I made a decision and took an action this weekend, that I think I feel good about the reasons for, yet I am still feeling sick about it.
I am in the middle of a contentious and highly litigated divorce. Most of my friends have stuck with me, all of my close ones, and some that were less close before but have continued to grow. So my issue is not so much being lonely or that “everyone” has left me.
We moved to the town we live in together. An hour from my husband’s family and across the country from my family. I have no family in the large state we live in apart from him, his family, and our children. When we moved here I had friends about an hour away and made friends here. When we had children I made more friends here. My husband became somewhat friends with the husbands of my friends/dad’s of our children.
One family/couple became friends with my husband following the divorce. In two or three families the wives continue to be friends with me to some degree and the husbands are friends with him. My husband has instructed me to not speak with his family. Another few couples stopped talking to him and remain close friends with me – these were my closer friends to begin with. The rest of my friends were always more clearly my friends, though were friendly with him during our 10-year marriage.
The week before last I spent two afternoons being grilled by my husband’s two lawyers, trying to discredit me.
This weekend we had a birthday party for my older daughter. I threw the party and invited my daughter’s school friends and family friends per her request (she chose who to invite). On Saturday morning we saw my husband with one of the invited families, the one that I am least close to the mom and do not enjoy the father’s company, and I know that he has tried to help my husband in the past, and has a stir-the-pot predisposition. Seeing them made it clear to me that they are friends with my husband and I did not feel comfortable with the husband attending the party. I know my husband is constantly asking my children and friends for any information that he can use against me and has already said he is writing things down to prove something about me. We only have a few issues left to resolve in the dissolution so I was surprised he was asking me to come to a deposition. From the several hours of questioning, I see that he is intending to attack me.
The family we saw with my husband this weekend we used to be close to when my oldest was 2-3 years old, about 5 years ago, but over the past 3-5 years we have become less close to them. In part because my husband didn’t think they were very good people to be friends with. In this area, he might be right. They are very social and active in our small town, but not great at reliability.
I called my friend on Saturday to let her know that I didn’t feel comfortable with her husband attending, given that we are in the middle of litigation and I have been scrutinized in many ways and I wanted to be able to be at ease at my daughter’s party. The conversation was OK. I think my friend didn’t feel super comfortable with it – me neither really, but I felt I had to take care of myself and look out for myself. She said her husband was planning on coming just because of the venue (which was super cool) – not because it was my daughter’s birthday celebration.
Then my friend wrote and suggested maybe she and her daughters not come. I was in the middle of childcare and party prep so didn’t have a lot of time to write. I said if she was wanting my permission to attend and report back to my husband, I was not comfortable with that. If she was just being kind of thoughtful, as I imagined she was, then I encouraged her to come and said the girls and I would look forward to seeing them. She and her girls did not come.
I’m feeling uneasy, sad, a little worried, guilty, proud of myself for standing up for myself (which I don’t feel I’ve always done with this particular friend), nervous, on edge, barfy.
I’m trying to tell myself I am taking care of myself, but I also wonder if I was just being mean or unthoughtful. My friend thought the conversation didn’t go that well and I think I gave her the impression she didn’t get what was going on. I think that is true. I don’t think she is required to know what is going on, I simply think she doesn’t. I did feel frustrated during the call, but it was not all frustration directed at her. I’m frustrated this is my life. That is not her fault. This is just the way it is.
I’m concerned now that there will be some sort of consequences from this that will feel bad or I won’t be able to negotiate.
I am able to tell myself, maybe I made a mistake with pretty good equanimity. I was just doing what felt like the right thing to do in the moment.
Still, right now, I feel as if I should do something. I feel as if I should reach out to her, but I’m not sure what to say or what direction I want to take, so I haven’t, but that doesn’t feel great either. I’m also thinking my other friends or my husband may hear about it and that makes me nervous – that they will judge me in some way.
I think the hardest part is the uncomfortable emotions and the urge to do something (contact her) and not feeling sure if I should.
Thank you for any help/insight.