During a divorce, people walk into the process understanding that you will have to divide your finances, time with your children, but no one anticipates the dividing of friendships. There is always a slight bit of denial, especially when divorces are amicable, that mutual friends will have to make a choice. However, many couples find that it happens rather organically. Some friends will drift towards you, some will drift to your ex. How do you prepare for that disruption of your personal relationships when you need that support system most?
Understand that They Feel Like They Have to Make a Choice
Despite how you and your ex are working through your divorce, your friends will definitely feel the pressure of having to make a choice. Even if the divorce is no one’s “fault,” per se, your friends will feel like they need to have an alliance. If you both truly want to maintain friendships with mutual friends, it may be worth it to have a conversation with them. Assure them that they don’t need to make a choice and you appreciate them being a support to you and your ex.
They May Need Some Time to Process
If you have a close-knit group of friends, your divorce may cause a rather big shift in the dynamics of your friendships. It is normal if your friends pull back a bit, in order to wrap their heads around what is going on. After telling your friends about your divorce, let them know you understand if they are a bit shocked or have strong emotions. Ask them to share those emotions with you whenever they feel comfortable. Let them know that you may need additional support through the divorce process.
You May Also Feel Like You Have to Make a Choice
If you are going through a contentious relationship, you may need to feel like you have to make choices between friends. This choice may be conscious or unconscious, but you may just gravitate towards friends that take your side and support you through the conflict. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as you and your friend are both on the same page. If a friend is supporting both you and your ex-spouse, and you are uncomfortable with them having that relationship with your ex, understand that it is your choice. You have the ability to let someone in your life or not.
Divorce is hard on all aspects of your life, not just the relationship between you and your spouse. If you are just starting the process of divorce, contact West Coast Family Mediation Center to schedule your FREE consultation today.