Guest Author - Caroline Henrich
Couples often socialize with other couples, especially if they share similar interests. Some of the relationships may be formed as the result of business dealings, some with neighbors, some with parents of your children's friends. Others may be childhood friends of one spouse.
It is most likely that people who were your friends before your marriage will remain friends with you during or after your divorce. Others may be close friends of your spouse and will likely remain friends with him/her during and after the divorce.
It is extremely difficult when people you socialize with are friends with both you and your soon to be ex-spouse. Often times they are extremely uncomfortable with the situation and may avoid you in an effort not to pick sides. This can be very painful and can lead to feelings of betrayal.
You often wonder in these situations why your friends are not loyal to you. In some instances, you may want to know why you cannot share friends with your ex-spouse.
People are indivuals and you must accept that people handle situations differently. If your divorce is amicable, people may feel that they can remain friends with both of you. For others, even if the divorce is amicable, they feel that they must "pick sides". If this happens, do not be offended or angry. Perhaps they liked you, but were better friends with your ex-spouse. If this happens, you can talk to them and let them know you would like to remain friends, but do not be aggressive, angry or accusatory.
If your divorce is bitter, friends may feel they have to pick sides and choose you or your ex-spouse. They may also feel that due to the animosity, they cannot be friends with either of you.
Even if you are in the midst of a bitter divorce, you probably do not want to force your mutual friends to pick sides. If you are socializing with them, do not ask them to spy on your ex-spouse, degrade your ex-spouse to them or insist they no longer speak with your ex-spouse. Enjoy the relationship and friendship you are now developing with these people.
Focusing on the positive and not becoming angry with people who may choose to not continue a friendship with you after a divorce is important for your well-being. During this time you should be around people who support you and want to be in your life. Accept that some mutual friends will want to be in your life and some may not. Do not let negative feelings overwhelm or control.
Smiling and being positive is critical to getting through a divorce and starting anew.