The one constant a divorced person needs is support. Genuine support.
When we go through the process of divorce, it is like a friend filter. You will find out who your real friends are. That couple that you and your spouse used to hang with…they will take sides. If you go to church, church people will take sides. Family members will usually support you, but sometimes extended family members take sides. You may find yourself disappointed that the person you thought was your friend simply isn’t there for you any longer.
Let me tell you a secret. It’s Ok. Truth is you don’t need them.
Chances are those friends were friends by circumstance. Casual friends. Friends because of their relationship with your spouse, or you happen to be in the same proximity with them often: church, PTA, work, or live next door.
Casual friends are not what you need when you go through divorce. So what about casual friends who have chosen to turn their backs while you go through the most difficult time in your life? Wish them well, and move on.
You need close friends. You need people who are solidly in your corner. I call them “fire fighter friends”…they rush in when everyone else is rushing out.
Get about the important task of surrounding yourself with true, close friends.
The type of friends you do need:
A friend who will support me mentally. You know what I’m talking about. A friend you can spill your guts too, and you know they will keep it in confidence. There will be days and nights when your thoughts are getting the best of you… What is my next step? How am I going to handle being a single parent? What about my finances? Am I going to be Ok? Am I ever going to be in a relationship again? Your head is spinning and you just need to talk to a trusted person. This is a person who has the art of listening. They let you ramble on with not much coherency, but they instill in you the confidence that everything is going to work out.
A friend who will support me emotionally. In the Bible, the book of Proverbs says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17 NIV). A true friend sees you through when everybody says you’re through. They can be counted on in crisis.
As you go through divorce, you go through a plethora of emotions. Sadness, hope, grief, relief, despair, joy and hopelessness. One minute you’re up, feeling pretty good, then that song plays on the radio and you are a heap of tears and Kleenex. A true friend is there to support you during your emotional meltdowns. They laugh with you, they cry with you.
A friend who will support me spiritually. We are holistic beings: body, mind and soul. A true friend goes beyond just being there physically, offering a shoulder to cry on. They give you the inspiration and encouragement you need. They pray for us. They love you when you aren’t very lovable. And they model grace. The Bible calls this fellowship. Truly, it is a level of friendship that rises to the spiritual. It is the type of encouragement that nourishes your soul.
Casual friends may stick around when you are going through divorce, then again they may not, please don’t waste a moment’s time lamenting them.
They are more of a hindrance than a help. Go about the important business of surrounding yourself with the true friends who will allow you to be you, and help you get on with the process of healing. They are truly God’s blessing.
And before long, you will find yourself healthy enough to return the favor.