You’re getting a divorce and that can be incredibly taxing for so many reasons. You have emotional issues to deal with, along with physical ones (where will you live?), financial ones (who is getting what?), and more. Now is the time to see who your friends really are, and who they are not. Everyone needs to have people that they can lean on and rely on in times of need. And if you’ve used your spouse as your sounding board, best friend and confidant, then it’s time to cultivate those relationships elsewhere and get other people to fill those shoes.
But who will really do so?
Here are a few suggestions of how you can get the support you need while keeping it together.
First, find yourself a therapist. It’s not reasonable to assume that your friends can listen to and answer all of your problems. Find a professional to whom you can unburden yourself. If you can afford to pay for the best, then do so. If you can’t, find out about the social services in your area and a place where you might be able to see someone for less money. Either way – see someone!
Think about your friends and notice, as you begin the divorce process, who is there for you and who really shouldn’t be counted on in these areas. You want to surround yourself with people who are good listeners, but not gossips. Look for friends who can help you to think through your future plans in a strategic and non-emotional way. This will counter-balance some of the irrational or emotional plans you may put into place.
Look to friends who invite you out without being pushy, or making you feel like a third wheel. Look, as well, to friends who may have been through a similar divorce or other emotionally difficult event in their lives. These people can often connect you to useful services or professionals since they’ve been through it already.
Finally, find yourself friends who will respond quickly if you are at all concerned for your safety or that of your children. You need to have friends who will take your emotional and physical concerns seriously and act in the right way should you need them quickly.
These roles could be filled by your family, of course, or by good friends. It’s certainly important to find the right people to surround yourself with at this difficult time and to have them at the ready to help you in your time of need.