Toxic People, Loneliness and Divorce


“I’d always been terrified of this (being alone). But I would rather never be in a couple, or ever get laid again than be in a toxic relationship.” ~ Anne Lamott in Plan B, Further Thoughts on Faith

If you are in the process of midlife divorce recovery, you are probably worried about being alone. I know at the beginning of the journey, you think you never want to be emotionally, physically, financially, sexually involved with anyone ever again for as long as you live! But that feeling passes pretty quickly. After that, you sometimes start being so incredibly lonely that you think you might not make it from one day to the next.

That’s one of the differences of midlife divorce. You are facing a whole avalanche of sometimes lonely changes — all at the same time: Your young, skinny body may have left you; your children are probably stretching their wings and needing you less; parents may be sick or dying; then your significant other decides someone else would be a lot more fun to live with, and you think you might actually physically die from the sheer, cold, desperate loneliness.

I know. I’ve been there. But, you won’t die. You might want to. You will say, ‘This life is not worth the agony and pain.” But you can learn things in that desperate loneliness that you can’t learn any other way. You will find yourself. If you’re a God person, you can find a deeper understanding of God. You will discover that some relationships are worth having and some are toxic to you.

Think about it. Were you lonely in your relationship before your divorce? You might have been busy; you might have been living in the same space; you might have had plenty of people around, and someone to help with the bills, but was your ex-husband really good for you? Especially lately?

I know, after three years of dealing with a person who was supposed to love me, but who was having an emotional and physical relationship with someone else and destroying me in the process, I finally came to the accurate conclusion that he was not good for me. He was corrupting my life and my character to some extent because I let him do that. I was afraid to stand up and say “enough is enough” and be willing to be lonely for a while so that I could eventually get to an amazingly better place.

Being alone is terrifying at the beginning. But be patient. You won’t always feel like that. You will grow through it. You will become more beautiful and real and wise because of it. You will hold on to your good character, and you will find joy again that you can’t  believe. Read Anne Lamott. Start with her book, Traveling Mercies. Then Read Plan B – Further Thoughts on Faith.

Don’t be afraid. You are strong. You are good. Your battle with loneliness can be the battle that brings you incredible power and resiliency.  Learn from the solitude … don’t be afraid of it.  Rediscover joy every single day and soon you will find people who are good for you and who share life in a much healthier way than what’s been going on in your relationships lately.  And it’s unbelievably refreshing to be with people who love you like you are and with whom you can be your wonderful, good, fun self!

“Don’t be misled, bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)

One good thing about getting away from toxic people, is the chance to find people who will build you up, encourage you and laugh with you and help you follow new dreams.  The RADiCAL women in the MDRcommunity are doing just that.  Join us.  Go to and click on “Click Here” under the MDRcommunity box to find out how to join us.  You get an MDRcommunity membership FREE when you order either the MasterPlan or the Divorce Survival Kit.  Getting the toxic people out of your life is one of the best things you can do for yourself … starting with “you know who!”

About the Author:

Suzy developed Midlife Divorce Recovery as a safe refuge for people healing and surviving the overwhelm of divorce. Starting her first RADiCAL support group in 2003 she's been helping women navigate the journey of divorce ever since.

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