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Divorce & Annulments

One of the greatest crosses to bear during divorce is loneliness. Although intangible, loneliness is just as difficult as bearing the burden of an illness. It affects every aspect of your life and carries with it a pain that is difficult to convey to others. 

 
I miss my best friend.
I miss being able to curl up on the couch on a rainy day with someone who loves me.
I miss being able to share my complaints and my successes with someone.
I miss sexual intimacy.
Believe it or not, I miss picking up the dirty socks and fixing dinner for someone else.
 
These are all common complaints and it’s difficult not to focus on these things when you’re lonely. I personally remember how difficult it was to go to mass at times because I would be there by myself, in the presence of mostly couples and families. Since I came from a large family, it seemed so wrong for Sundays to be spent on my own.
 
When a human heart suffers the pain of loneliness, it will – at some point – demand attention. And then, what do you do?
 
First, it’s important to recognize and acknowledge this is a normal, human reaction to the loss of your marriage. There are too many advice-givers (family, friends, some experts) that are running around pressuring divorced people into “getting over it and getting on with it.” But, there’s no healing in being pressured. I don’t suggest wallowing or self-pity, but I do encourage acceptance. This is where God has me now. Although I know it won’t last forever, I’m lonely.
 
A Natural Process
 
It is not wrong to feel lonely, nor is it a sign of weakness. It’s just part of the process. But your next step is critical. What will you do with this powerful emotion? Here are some simple ways to deal with loneliness: 
 
  1. Don’t fight the feeling of being lonely. Accept it for what it is and do your best to take note of any positive thing that can come from it. For example, if you were previously in an abusive or way-over stressed marriage and bitter fighting was an everyday occurrence, be thankful that today, you don’t have to fight. You don’t have to shield yourself from physical violence. You don’t have to explain to your children, yet again, why the hurt keeps happening. You don’t have to keep track of wrong doings. 
  2. Don’t use a band-aid to make the feelings go away. In this case, a band-aid can be excessive eating, drinking, shopping or working; it can be a sexual relationship or pornography; it can be any type of behavior that is not good for you but presents itself as something that will bring you relief from being lonely. “Band-aids” of this nature normally only cause more hurt and pain.
  3. Focus on someone else. Do you have a sick neighbor that you can shop for? Are there parish events or local opportunities you can volunteer for? You might even consider becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister in your area and help a needy child have friendship, guidance, and experiences they might otherwise never have.

  4. After you’ve helped someone else, you can still use your loneliness to your advantage: Time by yourself is an important aspect of any healing process. This is the perfect time for reflecting on things like the choices you’ve made, the goals you have and how you would like to improve as a human being, and in your relationship with God.
  5. Stay connected with God. Pray and ask for God’s grace in your life to carry you through this difficult time. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament provides consolation, solitude and wonderful graces that will sustain you and bring peace. 
 
The Psalms are always a wonderful source of prayer and reflection, particularly because they’re all about the human condition and reaching out to God. Psalm 25:16 reads: Turn to me and be gracious to me, For I am lonely and afflicted. Let your loneliness become a bridge between you and God and rely on Him for the strength and the grace to get through this part of your life and realize the joy that will come when the loneliness ends.
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3 Comments

  1. Elizabeth-753085 May 25, 2012

    This is such a good article..Lonniness does takes different forms. We say we miss our best friend, love..al lthe ” married things” but if those things were truly the gifts we had..the gifts we are supposed to have and share in a real marriage..we would not be feeling the affects of divorce because we would still be married! This is great example how feeling lonniness in a different way can play tricks on us. Our mind can play tricks on us…tell us the grass is greener onthe other side when it really was not.
    I love what this article says aboutwhat is discovered in the natural healing process. I can relate..it is real truth. So, it is a porcess. for it is better to be “alone” then with the wrong person..yes..yes it is. will you be lonely in other ways at time…maybe… and probably, yes..at times. One of the greatest gifts of the natural process is dicovering your gifts that were waiting ; service..your love and concern for others, you ability to recognize pain in others and to be able to stand on your own wih you own feelings about yourself and what makes you, you and the future possible gift of real love in a real marriage.

    You can’t just snap out of it but you can over time accept it and let it take you to much more fullfilling and blessed places.

    Thanks for sharing this CM Blog!! God Bless.

  2. Jim-397948 May 27, 2012

    Yes I like this story…went thru a breakup after dating soemone for 2 straught years…..She kept arguing the last 7 weeks, let her go..and went back to my hobbies….

  3. Martha-708509 September 3, 2012

    I like this strory is very realy…….

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