OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…Okay! You may be thinking did Jay really need all of that?! Yes I did. You may also be thinking….. Jay is a little dramatic! I would answer, “Yes a little.” LOL This subject is a sensitive one for me so I am going to try to be as objective as possible.
Over the last couple of days and even today I have had a few discussions about the lack of friendship support one can experience when going through a divorce. One of my readers wrote to me and told me how her friend, now divorced, was of course going to the same church as her “then” husband”. As it turns out, she continued to go to that church. Now, after the divorce her “then friends” began ignoring her along with her children! Please understand that I know that this is not everyone’s story. So in my best attempt to be fair, I am going to say that there are fellow divorcees that I have met that say their friends had been very supportive. So as one can see, it is on a case by case basis in which friendship does NOT survive divorce.
In my case friendships did not. I was supported by some Previous acquaintances in a VERY long distance way. What do I mean by long distance? Long distance support is texting, a phone call once a month or two, or the occasional LIKE on a Facebook post. There was little to no physical contact, or invitations to lunch, a movie or a trip. NOT ONE! I did not quite understand why, but in an attempt to understand I did get some feedback as to perhaps why this may have happened. One, some married couples do not want singles (men or women) around their spouses. That person is seen as a threat. Two, they are busy with their lives and they do not have time. Three, they really do not know what to say to you. Four, they have taken the other person’s side. Five, maybe they did not like you in the first place and the divorce was an opportunity to separate from you. Finally, six they liked your ex and now that it is over, they see it as an opportunity for themselves!
No matter what the reason, it is hurtful when you lose that support. There were times I wished that any of my OLD friends would be hands-on with their support of me because it would have helped me to keep some sense of normalcy during my transition to singlehood. Everything just changed in an instant; no husband, new place to live, new phone number, no job, and finally no friends. Because I did not receive that support it forced me to want to be a better friend myself. It even caused me to reflect on times that friendship had been extended to me, and because I thought I had enough “friends”, failed to respond properly. So I decided to begin to listen better. I began being even more honest and available for others. I stopped using the “I am too busy or was to busy” excuse for not returning a call.
The best advice I can give to others that have friends that are going through a divorce is to be there. Invite that person to a dinner or simply listen to what they have to say–no matter how many times they say the same thing. Trauma repeats itself until one accepts it. So they will repeat relive the experience from time to time. Be available. Be willing to go the extra mile. Check on them. Tell them that you care and NEVER, NEVER IF YOU ARE MARRIED, (UNLESS YOU HAVE BEEN DIVORCED PREVIOUSLY) SAY THAT YOU UNDERSTAND. You could not possibly. So just be the friend you would want someone to be to you, if it were you.
Proverbs 17:17 A friend is always loyal,and a brother is born to help in time of need. (NLT)