How To Handle The Inevitable Loss Of Friends After A Divorce
January 26, 2023
After a divorce, the sad actuality is that some of the friends you have may not stay in your life. For example, if they were friends with your ex before your relationship started, they may feel like they need to remain loyal to them, and thus cut you out of their lives. Fortunately, losing friends because of them feeling like they need to remain loyal to your ex can often just be temporary. As time passes and emotional wounds begin to heal, you may well find some of these people back in your life. This is an example of why it’s important to be mindful regarding your emotions and take care with the things you might say in a moment of hurt or anger that you may not actually mean down the road.
Unfortunately, it is far more common for women to lose some of their friendships after a divorce than it is for men. There are a few different reasons for this, but they all have one thing in common. What possible reasons are there for women being more prone to losing friends, you ask? Well, one reason is because a newly single female is often perceived as a threat. Being married, a woman is typically considered off limits, but as a single woman, whether founded in reality or not, you may have female friends who may now be worried that you’ll try to take their partner. Another reason that you may find yourself with fewer friends is because people can view divorce as something that’s almost contagious. Perhaps having a friend who’s currently going through or who has just recently gotten divorced causes them to reevaluate their own marriage. If that marriage wasn’t solid to begin with or is going through a rough patch, it may be easier for them to cut you out of their life than to deal with confronting their own marital issues. Finally, a reason for women losing friends is because, as discussed earlier, there is a grieving process when going through a divorce, and many people are simply uncomfortable dealing with grief, whether it be their own, or watching a friend go through it. Therefore, to them, it can be easier to just avoid it. Is this a healthy response? Absolutely not. However, it definitely happens.
Have you noticed the one thing the three reasons listed above as to why a friend starts ghosting you after a divorce have in common? It’s being afraid. It’s being afraid that a newly single woman is now a threat to them and their relationship. It’s being afraid to analyze their own relationship and marriage for fear that it may also lead to divorce. It’s being afraid to confront their own feelings of sadness and grief or be afraid to support you while you do.
Understanding the reasons behind women losing more friendships after a divorce may not make it easier to handle at the time, but it should help reassure you that it isn’t your fault if it does happen. A friend’s inability to cope with their own feelings of fear has nothing to do with you and your friendship. It’s something they’ll have to deal with on their own. However unpleasant it is to go through losing a friend at the time, the truth of the matter is that the friendships you may lose as a result of another person being afraid isn’t really a friendship worth keeping. True friends will be there for you no matter what, not just when it’s convenient for them.
At the end of the day, understand that while divorce isn’t easy, and that it’s possible you will lose some friends as a result of your marriage ending, your happiness in the end is worth it. If there are friends who don’t remain in your life, feeling sadness for such a loss is completely normal and to be expected. Just as you grieved for the loss of your marriage, you will need to go through the grieving process for any friendships that have ended as well. Allow yourself to process these emotions and grieve. It’s important to be kind to yourself. Keep in mind that there’s no right or wrong way to feel about losing a friend. Most importantly, remember that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, and choosing to end an unhappy marriage is the first step towards that light.