My husband wants a divorce and I feel like a failure. How do I tell my friends I am getting a divorce? Asked by Sherry – 50 something
At a time like this, hearing from people who have been there really helps. Our panelists bring a lot of life experience in their answers to this week’s question. Read on…
As someone who went through a divorce 7 years ago, I empathize deeply with your feelings. The best advice I received went like this… “Amy, did you know that the opposite of love isn’t hate, its judgment? Surround yourself with a strong, caring, and nonjudgmental support system – this includes friends, family, and counselors – and they will see you through this very difficult time”. And they did. When you share the news, be straightforward about your situation, and as honest as you can be about what you need from others during this transition. I’m wishing you the best. Amy B. – 40 something
I’m sorry to hear about your impending divorce. I know that when my sister got divorce she too felt like a failure. I believe this is a common feeling. As for your friends, they may already know that you have had difficulties in your marriage and should be supportive of your life change. If they are surprised because they (or you) didn’t know your marriage was in trouble, start the conversation by telling them how you feel. Use “I” statements such as “I am so sad and feeling like a failure because my marriage is breaking up.” Any friend will come through for you and tell you they love you and support you. If they don’t, they aren’t a true friend. Open up to those you love. You may find that you end up closer to people than ever before. Ann – 50 something
The straightforward approach is the best with friends. “This is a bit awkward, but I want to tell you that Dave and I are getting divorced”. Trust me, it won’t be the first time your friends heard those words!
I recommend that you consider finding a counselor or a support group to manage your feelings regarding your divorce. While it is normal to feel like you’ve failed, giving yourself an opportunity to understand what went wrong and to get some emotional support will make the process less difficult for you and your children. Louise – 60 something
It is not your “failure” alone and I would bet most of your friends will tell you the same thing. This is going to be hard, don’t kid yourself it is going through a grieving process and there are steps which we all go thru when someone dies. In this case you will be grieving the death of your marriage and you will need your friends to help you. Tell them however feels correct to you: meet them one on one or if there is a group dynamic meet them as a group and go thru this only once. Allow yourself to cry, vent, and be angry, your friends will understand. Good luck to you and know that the pain will end and new possibilities will be revealed. Helene – 60 something
Well, Sherry, having been there and done that in my late 40s I can empathize. The best way to let people know is to hold your head high and say something positive like “John is leaving and I’m starting a new life!” You may find your friends are savvier about your situation than you realize. Stop beating yourself up and think of how you can meet the challenges divorce will present as well as how to take advantage of the opportunities it offers. Yes, it does offer them, although it takes time for the emotion to die down so you can see them. Enlist a support system so you can become knowledgeable of the pitfalls to avoid and the smart steps to take. Above all, believe in yourself and your true friends will follow suit. Marge – 70 something
When a chapter in a woman’s life is ending, it is hard to remember that her book of life is not complete yet, there is still more to write. However, in order to have the energy and hope to write a new chapter we must turn the page on the previous chapter. The only way to do that is to read it, learn from it and let it go, only then will new stories emerge.