After you’ve weathered the many phases of going through a divorce; the emotional roller coaster, the lawyers, the paperwork, explaining everything to the kids (or perhaps they knew it was coming), prepping the family members, there is another group of folks that are standing back watching it unfold too. These are friends, neighbors, and acquaintances. You know the old saying, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Well it’s the truth, people feel what they feel. They may only know 1/2 of the divorce story, but they have already formed their own opinions. These are the people who have known you and your ex as a couple. No matter what you say, or don’t say, they will either stay in your life, ignore you, or keep you at arm’s length. It’s OK.
Some people will understand where you’re coming from, then there are those who will judge you, and give you “that look of shame.” The very idea of divorce sometimes forces others to inspect and re-evaluate their own marriages or relationships, and this can be uncomfortable for them. regain.us/advice
They don’t know what to say to you, sometimes they feel betrayed. It’s an awkward situation no matter how you slice it. Some people will embrace you and your decision with open arms and make you feel like nothing has ever changed. Of course I love these folks! Others will find it hard to muster up a wave as they drive by. It’s an all too familiar feeling, like the one I experienced when I was trying to start a family and experienced three miscarriages. Some people just didn’t know what to say, and others said things that you wish you had never heard, and made you want to crawl in a hole. Live and learn.
It is what it is, get on with your life. You are no longer 1/2 of a couple, you are a separate entity, and you will be viewed differently. Don’t change a thing about yourself, you are who you are, celebrate that. You did what you needed to do for yourself and for your children. I’m on the road to recovery, it’s a process, go with it. I still have a fresh stack of divorce papers sitting on my desk. But I stand by my decision 100% and I feel that I did the ‘right thing.’
Here’s a book that comforted me quite a few times as I proceeded through the divorce process. According to Abby Rodman, LICSW author of the book, Without This Ring, “the divorce rate among people 50 and older has doubled since 1990. And according to a 2004 AARP survey, 66 percent of gray divorces are initiated by women.” Did I take a leap of faith and wonder if I was making the right decision? Hell yes, I did. Do I feel like the bad girl sometimes, yep! Life doesn’t give us guarantees, we have to gather our thoughts, emotions, data, and jump, all without the comfort of a parachute.
If the people I knew when I was a “couple” want to wish me well, that’s great, if they don’t, then I will remember our good times together. I’m still the same person I was before the uncoupling. I’m adjusting, along with my kids to this new life, and I feel so much more at peace as an individual. Life is short, grab the rope and hold on tight, you never know what’s around the corner!