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life & freindships after divorce
A strange concequence of divorce is the change that friendhips take. The fiends I had while married are mostly gone. The few that remain changed dramaticly. I rarely hear from them, and when I do, it's usually around this time of year. Not to invite me to a party or dinner, or to even catch up and see how I'm doing, but rather to ask if I would'nt mind sitting for their pets while they're away for the holidays. Strange, I stopped being a viable friend, and have become "single pet sitting guy" in their eyes. Any other divorcies out their with similar observations?
I remember feeling like I had a third eye or something for the longest time. I'd show up at a party by myself and people would whisper about the divorce, I'd show up with a date and the speculations would get absurd. Every situation was awkward because somehow I was either flawed for no longer being married or betraying my ex for looking around.
Your typo is more true than you realize. You had fiends, not friends.

What you describe is common. IMO, it happens more often to females. It's common for the female's former "friends" to suddenly start treating her as a threat. I think they fear the newly single woman will sleep with their husbands, which is absurd. If a person is the cheating type, being single is not going to make a difference. It seems that this strange behavior happens a lot though, many females I know who found themselves single were suddenly friendless, or their so-called friends seemed to be avoiding them.

It's not usually as bad for males, but it still happens. Maybe some of the men consider the newly single guy a threat, or they feel like they have nothing in common any longer, or they never really liked him in the first place and put up with him because they liked the wife. (Usually that means the females liked each other but the guys never were all that close, so when there's a split the married people drift away from the now single guy).

You are not alone, this kind of thing happens all the time. All you can do is make new friends. If those other people had been real friends, and the relationship had been solid, they would not have drifted away. You can choose to confront them and say something or just begin ignoring their phone calls until they stop calling.
Being divorced makes you "damaged goods", and the (perhaps subconscious) assumption made by others is that there must be something deficient in your character, else you'd still be married. (Especially if the others were primarily friends of the ex-spouse.)

I agree with Rayven about the pseudo-friends.

If I sound somewhat bitter, it's only because I am.
Edited by catman on 01/02/2009 14:56
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
Sounds like I'm not alone in this boat! I've been around a lot of divorces in the past, but always on the outside. I can honestly say I've never treated any of my divorced friends like the ways you've all discribed. My opinion of humanity takes another blow. Sigh...
Bob of QF
I'll chime in, second what Rayven and catman already said, and add:

I retained the friends I had before the marriage. I "lost" those "friends" I had made, because of knowing my ex-toad--err--wife. No loss, really.

The only regret is a mutual friend that my ex eventually glommed onto--err--married, and I haven't talked to him in, what? 15 years? More? Pity, as I had considered him a good friend.

But that well was poisoned by the compulsive lies of my ex.... so I suppose he wasn't as good a friend as I thought.

Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
'well I'm not divorced but I sure know what you all mean here and I most certainly agree. I noticed the same thing when I broke up with my b/f I lived with. Long story short...My friends who wanted us to break up, with good reasons, stopped being my friends once we did break up. I hate it when friends call on me to pet sit while they go on vacation. Now I make it clear bring your pet to a kennel or ask your vet it they have boarding for a few days to a week. Shit stick a crowbar in your wallet and pry out a few $$ to pay for your pet. I learned that one the hard way when a former friends pet got sick while in my care. She was pissed I paid for the vet and wanted her to reimburse me. I still say I did the right thing not taking any chances but she thought it was too expensive and would have chosen a cheaper vet. Well WTF then why not come home to decide that, shit. I also make it clear I no longer baby sit. I still get treated like I have something wrong with me for being single not only with family but at work too. I swear the only reason some people marry is to fit in with a certain society and/or because they just do what they were raised to do and fear living alone. That's no reason to be married at least not for me it isn't.

One thing I noticed about people who were friends with the people who got divorced...they all complain about how their now divorced friend complains about the ex. I noticed it too when I dated divorced men. I see it now with the new guy upstairs from me. He's divorced 14 years now and still goes on about how she cheated on him, he lost the house, his business and everything. Apparently it's not only that the woman is now a threat, which I agree that's a huge reason most women friends will stop being friends, it's not only the who was friends with whom first, who liked who more. It's also that people tend to not want to hear about their friends pain after a while even though they should be willing to listen and be a helpful friend when they need them most. I lost a lot of so called friends and I didn't even go through a legal divorce.
Edited by Sinny on 01/02/2009 17:46
Sinny has it right on with me. Rayven has it down good. Although, I am not sure that it happens to one gender more than the other.
I read an article about this a LONG time ago. At least several months. It described everything that you all are talking about down to the crossed "t"s an dotted "i"s. The divorced that were called on by friends from the marriage ONLY called when they needed help with something.

I am a very untrusting person. NOT untrustworthy, just untrusting. I had to stress cause some people DO get that mixed up. For me I see some people as if they are trying to butter me up or be my friend, OR if a girl trying to get me to ask her on a date; the first thing through my mind is, "what do they want." ALL my friends I have had have always been from an ex. They come and go as the exs do. So, it has always been, "I lose the GF I lose the friends." Which has never really bothered me because I never put much effort into liking them and they never pulled the crap that others have talked about. I have never been married(nor will I ever be) so I guess can't say that I would have tried to make the friendship work. I never tried to make friends in HS or even now. HS was just classmates that I saw on a daily basis. I never even had any of their phone numbers. It is the same way with work now. I would not consider them friends because they were co workers first. I have been out drinking with the work group only twice in the 1˝yrs I have worked here. I tried to make friends with some and that didn't work OR I ended up not liking them after a while and slowly stopped talking to them. As for people online, acquaintances? I am not saying I hate you all here but, there really is no love behind it. I don't know how one can make friends online or love for that matter.(that's another story) I have never met any of you in person so I can't make a claim that I know you well enough. I know that here we all have atheism in common and that is it.

Getting back on track with all that said, I can only see that the reason they don't want to be friends anymore is because if you go out as one couple and another couple there is always something to do, the women and men can have their own conversations. IF you are a single guy or gal then you can't go out with them anymore because you are a third wheel...or is it 5th wheel? This is one reason I don't value or try to even make friends. So many people are fake and it is just not worth the stress. On my note, I think it is harder seriously, how many computer nerds are out there? Very few, I have not found many at all and when I do, I usually end up not liking them after a while but, sadly that is with most everyone I meet.

It really sucks not having friends cause who or where do you go to bitch about stuff? To top it off I think it worse when people turn their back on you, especially after a break up/divorce when you are going to be your most vulnerable/depressed/etc.

I am with catman, "If I sound somewhat bitter, it's only because I am."
This thread makes me want to go back to my old Goth ways. I still feel the same all I need to do is start wearing black again.
That's right, I said it...
Do I ever know what you mean CD to some degree. Who do you go to when you're vulnerable, depressed or have a breakup, when so called friends either fade away or you find they were never really true friends in the first place. Well this is why I think therapy is so popular and always will be. You see I think even when you do have trusted friends you still don't want to tell them everything that is very personal or burden them too much either. So the next best thing is go to a shrink let them listen and better yet get better advice on how to handle or change a situation...another words get real help. They, for the most part, take the place of a friend in some ways. I had a best friend in HS only because we were both in a place we didn't want to be in and we leaned on each other during those 4 years.

As far as work well I agree with you here too. Watch out with becoming friends with co-workers. When it comes time for promotions, lay offs etc. they all of a sudden arent' really your friend. At least not behind your back they aren't. Women especially they can be real caddy in an office atmosphere. I have a lot of trouble trusting people and when I finally do at least a little I get kicked in the head for it everytime. However, I did find a very good friend here on the site and she is the nicest person I could have ever met. Believe it or not I actually, really and truly do care what happens to her even though we have never met in person. That may seem funny and unexpected to me but it's the absolute truth. Sometimes it's easier to become friends online for some people..not saying this is us... because they are less likely to go back to family or other friends and rat you out. In most friend relaitonships there's usually one who is more dominant than the other. Sort of like opposites attract but not too opposite. That's fine as long as the dominant one doesn't always get their way LOL. I hate it when people are dominant and refuse to tolerate them. I'm too independent for that shit. True friendship is hard to come by these days and we all find out who our true friends are when we get divorced, break up, are sad or have any kind of real traumatic event happen in our lives. I think we have more than atheism in common here CD we have everyday human interests as well. We have a lot in common as far certain things. I don't know how to say this but well....we wouldn't be here if we didn't have some common interests and concerns. Like how I got so much support and caring about my little Norton when he was so very sick. I was so hurt, worried and scared for him. It's nice to know people here cared enough to not only give me good advice but also send me catma Grin now people falling in love and marrying that's completely different. I don't get that either but some do. Maybe it's because they do more than converse online. They also call each other, visit each other and so on. I don't trust that much but some women do. I would never ever send money to a man online I never met or think he actually loves me LOL. I don't get that at all.

Now getting back on track here too. I will never let anyone ever try to get me to be their pet sitter and I would never allow anyone to pet sit my little furry babies either. I hear horror stories about friends who don't feed the poor helpless pet and they starve or get killed another way. I much prefer to either stay home with them or pay a veterinarian to board them. They will take the responsibility of caring for them much more than anyone else would and shit can't just suddenly come up where they would abandoned/forgotten.
Edited by Sinny on 01/02/2009 22:47
Sinny: It's a real bummer paying large amounts of money to get someone to pretend to be one's friend, whether a therapist or someone else. Therapists should only be used for their professional specialty, helping those with mental problems. (Who, me?)Wink

I feel that I have made several good friends here on AT (and preceding atheist sites), and I've met none in person. That doesn't really matter, although I'd certainly like to someday.

Speaking of which, I'd allow a real friend, someone I have known for years and trust, to look after my pets. I've done so several times with no ill effects. I wouldn't want to board them at the veterinarian's; not only would that be expensive, but my cats would be traumatized badly by not being in familiar surroundings. They might never forgive me. Next time I go on a trip, I'll get my brother to stay here. He likes cats a great deal.

BTW, how is Norton?
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
cheshiredragon wrote:
This thread makes me want to go back to my old Goth ways. I still feel the same all I need to do is start wearing black again.

My nefarious plan is comming together... whaa haaa haa haa.....
I know therapists can't actually take the place of a friend and yes it could be expensive but sometimes a person needs the therapy after a divorce to help deal with the pain of having to go through the divorce. I don't mean go to a therapist for just any thing Catman, I should have made that more clear. It does seem sometimes like some people do use them for the purpose of taking the place of a friendship though. Some people go to social workers just to talk about anything that bothers them. To me that's just being human and a waste of time, money to go to a social worker when friendships are great for bitching to each other too. I was thinking of the man I know who still isn't over the pain of his divorce even after 14 years. I think someone like him really could use some therapy to learn how to move on. Running around telling everyone he hardly knows about what he went through doesn't seem to be helping him.

I wouldn't allow any of my friends to watch over my pets simply because I haven't known them that long. Maybe a lifelong friend. My lifelong friend past away so I don't have anyone like her in my life. Also I knew a woman, not a lifelong friend, who would pet sit either in your home or at her home. She charged a fee for pet necessities and her time. She passed away too. Both died of cancer. It's creepy how many people I know who died from some form of cancer. You are lucky to have a Brother you can trust Catman. I wouldn't dare trust mine to care for my little one's.

BTW Norton and Trixie are doing great, I haven't had time to update in the cats post yet but will as more develops. So far so very good. They both don't have any ear infections. YAY!! The vet doesn't recommend my putting peroxide on my fingers and rubbing gently in and around their ears but it made me feel better and I insisted to the vet that they stopped shaking their heads and scratching so much after I did that. The vet was expensive but worth it and they do need go back again for real this time. I found a vet that came to my house to examine them but she can't do that all the time. I mentioned a ladies name that I know from work and I got her to come here. They got some kind of flea shot like thing in them because I don't make them wear flea collars. Even though they are indoors 24/7 they could still get fleas from the broken screens I have that I told the vet about. I know I need new windows. Screens are a pain to replace anyway. Norton's tilted head is something he and I have to live with from now on from time to time. He could have another episode or not in the future but we don't know if that is absolute. I told the vet about a lady I know who takes in strays who said she thinks Norton got this because he is inbred. The product of siblings mating. She dismissed it and said that's not the cause and if it were then nearly all cats would have what he has. I tend to agree with this vet. I got a GPS to help me make sure I don't forget how to get to vets in an emergency and for regular check ups. She told me I need to stop worrying...that's like telling me to stop breathing! I'm becoming like a hypochondriac with my furry babies. Oh and speaking of furry babies Norton is back to constant meowing and demanding to be held like a baby Smile

Your Catma worked Catman :yes: Cool
I'm glad to hear that my atheist catma worked! I wouldn't bother with flea collars if I were you. Get some 'Advantage' or some other kind of flea treatment that you apply between their shoulder blades, just behind their necks on their backs. It works great! The outdoor cat, Felicia, came in and stayed a little too long a month or so ago, giving the two indoor cats some of her fleas. I just applied some of the stuff and a day later, the fleas were gone.

It isn't terribly likely that fleas will hop in from outside through broken screens, but it is possible. A god worth worshipping wouldn't have introduced fleas to this planet.
Edited by catman on 01/04/2009 02:41
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
One thing I'm sure happens with some people when they divorce is that some friends of the couple that split actually liked both of them, but may feel like they can't stay friends with both people because one or the other will see them as a 'dis-loyal' friend for being the exes friend.

Of course that is/would be a lousy situation for a split couple to put a friend in, but for sure it happens - and there are the people who think it might happen, and end up thinking they have choose one or the other or risk not having either one as a friend any more.

As for making friends online - I have friendships with several people from this and the other incarnations of the atheist forums and I feel we definitely have more in common than just atheism. These are friendships that I very much value, and that mean a great deal to me. One never knows where and with whom a friendship might develop, but the way I see it is that these relationships aren't so much 'developed' as they are 'cultivated', perhaps. In any event, I've become acquainted with so many terrific people through the forums, and consider it an unexpected surprise that some of them are now good friends, and at least one or two I consider to be dear friends.

I'm definitely a skeptic, extremely cautious - especially when it comes to the Internet, but I also recognize exceptional, fabulous people when I 'see' them, and am willing to open the door - at least a little.


Hypatia wrote:One thing I'm sure happens with some people when they divorce is that some friends of the couple that split actually liked both of them, but may feel like they can't stay friends with both people because one or the other will see them as a 'dis-loyal' friend for being the exes friend.

I've run into that problem a bunch of times. It sucks that they try to make you feel like you have to take sides. I refuse to do that. Perhaps I'd have more friends if I went ahead and did it, but if I honestly like both people, I don't feel that I should have to choose. If one or both can't handle that, that's too bad. I shouldn't have to get involved in their squabble by taking sides and, in effect, ranking one friend over another.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
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