Ms. Dora is a Certified Christian Counselor. Her views on singleness, premarital and marital issues are influenced by her Christian beliefs.
Sometimes when marriages end, the single-again women are surprised that their married girlfriends begin to shun them. In defense of the still-married women, they may think that they have good reason to distance themselves.
- Some husbands cannot be trusted around women who are unattached. Even decent men mess up. Beyond Ordinary is the story of a pastor and his wife; he cheated on her with her best friend. (Thank God their marriage survived).
- Close friends know each other's schedule and can plan to make themselves available for secret trysts. The married women do not want to give their single friends that opportunity.
- Some single-again women pine continually for the companionship they no longer have. Their tears may seduce one of their girlfriends' husbands.
- Relationship Trust Quiz | Greater Good
This quiz measures how trusting you are. Also find resources for fostering trust.
But not all single-again women are callous or conniving. Some leave their marriages determined to forge ahead with integrity. They lose some of their friends who side with the former husbands, but they expect that some friends will remain loyal. They appreciate friendly gestures like inclusion in social gatherings to boost their sense of worth and belonging.
Although the married friends are not responsible for the moral conduct of the divorced women, they can help to steer them right by offering them some sisterly support. On behalf of the divorced, this article speaks to the married girlfriends and those who can convince them not to shut out every woman who becomes single again.
1. They Still Respect Marriage
Everything that happened in marriages which end also happen in marriages that survive. Divorce does not prove the failure of marriage; it proves that the divorcées did not get adequate preparation or assistance. Those who are honest, leave the marriage knowing that marriage, like any other relationship, can work under different circumstances.
Instead of prolonging blame for themselves, their exes, or their friends, they learn to let go. They even learn not to blame God even though they do not understand why He allowed their dilemma to end the way it did. It hurts but they plan to survive the pain.
So women with integrity still respect marriage, especially the marriages of her friends, and are grateful for the examples of relationships that work. They have no interest in meddling and sabotaging marriages which help them prepare for their own successful second chance.
2. They Still Remember the Golden Rule
"Don't befriend divorced women," some tell the married woman. "They'll want for you what they themselves got." Virtuous women are the opposite. They hate to see others suffer as they did.
Divorced women have been hurt by disappointment, embarrassment, betrayal among other fallout from the end of their relationships. In their passion for survival, women with integrity try to move on, and realize that forgiveness is a great part of the process.
They forgive themselves. They desire to start over by planting new seeds for their new harvest--seeds like honesty, genuine friendship, generous and gratitude. The new harvest they expect will not be for them alone, but also for their children and grandchildren. With this in mind, they invest in the marriages of their friends what they want themselves and their offspring to reap in their own.
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3. Sex Is Not Their Primary Concern
True, they are some deceived women who think that sex is the cure for all their negative emotions, but even they will change their minds when they experience sincere affection from their friends.
Also true that the divorced women are accustomed to having their sexual needs met, but their emotional needs are more likely to be their primary concern. Their married girlfriends can help them out just by listening to them, appreciating their friendship qualities and affirming their survival skills.
Healthy marriage relationships in which boundaries and trust are established can become solace and support for friends of either husband or wife who become single-again. Decent divorcées are chasing peace of mind and sense of purpose, not temporary thrills which will add to their guilt and frustration.
4. They Like Straightforward Talk
They prefer their married girlfriends to admit their suspicions (if any), than to misjudge them and punish them with sarcasms and innuendos. There are several reasons that the married woman may become suspicious, with good reason. That doesn't necessarily mean that her husband and her friend are guilty of any offense, even if the husband does any of the following:
- He inquires constantly about how she deals with her loneliness.
- He often makes himself available to help her with car repairs, house repairs, anything usually considered a man's job.
- He presents her with a gift, which the friend accepts as from him and his wife.
- He exchanges text messages with her on a matter which does not involve the wife.
Accepting the husband's friendliness does not necessarily mean that the girlfriend wants to cheat with him. The honest woman will appreciate straightforward questions and expressions of concern from the suspicious wife. In turn, she will apologize for her insensitivity and be mindful to comply with the friendship boundaries. However, if the wife insists on cutting friendship ties, the girlfriend with good intentions will honor her wishes.
5. They Still Need Female Friendships
While divorcées are grieving the loss of their marriage, their brain spends all the energy on keeping them sane. They exercise bad judgment. Some women shop excessively, then they get depressed over their folly, and they shop again to ease their depression.
Women need their female friends during this difficult time, to keep them company, to encourage them, to engage them in meaningful activities. Later when loneliness overcomes them, they also need their girlfriends, not to substitute for male companionship, but to support them in the absence of it. (Even married women need this support, sometimes.) Nothing eases the hurt in an emotional female heart like ice cream and laughter with girlfriends who care.
All women, especially the single-again, need the love and support of girlfriends.
DivorceCare: Friends helping friends (2 mins)
© 2017 Dora Weithers