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Preparing for changing friendships during and post-divorce

When a couple divorces, many things inevitably change. One or both spouses move out of the marital home, a child custody arrangement dictates where one’s children reside and marital property is divided. In addition, relationships change. If your in-laws once considered you to be family, it may shock you that they no longer think of you in that way simply because you have opted to divorce. Similarly, friendships you once believed were solid and true may not prove to be so steadfast in the wake of a decision to divorce.

This is not to say that all friendships deteriorate during and after divorce. Many friendships may actually grow stronger and some may be unaffected by the change. However, other friendships may suffer. Some individuals simply cannot cope with the confrontations that divorce inspires. Others may feel compelled to choose the friendship of your spouse over a friendship with you.

No matter how your friends respond to your decision to divorce, it is important for you to process your feelings about these reactions in healthy ways. You may need to grieve certain friendships and work out anger over others.

Divorce is ultimately a transition from one phase of life to the next. Some friends may join you as you transition into the future while others may not. No matter who is by your side, your willingness to deal with the changes in your relationships will determine your future happiness and wellbeing. Everyone benefits from true friendship but it is one’s inner strength that matters most.

Source: The Huffington Post, “What I've Learned About Friendship Amid Divorce,” Jessica Kahan, April 1, 2015

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