When working with clients contemplating a divorce, I shed some light on the reality of relationships after a divorce.
Some of this information is from my experience. Some information is from other clients who have experienced divorce and are dealing with the aftermath.
This information is not to scare them but to let them know possible brown spots which may occur from the grass is always greener on the other side syndrome.
Many people contemplating divorce need a reality check to ensure that’s what they really want to do. They may not realize the impact on existing relationships.
Divorce is difficult if you’re the one going through it. But it’s also difficult for family and friends.
You may have some family and friends who have never experienced a divorce. They don’t understand why someone would do it, especially if you have young children.
They think you should just tough it out and that it’s all part of life. These individuals tend to judge and may distance themselves from you — or they may tend to lecture you non-stop.
You may have some family and friends who have experienced divorce but only understand it from their circumstance.
If they had a challenging divorce, they may not understand how you could have an amicable divorce.
They may give you unwarranted advice and become offended if you don’t take it.
You may have some family and friends who adore your spouse or knew him before meeting you. These individuals may choose not to be in your life post-divorce but remain close to your spouse.
This situation is very hard for those who revolve their life around their spouse’s family and friends instead of nurturing their own relationships.
You may have some family and friends who like you both. They struggle with how to handle the divorce.
Who should they invite to their annual gatherings? If they invite both of you, will you behave civilly? Will it be awkward?
If they’re blood-related to your spouse, they may feel that they can’t remain in contact with you.
While deciding whether or not to move forward with a divorce, take a reality check on all relationships. Your family and friends may not know how to discuss their feelings with you.
You’ll need to be proactive in nurturing meaningful relationships while you come to terms with your own divorce.
It’s a difficult journey to take – that’s why a reality check on all relationships is necessary.
(Update to original post from April 24, 2017)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA®, RICP®, is a Managing Director at Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, and retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”