They've got your back, girl.
It goes like this: You wake up in the morning and, for a half a second, you feel fine. But then you remember… "Uggghhhh, I’m getting a divorce."
Your blood pressure climbs as you think about what you have to deal with — the inevitable nasty texts or emails from your ex, the subsequent call to the lawyer, not to mention having to hold it together while you are at work or around your children.
Your mood plunges to a dark and stormy place and you think how nice it would be just to pull the covers over your head and hide there for the day. (Or, forever.)
I sooo know the feeling. And, I must admit, there were a few days that I did just that during my own divorce. I called in sick and hid in bed, alone and wallowing in self-pity and pain. Of course, that got me nowhere. I’m sure my boss was less than pleased and I only felt more miserable than ever.
Look, I can tell you from experience, going through a divorce is like riding a roller coaster; there are ups, downs, gut-wrenching lurches and screeching halts. Your emotions are all over the place — one minute you think you have your act together and the next you find yourself sobbing inconsolably in the bathroom stall at work. This isn’t something to go through alone.
What you need most now is support from your family and friends. In particular, your girl squad!
To be specific, there are six different types of friends that make dealing with your divorce a little more manageable. So rally your tribe, cry with them, laugh with them, vent to them, and celebrate your brand new future with them. Here are the six amazing and essential friends you need to see you through:
1. The "It's OK to Cry" Friend
This is the friend you turn to when your Soon-To-Be-Ex leaves a voicemail saying he can't make it to your daughter’s basketball game tonight (again) but that oh, by the way, he’s taking the kids and his brand new girlfriend away for the weekend.
Vitally important, the "It's OK to Cry" friend is someone you can safely vent to about what an enormous jackass your ex is being today. This friend probably knows the history here and is secretly glad you're finally ditching that dud. She won’t judge. She won’t gossip. She just gives you a hug, listens and encourages you to talk it out, helping you see the humor in the situation whenever possible. After talking with her, you feel infinitely better.
2. The "Let’s Get You Out of the House" Friend
There may come a day when you're just feeling a bit numb to it all. Perhaps you're wearing the same outfit for the third day in a row, or the most exercise you’ve gotten lately is to get up and answer the door for the pizza guy.
Your "Let’s Get You Out of the House" friend will swoop in, make you change out of your 3-day-old yoga pants and go out with her to do something borderline outrageous. Uplifting and funny, she keeps you busy and helps you blow off steam, while reminding you that there is a world out there waiting for you.
Before you know it, she’ll talk you into skydiving or getting a new tattoo. She knows you need help getting out of your own head. She makes sure you go out and helps you gain some perspective on things.
3. The "I'll Be Right Over" Friend
In low moments, you feel broken, empty and very, very sad. You know going through with the divorce is the right thing to do but you keep wondering: Why is it so hard?!
This is the friend you call in the middle of the night, sniffling while the tears drip down your face, and she simply says, "I’ll be right over."
When she gets there, you don’t have to tell her anything if you don’t want to, though she’ll listen if you feel like sharing. If you don’t feel like talking, she’s likely to tuck you in under the quilt on the couch, flip on an old movie and go to the kitchen to pop the popcorn. Her amazing power is her ability to just be there. Her steady message: You're not alone.
4. The "Been There, Done That" Friend
Sometimes you have to search for this next friend, the one that’s been through her own divorce. If you don’t know anyone offhand, look for a support group to connect with women who have survived their own divorces. It’s super important that you have someone in your world that has successfully navigated these waters before you.
Because she's already dealt with divorce, your "Been There, Done That" friend totally, TOTALLY gets it. She’s gives you smart information and reality checks and, every single time, she’ll remind you it gets better.
She somehow seems older and wiser, though it has nothing to do with her age. You look up to her and rely on her for inspiration to keep going. Actually, you just want to BE her.
5. The "Brand New Life" Friend
You love your old friends, but there is value in finding new friends, as well. You crave a fresh perspective, from someone who doesn’t know you or your ex. And sometimes, you want to spend time not talking about or thinking about the divorce at all.
This friend doesn’t know your history. With her you can reinvent yourself. It’s refreshing to hear about her life and to talk about everyday, normal things that have nothing to do with your marriage ending. With her, you find yourself thinking about your future more often than your past. She makes you feel safe and hopeful that brighter days and a fresh beginning are ahead.
6. The "Hype Girl/Matchmaker" Friend
Eventually, you WILL see the light at the end of the tunnel, and you'll feel better (I promise!). When that time comes, you’ll toy with the idea of getting back out there and dating again.
Your "Hype Girl/Matchmaker" friend will snap picture after picture until you (finally) approve of one for your new online dating profile. She'll help you pick out your outfit for your first date and she’ll shove you out the door when you nearly chicken out. She’ll insist you text her live from the date to let her know how it’s going and she’ll meet you for brunch the next morning to get all the details. This is the friend who cheers you on as you embrace your newly single life. She knows how loveable you are and won't rest until you find true love.
If you're navigating divorce, make sure to lean on your friends. After all, as Dionne Warwick sang, "For good times and bad times, I’ll be on your side forever more. That’s what friends are for."
Kimberly Mishkin is the co-founder of SAS for Women®, a boutique firm that specializes in helping women free themselves from dysfunctional and unhappy relationships. Don’t miss the opportunity to receive 6 free months of coaching via your inbox.