Divorce: How do you combat loneliness?
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07-01-2013, 08:33 PM
Divorce: How do you combat loneliness?
I've been living alone for almost 7 months now. After 12 years of being with someone and having a son living with me for almost 4 years, I find this empty house to be very lonely.

As an atheist living in my small hometown, there's little to do and I have no support group to turn to.

What do I do instead? I go out to the bar and sing karaoke. *lol*

If you have a similar situation or have experienced this in the past, what do/did you do to combat loneliness? Is it healthier instead to accept it and get used to it?

I'd like to know.

"The problem with faith is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason why you do not have to give reasons for what you believe." - Sam Harris
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07-01-2013, 08:56 PM
RE: Divorce: How do you combat loneliness?
(07-01-2013 08:33 PM)SingingBear Wrote:  I've been living alone for almost 7 months now. After 12 years of being with someone and having a son living with me for almost 4 years, I find this empty house to be very lonely.

As an atheist living in my small hometown, there's little to do and I have no support group to turn to.

What do I do instead? I go out to the bar and sing karaoke. *lol*

If you have a similar situation or have experienced this in the past, what do/did you do to combat loneliness? Is it healthier instead to accept it and get used to it?

I'd like to know.


I socialized more, read more, went to movies, saw more of my family members, tried some new hobbies/interests. I gave my self the freedom to explore on my own.

And I made women friends. They were a great help, they got me out of my self. Just good friends - no romance.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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07-01-2013, 09:01 PM
RE: Divorce: How do you combat loneliness?
Wow! Such honesty! Good for you.

I was with my ex for 14 years and divorced a little over 6 years ago.

I can't quite offer a direct comparison and pertinent advice because (being an extreme introvert) I do not suffer from loneliness. Solitude is my preferred state.

However, I did a few things to avoid becoming a total recluse:

Socialising with work colleagues whenever asked to (even though I normally prefer to avoid social gatherings).

Replacement therapy (I typed those words and then googled to see it was an actual thing and fuck me! it is). This involved signing up for dance lessons and getting laid a lot.


I wrote this ditty (post #215) based on the experience: http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...er?page=22



I think:
It's about dealing with a loss, like you are grieving.
It's about catharsis (starting this thread could be useful for that. I hope so).
It's about grabbing an opportunity to start again... to reinvent yourself. This is the fun part, when you are mentally ready to embrace it.


I wish you luck on your journey.

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07-01-2013, 09:13 PM
RE: Divorce: How do you combat loneliness?
I don't recall the book I read after my divorce, I'll see if I can hunt it down but it talked about the psychological effects of splitting up and divorce.

There is a social effect where people who get into a relationship that tend to put their self value greatly into their significant other experience a huge amount of loneliness, sadness and overall feeling like their value is greatly diminished. This is of course for those who tend to put lots of value in others.

I am obviously not you so I can't know how you feel. However, I've been through a divorce and I was most certainly one of those people. I actually got over my divorce fairly quickly once I learned that I had ended up doing this and working on self improvement. Learning to rely on myself more than others, learning to feel good about myself because of my accomplishments and not solely because of my relationship. Etc etc...

It was the moment one day when I had been reprimanded at work the day prior. I was told it was affecting me and my work. I woke up the next day and got some coffee. I sat down at the table by myself in an extremely quiet house. No music or tv was on. It was just silent. I remember thinking how tired I was of feeling sorry for myself and how stupid it was that I was letting things get to me and letting it ruin my life. It was a NEW chapter for me, a new beginning. So I drank my coffee and decided to go kick some ass, get my job on track, get my life on track and forget about the whole thing.

Find something you can do that makes you feel confident, look for things for confidence. Go be social if you're a social bird, or if you're afraid of being social find ways to go do it anyway since interaction with other people can be healthy for a person. Find a hobby or past time you greatly enjoy since it will help concentrate on something other than being lonely (if you're a gamer, multiplayer games are good social interaction for those types).

Most importantly of all remember that no marriage is perfect and every person has their faults. Taking a look at the past and identifying things you can do better in the future, or perhaps things you'd like to try differently is now a great opportunity since you have the chance to (as said above) "reinvent yourself" in many ways.

I ended up doing things I felt I was held back from doing after my divorce. I went on motorcycle rides whenever I damn well wanted, I barbeque'd at 3am when it sounded good, I worked on my cars when I felt like it, I read my favorite books, I played my computer games, I hung out with people and I didn't worry about some rancid human being telling me I couldn't. I also parked my motorcycle in my living room like a boss.

Be yourself, enjoy yourself, enjoy your hobbies, learn and gain confidence. Life is good Smile

Also... do NOT be in a rush for a rebound or dating, take your time. Enjoy it.
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07-01-2013, 10:08 PM
RE: Divorce: How do you combat loneliness?
I don't know the circumstances of your marriage, and I don't need to. I know I have been in the position of being terribly lonely within a marriage. I would rather be alone. It's hard to deal with feeling like you are solo when there is someone else around you that you aren't/can't interact(ing) with.

It will take time...it's a big change.

Just getting used to quiet can be weird feeling. If you are a loner (like I am) you will have to learn to enjoy your own company and how to entertain yourself.

Hope it starts getting better soon for you.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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07-01-2013, 10:17 PM
RE: Divorce: How do you combat loneliness?
Thank you all for the suggestions. I am socializing more with the fellows I work with (fellow COs). And that is good. We get together for drinks, or supper, or just hanging out. It's very good.

The main psychological obstacle I've found is that, before the end of last June, I'd never ever lived alone. I went from living with my parents and sharing a bunk with my older brother to living with my partner and sharing a bed with her. And now I sleep, for the most part, alone. It was very painful at first. I'd wake up often and have a panic attack. That has subsided, but still-- coming home to an empty/quiet house is often disconcerting.

I meditate. It helps. Being more involved online helps. And yet it's so hard to not feel a part of something or someone. Perhaps I should be learning to be content in myself, but, of course, the learning is slow. In some ways, I think it's worse for some of us when we get divorced than when we lose the person dearest to us to death. At least with death, you have an irrevocable certainty.

Even though my love for that other person is dead, I still find that belonging-- that important role where what I do matters-- to be longed for. That intimate connection. The familiarity. The closeness. Having someone you love depend on you. That bond is gone. No friends or acquaintances can replace it.

Maybe self-sufficiency and self-love is the remedy. But when you've spent your life living for others, these qualities seem intangible. Living for yourself seems arrogant and selfish.

We all come from different backgrounds and we all have different needs. I'd love to learn how to focus my own needs here and now. Not measuring self-worth by what you bring to others. It's, uh... it's just a foreign concept. And I'd love to learn how to do it.

"The problem with faith is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason why you do not have to give reasons for what you believe." - Sam Harris
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07-01-2013, 10:33 PM
RE: Divorce: How do you combat loneliness?
(07-01-2013 10:17 PM)SingingBear Wrote:  ...
And now I sleep, for the most part, alone.
...

Simple solution: Hookers!

(07-01-2013 10:17 PM)SingingBear Wrote:  ...
That intimate connection. The closeness.
...

Lots of hookers.

(07-01-2013 10:17 PM)SingingBear Wrote:  ...
The familiarity.
...

Ah! Ok. The same hooker many times.

(07-01-2013 10:17 PM)SingingBear Wrote:  ...
I'd love to learn how to focus my own needs here and now. Not measuring self-worth by what you bring to others. It's, uh... it's just a foreign concept. And I'd love to learn how to do it.
...

Need I say more?

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07-01-2013, 10:38 PM
RE: Divorce: How do you combat loneliness?
SMH...in the original post it says he goes out with other COs...I am assuming that means Correctional Officers....ssssoooo, the hookers plan may cause issues with his professional life...just a thought. I'm pretty sure that's against the rules.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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07-01-2013, 11:04 PM
RE: Divorce: How do you combat loneliness?
*lol* Hookers. Why didn't I think of that?!

And you're absolutely right, Anjele. I am a Correction Officer. And, of course, soliciting prostitutes is against the law-- nevermind against my nature.

But that was funny as hell. Big Grin

"The problem with faith is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason why you do not have to give reasons for what you believe." - Sam Harris
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07-01-2013, 11:12 PM
RE: Divorce: How do you combat loneliness?
Ok.

Delete: hookers.
Insert: personal therapists.

Note to self: Murika bad place, Singapore good place.

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