Marriage can have a serious effect on your social life. No longer considered an individual, but now generally viewed by others as a couple, what you do in your spare time will often be activities that you can share with your partner.
After a divorce, the comfortability with which you have probably associated yours and your partners status as a pair is effectively shattered, and you must now get used to acting as a single entity again.
Listed below are five ways in which divorce can affect your social life.
Married couples will often build friendships with other couples, and time spent with these friends will be as a couple. After a divorce, it can seem that there’s a barrier to contact these friends, because you’re now an individual. You may also have doubts as to whether these people really like you, or if it was your spouse that they were truly friends with.
What you need to consider is whether you’re comfortable having friends who will also probably still be friends with your ex-spouse. If you ended terms amicably, then there’s no reason not to contact these friends and continue to see them. Even if you didn’t, it’s worth keeping in touch; after all, they’re probably concerned about your well-being since the divorce.
A change in activities
In marriage, a lot of the social activities you’ll enjoy on a regular basis will be with your partner. Many of these activities may not work on your own. If you used to go to the cinema on a regular basis while married, for example, it may seem weird for you to continue going on your own after the divorce.
This does not necessarily have to be a negative, as it gives you the opportunity to try new things and have a good think about what you, and not what you and your ex-partner, want to do with your spare time.
Now that you’re fully independent in deciding what to do with your free time, you may find yourself struggling to plan how to fill it. A lot of couples can become dependent on one another’s support in organising social events, and find the lack of this support after a divorce confusing and stressful.
Alternatively, this freedom may feel liberating, particularly if the marriage was difficult and strained, and you felt as though you couldn’t do what you wanted to do. Now that you’re divorced, there’s no restraint on doing what you want to do.
A change in income and/or employment
If you and your ex-partner had a shared income, after your divorce your income will have changed. This might restrict you from partaking in the same social activities as you did when married, as they might simply be out of your budget.
If you worked part time, or didn’t work at all, and were able to rely on your ex-partners income, then a divorce probably means that your employment status will have to change. This means that there’s potentially less free time for social activities, and you may have to re-think your usual schedule.
If the divorce was particularly difficult, you may not feel like socialising initially. It’s not uncommon to continue to feel stressed, even after the divorce, and withdraw into yourself. A huge component of which your life has revolved around has just been removed, and it may take a while for you to feel comfortable enough to begin socialising again.
It’s also not uncommon for you to worry about how people who know you might view you after the divorce, and this worry can prevent you from being social. If you and your ex-partner had children, then worrying about how the divorce will affect them is perfectly normal.
If you feel particularly stressed or isolated, there’s plenty of helplines you can talk to, such as the Samaritans on 116 123.