Separation can leave you lonely and adrift. There might be a few people you can turn to in Greensboro, but be careful who you share the details of your divorce with. What might seem to be a therapeutic release can turn out to be a train wreck. Here are a few more people that can seem less tolerable during your time of troubles.
#9: Your Neighbor: The nosy neighbor isn’t a stereotypical sit-com character for nothing. There’s some truth in the fascination we have with the people on the other side of the fence. We compare yards, exchange recipes, and hand-deliver holiday cookies. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you KNOW the people next door. When it comes to sharing tidbits of your divorce, unless you are seriously good friends with your neighbor, you’ll probably opt to confide in someone a little closer to your heart. But that doesn’t mean you can hide. The very thing that makes neighbors phenomenal at keeping an eye on your place when you’re out of town can also make them a nuisance. The neighborhood watch can quickly become the neighborhood CIA. It’s time to close your curtains when the not-so-subtle inquiries start dropping. “Haven’t seen Fred around lately.” “Was that Sheila I saw loading a U-Haul?” If you’re not comfortable simply telling them you don’t want to talk about it, it’s best to keep your answers brief and noncommittal. In fact, it’s even better if you avoid answering all together but still make it sound as if you are. For example:
Neighbor: “Haven’t seen Fred around lately.”
You: “Oh, haven’t you?”
Not only is the “non-response” a versatile and valuable skill set, but it will also keep your sad saga out of the next phone tree.
#10: Your therapist: He answers every question with a question, remains eternally calm, and focuses on your breathing. And he’s frustrating as heck. He interrupts all of your rages with his confounded logic and reasoning. He tries to get you to acknowledge you played a role in all this even though it’s clearly all your ex’s fault. A friend of mine is a therapy addict and says her therapist never ever gives her straight-up advice. I understand the point is to help the patient come to their own realizations and make their own choices, but sometimes I’d want the Doc’s opinion — a simple, defined “turn left” or “turn right.” The last thing I could’ve handled when my ex and I were deep in Divorce would have been a “how do we feel about left,” or a “what’s so scary about the right?” Therapy can be beneficial after divorce so long as you’re ready for it, and you find a therapist that connects with you. To be successful requires looking at yourself and your situation honestly and objectively, and that’s pretty hard to do when you’re all bogged down in the mud. It’s essential to make that journey with the right doctor, so before you commit, make sure the couch is comfortable.
#11: Your accountant. Finances are complicated enough without adding equitable distribution or alimony to the mix. As you and your ex start to split things down the middle, assets and expenses are something you’ll really have to get familiar with. Whether it’s dividing up a retirement account or claiming the kids on your taxes in even-numbered years, if you have any situation beyond the norm, you’ll probably consult an accountant before the divorce is final. Remember, this person is providing a specific service. She doesn’t want to hear your twenty-minute rant on what used to be, how many times you’ve been to court, or why your ex-wife should be the one sitting here. It is what it is in her mind – the numbers don’t lie. Her ‘deal with it and move on’ attitude might aggravate you, but she has a point. Part of going forward is accepting your current situation. Your accountant can help you with that if you can stop playing the blame game long enough to listen.
#12: Your Facebook Friend from High School. You only accepted his request out of curiosity; you honestly didn’t realize how much he posted. Until you and your wife decided to call it quits. Now the Varsity Quarterback has found a new way to torture you – daily posts of his perfect life. Where once you kept scrolling, you find yourself lingering…seething at his smiling plastic, perfect face, with his perfect family, engaging in perfectly wholesome activities like some modern-day Walton. You’ve lived a good life; you’ve always tried to do the right thing. This guy used to be famous for his ability to stuff anyone into a locker (it’s written in the yearbook). And yet he remains unscathed. It’s not fair.
Nope, it’s not. It’s also probably not true. Some people on Facebook will post every nuance, trauma, hangnail, and bowl of spaghetti life throws at them. Others it’s more of a status thing. I’d wager that Mr. High School is still just that – Mr. High School. His photos are carefully selected (maybe they came with the frame), and he leaves out a bunch of stuff. He wants you to think his existence is impeccable; he wants you to envy him. Your experience might not be ideal right now, but it is real and you’re dealing with it. You’re not alone – start looking at other people’s posts a little more carefully for cracks in their armor and you’ll see there’s plenty of people standing with you on your less than green grass.