Speaking Our Truth
During this past week, I was explaining to an acquaintance what I do for individuals who are going through divorce here at the Divorce Recovery Center. I mentioned that I act as a support person, facilitating group meetings and following up in one-on-one conversations with members of the group. I continued, saying that our meetings give individuals a safe space to talk about what they’re experiencing as their divorce unfolds.
His reaction was classic. He asked if all the women in the group get together and complain about their ex-husbands. I must admit, I was completely surprised that he saw the Divorce Recovery group as solely comprised of women who got together to tell stories and complain about their ex-husbands! He could not even imagine that men would gather in a group setting to talk about how difficult and painful divorce can be.
I was quick to inform him that our support groups include men and women and that men also experience the hurt and grief that divorce brings, just like women do. I went on to say that it is in a man’s best interest to find a way to process these heavy emotions, whether in individual therapy sessions, group work, or perhaps both. I also wanted my friend to know that our support groups include adults who have chosen to leave their marriage, as well as those who never wanted to get divorced. We also have a few individuals who decided together that it would be in their best interest to end their relationship.
My friend was shocked. He informed me that when he and other men that he was acquainted with were getting divorced, they didn’t get together with anyone to discuss it. Or, if the subject did come up, it was summed up in a sentence or two over a drink at a bar, and that was the end of it.
I mention this today because I sometimes forget that talking about BIG, difficult feelings may still be “off-limits” for some individuals. I hope that we can break this silence and the stigma that surrounds it and gather as a community where we can connect, share, support, and encourage one another through the struggles and challenges of divorce.