Divorce is a lonely time...but you're not alone. Sometimes you need reminding. I remember feeling very stuck inside myself when I was going through my divorce. When I had first announced it, all of my friends seemed shocked, mostly because I had never done much complaining about my husband or my marriage. I kept it all in. I've always been that way and have always thought and assumed that my problems were my own to solve. Nevertheless, when I announced my divorce to my closest friends, they all said and did exactly what I needed them to do without me asking or telling them or even knowing at the time what it was I needed from them. It made me truly wish we could fast forward time so we could be living like the Golden Girls and eating cheesecake every night while we joked about our silly escapades at the market or the doctor's office (I mean, not really...but sort of). So, in no particular order, I present to you the types of friends you should have to get you through your divorce.
The one who's always available: There will be times, for me it was 50% of the time, when you are no longer sharing a house with anyone. You are alone. There are times when you feel like you might literally die from the loneliness and you just want to go out and be around people. The one who's willing to go out and be your partner in crime truly has no idea what a gift they're giving, they just love you and want to be with you.
The one who tells you what you want to hear: There is the friend who knows you so well. She knows exactly what to say to make you feel a sense of calm. Her words are melodic and you go to her when you need this type of comfort. She is the good cop.
The one who tells you what you need to hear: You know, the bad cop. The ability to have difficult conversations with people you care about truly shows how emotionally intelligent a person is. The trust level is unparalleled. The love you will feel from them is like a warm hug.
The one who will stay on the phone with you for hours: Maybe you don't get to see each other or talk all the time. Maybe life is so busy and crazy for both of you and every few months you need to just catch up, but it just seems so hard to pick up the phone to talk to someone who has no idea what you've been dealing with for the past few months. The important thing to remember is that this person will make the time for you, because they love you. And it will be amazing. And so many ridiculous topics will be covered because it will be like you just saw each other yesterday. And you will ask each other why you don't do this more often - and then you will do it more often.
The one who will co-parent with you: My friends and I have discovered the secret to great parenting -- and that's just everyone being together doing something...anything! Whether it's going to the beach for the day or going on a hike, or just coming over for a BBQ. I have a few friends who, along with their kids, are with us constantly. The children are different genders and vary in ages, but consider each other family. It's a lot of love and as an added bonus, the kids all want to play together and do very little interrupting of us moms while we drink a cup of tea or a glass of wine and have adult conversation.
The one you gave up on while you were both married because she didn't seem to be interested in maintaining a friendship: You will tell her you're getting a divorce and she will tell you how truly brave you are...and mean it. You will forgive her for being so wrapped up in her own life that she didn't seem to care about yours. Slowly, but surely, she'll start to weave herself back into your life because she loves you so much and, just for a little bit, forgot. She now remembers what it is that makes her love you -- your bravery, strength and for having the courage to blow up your world, and knowing you'll rebuild it bigger and better than it ever was before. She will learn and feed off your courage and gain some of her own.
The one who makes you laugh so hard you cry, or pee, or both: You know you have one of these. The one who, no matter what it is, starts the giggles and the laughter and you can't stop it. When you are with this friend, you are confident, that no one on the planet is funnier than the both of you. Sidebar: it's intimidating to others so you will not get hit on, like ever, when you are with this person. But you won't realize it until the next day because you were too busy laughing your ass off the night before. Also, you'll realize the next day that your abs are sore -- bonus!
Some of my friends encompass more than one of the types above and some of the types have more than one of my friends. My inner circle has been around long before I was ever married and will surely be around 'til death do us part. They are the relationships I'm most proud of. I may get married again. I may not. I tell people that if I can find a man I love as much as my friends then maybe I'll think about settling down again. Until then, I picture myself more a Golden Girl.
And one final thought on friendship: There is no shame in the pretend friends. Sometimes you don't want to be around people and just want to get lost and binge watch some Netflix. In my darkest of times, there were a few TV shows that just made me laugh, think and laugh some more. There was one night during my divorce where I was at a sporting event and in the span of about a half hour I bumped into and had ridiculously funny conversations with three different actors who played some of my favorite TV characters: Roger Sterling, Burton Guster and GOB Bluth -- if you know who those characters are then I'm sure you've laughed, thought and laughed some more with them. If you don't, Google them and start watching their TV shows -- start at Season One Episode One for each. I took that evening as the universe telling me I was going to be OK. Pay attention to the signs, people!