In yesterday’s post I shared how Elise felt getting through the divorce process was itself an accomplishment – she wasn’t going to let it take her down. Through it all her top priority was her children. Another was her friends.
I never went to counseling but I did spend a lot of time with friends just doing fun things. That was a priority ahead of any sort of cleaning. And fun was anything – hanging out with friends, doing crossword puzzles, going to the movies, going out to eat. There was a continual stream of people who I could talk to. I was still enjoying life and having a lot of fun.
I have quite a few friends who never got married, some who got divorced and some who are still married. I would say my divorce did force a strain on some of those relationships if they were married. I don’t know why. There were a lot of people going through divorces at my kids’ school. It got to the point where we were asking if there was something in the water or were all these people hitting the same time frame in their marriages. I even felt because we were in such a small school community that it was really, ‘Oh, you’re divorced now’ in a slightly disapproving tone. I don’t know if other women are worried.
Elise is not the first lady to comment about some friends disappearing. Maryan said her mother had warned her that some of her married friends wouldn’t want her around their husbands, that she’d be seen as a threat. And to some extent she found that to be true. Those friends who were confident in their marriages stayed friends. Maryan’s mother also warned her not to expect to socialize with couples because couples socialize with couples and singles socialize with singles.
I like to think that some people shy away, at least at first, simply because they don’t know what to say. They don’t know who initiated it, whether it was sudden or a long time coming, how you feel about it … Now that I am divorced, I say none of that matters. All you need to say is simply “I heard you and your husband were splitting up. I’m sorry. How are you doing?” But it is far better to say something than nothing. And I also know that if you’re the one going through divorce, it’s difficult for you to take the lead – it’s so much easier when a friend reaches out to you and raises it. What do you think? If you hear a friend is breaking up with her husband, do you wait till she says something or do you approach her first?