Home » Relationships » Divorce

When My Friends Get Divorced: How Could They Do This to Me?

Jun 16, 2008
As a divorce coach, I'm accustomed to the emotional upheaval a person going through divorce feels. But recently I've tuned in to the "collateral damage" caused by a divorce--the impact of divorce on friends. Insecurity, grief, resentment, and anger are common reactions as friends are forced to regroup and rebuild relationships with the now uncoupled individuals.

If a couple experiences divorce as an earthquake, the effect on their friends is the aftershock. Here's how one woman described the anguish of her friends' divorce: "I try to support my friend, but sometimes I feel like I need help, too. How could she do this to me?!"

Questioning Their Marriage
Divorce of a close friend breeds insecurity. It's often expressed this way: "It seems as if good, solid marriages are all coming apart." I think, "If Mary and Jim are divorcing (and they had a great marriage!), what about my marriage, with its bumps and wrinkles?" I feel fragile. I wonder "Is my marriage in jeopardy?"

Mourning the Death of a Marriage
It's common for friends of a divorcing couple to experience grief as they mourn the death of this friendship. This is especially true if the marriage and friendship are long-term and their friends relate to them as a couple: bobandmary, johnandvivian. Friends of the divorced couple often resist and resent the change: They think, "What about all the good times we had together? If they would just have counseling, maybe they could stay together and our friendship could continue as it is."

Renegotiating Friendships
Establishing new relationships with the couple as individuals--john AND mary--is tricky. Sometimes, the divorcing couple divide up their friendships--or the friends choose sides--either way, one of the friends slips from their life. Even trickier is trying to remain friends with both people. Friends wonder, "Invite John or Vivian to the birthday party? Should I Invite them both and just let them sort it out?"

Adjusting to "Step friends"
And then there is the problem of "step friends," the ex-husband's or the ex-wife's new significant other. Sometimes, there's outright dislike (He left Mary for her?). It's awkward because there's no shared history: He doesn't remember the great New Year's party; he didn't participate in the annual camping trip, and he doesn't know mutual friends. She's not in any of the old photos.

Maybe the step friend is measured against the former spouse and comes up short: This one has no sense of humor, drinks too much, laughs too much! Or the step friend is simply resented for taking your place - of their old friend.
About the Author
Judy Smith, M.S. RCC is the Director of the Center for Planned Change. She has developed a distinctive, action-oriented program to help divorced women over 50 create the life they want and deserve. Contact Judy at http://www.judysmithdivorcecoach.com
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 161
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources