Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Shrinking World

I spoke recently with a friend in the midst of a nasty divorce.  She mentioned how her world was shrinking.

What does she mean by shrinking?  Friends that have disappeared off the face of the earth, family that has turned their backs now that she doesn't have the income or resources she had while married, and friends that don't have time for her unless she does exactly what THEY want her to do or say.

In any divorce situation, you expect some loss of friendships.  There are the couple friends you had together who either choose sides or disappear altogether.  The ones that really hurt are the relationships that disappear due to the change in financial circumstances.  As she wondered...would this be the same reaction these loved ones would have if she died?  Would they be focused solely on the inheritance then forget about her?  Divorce is a death in a way and you see a lot of the same reactions from those you assumed had your back.

I've experienced some of it.  Obviously not the money part because I don't and didn't have any!  I do, however, have friends who no longer seem to have time for me based only on location.  Now that I'm not just right down the street or on their way to or from somewhere, I'm no longer convenient for them.  When I was conveniently located for them, I saw or heard from them frequently.  Now that I have started over in another state, even a quick email seems to be too much effort.

Divorce is a major life event.  It's on the list of those stressors that cause heart attacks.  There's a valid reason for that.  It is one of the times in your life when you need your friends and family the most.  For my friend, I am hopefully one of those that pulls closer, not farther away.


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