• Few or No Friends

Finding friends after a divorce

Published: June 22, 2015 | By | 25 Replies Continue Reading
A woman feels bereft of support from family and friends after a divorce.



I never thought this is where I would end up. No friends, a husband who divorced me after 34 years of marriage. My children are too busy with their own families to think it possible that I am part of theirs.

It is getting harder and harder to face another day in total isolation. It is best if I die but I do not want my death to mean nothing. I would hope it would bring a pause for thought that everyone wants and needs to be loved and CHERISHED.

Signed, Eva


Hi Eva,

You sound profoundly depressed and lonely—understandably. Divorce can turn someone’s life upside down, especially after being married for such a lengthy time.

However, you can’t expect your children to fill the gaping hole in your heart nor would you want to place that burden on them. Your goal should be to derive pleasure from being a good support to your adult children and your grandchildren, and hopefully they’ll return that love.

I’m not sure how long you’ve been divorced but with the passage of time, most women achieve a “new normal,” recovering from the concrete and emotional losses of a divorce. If you haven’t been able to do that, it might be worthwhile for you to get professional help.

Yes, everyone wants to be loved and treasured. Hopefully, you will find friends to love and support you but first you need some help to recover from this upheaval in your life. But when someone expresses feelings of hopelessness, it’s often a sign of depression.

Recognize that finding new friends after divorce is an adjustment in lifestyle and frame of mind that takes some time.

Of course, if you feel so despondent that you are thinking about giving up, contact a suicide hotline immediately.

  • A free 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) is available to people in crisis (or their loved ones) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are routed to local crisis centers.
  • In the UK or Ireland, Samaritans offers confidential support at 08457 90 90 90.

Hope this helps.

My best, Irene

Tags: , , , , , ,


Comments (25)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. Making friends after separating : The Friendship Blog | February 14, 2017
  1. ReMai says:

    HI Eva
    I just wanted to throw some online support out here for you! Come and talk on the forums. Lot’s of us understand where you are coming from.

  2. Mary says:

    Hello Ben,

    I hope your still reading this thread @ I meant to reply to you before but time got in my way. That was a nice post you wrote. I must admit to not having much empathy for people using drugs.
    After saying that I think its fantastic that you are around to talk to some of these people. Helping in a way that expects no return is most amicable.
    Is it possible now to contact your son? We all need a friend but they can be few and far between when we are down and out.
    I am sure if you won ist prize in lotto you would find plenty.:)

    Either way well done and keep up the good work your doing-

    Anytime you want to chat….

    • Ben says:

      In all addictions the reaching out for an addictive agent be it drugs, alcohol, relationships, etc… is an attempt to meet an immediate need to fill a hole inside one’s soul. The people that founded the recovery movement knew the only way they could help themselves was to help others. Learning about how expectations and disappointments are linked is a fundamental idea regarding recovery. Because Depression is a “mood” disorder, one of the ways to raise the level of your mood is to practice helping without expecting anything in return. So the point I am making is helping is a way to make oneself feel better. This type of thing has no downside when done without expectations.

      One of the other things one learns in recovery is to be grateful for the things you have in your life instead of being ungrateful for the things you don’t have. “Turning a negative into a positive.” Through that long process I was able to feel good about being there for my son as long as I could. I can’t change the past and I did as much as I could for as long as I could. I like the person I am today. One of my biggest sadnesses is my insides did not feel this good when I was raising him. But I cannot go back and change anything.

      These are all things I have learned over a long period of time. My suggestions for others to get involved in volunteering are based on my own experience. I can’t expect anyone else to understand that the efficacy of that behavior if they have never tried it. I am not going to however negate my own experience. Everyone has a right to do whatever makes sense to them.

      There is no greater natural high in my life today that is as long-lasting or devoid of a downside than sharing my own experience, strength and hope with others. I am not responsible for anyone else’s life or recovery. My hope is they will experience the joy and fulfillment that I have experienced along the way…. 😉

      • Mary says:

        Hi Ben
        Lovely reply, but there is a difference between a mood disorder and a person who is depressed , sad, lonely through events that have occurred- is my only point.

        We shouldnt jump to conclusions. Nobody knows better than me the joy of giving and helping friends family. Some people are born givers- other takers.

        With givers, it can take a life time to find out, your somebody thats viewed as always there for friends but- then experience a shock if *once in a blue moon you need the same love support back– or just something…

        I recall when my mother passed away. Out of all my friends not one person contacted me at all. This includes family . They all knew it was only myself and mum for years. All this as i ran a PI company as well.

        Three of my friends had experienced similar a few years prior.
        Two of them asked me to come and stay with them- help them move and help with the kids etc.I was at one of their places for three months. I was juggling work 43 horses and operating a missing persons company.

        The third friend moved four times- each time i was the one who did all the work cooked a roast and brought the wine.

        I didnt do *any of those things for a medal – or a thanks just wanted to help.

        But when— as i said i went through the same – only worse because they had other family–( i didnt ) i never even got a phone call a visit nothing. Finally a year later my phone rang. It was Maree one of my so called friends talking to me as if it were yesterday . She then asked if i could get her adopted daughter who had been arrested out of the watch house.

        I had in the past tried to help a lot with this child but in all honesty she was a handful and i felt this time she needed to be answerable for her actions.

        I told Maree- this- I said Maree you haven’t bothered to call me in over a year – you didnt even contact me when Mum died just weeks before Christmas. She gave no ex uses at least. I was hurt as i loved her as a sister.

        So when people say go volunteer and do something *nice for others– i tend to feel i have done enough my entire life and frankly its my turn.

        Thats why i get Pam.

        She feels its her turn for some love and understanding that she no doubt lavished her six kids.

        I get her.

        You sound very nice though

        • Ben says:

          You’re absolutely right there is no “one size fits all.” Even the escapee from prison who was caught yesterday was doing what made sense to him.

          In many ways I was a giver from the word go. I was adopted as a baby into a family with superlative parents when it came to being accepted. I never had to be told to things like mow the lawn or help out.

          One of the typical things about adoptees is a inherent sense of rejection that begins in the womb. Another thing for me was my parents were old enough to be my grandparents so the emotional closeness was just not there. No matter what one does with an outlook of emotional lack it’s never enough. It’s like pouring water continually into a bucket with a big hole on the side.

          I wasn’t always depressed but through poor decisions and bad thinking patterns it all came to a head. Through many years of suffering with a diagnosis and all that entails I was able to start to change my thinking and outlook and 12 step recovery was a huge part of that.

          Instead of my glass being half-full it can get to overflowing much of the time in-spite of circumstances. Yes I still go through many negative experiences and disappointments but they have different meaning than they did before.

          I took the “Myers-Briggs” personality indicator test before I went through my depression and then after I had come out the other side and two of the indicators had changed.

          For me it is as potent as any drug (with no down-side) or booze to give in a way that expects nothing in return and feel the good feelings that come from it. Doesn’t mean I never have any unmet expectations or disappointments. I learn from those painful situations and adjust and reflect as to what my part is. Usually it involves some longing in some area that I desire that is not being fulfilled. Thank goodness there are so many other good things going on in my life and brain that take the place of those… 🙂

  3. Mary says:

    G,day Pam. Yep I get. The foundation is laid from a young age with kids. The way a father treats his wife- their mum, plays a big role, because that’s where they learn how to treat and respect their mother as a role model. So its not totally their fault. Possibly you allowed yourself to be used as a door mat looking back too.

    I don’t know your age but it sounds like its always been what hes wanted migration etc, and you have gone along. If you don’t mind me asking what country did you migrate from to where? That can make a enormous difference.

    Wow from a stay at home 24/7 mum to working with the elderly and young– look at you. That takes a lot of adjusting– well done. There are plenty of women who wouldn’t have achieved that so actually your doing well, and need to acknowledge that Your tougher than you think. You may find their seeing him and the new woman less to do with

    Fun and more to do with money. Tell me do you own your home– or he? Has the other women got children too?

    I can understand on the other hand them not wanting to feel they are getting involved between their father and their mum and what happened .
    If they feel you want to keep talking about that, then sure they would possibly back away from you. That doesn’t mean however that they should be insular towards you.

    Maybe , if that is how they felt they should of said Mum we don’t want to get involved in talking about dad , but we are here for you. Only you know if you have perhaps unloaded on them about him and her, because that really isn’t their business and they love you both.

    All of this is guessing as clearly I don’t know your full story. Ah yes, the married friends, aren’t they just treasures:)

    Clearly there is a interesting story behind you and chatting is a pleasure as see you still have a SOH.

    Must work out this private message thing if it exists. Your story isn’t too different from my cousin and her kids- and his kids– mind you she deserves all she gets because she was seeing him when he was still married to another woman.

    Must dash off- to vet talk soon. I am never far away .

    • Pam says:

      Thanks so much Mary. I’m guessing you’re in Oz? If so, “how are you going?”
      Much of your post is ‘spot on’. It’s comforting. I really have not gotten over the sheer shock and trauma this has caused. I’m “living” in an exteneded and continuous crisis situation.

      Thanks again!

      [Email address removed by moderator. This site isn’t intended as a matching site. If you want to communicate with someone you meet here, please see: https://www.thefriendshipblog.com/something-new-check-out-friendship-blog-connection-facebook/%5D

      • Mary says:

        Hi Pam
        Yes I am in Oz. Sometimes it takes longer especially if you have had zero support, because that turns to anger – its insulting and hurtful unfair – i get it dont worry.

        Even with support from a good friend it can takes ages- years.

        Free advise- stop telling your kids how you feel– as a matter of fact stop seeing them for a while at all as they are only upsetting you more.

        I am sure thats not what they mean to do – but if your not around they might even re think things.

        Are you renting?

        Can you take in a lodger- maybe a women in similar position?

      • Mary says:

        Ok Pam , Many thanks- I am new on here so bare with me pls everyone. Although i am not sure why it wouldnt be a good thing for two consenting adults to exchange private information . There are many things i would not be prepared to post on a public forum thats 100% for sure. If I can help somebody cheer them up just a bit in my time that imop should be up to me.

        No wish to appear to be attempting to undermine the mental health programe being put forward.

        However– being a PI , i have seen too many cases of it being misused . Some police and polys and powerful people use this act to discredit witnesses.

        Very common in my industry and we often battle to get our witness into court OR *out of hospitals where they are held against their will. Terrifying experience for these whistle blowers as you can imagine.

        It needs a royal commission over here. People do get depressed – yes of course they do it is a big part of life.

        Clinical depression is another thing but when its brought on through drug abuse some of us tend to not be so sympathetic .

        In Oz over 80% of our health providers are from oversees.

        Ever tried telling a Dr that your clients not mad- and was set up by corrupt police.

        We have.

        Being lonely sadly can strike anybody and everybody. Having n family and getting older is a major problem in society.

        I think the key for you Pam is try to find one other lady in the same boat and share accommodation if you can.

        Thats a start..

      • Mary says:

        What do you mean this wasn’t set up as a matching site?

        Are you insinuating i requested her contact details for any other reason than to cheer her up, be some support??

        I DON’T do Facebook– its way way too public. You said this lady sounds profoundly depressed right?

        Yet you would wish to STOP her from getting a few emails of support making her feel better that somebody gives a dam.

        Shame on you. Its your your place to run other peoples life’s especially adults !

        Beyond the pale and very thoughtless to poor Pam- but i am going to continue to support her through private email, for as long as she likeness!

        All she needs is a good mate a few laughs not pills positions and to be criticized.

        Shes a lovely lady which you and other would know if you took the time like i did.
        Somebody HAD to care.

        She sure wasnt getting any sympathy or support elsewhere

        • Irene says:


          Please temper your anger and tone, which is inconsistent with the purpose of this site.

          I wasn’t insinuating anything. I was reminding you that no email addresses are permitted on the site. This is clearly stated in the terms of service to protect the privacy and safety of users.

          Please comply if you want to continue to use the site.

          Thanks for your cooperation.


          • Pam says:

            Irene, Mary, many thanks to both of you and any other posters showing concern. I certainly do not want or need undue attention or to be the focus or cause an “international” incident. I understand and abide by the guidelines of the site.
            As for solutions: I realize I do not have the leisure or emotional space to volunteer. Have even tried yet for the most part felt taken advantage of. Yes I am overwhelemd just trying to keep one foot in front of the other, on a pretty empty tank. I ‘d much prefer my issues were resolved and not by dulling them with meds which for the most part create unwanted side effects. I long for intimacy ,closeness, caring,all the things I have in abundance to give, but I recognize, maybe too late in life, I do need to receive in return, no two ways about it. So please,let’s move on. All the best.

  4. Mary says:

    Hi Pam,

    I am so pleased you got my message and got back to me, but there is no need to thank me, because I simple stated the facts. Unless a person has lived through it – or is going through it, they simple don’t understand. All the comments of go get professional help – you need a councilor- you need medication only add to frustration despite best intentions. I get it!
    Also you must remember in many countries they funded councilors and it was used also as a sort of stimulus especially with the high degree of drug uses that get put under the mental health system for political purposes. Its been a bit hit with some councilors and Drs.

    Oh and all the church people that you maybe ‘’tried to befriend tossing the old we will pray for you– when all you wanted and needed was a friendly face to drop in a few nights for a cuppa and maybe a movie- a invitation to come to theirs for dinner. The married ones won’t want a single women around from my experience . Yep know all about it .

     Smile< I am sort of a cat lady — as I run a animal welfare organization among other things like PI work. I love animals of all sorts as a number one – and work to ban the cruel live export trade together with millions worldwide. We all have our priority’s .

    Getting back to you, yes I can understand after being married most of your life- be it a happy marriage or not – it would be hard to adjust to coming home alone- cooking for one- and also you would now have 100% of all the bills to come up with sheesh. Not much of a reward after giving birth to his children and doing all the things mums do. .
    You say too many just try to belittle the pain shame etc. Yes sadly that’s human nature. Really all they are doing people who say those things is giving themselves a excuse not to be bothered’’ to care to go out of their way .I repeat I think your feelings are *normal. I would be angry too ,if I felt my adult kids, couldn’t find it in their hearts to make special time for me. It would be enough to make most people very angry, hurt, frustrated for sure. On the other hand you need to tell them how your feeling- even if they still ignore you. You have to tell them. Get it off your chest. Don’t be scared to lose them, because if they don’t respond with love and concern, then you already have long before. At least then you will know where you stand in this world- really alone .. or divorced but still with strong family bonds and support.

    I am very new to this forum , but I will be your friend any time any hour you can email me. You are not alone. Not sure if there is a private message system on this site, but perhaps you can tell me. Right now, I feel your still in shock despite some time having passed.
    I think you should be proud of yourself, and the way you have handled all of it- the bills the stress, the shock and the lonely times.
    Hugss xxx

    • Pam says:

      Mary, thanks.I sure do communicate my feelings to my kids but for the most part they tell me I feel sorry for myself and how unbecoming it is, so we just go round and round in circles. I deserve no special treatment, no consideration or concessions that I am on my own, that I had an empty marriage and no interest shown in me in ten years since.Even though they don’t care for dad’s wife(whom he married a year after divorce) they do have some relationship with her and seem to find him easier to be around.Sure, see him once every two weeks, quality time. He doesn’t have to look after them.Even now that they are grown up they don’t seem to mind as his life is running smoothly, he doesn’t have the concerns or frustrations i do . I guess he’s more”fun”. Sadly , they dont’s seme to be able to show much compassion forme. I was a stay at home mom, 24/7, that was my life,also live in what is for me still a foreign country after many years, so I have no family or natural social life t fall back on. Yup, few married friends invite, so I almost never speak to a man unless he’s a shop keeper, bus driver, repairman, etc. It’s unreal how excommunicated I feel from mainstream society! Thanks fo ryour offer of a listening ear.

  5. Mary says:

    Hello Pam,

    Rather odd really, as when i made my first post other than Irene there were no other comments up. I think both you and Eva have hit the nail on the head basically.

    Its true the adult kids often dont have empathy ‘busy busy but a lot of that is Mums are so unselfish wanting to protect their children from the hurts in life- they forget to teach them that they are people with feelings also.

    I saw my friend, well acquaintance really go through pretty much the same as yourself and Eve. She was the most lovely lady but it wasn’t until her daughter had the same thing happen to her, when he husband walked out that she actually was given the opportunity to really talk straight to her daughter.

    By this time shed not heard from her daughter for a long time. Ah yes, then it was different. Suddenly she was wanted needed- even pretty much ordered to pack a bag and come stay and help mind the grandchildren.

    It is normal to feel sad when sad things happen to you- or unfair things, hurtful things.

    The key is to find even one person to be a real friend. I would suggest carefully wording an add and screening people to find someone in need of accommodation that you share similar experiences and interests. Then maybe twice a week share a meal chat and perhaps a movie.

    Good company is what you both need right now,. not pills and people telling you that you have a mental health problem.

    Feeling your unloved is a ongoing thing- hurt betrayed by those you gave your life to, or most of it.

    When people are feeling worn out already its unhelpful in my opinion to tell them to go and do volunteer.

    Yes maybe they might be interested in that someday to meet new friends but right now they need friends love and understanding.

    @ btw its ok to feel sorry for yourself for six months– or so who wouldnt.

    You have both earn t it. 🙂

    • Pam says:

      Mary, thanks! It was so refreshing to read your post and gain some legimitacy for my feelings.That’s what I truly lack. Too many just belittle the pain, shame, embarrassment I have felt, not to mention the sheer exhaustion from plodding along through the days and facing the obstacles. I simply cannot perform at the same level or be held to same high standard as women who are married,have a solid, sufficient if nto ample income, supportive, caring husband with whom they’re sharing the load and reaping the benefits. Even on a regular mundane uneventful day it’s tiring to be alone trudging along with little in the way of joy.Certainly no affection, warmth, support. I work with the elderly and small children who freely do show their love and that does give me a boost for a couple of hours. The hardest part is the evenings,nights, when yet another day has gone by. I don’t want to turn into a “cat lady”, no pets thank you, no offence but I’d really prefer human interaction with others who understand me. Too few to mention. Oh well.Thanks for your kind thoughts.

  6. Pat K says:

    Hi Eva, I agree with everything the ladies above had said. I would like to add that you can also join a support group either at your local hospital, senior center or church. I found solace with other ladies my own age and experience. I know that all of us here on Friendship Connection will be praying for you. You may also talk to me via the FB site for this blog. My FB page is Faith Grace Love [I am not keen on using my own name and information on FB. Too out there for me]

  7. Susan M. says:

    This happened to a friend of mine. They had been married for 39 year. She suddenly developed RA, and he did not want to stick around, since she could no longer be as physically active as she had been. It was shocking to everyone who knew them. My friend was stunned! I don’t know what your personal interests and activities have been up until this point, but you DESERVE and need some time and help to shake the cob webs out and re-connect with yourself…in a new way. I speak as someone with the background to know what I am saying; you are clinically depressed. You really can’t move forward, until this illness is addressed. Dr. Irene gave you some very good resources in the UK. If you do not feel the first person you contact is listening to you, ask for another! Also, check this out…boomerly.com. I, for one, hope you will check back in here, and let us know how things are going. You will be in my thoughts!

  8. Pam says:

    Eva and all posters, I do so relate to this post.Struggling for past ten years following divorce after 22 years of so called marriage and 6 kids.Ex remarried within a year,eveyrone cheered and most abandoned me. Don’t talk too much to anyone, tried therapists helped somewhat but not really.Still facing same themes- trying to survive financially, cope with emptying nest and adult kids who really cannot show empathy and do not get how hard it is to do everything alone.I have no such coping skills ,tools or preparation adn cannot accept I amy end my days this way. Live far from parents and no real connection to other relatives. Hurts alot that my kids are unable to show compassion seem resentful I haven’t got my life together no show of interest from men or any relationships which is soooh frustrating and doesn’t do much for my ego. I work,run the household even though ends do not meet, try to make kids feel special, meet their needs, help with grandkids, or drive everyone around but not a whole lot coming back and nobody can really sit with me over that cup of tea and try to listen. “Busy,busy” but at least show appreciation and FEEL for me. Accuse me of feeling sorry for myself- you betcha I do- cause have had some really unpleasant things to deal with all on my own, with no support, comfort, love, reassurance – hasn’t mad eme stronger , bu trather worn out. I don’t see any way out. Tried this and that. So yes, I do know how it feels. Sorry not more optimistic or upbeat – it really is not a great predicament.

  9. Ben says:

    I believe feelings are neither right or wrong, they just are. I can identify with you with those extreme feelings of loneliness. Some nights is very hard. If it weren’t for support groups during the day and some volunteer work I would literally go “out of my mind.”

    I too would have never imagined my life turned out the way it has. In my case some bad decisions had “snowball” effects and having to find my way in life mostly on my own by observing and trying to learn from my mistakes has certainly not left me in a place I would have aspired to.

    I also do not talk about with others everything that goes on inside me because I just don’t feel as though I could communicate well enough or get the answers or support I feel I need.

    Having gone through years of therapy for depression and learning new coping skills I am able to be high functioning and I am not severely depressed as I was for 10 years. This, however, has not solved all my problems.

    I guess I simply wanted to communicate empathy. I know what you are going through even if the circumstances are different. You are not alone. I will bet dollars to donuts that a larger percentage of people feel as we do in spite of their best efforts. Life is hard…

    One thing I am grateful for is when I was severely depressed and attempted suicide I was not successful. At the time it seemed like the only way out. That was in 1995. So much has happened since then. Many good things as well as some bad. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

    Some of the most rewarding experiences currently in life are when I am helping others. Helping in a way that expects no return. I get to share my experience in places where many have little or no hope. I too was in those places and did not think things would get any better. I know that there is no power I have which can turn things around for them but only offer my own experience to hopefully spark something within them to turn the corner. That’s a high which has no downside.

    I have had friends which have ended their lives through drugs and all it leaves me with is sadness that their lives were snuffed out and those temporary problems which they thought were so acute could have been worked through.

    Finding ways to increase endorphins in your brain is the cheapest way to feel better. Some find it through exercise, some through helping, some through both. One of the simple phrases that helped me in the beginning was “God don’t make junk.”

    Both my parents are gone, I haven’t seen my son since 1997 and I don’t have any close family. I have very few friends and I have to deal with difficult people on a daily basis. I am grateful that my mind is not in the same space it was in 1995 when I tried to end my life. What a waste that would have been….

  10. Amy F says:

    As the others said, you sound very depressed. Please reach out for support. Make an emergency appointment with your doctor for a referral to a therapist.

    You have a right to your feelings of sadness, anger and depression, even to feel sorry for yourself. Unfortunately these feelings can be both isolating and off putting, even if you’re thinking if you had a husband, children who spent lots of time with you and many friends you wouldn’t feel this way. While this might be true, it won’t make people gravitate to you. To be blunt, and this is not a personal criticism but an observation, most people don’t like being around depressed folks, even loved ones, for extended periods of time so getting your depression under control is an important first step to bring people back into your life.

  11. jacqueline says:

    Hi Eva,

    So sorry you feel this way. Irene gave you some excellent advice.

    Are you working? If not, have you considered volunteering in a senior’s residence or a hospital, where your company would be so appreciated and you would feel like you HAVE made a difference. If you are an animal lover, you could perhaps volunteer at your local shelter where you would receive unconditional love from the animals.

    Hope this helps.

  12. Mary says:

    Hi Eva,

    I think your angry and rightfully so. Who wouldnt feel that way after giving 34 years = of your life to just be abandoned. Your crying out for understanding. Its quite normal to feel that way , and that includes your adult children.
    The thing is, whether the kids are adult or young, they possibly have only ever seen you in the role, of the giver, the advisor the strong one.
    I know its hard, but try to consider that they honestly are unaware that you need support . Its your turn.

    Try talking to just one of them for starters over a cup of tea making sure the grandkids are not around.

    You need to be for once the only center of attention.
    Even if you have to ask to meet in a quiet coffee shop.

    Tell them* how alone you feel, and how right now you need their love understanding. It can be hard for them too being torn between both mum and dad. Talk to them with love– and try not to sound angry.

    Just know that its clear you have been through a great deal and if nothing else you can talk to me via this site as long and as often as you would like.

Leave a Reply