One thing about divorce that shocks people is the loss of friends. Sometimes friends stay away for fear that divorce will infect their own relationship. Sometimes they stay away because they don’t know what to say to you after your break up. When it comes to a full blown custody battle, friends will slowly fade away, little by little. They cannot understand how people can fight over their children or they get tired of hearing about the ongoing nastiness. I have even known people who have had their friends start hanging out with their ex spouse because he has a new girlfriend and they figure the mom has to stay home with the children. All of these things are very hurtful. You have suffered one major loss already and trying to sustain more losses on top of that is very difficult. It cuts away at your core, it damages your self esteem. At this time in life when you are feeling very vulnerable and lonely, you can start to feel like a pariah. You start to wonder if anyone ever really cared about you.
When friends behave this way, you might want to express your hurt feelings to them. Tell them that you feel they are avoiding you and ask if they can explain why. Suggest to them that doing so can help you understand what they are going through and express what you are feeling about the possibility of losing their friendship. Let them know that you realize this is a difficult time for them, too. They may not know how to continue a friendship with either you or your ex or just walk away all together. When they are part of a couple that you and your ex used to spend time with, there may be a disagreement between the couple on how to handle the break up of their friends’ relationship.
This is the time you will find out what your friends are made of and who your true friends are. If they truly are your friend, they will stick by you, no matter what. A true friend will e willing to discuss the effect that your break up is having on their life and be able to discuss with you ways to fix it.
If they are not willing to delve into any of this situation with you, unfortunately, they are not your friend and have probably never really been your friend. You would be best off to let them go and to accept that it is time to find new friends. You need support during this difficult time. A true friend will be there for you at all times. You are in a time of transition. If now is the time to change any other area of life, even if that means finding new friends.
Do not spend your time on those who try to put you behind them. They are not true friends and any pleadings with them to continue the friendship will likely not be successful. Don’t burn any bridges though. Always keep a door open to possibilities because times change, situations change and people change. If the door is open a crack, your old friend may come to you for advice when their relationship ends.