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  • Are you Alone or Lonely - Do you Know the Difference?

    20 posts, 11 voices, 2377 views, started Oct 28, 2008

    Posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2008

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    • inactive
      Aquamarine
      Offline

      Which word can you identify with? Do you feel lonely because you are not in a relationship right now, whether it is because of a break up, divorce or death? Or are you embracing your singlehood and enjoying your alone time?

      Dr. Bruce Fisher author of Rebuilding when your Relationship Ends outlines three stages of loneliness withdrawal, becoming busyholics and aloneness.

      When a relationship ends your world can be turned upside. Life as you have known it has come to an end. When this happens many of us go into survival mode and withdraw. Withdrawal is so much easier than facing each day without your spouse or significant other. If you barricade yourself in your home or apartment then you don't have to face the awkward questions. For me the awkward questions were the worst, personally it took three months before I told anyone that my husband and I separated. Maybe this stage should be called denial instead of withdrawal. Withdrawing will work for a limited time, but before you know it the silence becomes deafening. It almost seems like the silence is mocking you, reinforcing that your relationship is over.  

      The silence will push many of us forward toward the next stage becoming busyholics. The silence is so deafening that you want to wipe it away and the only way you can do that is to fill your days so full that you have no time alone, to hear the deafening silence. If you are so busy by the time you get home or stop to rest you are so exhausted you immediately fall asleep to start the circus anew the next day. By keeping so busy you don't have the time to really assess your feelings and the pain and anguish are not real. Or at least that is what you are trying to make yourself believe. I was a victim of this stage, I filled my calendar so full making sure that I never had to be home alone, so I wouldn't have to face those scary feelings. Many people stay stuck in this stage because the next stage is way too scary; aloneness. You know these people, the ones that carry around the "victim", "bitterness" or "revenge" badge. The ones who still talk negatively about their ex and when you ask how long ago the relationship ended, thinking it was just yesterday, they reply "oh it's been about ten years now". Talk about being stuck!

      Many are afraid of this stage because the aloneness stage requires you to really feel. You begin to grieve the lost relationship and the pain and anguish become real. You are finally forced to face reality, the relationship is over, he or she is not coming back. This stage is where all of the healing occurs, if you let it. From this stage the foundation for your future is built. The key to successfully navigating through this stage is your willingness to experience the pain and grieve the loss of the relationship.  

      If you don't face the pain, feel it and work through it, then you will be plagued throughout your life with glimpses of the pain that you never resolved. The pain will help you stay stuck in a place that is not emotionally healthy for you or your family. I understand how easy it can be to push the pain away each time you get close to it, but if you keep pushing till you get to the other side chances are the issue that is causing you the pain will be resolved to never interfere in your life again. The problem is that many of us will stop when the pain starts to get raw. When we get to this place we stop and run the other way. By not resolving the pain or the issue that caused the pain it will continue to show up again and again reminding you that you have not dealt with it. So my advice to you is to feel the pain, even if it gets really bad, so you only have to go through the experience one time. The joy that you will eventually feel on the other side of the pain is definitely worth the work. Keep on pushing, ask for support from others if it gets to be too much, but don't give up on yourself. You are worth it. Give yourself the gift of happiness!

      In my opinion the aloneness stage is the most important stage. This is the stage, if you give it a chance, where you will learn the most about yourself. From here you can begin to map out your future, design a life of your choosing. If you embrace this stage, learn and grow from it you will be in charge of your destiny not your destiny being in charge of you. And if another relationship is in your future, you will have gained the tools you need to attract the "right" partner into your life.

      If you are ready to turn your loneliness into aloneness then take the first step and sign up for a 30 minute self empowerment coaching session today at [Link Removed]


      Divorcecoach, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Shari Tenner wrote Nov 2, 2008
        • I noticed that my husband has just gone on-we are newly separated (not legally just living separately) I work for him and he will sometimes need to stay at the house for work related issues.  Each time he comes and goes in the house, I back track and am an emotional wreck.  I get thru the 12 hours a week we work together by being a professional and just doing the job. I need to stay in this job to save money and to have a handle in our business.  For the moment I can’t even contemplate a new job as well as a separation. I have alot of time freedom in this job and that is important right now for my kids.  

           I am just absolutely tortured in the fact that he is not  as upset as I am. He is happy, looks well, jokes with the patients and staff and is just relieved to be done with our life together.  Meanwhile I’m losing wt, losing sleep and cry all the time.  I am alone and lonely.  I do like to spend time home alone and have never been bothered by being alone...but to know that the phone doesn’t ring and that he has no desire to hear my voice or to check on the kids is more than I can bear. I hate to admit it but I miss him...(not his cheating ways, but him)



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          Martha60 wrote Nov 9, 2008
        • I seperated from my husband after 20 years.Moved to a small apartment with our dog.Met up with a guy I kinda knew in high school. He wanted nothing to do with the feelings I was going thru. But now Im glad he felt that way. We started seeing each other and things were going well. He had some quirks that after a while, I could not deal with. Boom, I am grieving for two men now. No one knows about the second since I am not officialy divorced. I really missed him. We had alot in common,but he flirts and is not reliable about time issues. We tried again(the boyfriend) . Went to hear some music. He spent 2 hours away from the table taking pictures and videotaping the band. I got up and sat in the back to see how long it would take him to notice I was not at the table.After 2 hours and him walking past me,I gave up and told him I was ready to go home.He said that I was jealous and needed a hobby like he had.Bang again.Grieving again, and not willing to accept being ignored again.2 times is a charm. I have gotten a life coach for 4 sessions hoping to discuss what my needs are.She calls it Radical Self care.What do you want to see in the future physically,mentally,emotionally and spiritually. I’ll let you know how it goes. Meanwhile,I am taking long walks with my dog and getting lots of fresh air and sunshine.The phone is silent,but I play lots of music that I like and eat foods that I like.Put yourself first.You cannot be with others until you can nurture yourself. It is in no way selfish.Good luck,martha



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          Bobbi Bacha wrote Nov 13, 2008
        • Im actually ok with being alone, but I guess Im not, alone.  As I get offers of marriage, men want to date me, my exes call hoping to get lucky or that Im weak.. NOT.  My current ex wants to remarry me again..  

          I have spent much of my life on my own and alone but never lonely as Ive been busy with work and children and made them a priority in life.

          I think this time.. Im just going to go slowly, and not feel pressured to date, even though I have men throwing thier hearts at me.. which always made it hard in the past as its overwhelming.  Im just going to have to search my heart.  Not what I can do for others, this time Im going to think about me.  My kids are grown and I still am busy with business but Im ready for me, I think.

          I like being alone in my thoughts.  

          Im going to wait to date until next year, I think.  Ive had many offers,, all urgent as men think they will die before you go out with them.  But Im going slowly.



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Jenni0811 wrote Nov 13, 2008
        • Congrats on your mental commitment to yourself. Stay strong...men will always be around!



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          Bobbi Bacha wrote Nov 13, 2008
        • Thanks Jennio811, you do the same OK.



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          Jenni0811 wrote Nov 13, 2008
        • Following my own advice is the hardest part for me!



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          Lilibet wrote Nov 13, 2008
        • I can relate to every comment. I am alone & lonely. It is a good lonely, if that makes sense. This is my 2nd divorce. In between the two marriages, it was messy. Thought i had it together and went out with anything that breathed. So, into the 2nd marriage without truly finding myself. I miss him even though he was abusive. This lonely forces me to really look at myself, what I really need, what I do when I’m desparate and what should be on my list for a good man and a good relationship. It hurts. It’s hard. I keep putting one foot in front of the other, talk to my girlfriends as much as possible and know that I can and will get through to the other side.

          teeky3...this is the promise land! happy



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          Bobbi Bacha wrote Nov 13, 2008
        • Wow Lilbit, just hold firm for someone that your heart wants not your body, and dont fall for someone that wants you.  Find things to do in between.  

          We are all here for you and all of us are going through or have gone through this.  Or most of us.  Your not alone.



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          Jenni0811 wrote Nov 13, 2008
        • Lilbit,  

          Don’t Don’t confuse your loneliness as a longing for your abusive ex. I felt this way after I left my first ex, also abusive. It is the abusive mental hold he has on you. he has degraded your self-esteem so that he can control your mind....Don’t let him continue...You are Stronger Than He Is. Always remember that. And always remember, instead of pining for this abusive jerk, use all those emotions to empower yourself instead...build your strength and self-worth. It may not be easy, it may not be a speedy process, but we are all here to help you. Reach out to your girl-power friends! Here is my list for what I am looking for in my 3rd relationship:

              

                This time I will look for a man whom

                a.) Is not broken and needs me to fix him

                b.) doesn't think he needs to fix me

                c.) is independent, yet committed

                d.) believes change is normal and good

                e.) can keep up with my pace on every level



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          Bobbi Bacha wrote Nov 13, 2008
        • Jennio,, good points.. all of them.. you forgot one.

          Equal or Better...  

          If a man is not at least your equal, he will drag you down.  Equal or better baby....  My motto.



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          Lilibet wrote Nov 14, 2008
        • jennio-love those points. i do have a list and it includes those things and more.

          I may miss my soon-to-be ex, but I will not contact him & have no desire to see him. He is on probation with a restraing order right now. I’m glad. He did have a lot of control over me, but I gave it to him. I handed it right over. Now I find my own power.  

          Being alone is very nice. it is quiet & serene. I do get lonely because I want someone to comfort me through this pain. I just call my family or girlfriends instead. They are better family than he ever was.



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          Shari Tenner wrote Nov 15, 2008
        • As I sit and type this I am not alone as my children are physically in my home with me.  I know that I have loving friends and family. My husband is at the moment in a cafe having a lovely lunch probably with his “friend“.  I am incredibly lonely.  But part of that is just knowing that he and his family are lying the blame of our marriage on me, my best friend is angry that I haven’t been more aggressive in ending this marriage (finances prevent this at the moment) and so I am questioning myself—am I really a loser?  Did our marriage fall apart because of me?  I know in my brain that he cheated because he wanted to not because I forced him too, but still I am lonely in knowing that I am no longer part of a couple.  Of note I did get asked out today by a guy at the gym—but it’s too soon and I’m too raw.



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          Lilibet wrote Nov 16, 2008
        • slatrn-don’t doubt yourself. Other people don’t know the whole situation. They only see the outside. They can’t read mind or hearts.  

          It is very lonely when you are used to be a couple and now you are not. that is what I am feeling right now. I don’t want to go back to my husband though. Would things really change if I talked to him again? has he even tried to heal himself and move on? The answer to both is no. I may be lonely, but I know where I am going. I know what I want and I’m not going to settle anymore.



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          Shari Tenner wrote Nov 16, 2008
        • My husband is a soft spoken well educated, nice looking, trim, well dressed, all around great guy.  He is loved and revered by the nurses at the hospital and especially by the patients and community. He unfortunately has a lot of issues from child hood due to a very domineering mother and passive dad.  He is searching for happiness and wants to be adored and stroked every minute of every day.  I have doted on him in work and at home for 34 years  and still he is unhappy and seeks the company of other woman.  He claims platonically but I doubt it. He is very private and has never really shared as much w/ me as he has w/ his current best friend of 3 years.  He is jealous and competitive w/me and so we really aren’t working on the same team. His one great  fault is that he cannot understand what these relationships are doing to me or to the family. he can’t see that it is cheating and an emotional affair. He refuses to come clean w/me about what is actually going on and why, what he needs and to work on our relationship.  Looking at his cell phone bill and seeing the amount of calling going back and forth makes me incredibly lonely...as he does not make any attempt to call me or the kids.......he needs time he says, he’s confused...I guess so, on the one hand I am sobbing and crying and his bff is laughing and telling him what a great guy he is and how hot he looks. Who would u choose.?



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          Dee Dee Shaw wrote Nov 16, 2008
        • Slatrn,
          Hold your chin up and don't let him see you pine. Give yourself a peptalk in the mirror every morning, especially when you have to work with him. I'd have a hard time letting him stay at the house. Why torture yourself? There is a great book that I think would help, although it is not about marriage or relationships. It is about "finding you" - Who are you really and what do you want? by Shad Helmstetter. Man, I wish I had read that book ten years ago.



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