DIVORCE and FRIENDS   Leave a comment

When I got divorced, I received advice from friends and family.  Things like “You will grieve”, “You are fortunate your son is so young”,  “Wait at least a year before dating”, “Date a lot before getting married again.”    

I saw one of those “10 things” articles on divorce recently and it got me thinking about the changes in my life since I’ve been divorced.  You know the articles I’m talking about – they are all over the internet.  “10 things cat owners love”, “10 things you can do when you have kids”, “10 things you can’t do when you have kids”, “10 differences between dog owners and cat owners”, “10 things ladies wished guys knew”.  The lists are endless. 

I got divorced in 1984, so it has been a while.  At the time my former husband was very, very angry at me. (He actually stayed angry and blamed me for everything for many years after, but that is another story.  We are now cordial and even friendly.) 

Changes in my life after divorce included a huge drop in income and all the things that went with that, shouldering all decisions, no long-term planning, and feeling “labeled or a “stigma” from being a divorced single parent.  One other thing I noticed right away after my divorce was that my social life went to zero.  Because we had gotten married three years after I had moved to the state where he had lived all his life, all our friends were his friends.  They “sided” with him.  My family lived in another state and his family lived nearby, and he didn’t want me to have any contact with his family.  It left a big hole in my life. 

I had no support system nearby.  I had no one that could come over with short notice and lend a shoulder or a listening ear, or just go out walking with me while I processed.  Even though I was young – mid 20’s – it seemed that everyone I knew already had a group of friends.  And despite my best efforts, no one seemed to want to add another into their social circle.  I did end up making several close friends from ladies I met at work, who I have remained friends with through the years.

Of all the changes that happened in my life after I got divorced, I think the loss of friendships had the biggest negative impact, and also the longest impact.  It was many, many years before I was able to build up a group of friends made up of singles, married ladies, and couples that didn’t mind being friends with a single lady.

Do you know someone who is divorced?  Don’t shun them.  Don’t exclude them.  They have experienced a loss, and have a hole in their lives.  Nevermind the circumstances that caused it. If you have a chance to help lessen that loss or fill that hole, even a little bit – you should take it if you can.  I’m talking to myself when I say that, too.  Divorced people need friendships with other singles, married friends, and couples.  They need the example of married people, and being included in family things is important to a lot of singles.  There are people like me who did not have family nearby that so appreciated being included in holiday meals, family movie nights, picnics, or outings.  Are there single or divorced people in your life that you can make a difference in? 

 

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Posted June 20, 2014 by Maureen in Uncategorized

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