No one wants to decide who they will be friends with, in the case of divorce.
Rarely can anyone remain close to both parties after a painful split.
Having divorced and remarried, I have discovered the surprising shallow depth of what I once thought were real friendships. Always curious about human nature, I can’t help but wonder why my friends don’t connect with me now.
Is it because they wanted to be friends with me when I was part of my original intact-family? Do they feel betrayed, on some level, that I never was forthright about the emotional trepidation I lived in, in my former marriage? Is it all too much, do they want to keep things close to the surface? Perhaps when I was sick emotionally, I met a need for them, but now that I am healing my place in their life isn’t as satisfying? Is it that they are miserable themselves and seeing me thrive after courageously leaving a 22-year marriage is just too much for them to handle?
I would never guess who would be okay letting me go off into my new life without ever checking in on me or coming to see where I live. When I was sick, many friends came and cared for my family and me selflessly, but as I divorced and moved away many of the same people began to fall off like dead branches. People don’t like change; I suppose it is easier to let people disappear rather than invest in their new ventures.
I wonder about you?
Do you feel betrayed by friends and family as life has taken you down new roads? Has someone been made aware of a painful need in your life and not shown up the way you anticipated? Do you feel a friendship you thought was a treasure was not as permanent as you wished?
I hope you can do what I am doing and work to believe that all things have a season. Be thankful for what was and embrace what is.
to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven;
Even parent-child relationships can have seasons. People need room to grow and change. If the growth distances us from others, we need to be okay and not think about how things “should” be. Growth and change are a valuable part of life; we need to embrace it, not fight it and try to cling to what was. If we can’t adjust to changes and growth, we will forever be chasing something we will never catch, we will be perpetually unfulfilled.
Friendships might feel like shoving a square peg into a round hole, and other times they feel like healing salve to a wound. Don’t try to hang on to something that is passing by. If it was that right and deep, it would come back one day as if nothing happened.
Time doesn’t weaken friendships.
If you’ve ever connected with a loved one after years, you know that to be true. Let the passing of time and the changing of seasons take its natural course and look for the wonder and newness as you pass through. Don’t miss what God is presenting to you today because you are clinging to yesterday and trying to restore that which has run its course or needs to be set aside for a season.
Breathe fresh new air into the space you are in today. Sigh that which has passed.
You don’t need to let go of the memories and good feelings, but don’t hold others accountable for what you want them to be. Let other people be and do the same for yourself.
Coaches have the ability to view things from afar — in what some call ‘helicopter vision’ — and to shed new light on difficult situations. Often they can act as a sounding board through tough decisions, help sharpen skills, and motivate.
– CFO Magazine
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Coming off the Christmas season, I thought of this: I think we all think about the happy memories and traditions with family and friends. Like: “Remember when we all used to go to (wherever) with Uncle this and Aunt that with all the kids then we went to midnight mass then came back and opened a present then dad made his egg-nog with bourbon, then we read night before Christmas….. But the fact is kids grow up, families expand, minivans get full, loved ones pass away, family members divorce/remarry, dad goes to rehab and gets sober, family tiffs develop and so on. We can get depressed thinking and wanting things like they way they used to be or we can embrace new traditions. In fact, you may find if you try to re-do the old tradition, it will not likely be the same at all.
Whether the tradition is changed due to time, divorce, tiffs, distance, allow yourself to let the old one go and embrace the new one. Leave the guilt behind and embrace the moment. Charlotte and I are doing this and we see some cool new traditions emerging with our new huge family. It will change even more once the first of the 30 grandkids we may someday have start arriving. Let the old memories rest in the sweet embrace of the past, and enjoy the moment. I’m speaking from a position of weakness here, not strength. The new stuff is pretty nice!