery Group, or individual therapy with a focus on overcoming divorce and relationship challenges.
At Center for Shared Insight, we support those going through divorce is a variety of ways. We have a dedicated section on our blog for divorce-related articles, offer group therapy for divorce recovery and support, and have several therapists who specialize in divorce-related issues. We begin with a free consultation and encourage you to call and talk with an intake specialist today.