Those of us who have gone through a divorce understand all too well the pain and grief we experience. We have lost our spouse, who we thought was our life partner, a loss similar to the death of a loved one. What is worse though, is losing all the many aspects of a life lived together as a couple and family. The fact is that many of our married friends cannot really understand that loss, which only serves to make us feel more isolated. It is the loss of a total way of life…
Of extended family members, of holidays spent together and a social life with other married couples to name just a few of the losses associated with divorce. Recently, a divorced friend remarked that her married friends didn’t know what to do with her. Where we used to spend our Saturday nights with other married couples or Sundays on family outings with a treasure trove of kids, now there is little physical contact or more often, none at all. Where did those family dinners together with friends go?
We’re still here. Why don’t we see our married friends socially outside of a party? I know that we are all busy with our own little worlds but I sense that these former close friends simply don’t ‘get’ the loneliness and sense of loss we are experiencing. We divorced people understand that things are no longer the same; we know that better than anyone. We watch as our Kids walk out the door to Spend Sunday Night with our Ex
For those of us living far away from our extended families, it is even more difficult. My ex’s family lives within minutes of him so he still has the comfort of having his family close by for support. Not so for those of us whose families are a plane ride away. The simple joy of a Sunday night family dinner with our brothers, sisters and parents eludes us. We watch as our kids walk out the door to spend Sunday night with our ex and their grandparents and a vacuum opens up within us. Holidays once Joyous Now Evoke Sadness
The holidays are another example of what was once a source of joyous anticipation that is now an event that evokes sadness. Flying home to spend Thanksgiving without our children is lonely. I know other divorced people who say that part never gets easier. Sitting at that big table with our extended family but not our own beautiful children always causes my eyes to well with tears. I wonder if I will ever get used to it. Things once taken for granted are Constantly Popping up
I am relatively new to this major life transition. Things that I took for granted are constantly popping up as yet another challenge and reminder of my new status. For example, just recently I was invited to my former brother-in-law’s children’s Bar Mitzvah but I was not invited to the family dinner the night before or the Sunday brunch afterwards. I was reminded that I was no longer a member of the family. Getting the Official Divorce is just One Step in the Process
For me, divorce is not so much about losing my spouse as it is about losing the life I led for nearly twenty years. I can accept the fact that my marriage is over. I understand what went wrong or to be more precise, what didn’t work. I am re-building a life for myself, both as a single parent and a single, working woman. Nonetheless, the road to recovery is far from over. Then the real work begins:
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