dearmargaretDear Margaret: I have been divorced for over a year, and my social life has taken a dive. My ex-husband is a very prominent and respected businessman in our hometown. I expected that I wouldn’t be invited to couples social events, but what I didn’t expect was that our friends took sides. Worse than that, I feel shunned. From what I gather, my ex’s life has gone on without a hitch and enjoys socializing with all of our friends – now his friends, my former friends. My mind goes to the place where I imagine he says all kinds of horrible things about me. The truth is, one day he told me he’d been cheating on me for several years, and he was finally leaving me. I am slowly getting back out in the world and engaging in new activities, but I’m so hurt by my friends’ dismissal of me. I want to reach out and tell them the truth of what happened, but I’m not sure that’s the right thing to do.
Lost Friends After Divorce
Dear Lost Friends After Divorce: The simple answer is no. Do not reach out to your former friends to tell them the details of your divorce. What is complicated are the reasons these people are giving you the cold shoulder. If you have not reached out to them and expect them to include you in their circle, a first step would be to call them for lunch or coffee. If this repeatedly fails, you are on the right track in expanding your horizons, which takes time. It may be that your former circle of friends were getting something for themselves in terms of self-esteem by mingling with a prominent figure in the community. In this case, he didn’t really gain friends at all. I’m sure the divorce was painful enough without engaging in all the angst that goes along with he-said, she-said after all of this time. You can’t really know, and may never know, what stories he has been telling about you, if he has told any at all. The suffering in most situations comes from the stories we tell ourselves (and then believe and act on them).

Click Here to write to Dear Margaret.  Margaret Snow is a Life Coach in Ithaca, NY.