Boomerangst: Turning Dilemmas into Discoveries – Divorce Later In Life
After divorcing, even close friendships can become awkward. Here, what you can do if divorce changes your “social choreography.”
Q. When my husband and I recently decided to divorce after 25 years of marriage, one of the most difficult things was telling our closest friends. We were both worried sick about being rejected for divorcing. We tried to tell them at a dinner party, but that was a disaster. They were all in shock and obviously not interested in talking about it at all. As feared, many of these friends have pulled back, and I’m not sure about my ex-husband, but I rarely hear from them anymore. I don’t know what to do, if anything.
A. Divorce is brutal. It’s like a death, bringing grief and mourning to you, the children if there are any, to your extended family and friends. Just as people can struggle to find the right words when someone dies, so do they struggle with divorce.
“What many people would like to say is ‘you guys should get back together,’ but that’s not going to happen so there isn’t anything to say,” observes Ont.-based clinical psychologist and author Dr. Guy Grenier. The other thing about divorce, he says, is that it changes your “social choreography.”
For example, singles tend to hang out with singles. Married people tend to hang out with other married people. It’s just easier. “So all the things you used to do together as a couple and the way you did them don’t work so well anymore.”