Lonely on My Own

Dear Marie:

I'm newly divorced and I don’t know the first thing about being on my own. The divorce was final last month. I was married to the same woman for 25 years when she asked for a divorce. I loved her then and still do. I have no idea what happened. I thought everything was fine.

For a while, I thought maybe she was going through a mid‐life crisis but now I just don’t know what to think. She said she still loves me and that the divorce had nothing to do with me but she had changed and wanted to go in a different direction. We never had kids so I don’t even have that to hold onto. I'm very rehensive about being alone. All I have is my work.

What do I do now? Can you give me some advice on how to go it alone?

--Lonely in Massachusetts

Dear Lonely:

I'm sorry you experienced divorce. It's hard to accept a divorce and move on even when you know the reasons for it. Having no idea why it occurred makes moving on all the more challenging.

My first suggestion is to find a divorce support group. It helps to have others who have experienced divorce as part of your support system. If for some reason you don’t want to go to a support group, find a coach or therapist to talk with. There are also online support groups available for those who don’t have access to one in their community.

Being alone after having been married for 25 years won’t be easy at first. As time goes on, it will get easier. That doesn’t mean the pain will go away quickly. The idea is to take small steps. One small step might be to go to the gym if you haven’t been going. Or to take a college course. Maybe you might be interested in learning to cook. If there is a skill you have always wanted to learn, find a class and begin.

Another suggestion is to talk with a therapist or coach about the reasons for the divorce. There are always signs when something's amiss in a marriage. A better sense of resolution might come with a clearer understanding.