Today's blog is really in response to an anguished letter I received recently via the "Contacts" page on my site. There are really many facets of divorce. Not every marriage that ends in divorce is because there was adultery, abuse or unreasonable behaviour. So I am writing this for those of you who may feel confused and overwhelming upset that you have chosen to divorce your best friend. Maybe your family and friends are also confused and if the truth be told down right angry....they feel that maybe it is a phase you will snap out off. You keep hearing that marriages need to be worked at and that your decision to go your separate ways is basically rescinding on a life commitment and taking the "easy way out".
I can imagine, this is made all the more excruciatingly difficult if your ex is a wonderful, caring man who has never laid a hand on you, never cheated on you and has been incredibly supportive during the ups and downs of your life. Maybe you knew each other for years before you decided to get married, maybe perhaps you were childhood friends.
It is easy for friends, family and even me to be judgmental and say if everything is going so well, "suck it up". In my case particularly, I had a horrible abusive marriage but chose to stay...with hindsight, silly decision really, so it is difficult to really understand why those who have everything going for them in their marriage would choose to leave it. However, it is not for any of us to judge, especially me as a Christian and of course a Divorce Recovery coach.
Yes, I am well aware that the Bible says in Malachi, “That God Hates Divorce” and therefore divorce is not God’s ideal for us, however my job and ministry is to help and support you through your healing and emotional recovery as you navigate what can be a traumatic and painful journey as smoothly and as quickly as possible. Like I said, there are many facets of divorce and whatever one's facet or story maybe, whatever the underlying reasons are; support, understanding, empathy, guidance, encouragement and help is needed to get you through and forward into a new future. I know many people will have an opinion one way or another about this, some not too flattering or complimentary to the lady in question, some people if they could, would send her straight into the pit of hell. However, it is not my place to judge, I don't think I would have received that letter if the lady in question is not going through a lot of pain and needs help. So here goes.
Nothing could be worse than a divorce except when you know that you are divorcing your best friend. Not only are you losing your spouse but you are losing the person who you confide in, do fun activities with and have known for most of your adult life. What do you do and how do you move on?
1.First, you must realize that it is over. The friendship as you knew it is gone. The marriage, for whatever reason, didn't work out and the friendship is no longer possible - at least on the level of where it was prior to marriage and divorce. However, there is no reason why you can't move on and still remain friends.
2. Many divorces end in friendships but you just have to know where to draw the line so that the friendship doesn't prohibit one or both parties from moving on into a productive romantic relationship. Sometimes, both people can move on with understanding significant others who understand the odd relationship of a continued friendship among ex-spouses but sometimes they can not and will not agree to a situation which involves outings with an ex.
3. While divorcing your best friend can be very painful for each person, it is important to move on separately if at all possible. You can still do things together if you are determined to make a friendship work but recognize that this is going to be on a different level and that other people will eventually be a part of the friendship unit.
4. Discussing your divorce openly and deciding together as a couple separating and as friends, how you would like to see the relationship in several months and several years down the road can help prevent hurt feelings later on after the divorce.
5. Divorcing your spouse should never be taken lightly. However, if you are divorcing a childhood friend where families have been lifelong friends, then you have many people to consider and relationships to protect.
6. Marriage counsellors can often help you resolve the underlying problems which you may not know exist in the marriage if you aren't sure you want to divorce. In fact, before you throw away years in the making of a relationship and a marriage, seek counseling and advice from someone who can help you put things into perspective. It may also help to talk to your families together if you think your marriage can be saved. Often, when you are dealing with a lifetime of history together, it is most painful to discard a marriage.
Remaining friends is probably inevitable if there are family connections but both people in the marriage must figure out a way to get past the dissolution of the marriage once other people become involved after the final divorce. Planning ahead will keep everyone involved happy and emotionally prepared for the future. And you most certainly don't want to hurt the person you must've loved the majority of your lifetime.
Whatever you do, take the process in your stride, it is all part of your Believe and Live Again recovery, bounce back and transition journey from being a “we” to becoming a “me”.
If you would like to have an informal chat about it, don't hesitate to get in touch on: +44 208 938 3672 and myself or a member of my team will gladly schedule a Complimentary Believe and Live Again Coaching Discovery session or a no-obligation 30 minute "Forgive and Let Go" consultation and together, we could be embarking upon the Believe and Live Again 5 R's journey to heal your heart, outgrow your challenges and let go of the past so that your glorious future can finally emerge.
Once again, I invite you to contact me or schedule a time to talk, call: +44 (0) 208 938 3672 (24 hours) or click on the pink "Contact" at the bottom right hand side of this page and this will take you into my "Let's Talk" contact form. Kindly complete the form and you will get a call back.
In the meantime, until next time, Keep Smiling, Keep Strong and Keep Believing.
Best Wishes and God's Blessings
Zina Arinze helps female professionals, business women, entrepreneurs and women of faith, swiftly recover from the grief, trauma and stigma of divorce, separation or relationship breakdown by giving them clarity for their radiant future so that they are able to transition their mindsets from “we” to “me”, reconnect to their positive of self, regain their feminine power and walk in the healing restorative power of God. A lawyer by training and armed with an MBA, Zina has over 15 years in IT Project Management Consultancy, Training and Capacity Building for both the Public and Private Sectors, she very passionate about building lasting relationships and encouraging the discovery, development and deployment of hidden talents.