Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

I hear from a lot of people in the throws of divorce angst. Undoubtedly one of the hardest things seems to be the overall sense of loss. The holidays just intensify the lack of true belonging many divorcing people feel. The good news? They will one day feel it again but that is of little comfort throughout the divorce transition.

I recently heard from a friend who is troubled by the change in her friendships. Or should I say ‘hurt’ by the realization some no longer seem to exist?

I have written about this, worried about this, cried about this, and healed from this.

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I have moved into the acceptance phase.

I wish someone had told me, one day I would not miss those who I would not carry forward with me. 

For it seemed impossible while suffering loss after loss of my husband, roles, emotion, finances, security, and more. How could I possibly alter even one friendship and survive?

But I did.

Truth be told? Some of our friendships simply mimic similar characteristics to our bruised marriages. If our spouse was disrespectful chances are we may have a few disrespectful friends. If our spouse was controlling we may have some controlling compadres. If our spouse was judgemental…well, you get the point.

Divorce crystalizes what I call the “Two Friendship Zones.”

Your Zone-LESS friends:

These are your forever people.

Consider them your healthier friendships. The people who do not carry the signature traits of your spouse and cause the not so great yin to your yang.

These forever people somehow never lose sight of who you truly are. Divorce and a bit of hardship is going to be seen for the accurately difficult life changing experience which it is. It will not become a life label.

These friends are Zone-LESS meaning they do not put conditions on who they expect you to be or what will make them walk out on you.

Your CAUTION Zone Friends:

These are your temporary people.

Though they may have seemed like your whole world, they were a moment in time and times have changed.

These are your not so healthy friendships. Chances are you didn’t realize it when life was good or you ignored the signs.

These are the people who ironically may have many characteristics similar to your spouse. It’s important to remember you can’t blame them or your spouse. Family of origin is a powerful pull and you have attracted yourself to certain people for a reason. Thus, a controlling spouse and a controlling friend potentially exemplifies control is familiar to you. A judgemental spouse and a judgemental friend more than likely demonstrates your own family has some of these characteristics.

Of course, the world is not black and white.

You may have some old friends who temporarily judge you during difficulty because they have become more like family. Though not ideal, these relationships will more than likely stand the test of time.

The acceptance phase of divorce friendship healing should usher in a bit less loss and more logic.

In other words, losing these particular friendships makes sense.

If you feel they are not there for you, aren’t listening to you, judging you, don’t feel your pain or don’t seem to miss you…

Ask yourself…

Did my spouse make me feel like they weren’t there for me?

Did my spouse make me feel like they weren’t listening to me?

Did my spouse make me feel like they were judging me?

Did my spouse not feel my pain?

Did my spouse make me have to repeat and explain myself?

Did my spouse not see me for who I truly was?

Chances are the friends you ‘think’ you miss make you feel as badly as your spouse once did. 

No real loss at all.

Just some great memories and even greater lessons.

(Photos Courtesy of Pexels)

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