Frenemies. We all have them. One minute you're having a great time together; and the next thing you know, you've got a knife stuck between your shoulder blades. And you never even saw it coming.
If only someone would have warned you.
During your divorce there are six specific frenemies to watch out for. Chances are you're on a first name basis with some (or all) of them. You may have even run into a little trouble with them. But just in case your danger detector is malfunctioning, allow me to alert you to the obvious.
Below is a list of the six most common divorce frenemies. These guys are tricky because in some contexts, they're your friends, but, in others...not so much. In order to avoid getting double crossed, it's critical for you to know where the lines are so you can stay on the right side of them.
Frenemy #1: Drinking -- as in alcohol. An occasional glass of wine (or two -- but who's counting?), especially with friends (and most especially when your kids are at their dad's house), can be an awesome way to unwind. In this context, alcohol is your friend. But get too chummy with the bottle, and it will quickly turn on you.
It will impair your judgment and cause you to say or do things you'll regret. Before you know it, you're drunk-texting your ex every mean and nasty thought you've ever had about him. And suddenly your little happy hour has led to a half-day deposition featuring a twelve pack of questions about your possible alcohol dependency. A good way to avoid all of this is to make alcohol a sometimes treat -- one that you enjoy only in the company of your level-headed friends, rather than those with a track record of getting into trouble.
Frenemy #2: Your mouth. And by that, I mean talking. Talking is part of being social, and being social is a great way to keep your spirits up during your divorce. So in this regard, talking counts as your friend. Blabbing all over town about your divorce, however, is a different story.
When you over-share about your divorce and/or trash your ex, your mouth can become your own worst enemy. You need to process your feelings about your divorce, of course; but you should be selective about who you're confiding in. Limit yourself to dishing about your divorce with only one or two of your most trusted friends. With everyone else, keep the conversation focused on your future, not on your past.
Frenemy #3: Social media. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can serve as sources of entertainment and support as you transition from married to single life. But they can also serve as personal publishing houses for impulsive photos and statements that you will come to regret. Even if you're not posting about your divorce, your social media accounts are easy pickins for anyone who wants to get his hands on data about your personal life. (In other words, your ex and his lawyer.) And that info can be used against you in ways you never even saw coming. To avoid these self-inflicted wounds, it's better to wait until your divorce is over before getting active on social media.
Frenemy #4: Shopping. I get it. You've lost a ton of weight and now all of your old clothes make you look and feel like a bag lady. It's not wrong for you to want to have clothes that fit you properly. And buying a few new outfits can boost both your self-confidence and your image. That's a BOGO worth taking advantage of.
But, when it comes to shopping, keep this in mind: During your divorce, your spending is subject to scrutiny. You will have to produce copies of your credit card and bank statements on a regular basis. So be a smart shopper. Don't go on spending sprees that make you look like a floozy, either on paper or in person. Hold off on any plans for shopping sprees at Forever 21 and Bebe Sport until after your divorce is final. (And, hopefully your good taste will have returned by then, too).
Frenemy #5: Working out. There's nothing wrong with getting your work out on during your divorce. In fact, there's plenty of good that can come from it. Exercising relieves stress, helps you to sleep better, passes the time in a positive way and gives you a chance to meet new people in a healthy setting. But some people work out so much that it begins to look more like an addiction than a hobby.
If you find yourself farming out your kids every chance you get so you can spend go biking or swimming or to the gym, you should get ahold of yourself. It's not that you can't work out when your kids are with you; it's just that you need to make sure to keep things in balance. Spend time with your kids when you have the chance; and sign up for that 80-mile cross country wilderness run on a weekend when they're with their dad.
Frenemy #6: Eating. Now that you're dropping weight so fast, you can eat anything you want and not gain a single ounce. But just because you can doesn't mean you should. If your dramatic weight loss tells you anything, it's that your body is under extreme stress. This is the wrong time to put a bunch of sugar in your tank -- not because you're counting calories, but because you need calories that count. When you're running on fumes your body needs good fuel. So fill up on quality food. It will not only taste good, it will keep you feeling good, too. Healthy food is the ultimate comfort food -- whether it's served cold or otherwise.