I am worried about how my friends will react when they hear that my husband and I will be separating soon and plan to divorce. I don’t want to feel anymore alone than I already do. We’ve been married several years with a large circle of friends and I wonder what they will think. What should I do about our friends?
The decision to end a marriage is painful for everyone involved.
Life will change and one of the first challenges will be dealing with how your family and friends react to the news. There’s a good chance that your friends probably saw this coming. You will find that initially some will side with you, some will side with your partner and some will try to be neutral.
There are a few proactive ways to approach it with your friends. Be honest.
Close friends should hear the news from you directly. Oversharing can cause even more turmoil at an already stressful time so consider that when talking to them. The anger and hurt that drives those first few months can lead to saying things we later regret. Often our friends are on the front lines of those words.
As well there is sometimes a tendency to fish for information from mutual friends which puts them in a difficult place.
Try to not be too harsh with yourself concerning any missteps in the early going. These situations are all part of the process of getting to the new you.
Determine what is acceptable for you regarding mutual friends. Set your own boundaries and do what feels right for you. Can you socialize with your friends with your Ex present as an example?
Consider how you will react when you hear that friends included your former partner and not you in a social event. Some couples might find your single status intimidating and awkward. We have no control over the reactions and opinions of others.
You have started a new chapter in your life. If there was an activity you’ve wanted to pursue but were unable for any reason in your marriage, then make that a priority. New activities generally lead to meeting new people and meeting new people with similar interests often leads to making new friendships.
These new friendships will be people who only know you as the new you.
The immediate time after a separation is full of intense emotion. Friends may leave for a time and return later as your new life finds its footing and you feel a sense of normalcy again. Try to be flexible and open to those possibilities.
As you gain control of your life remember that nobody feels the emotion of the divorce as intensely as you do because you are living it. Life will eventually settle, and a circle of friends, old and new, will be formed and you will carry on into your future.
“Make the rest of your life the best of your life.”
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ABOUT LINDA SIMPSON
I take strength from your calm, your honesty, and the hope you give me for my future.” Cheryl
Linda is a fresh voice in the divorce advice world. She offers a pragmatic, common sense approach to life after divorce issues based on over twenty years surviving and thriving following a very traumatic divorce.
As a single parent, her sons are an enormous source of joy in her life. She is a loving mother and grandmother to four delightful grandchildren.
She holds a degree from the University of Waterloo with concentrations in sociology and philosophy and guidance counselling certification from Queen’s University.
She is an accredited trainer for The Peace Education Foundation, a leader in conflict resolution training. The institute is ‘dedicated to educating children and adults in the dynamics of conflict resolution and promoting peacemaking skills in home, schools, and community.’
In a long and successful teaching career, she also served as a counsellor and workshop facilitator for SEL (social emotional learning) programming and The Peace Education Foundation throughout her school and school district and was a frequent conference presenter for SUNY Potsdam Faculty of Education USA.
She writes for The Divorce Magazine UK and her blog is seen regularly on Huffington Post Canada where the focus is life after divorce and parenting issues.
She is a writer and poet and is presently at work on a book based on her divorce experience.