One thing going through a marriage separation has taught me, and many others who have gone through similar will agree, you really get to know who your true friends are when the chips are down! Moving through that discovery process for me, after a 15 year long term relationship came to an end and suddenly finding myself single and with ½ the friends I used to have has been a huge reality check for me and has made me do a lot of work on myself as well as look at my friendships with old, current and new friends in a whole different light!
I feel, or hope anyway, it’s all taught me to be a better friend and I know I now have this dogged determination to make others accountable for their actions in the friendship stakes! Often to their detriment (maybe mine too but meh!), they sometimes get sent packing with a few choice Kimberlee words and told to go and work on themselves. But only when they have continually pushed my buttons to the point I can’t see it a viable friendship any longer! I am quite harsh like that. LOL. But the good ones, the ones that are meant to be my lifelong friends, they do go off and work on themselves and become even more amazing than ever before and they come back and thank me for my words of wisdom and I welcome them again with open arms, as these are the people I want in my life. We are not all perfect, I am far from it, but we must recognise our imperfections and make the improvements necessary to be a better person in this mad old world! Cause if we don’t who will? Someone has to take the leap!
Going back to when my marriage first ended, and yes this is common in the world of separation and divorce. But for all those who haven’t been through it, this is what I’d like to share with you. People often just don’t know what to say to you when your relationship ends and they feel uncomfortable discussing it, OR they feel they should choose sides, and then therefore run and hide and then neither of you ever hear from them again! Some judge and think you should stay together for the children, some want the dirt and then run off and gossip about you to anyone who will listen, and others think you are going to steal their husbands and so never invite you to things again (which I find HILARIOUS!). Oh and yes now that you are single they also don’t invite you to all the couplie dinners or friend and family events as you are only ½ a family, you don’t fit their ideal family mould anymore so you are AXED! But hey I accept people and their closed minded views and I prefer to not socialise with such judgemental people as they don’t make me feel good about myself so I choose not to put myself in that type of social environment! I only want to be amongst positive like-minded individuals that perk me up; otherwise really what’s the point huh!? Life is hard enough!
BUT on the flip side! There are the friends you have that are your rocks and the gems of this world, they are there for you day and night, to help you pick up the pieces and prop you up emotionally until you can stand on your own two feet once again. AND this process takes time, a LONGGGGG time and ALOTTTT of tears and your darling patient friends don’t tell you to get over it! They listen and support and jolly you along. So you may end up with half the friends you once had or only, one or two friends BUT they are your true and real friends and you know you will do the same for them when or if they ever need you! Without these friends I would have required ALOT of therapy I am quite sure! So take those true good friends and look after them, cherish them always as there are few good friends you will meet in your life time that will be there for you in thick and thin! If you don’t have friends or family that you feel you can or want to lean on that’s where I can help. As a divorce and separation coach I can be your sounding board, your support person that picks you up and brushes you off and helps you overcome the emotion, so you can deal with the business at hand.
I am many years down the track and have made lots of new and amazing new friends along the way. My life is simple and happy and I choose to only surround myself with positive people who know also how to conduct healthy friendships. Yes I come across the people who want to suck the life out of me, and I have learnt to create boundaries and recognise if and when this begins to happen. They get a few of my choice Kimberlee words, and they either turn the friendship into a two way street or they go off on their merry way to suck the life out of some other poor unsuspecting sucker! I have accepted I must let them go so I can make room for someone more amazing in my life or spend more time with those in my life who are already amazing. This all applies to every relationship in your life, friends/family/lovers….. It has to be cohesive or it’s not a true friendship and without a true friendship there is no relationship!
You see as a coach and a giver I do offer more of myself emotionally to any relationship, I talk and work from the heart, and years ago I would allow such people to take all my giving and not expect anything back in return. But after draining myself emotionally after the separation/divorce, i.e. the tanks were quite literally empty for a while there, I realised I just don’t have so much to give anymore. If my stores are not replenished and the relationship if very one sided. I have to ask myself, ‘what am I getting out of this’? Is this person sucking me dry and not giving back? As that is not a friendship, that’s not an act of kindness. That’s a very self-centred person and not someone I need in my life right now!
So my friend I ask, are you better with 1000 friends on Facebook or are you better with a handful of true and amazing friends and family around you who understand you, support you and give back as much as you offer them? I know what I prefer. And I have worked hard to get myself into this way of acceptance and I have gratitude every day for all the good things and people in my life!
Be the best person you know how to be, and be grateful for who you are every day!