Being a friend before, during and after divorce
When I separated and then, within a year divorced, I soon discovered who my true friends were. As a couple my husband and I had many people who I’d thought were friends. These ‘friends’ quickly stopped calling or criticized, condemned and even said downright hurtful things that a true friend would never express. Even my own family members alienated me because I wouldn’t share the dirt of why my ex and I mutually chose to separate. It was a rude awakening and a lesson in the real meaning of friendship and love.
We all know that certain relationships with other couples exist due to common interests and are not always relationships we consider as best friends. We know not everyone will understand why we chose to divorce but then there’s the friends we share a lot of time with, confide in and feel we have a bond with that we think will last forever. It’s these friends who, when you separate or divorce your spouse become critical or ignore you, that’s feels shocking. When this happens you feel numb, hurt and surprised. If the majority of friends you associated with while married suddenly drop you like a hot potato just because they don’t know understand why, or can’t ‘deal’ with their own feelings or opinions about your break-up your suddenly left alone, confused and resentful.
Most of us measure our value through comparison of how others live. We create our beliefs by what we witness, think and experience. It’s through contrast we learn. I’ve learned the biggest shifts, most incredible lessons have been due to the most profound experiences that were the hardest.
It was the loss of many relationships with people I ‘thought’ were good friends after divorce that shocked and hurt me. From these losses I became far more cautious in trusting and believing in people. I found myself lacking confidence in myself and my ability to be a friend. I shared less about myself in fear of being judged. I lost opportunities of enjoying fun, having meaningful friendships because of fear. I was afraid to be hurt again. I had created a “learned belief” that if I didn’t live up to what others wanted, they wouldn’t be there for me when I needed them the most.
Have you experienced feelings similar to this? Have you lost trust in being yourself, saying what you feel and living authentically? Do you resist or hold back from living fully doing what you love in fear of what others will think of you?
‘True friends’ are there for you through thick and thin. Family members who love you are there for you in spite of differences. Friends who disappear when times get tough don’t understand the meaning of true friendship. They have there own fears to work through. They are no greater, nor less a person, they just don’t understand how their actions and feelings affect the friendship, or ultimately themselves.
To have great relationships that are trustful, committed and confidential:
- You must trust, be committed and hold confidential information secret.
- You must be willing to listen without criticism.
- You must respect others for their opinions without feeling the need to judge what they think or feel.
- You must be responsible for how you feel without thinking others need to feel the same.
- You must believe that you matter. They matter for you, and may or may not be truth for anyone else.
We all learn what we need to learn if and when we need to. We need to allow others to learn what they need to, in their time. We are here to live our life, not theirs.
- As a friend, be there to listen and hold space for your friends to share what they feel they need.
- As a friend, be there to love unconditionally without feeling the need to enforce your opinion.
- As a friend, be there to support through tough times and share through good times.
- As a friend, just be there.
You DO matter no matter who you are. There are others who share your values, you may not have found them yet. When you feel absolutely aligned with what you think and believe you are aligned with what matters most for you, no one else. Change your thoughts and beliefs to what you want to feel. Practice thinking and believing this way until it becomes habit and you’ll feel happier more often.
It has been through my experiences, good and bad, lessons learned and opportunities shared, that I grow each day and live the life I choose helping and supporting others who follow similar footprints. If you want help, need an ear to listen and a hand to support you quickly and easily through tough times of self-doubt I encourage you to opt-in and connect with me for a free consultation in the box at the right column of this website.