Divorce weeds out the superficial people and reveals true friends.
People whom you considered your exclusive pals – may latch onto your spouse if he/she is the more valuable commodity.
I had two friends whom I met up with regularly. One completely dropped me when my divorce commenced because my husband was helping her with a small business problem.
The other one contacted my husband in the midst of our divorce to write a letter of recommendation, but did it in a sneaky way. It was safer to cut ties with her since she had a tendency not to respect confidences.
Divorce forces one to take stock of friendships and if one does not seem right, then to disengage from it.
Midway through Tess’s acrimonious divorce, her long-time friend, Rhonda stopped taking calls and initiating contact. This was quite puzzling to Tess until her sons later found out during visitation, that their father and Rhonda had become a couple.
Rhonda had decided to go after the vacant position of doctor’s wife and they got married a bit after the divorce was finalized. Tess claimed she felt grateful that she was not going to be spending more time and energy on someone who did not deserve it.
Have you been hanging onto friends out of habit?
We often take relationships for granted and divorce has a way of shaking them up. Evaluate whom you want to have in your life and who is draining your energy. The diva and drama queen may not be worth your limited time and attention. If they are not giving you support in this traumatic transition, consider distancing yourself. Gently say you are currently unavailable in this divorce situation.
When you have shared details of abuse in your marriage, and these friends still voice “I love you both”, cut ties – or at least let the friendship peter out on its own.
This is hurtful and disrespectful to what you endured. When people have links to your soon-to-be ex or his family, personal information could reach their ears.
You do not want this to throw a spanner in the works when deep in divorce negotiations.
The friends that were supportive during my divorce have become more important. Our relationships have grown closer either due to their kindness or by having more time after letting go of the energy vampires in my life. I have joined MeetUp.com and met new acquaintances who bring laughter and joy post-divorce.
Expect to mourn friends that you have lost or have distanced themselves from you as a result of divorce. It is disconcerting to discover that people whom you thought were permanent fixtures in your life – are not anymore. Realize that grief has various stages including anger, which eventually leads to acceptance.
Sometimes friends hover on the side lines not knowing what to do or say. This may come across as uncaring, when in reality is just being clueless about how to be supportive. It is okay to ask for help and give these people something specific, such as let’s get together bi-weekly for lattes.
On the flip side, if friends are too intrusive or judgemental, explain that you are not up to discussing that issue. You do not owe anyone an explanation and feel free to walk away and remove yourself from that situation. I found that there is balance in life. I lost some friends, but gained closer relationships with the ones that remained.
Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certified in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP).
Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 200 published articles.
She is a guest on radio programs in the US and UK. Her website is globalguidetodivorce.com.