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Feeling lonely as the only separated person in my friendship groups.(1 Post)
I’m early 40s, separated a couple of years ago, divorce due to be finalised soon. Co-parenting one DC with my ex 50/50. In a great new relationship. New DP is also divorced with 50/50 childcare.
Overall, I’m happy, fulfilled and proud of how I’ve come through the split. But increasingly I’m feeling isolated being the only one of my peers who’s divorced. I have a large circle of great friends from various stages of my life, all married or in long term relationships with the mum/dad of their kids.
It hits me most when friends can’t relate to some of the practicalities of being separate from their kids’ other parent, or when they take for granted that I’ve got help with big decisions, DIY etc (which I’m totally capable of, and work together with DP on though we live separately and don’t want to merge our lives). I admit I’m envious of friends’ cosy family life when my own odd-shaped set-up can bring challenges, though I feel that’s largely due to the assumptions and prejudices in the way that society is set up for nuclear families.
Maybe it feels more acute right now as it’s holidays and I’ve got a bit of time on my hands - unusual as I have a full-on full-time job.
I also feel a bit guilty for thinking it would be nice to have a divorced friend to empathise with. I do occasionally meet others in the same boat as me, and enjoy time with them, but they’re more acquaintances than friends.
My feelings have unsteadied me because I’ve never before felt like I needed to be one of the crowd; if anything, I’ve been happy to take the road less travelled.
I’m also very aware of the advantages of my set-up (own space, time for myself, no marital conflict), though this is separate from the flashes of loneliness I’ve described.
Has anyone else felt ostracised as the only divorced one in their peer group? Any tips?
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