Divorce can feel like you’re losing everything: your family, future, and oftentimes even your home. For many people, it may also mean losing friends. If you and your spouse, like most people, have a group of mutual friends, it may feel like divorcing your friend group too. There are things that you can do, though, that will protect your friendships.
Once the news of your divorce gets out to your friend group, it can feel like they have to choose sides. Instead of putting your friends in a tough spot, it might be a good idea to be open from the beginning and let them know that there is an impending divorce. This can feel scary especially if you are worried about losing friends, but it is important to be open with your friends during the divorce.
Schedule Friend Time
Even if you’ve chosen a lowe conflict divorce, it can take up a lot of your time. Don’t forget about the people who are there for you. Schedule time with your friends and make sure that you’re enjoying downtime outside of the stressful divorce meetings. Your friends are likely concerned about you during the divorce case. Making time for them will help put their minds at ease.
Scheduling time with your friends is also a great way to relax and feel like you’re not divorcing your friend group. You’ll have a chance to relax while still maintaining your friendships.
Don’t Drag Them Into It
Just like you should really keep your kids and other family members out of your divorce, you should also keep your friends out. While it is necessary to have their support, don’t make them feel like they have to choose sides. Doing this puts your friends in a difficult position and may result in you losing your friends altogether! Many couples who are going through divorce hearings and trials may feel tempted to pull their friends in as witnesses. This can ruin friendships on both ends and is another reason to choose a divorce directed by mediation practices.
Remember that it’s okay to vent, but try to avoid making all your conversations about the divorce. Your friends want to hear about your life outside divorce and it’s important for your wellbeing to focus on something other than divorce.
When you share friends with your spouse, you’re going to have to be flexible. It will mean that your friends may sometimes be spending time with your spouse and you will have to choose another time. It may also mean skipping out on certain events or avoiding certain situations. Being flexible is crucial in a divorce and that carries over to managing your mutual friendships, too. Going through a divorce doesn’t mean divorcing your friend group, but it can mean making adjustments to the way that you spend time with friends and what you do with that time.
Just because your mutual friend group includes some of your best friends doesn’t mean that they have to be your only friends. Often, couples get comfortable with the people they are used to spending time with and they stop branching out to make new friends. Now that you’re not going to be tied down as part of a couple, you can feel free to branch out and try new friends.
Look for new friends who share similar beliefs, who have the same hobbies, and who are in similar walks of life to you. You may be surprised how good new friendships can feel once you start putting yourself out there. Since divorce can sometimes end in divorcing your friend group, start building up new friendships as soon as you start the divorce process.
Whether you’re focusing on old friendships or new, it’s going to take some work to ensure that the friendships are strong. Cultivating your friendships will allow you to have strong relationships and can form a tight bond even if you are going through a divorce. Be present with your friends, contribute something to the friendship, and make sure that you are focused on positivity no matter what’s going on during your divorce. Friendships always take work, but you’ll find that the work is worth it when you have a group of people who you can confide in and lean on during your divorce.
A divorce without stress should be the goal. Reducing conflict during divorce can change the course of your divorce and can even get you more of what you want! Learn more about mediation and alternative solutions with a Wiser Divorce Strategy Session.