One thing most people don’t know about life after divorce is the struggle to cope with the reality of losing friends. Yes, it’s not just your romantic relationship going south when you formalize your break-up — your social circles can spiral downward, too. If you’re still going through the court proceedings, it may be difficult to see why this would be the reality for you. Perhaps you’re experiencing the most incredible support now. Plus, how can friends leave their recently-divorced vulnerable, fragile friend, right? Believe it or not, a lot of women experience losing friends after their divorce. Here are the common reasons:
You’re ‘dangerously’ single.
Like it or not, people around you, even the closest and dearest to you will perceive you as a threat of some sort in their relationship. The wives of your male friends, especially won’t be comfortable seeing you talk to their spouses despite being at a big party, with lots of people around. This happens, regardless — whether or not you have a history of cheating, whether or not you have a history of being cheated on. If there’s any consolation, it’s not you. It’s them. The way to move forward is to build new social circles.
Pursue your interests to find like-minded people. A word of caution as you meet new people: Go easy on being comfortable with the opposite sex. You don’t want to date while you’re still mending your heart (and your children’s) from your last break-up. Plus, it may just give your ex ammunition to request for modification on the child custody arrangement so give your heart (and ex) a break.
Friends take sides.
Social circles during divorce are like property settlements. Similar to assets, friends get divided. Some take your ex’s side. Others take yours. If your ex can’t keep his mouth shut about your marriage problems, there’s a good chance that you’re painted as the bad person in the picture most of the time, so naturally, the people who hear that would support them. The thing is, how you’re seen as a person, as a wife, or as a mother doesn’t matter as long as you know the truth. Ideally, that truth should come out in court, debunking any false claims about you. But, of course, you can’t always count on people believing the truth.
Most of the time, they only believe what they want to be true. That’s beyond your control already. Nonetheless, if you’re still going through the court battle, find a reliable family lawyer in Denver to help build your case. You should be able to feel a sense of dignity in the midst of this craziness. And you should at least get your fair share of the division of assets, despite your social circle being unfairly divided, right?
There’s the ‘contagion of divorce.’
Believe it or not, a lot of people think that they too will experience a marriage breakdown when they associate themselves with divorced individuals. To be fair, there are studies that show the risk of divorce goes higher when a person has a close friend who headed for splitsville. The fear of that possibility could explain the no-invites to parties lately. It’s shameful to be that kind of friend in the social circle, but again, this is one of those things you have no control whatsoever.
In this case, your goal isn’t to restore those friendships, but to check for negative emotions, such as shame and guilt, which can be detrimental to your healing. Talk to a psychologist or a spiritual adviser in your church to deal with these feelings healthily.
It’s a sad reality that you lose friends after divorce. But, come to think of it, it also brings a new opportunity to reconnect with old peers and build new ones. Don’t linger on the negative, and instead be encouraged on the promise of this new life you’re facing.