• Keeping Friends

Finding Friends After Divorce: Can we count the ways?

Published: September 6, 2011 | Last Updated: January 28, 2017 By | 4 Replies Continue Reading


Divorce can destabilize many friendships and create a wedge between friends. Unfortunately, some friends don’t want to choose sides; others may be threatened by your suddenly single status; and still others may feel that your life is too different than theirs. This comes at a time when a divorced woman needs more friendship and support, not less, and she is also likely to have more discretionary time on her hands than someone who is married.

This morning I posted an article on NBC Universal LifeGoesStrong on the topic of Finding Friends after Divorce. I hope to develop a list of suggestions of ways women can find new friends. Can you help me and others by posting your ideas below? You don’t have to be divorced to comment! You just have to understand the challenges of making new friends.

Thanks for your help!

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Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Once I divorced, I quickly found out who my true friends were. The ones who stuck by me, I am still good friends with. I moved on and made new friends. When I divorced, I had an idea whom was going to side with my ex. A couple of so-called friends threw me under the bus, but good riddance to them. The rest just disappeared, which is typical. It took me years to let go of the hurt and anger, but I have moved on. Also learned the importance of having my own network of friends. It takes time, but the rewards are the long-term payoff.

  2. Liz says:

    While divorce hasn’t hit me, tremendous scandal has – through nothing that I did – long story. What helped me was to continue my routine no matter that many times it was hard (I do admit to sometimes shopping at odd hours or in a different community so as to not run into anyone I knew!). Overall, I kept up appearances as much as I could and let the friends that needed to, drop off like flies. The choice sometimes comes up later when the dust settles down if those who didn’t choose to stick around should be let back in. That you will have to take case by case! Sometimes someone will actually surprise you and stick by you – that is a friend to truly cherish! Also, I reached out to a few old friends that I had from college and they rallied around me. Try getting in touch with an old friend that you only send cards to once a year – they might surprise you. Also, whatever support groups that you might join are a place to at least make acquaintances at & enjoy the occasional coffee with. These can over time develop into friendships & even if they don’t (which is often the way) it is nice to have an occasional chat. When you are in the midst of a crisis, routines help you go on. So try to keep to whatever routines you had while married – if you walked every day, then walk – even if it is now alone. Just try walking at a different place if it is necessary. Or whatever good thing that you do!

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is so topical for me….as my marriage deteriorated and divorce hit, I shrank into myself to cope. Now TWO years later I am recovering enough to realise that I have become very isolated and lonely.
    And with that realisation has come the determination to do something about it.
    So my ideas are:- I have maintained my book club attendance- being there in body more that spirit!. But I have the opportunity now to become more friendly with one lady there which I will pursue.
    She and I have mentioned joining a bridge club together and even if I have to do all the running, I will pursue it.
    Never having been a runner, I recently started with my local athletics club. I aim to make just one friend and some nodding acquaintances from that.
    And I am volunteering for a (non-paid) job in my kids school- who knows who might like to meet for coffee or lunch from that.
    Actually when I write it out like that it seems like I have a solid plan! Tippchic

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think, as with many other life changes, friends aren’t sure what to say or do, and sometimes end up mistakenly communicating the wrong thing when they decide to be silent. I had a couple friends who were friends with both my ex and I. When we divorced, I didn’t hear from either friend, and I mistakenly thought they were upset with me because they liked my husband. I took their silence as a vote of “no confidence” since I was the one who initiated the divorce.

    Luckily, I found ways to drop a note in the mail and test the water with each of them. Turned out they were waiting for me to do just that, and expressed their sorrow and gave me some much needed kindness.

    That’s my long way of saying that sometimes, a little time and then reaching out neutrally to some friends from the past can be very positive. (To be fair, one other person I reached out to never responded, and I figured she wasn’t interested, which was okay). Try to give positive motives to peoples’ actions and give them the benefit of the doubt. Let them know you are still you, and still love them, and keep open to the possibility.

    Oh, and the other strategy is picking back up a hobby or interest that you dropped at some point during your marriage. Not only do you reconnect with a part of yourself you haven’t seen in a while, you connect with a new set of people outside of your marriage circle.

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