When you’re lonely, it can be tempting to turn to someone you’ve known for ages for comfort. That’s normal—and as long as that person isn’t your ex, it’s okay.
However, seeking comfort from your ex is almost always a bad idea; it can lead to poor decisions and even more emotional turmoil. Worse, it could actually cause problems that can affect your divorce case.
Cutting the Ties that Bind
When you rely on your ex for emotional support, you could be doing yourself psychological harm. You’re vulnerable, and it’s natural to want to feel “normal” again—but in the end, you and your ex will still remain separated and you’ll be left to deal with the aftermath.
If you’re tempted to call your former spouse about anything other than your kids, your marital property or other divorce-related issues, turn off your phone. It’s not worth the emotional turmoil that will inevitably come.
“Try to find other people who can fill that space in your life instead, and it really will help you to move on emotionally,” says Samantha Joel, M.A., who’s a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto. Her research is directly related to romantic relationships and what makes them tick (and how they end).
What Will the Children Think?
Like most parents, the last thing you want to do is confuse or hurt your children. If you turn to your ex for comfort, no matter how lonely you are, you’re sending them a signal that they could interpret incorrectly. “Mom’s helping dad feel better… there might be hope!”
Coping with Post-Divorce Loneliness on Your Own Terms
If you don’t have an extensive support network, or if you’re not comfortable talking to your friends and family about your loneliness, ask your North York divorce lawyer for a referral to a therapist. Sometimes talking to an impartial third party makes a hugely positive difference.
You might also consider starting a divorce journal, picking up a new hobby or joining a club. The point is finding something that eases your loneliness and, if possible, gets you around new people with whom you can start to bond.