You have lived the last 10 or so years with the same group of friends.. you have spent numerous girls weekends, movie nights, and couple vacations together.. and then divorce hits and it seems like it all vanishes.. the people you thought would be your support have vanished… The ones you spent sharing your last 10 years with are gone.
No one can prepare themselves for the process of divorce. As much as you want to prepare, you can not until you are going through it. And when it’s time to tell your friends about your divorce, you hope they will continue to stick with you. In many cases, they may not. They may not understand your decision or it may break up the couple dates..or adult vacations…or cabin weekends. They might leave you when you probably needed them the most. And sometimes it could be for the most selfish reasons.
Maybe they had questions and you just couldn’t answer them. Maybe they feel hurt because you didn’t prepare them for your divorce. Maybe they continued to ask you to do girls night, but you didn’t feel comfortable attending anymore…
My neighbor unfriended me due to my divorce because I was moving out of the neighborhood and I wasn’t going to live next to her anymore. That’s the honest truth. And those are the friends that you just let go…. The ones that do can not show you any support and they put their own selfishness ahead of your decisions.
You may ask yourself over and over again what happened…How can this decision about your life make your friends disappear… the truth is many times your friends do not know what to do to help you or make it better for you. They might not know how to support you. Other times, they might not agree with your decision and as much as you want them too, they just can’t. They do not understand what you are going through in your life. They have a hard time relating to what you are experiencing. Or they might not want this to disrupt their life…. They want the friendship to remain the same. As the friend, you might need to forgive many times during their divorce process due to the amount of stress or emotion that they are experiencing.
And the other side is.. your friends may feel hurt because you couldn’t talk to them about your divorce. Or they do not know how to talk to you anymore. They feel that they can not relate. Or they continue to ask you to join them for girls night, but you just couldn’t do it.
Many times through my divorce, I did not want to talk about anything relating to my divorce. As the friend of someone going through a divorce, I would say just be there for them. They might not even know what they want. Their life is changing and it is a scary process. You do not need to agree with them, but just listen to them and be a great support for them. They might distance themselves because they are working through a lot of emotions and changes. Give them time and space, if they ask for it. Just be patient.
I have made my circle tighter. I gave my time to the friends that stuck with me, when at times I was probably not the most fun to be around The ones that supported me by doing anything, a walk, a drink, a movie, a good cry, or a just a laugh.. the ones that listened to my endless rants. The ones that just asked if I needed anything and when I said I didn’t’, they still showed up. The ones that I trusted.
And in the end, there might need to be forgiveness on both sides, and maybe some friendships will diminish, and maybe new friendships will start to grow…