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As if Divorce Weren't Hard Enough: Losing Friends

When you go through struggles, you figure out very quickly who your real friends are. This is especially true when you're getting divorced. What is always surprising to my clients and what was surprising to me personally when I got divorced over a decade ago is how "friends" react. 

You will have friends who act like divorce is contagious. I don't know if it's because they don't want their own spouses to get the idea of divorce in their minds. Perhaps they're so insecure in their own marriage that even proximity to a divorcee is risky?

You will have friends who take sides. Sometimes they take sides because your divorce is contentious and it becomes very war-like. People feel the need to judge and take sides. If you cheated, your friends, even those who had cheated on their own spouses, will condemn you. Sometimes if you're the one cheated on, people will criticize you for being too cold, too absent, too unloving.

Sometimes, people take sides, not because they believe your version and not your spouse's, but simply because it's easier. They feel they're not going to be able to hang out with both of you anymore. It's just the reality of it.

Sometimes, the divorced person wants their friends to take sides. They feel so betrayed by their ex that if you try to remain friends with the ex, they see that friendship as another betrayal. He cheated on me. How can you still be his friend?

Divorce is hard and this is another aspect that makes it even harder. Let an attorney handle the complicated legal issues because you'll have to handle a lot of other tough, very personal issues on your own. The good news is that you truly do find out who your new friends are. Divorce is a new start in a lot of ways. Moving on from your spouse. Moving on from your community. Moving on to a new life.

Jennifer McCall

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