One of the toughest, and most disappointing, fallouts from our separation was what happened with OUR friends. After 16 years of marriage, nearly every one of them turned their backs on me. I hadn’t cheated, I wasn’t an out of control drunk, I was not an abuser, and yet I was suddenly the bad guy. “What had I done,” I thought to myself, “that all of our friends would take HER side automatically? Why does she come out of this so clean?” Even our children’s friends weren’t allowed to visit them when they were staying with me. I felt vilified to to point of shame. There were one or two true friends that stuck with me through thick and thin,but mostly, at the time, I felt like my only friend was my little Westie dog, Guinness, who came with me. At least HE wasn’t passing judgement on me.
This is a common emotion, one I only came to understand years later, after my divorce. While some of the pain still lingers, I’m remarried now to an absolutely amazing women, and we’ve built many great new friendships together. And now that I’m remarried and no longer an “outsider”, some of the parents of our children’s friends are finally allowing them to visit again. We, of course, welcomed them with open arms, arms that I always considered open, even when I was banished to the outside by them. Life is sticky and a separation/divorce can make it even more so. Most commonly, there are no winners in divorce, only loss. Notice I didn’t say losers, though. You may feel that way, but your true friends will be there for you, to lend you the support and encouragement you need. And if all else fails, get yourself a dog. -Aaron