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Being Happy With Yourself After Separation

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 29 Apr 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Separated Living Alone Cooking Social

In among more practical issues, there's one thing that happens after separation that strikes you immediately, although you probably don't even consider it beforehand.

You're on your own. You're alone.

For some it might be the first time in years. For others, who married and moved in with a partner directly from living with their parents, it might be the first time ever. Whatever the situation, it can seem daunting and often quite scary. Even if you'd felt isolated in your relationship, this is entirely different. It's you and the four walls. The trick is in learning how to be happy with yourself.

The First Steps

Initially, being on your own can seem like heady freedom. To those who've felt trapped before, life can suddenly seem to open up. But for those who didn't want a relationship to end, being on their own can seem depressing and as confining as prison.

Some will use their time to go out and try and relive or regain their adolescence, having a wild time, while others will only emerge to go to work or run errands. The secret lies in finding a balance - a life - that lies in the middle, a place where you feel comfortable and content.

That doesn't mean that, to begin at least, you shouldn't allow yourself some indulgences, in either direction, although excesses are never a good idea. Don't lose track of your good friends, make the time to see them.

Keep up with the activities and interests you had before separation. Don't withdraw from the world. It's key not to feel sorry for yourself and slide into depression, but that's quite easy to do.

If you're outgoing by nature, then spending time alone can be frustrating. For introverts it can be pleasurable. However, whichever side of that fence is yours, it's something you're going to do, and it can be pleasurable. The old saying that you can't love someone else until you love yourself may be a cliché, but it's one because it's true.

You need to be happy with your own company and emotionally self-sufficient before you can really enter into another relationship, at least without it being dependent or destructive, neither of which are good.

Make your new place comfortable, whether it's a room or a whole house. It should reflect your personality, and the longer you're there, the more touches you should add until it feels like home, a place you want to be, rather than one that just contains you. Add to it regularly, whether it's pictures, knickknacks or furniture. The items don't have to be expensive, just things that please you.

Moving Ahead

Develop a social circle. It can be people from work, old friends, those you know with similar interests, even people from a group for separated and divorced people. Have three or four different circles of friends if possible.

That doesn't mean you need to be out all the time. You also need time alone. Slowly you'll become used to it, cooking for yourself (if you can't already, learn basic cooking, rather than existing on ready meals or takeaways; if nothing else it's a lot cheaper!), maybe reading more, or going for walks. It gives you a chance to relax and, even on a subconscious level, come to terms with your new situation.

It can take a while to establish the balance between social and alone time, but both are equally important. Becoming happy with yourself isn't something that happens overnight. Getting over a relationship is a journey, and it can easily take two years before you're fully on an even keel again and content with yourself and your life.

That's the time when you can move on and begin a new relationship with an open heart. But you may find that, once you're happy on your own, you feel no rush to do that.

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I left my husband 2yrs ago after being married for 15yrs but together for 23 .. I have always felt I made the right decision for me and the kids because of the issues we were having .. I went through an emotional rollercoaster at first but after a while started to enjoy it.. the second year he was deployed and we we're kinda working on things while he was gone on and off because clearly who can work on things when you are across the world... He recently came home around 3or 4 months ago .. we had our good days and bad ones.. I recently found out that he has been seeing a 20yr old (he is 40) and I was so upset because I thought we were eventually going to work things out so I tried to step up and let him know that I wanted to save our marriage he agreed that he would try counseling but I have found out that he is still seeing this girl... I feely heart is broken all over again... Should I just let this go and get a divorce??? We have 5 kids together 4 adopted1bilogical and I really wanted for us to be a family again or at least try.... I'm so lost
Chelle - 29-Apr-19 @ 8:34 PM
My husband moved out last week after 26 years together and 4 children. It was my decision although we both agreed we haven't been happy for some time. I was excited about this new chapter and whilst I feel lighter, I'm surprised by how lonely I feel. The house feels different as the kids come and go between us and the things that seemed important like cooking and cleaning seem unnecessary as though there is no one to do it for anymore. I'm trying to be kind to myself and do things I enjoy but wander how long will I feel this way? It's the right decision for all so why does it seem so awful?
Bobby - 5-Mar-19 @ 1:02 PM
Hi, my husband and I separated last November,,,I instigated this after years of selfishness and ignorance and although I know I have made the right decision, I just feel totally totally lost.....I don't want to get back with my husband but I just feel utterly alone and am really struggling with myself when our son has the weekend at his dads (every other weekend) being alone has never fazed me and I don't actually feel lonely, I do have friends and I have a terrific neighbour who has been the best friend to me throughout the break up but I don't want to impose myself on them all the time....I just wish I could understand why I feel the way I do and then move on from it.....I just wander around in a daze sometimes watching the clock or watching re runs of comedies on tv just to hear something lighthearted...is this normal? we were together for 18 years and for a long time were the best of friends,,,although this changed when our sone was born we still spent all of our time together and I just feel like theres something missing out of my life x
savannah - 13-Jan-19 @ 5:49 PM
Hi all I to left my husband of 24yrs 10 months ago. The marriage grew stale and I felt lonelyall the time . I have friends and family so I am very lucky. Some things you can't get used to though,like going home to an empty house. We work together and are good friends, get on better now than before . Trying to get another job and had interviews but never get the jobs. While I'm with people I'm fine , but I feel really down when I go home . Feel like I need to be around people 24- 7 but obviouslythat's not possible . Just hate feeling this needy. Just feel like I'm stuck as I don't want to go back ,but I don't feel like I'm moving forward either..
Pretty Woman - 17-Nov-18 @ 4:51 PM
Been there, I met my husband at 18 he was 20 and we got married,and had 2 babies right after he finish college,he got on meth, and I was pregnant with my second baby Age 22 I stuck around for years to see if he will change I even stared attending church. At 26 I said no more. So I left him now I struggle with being alone I’m easy to take advantage of and I know I’m beautiful but I know I’m broken I need to focus on my self I go the gym the makes me feel good. I also eat right and I recently attended a group to meet friends at bumble not date bffs other girls that don’t have friends or are new to the area.just get away from negativity is my advice you are very vulnerable right now!!
Cluv27 - 22-Oct-18 @ 4:01 PM
I met my wife when she was 18 and I was 22.We had nothing when we met, I had an apartment and job as a corrections officer, she worked at a local fast food place.Over the last 14 years we built a wonderful life.We have two cars, two wonderful kids, live in a desirable neighborhood, and kids go to a wonderful school district.We both finished college, and have started to build considerable wealth.At her new job she met a new man, and I was tossed to the side, with the kids.I am devastated as I thought we would be together forever.I am on the verge of losing everything, and have pretty much lost my mind.I can seem to trust anyone anymore, and my profession has me dealing with the worst in society on a daily basis, so things are all surrounded by sadness.I feel like I will never be happy again, and that I will never trust anyone again.More importantly I feel like everything we've done for 14 years was for nothing in the end.I am lost to say the least.I am such a loyal and loving person, I just want someone to be my partner for life, invest in our family.
Danny - 22-Aug-18 @ 9:31 PM
A year ago my partner shook me to my core by telling me she was very unhappy in our relationship and felt truly heartbroken that it had got to that stage after 27 years together. Since then I've tried to be a better person and taken any and all signs of affection as a sign also of the possibly the relationship might survive. Yesterday my partner told me she thinks we are finished and we need to work together to sort out how we can both deal with this so we do the best we can for the kids and each other. I can't believe how desperate I feel and trying to put a brave face on in front of the children is so hard. I'm crying all over the place (not in front of them) and cannot imagine how, at 60, I'm ever going to be happy again.
PeteT - 28-Apr-18 @ 3:38 PM
@betty I've just recently separated from my husband...it has been two weeks. Just wanted you to know that I've been reading a lot on how to cope with separation and what you're going through is normal. Just keep your head high and remember to breathe. It's going to be okay. You're just experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions and grieving is one of them. You were in an extremely intimate relationship and you grieve the loss. You are not alone and you're just healing.
Fee - 23-Mar-18 @ 5:04 PM
I’ve recently separated from my husband, this separation was my decision, I now look back at my relationship and realise that I had allowed him to dictate to and control me, I made a job out of making sure he was happy. I looked after his children, kept house and was towards the end was the main earner. He was never abusive, but this relationship was definitely more of a benefit to him than me at the end. I was very much his possession. I feel very guilty for leaving him, I had to leave and only have very limited contact with him as when I did I was sucked back in. I don’t love him, and didn’t love him for sometime before I left. Now I’ve settled in to my new life (3 months on) I’ve realised that there is a lot of healing to do, I’m suffering from mild depression, male friends have made it clear that I’m basically up for grabs for them, and I haven’t felt this isolated for sometime. My main problem has been that I didn’t believe I deserved to feel sad and grieve for the end of the relationship, because I was the one that left. I’m honestly struggling to know how to feel and what to do next.
Betty - 20-Mar-18 @ 7:10 PM
I have been married 32 yrs two grown kids.Two yrs ago found out my husband was cheating.We separated have been living in different houses for two years.The first year I was a bit on the wild side, I needed to know a man desired me, after no intimacy for 5 yrs in my marriage.I found a counselor, she helped a bit for 6 months.I finally realized you have to learn to b on your own and love yourself first. He and I are friends respectful of each other we see each other once a week.We may stay separated in order for me to share my health insurance with him after retirement, we have a trust together and go over our investments once a month.We have seen an attorney and she agreed that we got along well enough to live this way. However, I don't feel like I can date without guilt let alone giving 100%.Not many men want to date a separated woman who is friends with her husband. I continue to have a gratitude journal, daily journal, meditate and take one day at a time.Life gets lonely ..........I don't have a great support system and don't have family so it's been extremely hard sometimes. Any suggestions? Good luck to us all......
TT - 11-May-17 @ 1:22 AM
I've been married almost 8 years, together for 13. This is my 2nd marriage. We have no kids together but I have 2 teenagers from my first. I now feel that I need to be alone for an indefinite period of time. I love and am in love with my husband so I know it's gotta be me looking for independence. Still unsure about what to do ??
lostnconfused - 3-May-17 @ 3:44 PM
After 5 tough years of marriage, I asked my husband for the divorce. but he and both the families have refused. I cannot live with him anymore. It sucks! M completely lost. I'm thinking of leaving the city and moving to an anonymous place. Though I feel afraid of leaving alone, still want to do this. Is my decision, right?
KV - 31-Jan-17 @ 8:26 PM
My husband and i seperated 4 yrs ago, we hv 4 children together the last is 10, but he is still running my life as if we were together, he has a misetress which they are always together. The children bills are very high and he pays all d bills and thata y im finding it diff to leave. Please i want my life back. What can I do?
baby - 5-Jun-16 @ 7:59 AM
God its hard. Ive moved out of the family home into a less desirable property. I miss it all. I feel desperately unhappy. Everyday brings some form of upset. I want my normal life back. I hope in time things get better....i have 2 children. Its so hard and lonely at times. I worry about the future. I would love to turn back the clock. I need to get through this.
Jen - 11-Aug-14 @ 5:32 PM
@ Anne I would advise you to go and see a solicitor before you do anything, if your husband has a private pension you would almost certainly be entitled to some of it or he would have to give you a lump sum, he is also still liable for paying half of the outstanding mortgage and the selling costs would need to be taken into account before any settlement figure is agreed on.I know from experience that this must a very difficult time for you but I would strongly urge you to contact a solicitor asap. Good luck!
TC - 18-Jul-13 @ 9:57 AM
My husband of 42 years of marriage whom I loved dearly is going to live in Spain with a women who lives off gullible Englishmen.I am 69 and cannot find a way through the misery I am in.He is leaving me the house and the outstanding morgage and the cost of selling the family home.I was a mother to three children and have no pension.Is it better to give up half the house and divorce him or just separate and live off the house?
anne - 17-Jul-13 @ 2:57 PM
Like reading about other people in the same situation was nearly floored when my husband of 23 years when down a different road instead of following this family but instead I dusted my self down moved back to my home town ,children enjoying a change of life style we have good days and bad days and I sometimes wonder when will the hurt and anger go away, the kids have coped better than me;;
josie - 22-May-13 @ 8:56 PM
been split for nearly 2 years after finding out he cheated and had a child, still feeling it tried everything it's hard when you have a child by them and they just ask questions to. Just wondering when it will all end
charliemax - 24-Sep-12 @ 9:32 AM
I've been on my own now for 10 months after the discovery of my husband's affair with a woman 20 years younger and after 36 years of marriage. It's very hard at times and self pity can be very destructive but things do get better and you have to learn to become your own best friend.
Mags - 11-Jun-12 @ 3:42 PM
After a tough year my wife of 23 years has decided to leave with the children ... feel totally desolate at the moment but appreciate the hope in these words for the future. Thank you.
CJ - 5-Jan-12 @ 8:35 PM
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