If you have questions about this change, you're in the right place. Our editors, experts, and community of change optimists have answers!
Can I stay friends with both?
My husband and I are very close to this one couple that are now seperated and are thinking about divorce. We love them both and it's not like one cheated or abused the other - things just aren't working out. Is it possible to remain friends with both, or are you ultimately forced to choose sides?
I think you can stay close to both, but it will take work on your part and you'll have to be willing to start a new relationship with each of them. Also, it's natural for a couple to want to get together with another couple on a Sat. night and I'm sure they both would appreciate you extending yourself to them. The weekends are the most difficult for a newly single person. I'm going through a divorce right now and although most of the couples my husband and I socialized with were mine to begin with, I sense they prefer getting together with another couple on a Sat. night.
Couples who decide to end their marriage often make the fatal mistake of forcing friends to choose between them and attributing that choice to "loyalty" from their friends. The truth is, their relationships outside of their marriage are seperate and while it might take a bit of understanding between all of you, you do have a right to remain friends with whomever you choose.
Here are a few tips:
Make it clear that you love and respect both of your friends when they come to you with news of the other. Let them know that you want to be there for them but are not comfortable playing referee. It's up to your friends to be respectful of your boundaries.
Talk to your friends about how they would like you to handle invitations to events, children playing together, etc.
Do not share information about one party with the other. It is not your responsibility to play spy for your friends.
Do not get involved with the marriage/divorce. You can listen as long as you feel comfortable but keep your opinions to yourself.
Many people who divorce forget that their friends have loved and supported the union and will likely feel a sense of loss and even a threat to their own marital security when they split. It's not uncommon for friends to feel hurt, upset and even anxious about the break-up of a couple close to them so don't shame yourself if you find yourself feeling these things. With a little adjusting, you can remain friends with both parties provided one party does not demand something more from you.
Nope. I'm going through a divorce and "friends" say they will stay down the middle - but I think it's impossible. I have my "true" friends, but the ones that say they will will never have your back. And I don't trust them fully at all.
Usually the great friendship divide occurs naturally over time. I agree that the best thing you can do is let both of them know that you care about them and just be patient until things work themselves out.
Not that this is the same, but my boyfriend of 3 years and I broke up about 6 months ago...and while we are good friends, we still had to navigate the whole friendships with mutual friends thing. So far so good. I think it only gets awkward if one of the exes brings a new beau/belle with them...but our friends have reassured us that they love us both!
I lost touch with friends after my divorce. They had been friends of my husband first and in some ways I felt uncomfortable keeping up the relationship, but that was all my doing. I tend to think they would have welcomed my friendship. It's just so hard when people are going through a divorce to know when is the right time to insert yourself and how to go about it.
I think the best thing you could do is to let them both know you care about them and hope the outcome will be the best for both and that you are there for each of them if and when they need you.