Claiming your Social Independence after Divorce

Going through a divorce takes a toll on pretty much every part of life. One area in particular that tends to suffer is your social life. During a marriage, your social life becomes entwined with that of your spouse. After the initial shock and adjustment period that comes with divorce, you may find yourself navigating a new social scene.  

Several situations may arise from a divorce, such as mutual friends feeling that they have to take sides, losing friends that you made when you were a couple and feeling awkward around people you used to see all the time. Learning how to reclaim your social life after a divorce can go a long way toward enhancing the healing process.

Take Time To Grieve

Divorce is a huge life change, but many times, newly divorced people attempt to start dating right away. Many therapists and other professionals advise against this. In an interview with Marriage Therapist Donna Wilburn called “How to Begin Life After A Divorce,” she says she always advises clients who’ve recently gone through a divorce to take time to heal prior to entering into a new relationship. “Ground yourself, get healthy before getting into a new relationship. Otherwise, you’re just bringing all of that unhealthiness into the new relationship.” There is no set amount of time that it takes to properly grieve a marriage, but, as with the grieving process for other life events, you should be able to tell when you’re there. Be sure to gauge your pain, because this is one of the most clear indicators that you’re truly ready to move on. 

Focus on You

Marriage requires a lot of give and take, and you likely spent a lot of time focusing on your spouse. Whether your weekends were devoted to doing things you weren’t that interested in just to experience family time or you simply felt like you were being pulled in too many different directions, it’s likely that you lost focus on yourself. The divorce itself could harm your self esteem as well. Psychology Today published an article titled, “Seven Ways To Thrive After Divorce.” In it, author Mark Banschick, M.D., gives the following advice: “Set a new intention, starting today, to list all of your great qualities and read that list every day. Keep reading it until you believe it.”  Rebuilding your confidence is a crucial step in rebuilding your life after a divorce. It is a necessity for anyone who wants to try new things and meet new people. 

Seek Out New Friends

One of the more devastating aspects of divorce can be losing friends in its wake. If most of your friends are mutual, then hanging out with them can be mentally exhausting post divorce. They may not know how to act around you, and some of them may take your spouse’s side. It’s not necessary to cut ties with everyone you were friends with while you were married, but it is okay to take stock of who is supportive and seek to build new friendships that are strictly yours.

Rosalind Sedacca is a Divorce and Parenting Coach, who is also a published author and contributor to Huffington Post. In an article called “How to Rebuild Your Self Esteem After Divorce,” Sedacca states, “If your social group isn’t supportive of you, or tends to wallow in self-pity, realize you have a choice in your life about who you spend time with. Choose instead, aware, introspective people who accept responsibility for their own behavior and proactively move ahead in transforming their lives.” If your current friends aren’t helping to build you up, you may want to find some more supportive people to hang out with for the time being. 

Going through a divorce is often a painful process, but it is possible to move through it and become an independent person all over again. By taking time to grieve your marriage and reclaim your self esteem, you can come out of your divorce as a stronger, more well rounded person. Take advantage of your new found single status to do things you enjoy, and you’ll find your social life coming back together.