Social support assists the person to make the transition from married to single. Friends, family, coworkers can be key transitional figures. They help with emotional support and the logistics of getting set up in a new life. Sometimes a transitional relationship is a romantic one but rarely does this lead a marital relationship. A new intimate relationship often produces a decline in depression and increase in self esteem. Being loved and cared about naturally makes you feel more worthwhile.
Work provides a thread of continuity and stability during such a tumultuous time. People often feel less productive but often spend more time working as it gives some structure to their lives and some escape from the isolation. Work provides people with a sense of one’s identity at a time when they are no longer a “wife or husband”. They can then maintain a sense of themselves as “Project Manager”.
Those involved in a religious community benefit from the strong support network that this affords. Having beliefs and values in common serves also to counter some of the isolation and loneliness inherent in the grieving of the marriage.