So you’ve decided to proceed with your divorce, to get out from under a situation that has prevented you from fully living your life as is best for you. But now, facing a future without a spouse, you may feel very alone and isolated. You may benefit from some kind of support system to handle your new life alone. There are several places you can turn, from your network of family and friends to more organized support groups specifically tailored to recent divorcees. How do you find such a support group? Your attorney may well know of a group in your area that would work for you. Or you may talk with friends or business associates who have been divorced to see if they can refer a group to you.

Support group notices are often posted on church bulletin boards, in newspapers, or your local library. An advantage to a support group is such groups offer an environment where you can unburden yourself of your situation, without burdening your friends and family members with complaining that they don’t want to hear and that you don’t want to weaken your relationships.

Yes, your friends and family will be part of your wider support group, as opposed to a specific group that meets regularly to share experiences. But they may not welcome what they may perceive as an excess of whining or self-indulgence. Also remember that those friends who you have in common with your ex may or may not choose to continue as your friends. Some may, which you will welcome, but others may feel divided loyalities between you and your ex and side with him or her. It is also good to keep in mind that “mutual” friends may serve as a conduit of information to your soon-to-be ex-spouse, so discretion should be exercised when sharing information with them.