After a divorce, you will meet a variety of people, all with their own ideas about what you should or should not do.
Even though they all will have good intentions, they will likely boil down to one of three specific kinds of people.
Allow me to introduce you to the 3 people you will meet after a divorce.
They want to hear all about it, and they're going to tell you how to get over it. That's the perceived role of all the new therapists in your life.
Some will take the positive approach, leading with questions meant to build you up and make you feel good about who you are. They will tell you quotes and scriptures which they intend to encourage you with.
While you may appreciate it, you will grow tired of it, especially because few of them have actually been through it before.
Then there are the negatives. Posing as uplifters, they will dissect how this is meant to make you stronger, and you should be grateful for the "blessing" you've received.
They will point out all the statistics meant to validate their position, and you will quickly see that none of it really matters to you. Under it all is bitterness and frustration, and allowing that into your life will only leave you feeling more down.
Remember, positive or negative, they usually all mean well. It may be best to just let it slide, that is until they persist to the point it prevents you from moving on.
You may need a real therapist just to get over the damage they inadvertently cause, but know that for the most part these are people that love you and truly do want to see you feel better. Just be careful how much you open up to them.
"You don't owe her a thing!" may be a common statement you'll hear. "I know someone who got (insert unrealistic expectation) because of (insert erroneous fact) and he couldn't do anything about it." could be another.
You will find that everyone knows someone who has gone through a divorce. They have personal knowledge of what can and cannot happen... except they really don't.
They may be telling the truth, but how are you supposed to know?
As with the therapists, these are generally going to be people that care about you. You may also see a few more strangers showing up among your newly self-appointed attorney friends though.
The most important thing for you to remember is this: while there is a lot of truth out there, you need to find the information that is best for you and your specific scenario.
No two cases are really alike, but finding a professional who can pull details from their actual experience will make your case much easier to prepare for.
Don't be swayed by every wind that your well-intentioned acquaintances will blow your way. There may be some valid information there, but be cautious and focus on the facts.
Get a real attorney and let them do their thing.
This one is really important, and the reality will probably surprise you.
You are going to find that many of the people you counted as friends before will no longer feel comfortable being in your life. This is hard to understand, but try to realize that they often don't know what to do.
They may not want to pick a side, and they may not know the truth well enough to be able to.
What you will find is that you are likely going to make new friends. Some will be a surprise, and some may become the most important people you will ever meet.
Caution... there are two types of friends.
Remember the adage "Misery loves company"? Well, now you will see that come to life. You will have some miserable people who want you to meddle in the mud with them.
They see you as a fresh confidant to share their troubles with. They still haven't gotten past their own baggage, and they love knowing you are there to be miserable with them. It may feel good at first, but it will only bring you further down. Avoid them!
Fortunately you will find friends who genuinely wants to be there for you... just to be there for you. Those are the best friends you can have. They're not there to give you advice or tell you what you should do, they just want to support you.
Keep these friends close, and remember them forever forward. It's not easy being a good friend to a divorcing person, and it's not always easy finding someone who can be.
I'll be there for you
Friendship is an important thing. When you're going through a divorce, a good friend can make all the difference.
As hard as it may feel, the best thing you can do is try being the kind of friend you would want to have. That means trying to forget yourself and think of others. In doing this you will find your own troubles are more easily comforted.
Chin up and keep on moving forward. You will get through this. Having the right friends will help make it easier.
Question: What have you found about your friends through your divorce? What would you hope for if you find yourself there some day? Leave a comment below.
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