Time Frame > Newly Widowed (1 day to 6 months)

Friends?

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kailee:
A little over four months in. The loss still takes my breath away, but I feel ready to venture out into the world of the living a bit at a time.
The problem is that other than one friend I have had from childhood, I do not have anyone in my life who is not part of a couple--and I mean specifically who were not our couple friends. We really didn't have individual friends; our social circle is 100% made up of people where the four of us were friends together. I don't know how to make friends, forge some kind of new identity, even just talk to people by myself and not as half of a marriage, but I am starting to feel like I want to.
Where and how to start?

CJF:
This is something I still struggle with.  I met a few friends on here who are local but we only get together a few times a year.  All of my friends I've known a long time are married and are never available to do anything.  My kids are out of the house now and I'm ready to start doing things but I wish it was easier to meet new friends.  I'm curious to hear how others respond.

Julester3:
I'm pretty introverted but I made friends using hobbies and it's helped me reclaim my own individual identity. If you don't have any particular hobbies, consider taking a class to ease you into an interest: a craft class at JoAnn's, a home improvement class at Home Depot, a book club at the library. I scrapbook, see/crochet, and collect dolls so I have been able to tap my interests for new friends.

Trying:
Kailee I relate to this so well.  We were married 20 years and our social circle was all couple friends.  In the beginning some tried to still include me but it was hard on all of us.  My DH was very outgoing and loved to have people over all the time. I couldn't handle doing it alone that first year but I did try a few times and it was often a disaster.  Most friends just left me out, interestingly the husbands reached out more than the wives.  One woman in particular loves to post everything she does on FB so I got to see everything I wasn't invited too.

I'm introverted and have trouble making new friends but I like the idea of using hobbies or interests to meet people.  Good luck, this is a big step towards rejoining the world and finding how you fit in it now. Baby steps.

JeanGenie:
Kailee,
This is something I struggled with as well since my DH was my best friend and we only had a few casual couple friends. I really didn't have my own, individual friends (and didn't need them...we had each other). Early on (and still sometimes today) I hated the fact that I needed to make friends to now fill the void. I have to say, though, it has been worth the effort because these new friends provide me with most of the happy moments of my life right now.

I was lucky enough to find a few good friends via this board and Bagos (or via other wids) and they have become some of those I'm closest with today. However, it does take effort--to stay in touch, to get together--but it's worth it.

I have also tried to maintain some friendships through my church, but these are less comfortable/natural. They are all couples, DGIs, and although they sometimes remember and try to include me, I'm always the 3rd wheel and we now have less in common. But I continue the effort and trying new things. But mostly I focus my energy now on maintaining the friendships I've formed over the past couple years.

It does take time and effort and initiating get togethers which can be difficult, especially for introverts. But it's worth it...

So if you look at my friendship circle, it is full of fellow wids. Even when I meet new people through interests (such as hiking), I end up finding out that they are wids as well! Maybe we are just naturally drawn to each other!

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