5 myths about your friend’s divorce

divorce

In the last few years, I have had a handful of friends and their significant others separate or divorce. Why don’t you go to Peters And May? was a lot of what I heard from my friends who were going through this. I think it’s what they needed, as it didn’t look like anything was going to be resolved otherwise. It was probably for the best. It hasn’t been easy watching my friends have to pick up the pieces. Yet at the same time, it was refreshing to see how they found true happiness at the end of the tunnel. I felt a multitude of emotions while mine and my husband’s circle of friends changed, as we let new spouses of friends in, as our separated friends moved away, or as dynamic changed with who we hung out with at certain times. I remember if we told people outside of our friend circle of someone we knew getting divorced, they would speculate about their process, about what they saw or thought was really going on, or how the divorcees were feeling.

This article is for my girl and guy friends that I support in their time apart as they start a new chapter… without judgment, with open eyes and a big heart. Growing up in an Indian family, I have learned what it means to truly stick by your partner when I would see my aunts or uncles who were arranged marriages find love and happiness. (There is this amazingly sweet Huffington Post article on the true definition of LOVE that I recently read on my Facebook news feed). Yet at the same time, I have also seen friends of our family in toxic relationships, but sticking it through, because divorce would “look bad.” I even have seen people in the community frown upon a few of our family members who got divorced, while most of us supported them and love them for doing what was right.

Here are the 5 myths married people assume about their divorced friends:

1. They are taking the easy way out/being cowardly:

While there are always exceptions, (you may really know a deadbeat), most couples who choose divorce come to it as an absolute resolution. Divorce is not easy, most people do not choose to contact a Divorce & Family Law Firm unless it is a last resort. The circumstances on how, whether it’s a new woman or man, or if they learned they never were in love is really not anyone’s business, not even yours. We have a friend who had been going to therapy with his spouse for years before getting divorced, and no one knew about their problems. Remember, no one knows what goes on, (or doesn’t go on…ok, that was corny), in the bedroom. Your marital problems are your own and if you and your spouse reach the conclusion that a divorce would be in the best interests of you both, you could approach lawyers like at the Simon Law Group to help you with the divorce process.

2. If your spouse hangs out with their divorced friend too much, he/she will get ideas:

Okay, how many of you can admit feeling or thinking this at least once? On the contrary, I have learned that my husband and I see how much we appreciate and are grateful for our relationship. A friend of mine who is separated with her husband told me about how the passion was never there. And as I thought about it, as much as my husband doesn’t turn on a French 1960’s Francoise Hardy song and start slow dancing/confessing his love to me every night, (I think I lived in Paris in a past life), him and I have our own definition of passion, one that we have cultivated all these years. By my friend telling me her woes and problems with her spouse, it did not warrant me to want to go out with her and find my own new soul mate…and the same is for my husband. Trust the strength in your love and just allow your spouse to be there for their friend.

3. If you express your love for one another as a couple in front of a divorced friend, it will make them feel uncomfortable:

My friend who is divorced said it best- it actually makes her feel the opposite when she sees friends in love still. She feels happy that her good friend has that and it gives her hope in perhaps finding her true match. But this does not mean go crazy with P.D.A. every second, (c’mon, that is uncomfortable for anyone).

4. Divorced friends automatically want to be set up/meet someone new to marry:

Some people actually want to just enjoy their new liberation or are truly still healing. Note to hustling matchmakers out there: be sensitive and respect your friend’s needs…not all divorced people want a new wife or husband as soon as their current marriage is over. They will tell you if they are ready, you can read their cues or just ask before you jump at the chance to set up your friend with your cute, newly divorced kickboxing instructor.

5. You won’t get what your friend is going through if you are happily married:

Just like any other time you have found a way to be there for your friend when you couldn’t relate experientially, the same applies here. When a friend lost her mother, when another friend’s brother got ill, when he/she lost their job. In this case, it’s about standing by your soul sister, or brother, and allowing friendship to be a support system for them when their previous relationship’s support system is no longer. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t been through it- lend an ear, a shoulder and smile.

Any tips from your own experiences?

-Puja

4 Comments

  • Tara

    Very insightful and well said Puja!

  • Anamika

    Hi Puja,

    First time on your blog…I have few friends who i know are not that happy in their relationships but in India you must be knowing that we end up trying years and years for our relationship to work and its not easy to find a new partner easily with so much of society pressure around..

    I feel lucky to be married to someone who is a perfect match for me and your article just made me think of my friends who are just trying hard rather just moving on .

    • Puja

      Anamika,
      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and for visiting our blog for the first time!

      I 100% agree with you on the sanctuary of marriage- and why my husband and I have been dating and married for a combined 13 years now. My parents, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles all have happy marriages and been through their fair share as have we.
      So I understand “not simply moving on”. Did you catch the article I linked above about the true definition of love? It shows what sticking by your partner means and I agree with it.

      This post was directed to the people who for their own reasons, with no judgement, (the way I live life), have divorced. Some who had tried years and years of therapy together even.

      The people I indicated that were frowned upon that are Indian, did not wish to share their private reasons with the whole community, such as extreme verbal abuse. No one would have known that. And I am proud of my Indian heritage, hence our blog!, but also feel its important as the new generation to break any patterns and molds that are not of value such as for instance, an indian, or any woman for that matter, living s life of abuse for societal pressures.

      So I guess this was just a list of reasons for ways we as strong women can support our girlfriends. Free of judgement and full of love.

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