Going through a divorce can feel like one of the loneliest, most heartbreaking times in your life. Usually when you hit tough moments, you lean on your friends and family to get you through. For some reason, divorce isn’t always one of those times when all of your friends will rally around you. It can feel like a form of betrayal, especially if you have been there for them during their darkest moments. You might be left wondering whether they were ever your friends or if they feel like you’ve done something wrong.
There can be several reasons why some friends have essentially abandoned you while you go through your divorce proceedings and sort out your personal life. It may not hurt any less but know that the reasons often have nothing to do with you and much more to do with them.
Is divorce contagious?
When everyone’s marriage appears happy and healthy, it tends to force other married couples around you to follow suit almost as a form of acceptance. Many couples will avoid looking at the cracks in their marriage as reasons to send them spiraling because they don’t want to be seen as failures to their seemingly successful friends. However, some marriages just can’t take one more chink in the armor and the relationship breaks.
Once that happens, it’s almost like it gives your friends permission to examine their own relationships, and what they find may start a domino effect. Suddenly several couples are headed to separate homes and divorce attorneys. It can cause fear that “I’ll be next” so friends begin to pull away in order to avoid being caught up in the wave of marital discord that leads to alimony, child support and divvying up your belongings.
In fact, a study conducted by Brown University, Harvard University and the University of California at San Diego determined that once a friend has divorced, you have a 75 percent chance of divorcing yourself. Even if you just hear that a friend of a friend is divorcing, it increases your odds by 33 percent.
Other reasons friends disappear during divorce
Typically, real friends don’t just get up and leave during a crisis to be cruel, but not everyone handles tense situations the same way. So why would your friends or family leave you to suffer alone?
- They chose a “team”. A friend may feel like he/she has to take sides and they were friends with your spouse first. Trying to maintain
- They put their children’s needs first. If your children go to school together, play together, or even just attend church together it automatically means the parent who has the children more often will be socializing with the parents of your kids’ friends. It’s just easier to stand by that friend rather than dealing with an uncomfortable situation by remaining friends with both of you.
- They assumed a financial hardship. If you are used to going golfing every weekend with the guys at the country club or have a standing date with the girls for lunch and spa days, if money becomes tight for a while, you may just naturally be excluded due to circumstances.
- The family circled the wagons. You had an extended family through your spouse, and vice versa during your marriage. Sometimes divorced couples can cultivate an amicable friendship when the dust settles and you will still be invited for holidays when you share children, however that’s not the norm. You may feel like you’ve lost family – some of whom were close friendships – because they belong to your ex-spouse. It’s more about loyalty than anything else.
The saying that all is fair in love and war doesn’t necessarily hold true. In contentious divorces, or even if it’s just a chilly end to your marriage, not all of your friends will know what to do and may simply retreat out of a protective nature over their own relationship.
The caring Charlotte divorce attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC won’t leave you to handle everything on your own. We know that you need a support system most when your life is changing and will help you resolve your case in a fair manner with the dignity you deserve. To schedule your private consultation with one of our caring family law attorneys in our Charlotte, Boone, Concord, or Weddington offices, call 704-321-0031, or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact page.