I have a friend who is recently separated and beginning the divorce process. We sat down yesterday and were talking about it and he said..."This whole thing sucks. I don't even know who my friends are anymore. My 'best friends' are now her best friends and I don't know who's in my corner anymore." I could see the pain in his eyes and how much this loss, the divorce, the friends, was hurting him. And I could 100% relate to exactly what he's feeling.
Divorce changes everything. It changes your whole world and the people in it. People you thought would stand by you no matter what, ended up walking out. New people, people the "new you" could relate to, walked in. People who didn't care what your marital status was or wasn't were there to see you through. I know exactly how my friend feels. As if it weren't enough to be ending your marriage, saying goodbye to the person you thought was going to be your real BFF, but then you have the changes in all your other relationships to deal with too.
When you go through a divorce, you whole identity changes. You're just "you" now, instead of "we". You don't have to ask anyone about how you spend your money or if you can go out with your girlfriend for a glass of wine after the kids go to bed. Everything is all YOU. It's kind of a nice change, but honestly, sometimes I really miss being part of a "we". My ex and I had a lot of common interests and so, now that I'm a year removed from our separation, it is easy for me to be doing something that we used to do together and miss that. It's not a pleasant or unpleasant feeling, it's just what IS. Sometimes I think it took me a long time to get here, but then I see people who have been divorced for many years and are still bitter towards their ex. I'm glad I got to this place as quickly as I did, because it's completely true that there is an amazing sense of freedom in forgiveness.
I can't know exactly how my friend feels, but I can probably relate better than most. Every relationship ending is different than another, but the one truth that remains for all of them...there IS an end to the tunnel. You just cannot remain in the tunnel forever. That said, you may have to do a little work on yourself to get out of the tunnel in less time. You enter the tunnel being one person and you come out completely transformed. It was an year of personal growth for me. Now that I'm finally at the end of the tunnel and looking back at it, the best thing I can say to someone going through this is...There really is light at the end of the tunnel.