After divorce has ravaged the happy marriage that you once shared with the now-former Mr. or Mrs., you have to go through the unpleasant process of splitting up your belongings. When doing this, struggles often arise when it comes time to decide who gets the home, furniture, finances and other assets. But what about your brigade of best buds—who gets them in the divorce? Well, if you have mutual friends that neither you nor your ex-spouse are willing to forfeit, the good news is that you both can maintain these friendships! Here’s how it’s done:
Tip #1: Refrain from talking about your ex/divorce. If you talk about your ex-wife or husband in a negative way, it may feel good to drag their name through the mud at the time, but you may regret it later because you can’t be sure that what you say won’t get back to them (most likely you don’t want your ex to have the satisfaction of knowing that you even care to mention their name). And don’t expect your friends to jump in on the trash talk—these people are just as much your ex’s friends as they are yours. Of course you want to vent about the troubles that are weighing on your mind regarding the split, but surely there’s someone else you can talk to other than the mutual friends you have with your ex. Instead, confide in a friend or family member who is 100 percent loyal to you.
Tip #2: Make an effort to stay in contact. It can be difficult to maintain friendships with people who are also closely connected to your ex—especially because these friends may tend to remind you of happier times with your former flame. However, if these friends are especially important in your life, then you’ve got to make the effort to keep in touch with them. It is tough starting over without your spouse, but your friends will understand if you need a little time to yourself before getting back into your old activities with them.
Tip #3: Wait before bringing around a new love interest. If you are seeing someone new after your divorce—that is great! But understand that the divorce may have been upsetting for your friends too—and if it’s soon after the divorce, it may be difficult for them to see you with someone else right away; they might feel that you are betraying their other friend (your ex). Be sensitive to the possibility of such a reaction and give your new relationship some time to develop on more solid ground before introducing the girlfriend or boyfriend to the mutual pals you have with your ex.
Tip #4: Don’t assume you’re the only one invited to gatherings. If you and your ex-spouse have the same group of friends, don’t assume that you’re the only person who is still close with this group. Many friends won’t want to have to deal with the dilemma of deciding between the two of you and if there is some sort of event or gathering taking place, there is a heightened chance of running into your ex. So depending on what kind of terms the two of you are on, this is a situation that has the potential for some serious awkwardness. See if you can avoid it by finding out beforehand whether or not your ex will also be in attendance so that you can prepare yourself emotionally for the run-in or politely decline the invitation.
Sabrina Jackson is a guest post author who focuses her writing on helping people struggling with divorce. In addition, Sabrina also writes for Black Dating Sites where she offers advice to singles for how to make the most out of their online dating experiences.