I have heard this from many people. People have also said; it feels like my life has been shattered, my life has been turned upside down, I’ve lost my best friend, the one person I thought I could trust, I thought they had my back, they lied to me now I don’t know who they are, and they never told me they were unhappy.
The loss of your partner or spouse can touch deep into the heart of your sense of belonging and connection, two basic human needs. You might feel like you’ve lost that crucial puzzle piece to your life, your sense of connection to your partner or spouse broken, or how some have described it, shattered. Your sense of belonging has been thrown into chaos and now your mind has gone into overdrive, trying to wrap your head around what this all means. I often hear from people that they feel like:
My whole life has been turned inside out and upside down
I’ve lost my partner, my sense of family and all my dreams
I haven’t been single for so long, who am I, what does this mean?
Separation and divorce does change the structure of your daily life and how you have identified yourself in it. You may feel suddenly alone or untethered in the world. Your sense of belonging and connection has been disrupted or perhaps feels threatened.
Belonging is defined as a feeling of inclusion, being accepted for who you are. It’s that feeling we’re home and provides meaning and purpose to our lives. The opposite of belonging is estrangement, the feeling that you don’t belong, especially when you’re surrounded by other people.
Connection is defined by Bréne Brown as “the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued.” As people, we are hardwired to connect so the loss of connection can be devastating. We long to belong.
It’s no wonder this loss is so painful and challenging, it goes right into the heart of our humanness and our human needs.
If you have found yourself here now, separation and divorce is a major loss and transition. Finding support can be crucial especially in the beginning. It can ease your sense of aloneness and pain. Connecting with family and friends are a huge support for many, if that isn’t enough consider a therapist, coach or group. A separation and divorce group offers a sense of community, support and a place to talk about what your are going through with people who are on a similar path.
Don’t forget to care for yourself. Give yourself a lot of grace and compassion as you make your way and integrate this time into your broader life story. It can be hard to imagine in the beginning, but there is life after separation and divorce.