The loss of a marriage is a real death. That is why people grieve in divorce despite the fact that nobody has died. Grief applies to other human losses and not to a loss that comes from death. In some ways it is trickier to recover from divorce than from a death, because when you lose a spouse, a child, or a parent to death, the community responds in a positive ways because everyone understands.

But, when it comes to divorce, not everyone understands. It’s a process that pushes people’s buttons—some people will judge, others will pull away and others will simply feel awkward. You’ve probably known a divorcee who lost his friends in the process, or whose buddies felt they needed to choose sides. For some family and friends, divorce creates a dynamic they are just not prepared to handle.