Redefining Friendship Post-Divorce

friendsLife is funny. For many years, I had what looked like the right lifestyle with the right house, I had lots of “friends.”  But, life behind the scenes wasn’t so pretty. In fact, it was a daily struggle to keep my partner mentally and physically healthy while trying to take care of two small boys and maintain a business to keep us financially afloat. To add to the fun and excitement, five years ago, I dealt with a series of additional family situations in a matter of months. My grandmother passed away. My dad was diagnosed with cancer and had serious complications after surgery, and then my stepfather died.

Boom!

After years of not sleeping, overworking, not having enough time for my boys, and no time for myself, I had a crystal clear realization that I could no longer keep enabling my partner in the ways that I was. And, I was digging myself an early grave with the amount of stress I was dealing with. That’s when I realized divorce was the only option that I could make if I was going to be able to take care of myself and be a good mother.

So, that’s what I did.

It has now been several years since all of this happened, and fortunately, I’m in a much better place because I’ve been able to refocus on being a caregiver to my children and not having to be constantly on edge about my partner’s stability. For the first time in many, many years, I feel safe.

Not all that surprising, I have far fewer “friends.” I read this is what happens when you get a divorce, and I prepared myself for the drop off of people in my life. And, boy did it happen!

What I’ve learned in all of this is that married and even single friends avoid divorced friends like the plague. The invitations stop. The phone stops ringing. And, before you know it, you’re living on a little island with your kids and no one else.

Strangely, it’s ok. I’m happier now because my life is better. And, I realize that the friendships I’m making now and will make in the future will be those that sprouted when I was healthy and happy.

For those of my friends who have chosen to drop off the radar, I hope that if you should ever go through a major upheaval like I’ve experienced, you have people who hang in there and support you.

My circle of trust is much smaller now, but I’m excited for those new friends I’ll meet. And, I’ll definitely be especially welcoming to those who have dealt with life’s tough challenges because they need friends the most.

Song of the Day:

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Redefining Friendship Post-Divorce

  1. val sutherand

    it was an interesting roller coaster and not a lot of fun except for the boys….that was always a writing moment. Glad you came thru on the right side of your mind. Glad to be counted as one who stood by you as much as I could. Know the pain and dismay when friends of 30 years go the other way. Ones I have now are true blue and who I need. Love you all.

    • Thanks Val. You certainly were witness to the roller coaster. Finally able to feel like I don’t have to hide what has happened. …Kinda liberating! One benefit of friends not checking on me was I didn’t really have to explain much about what happened. I healed quietly by myself. I’m sure the vast majority of “friends” on Facebook didn’t even know I went through a divorce.

  2. Lucia Vannoy

    Julie, I am so glad that you and your two true loves, Rex and Judd, are doing well and enjoying life! Happy new beginnings for you all! Hope to see you all soon, maybe Easter?

  3. Glad you’re able to fully focus on you, your boys and your biz! You deserve to be HAPPY!! 🙂 We always discover who our real friends are in times of need.

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