Should You Stay Friends after Divorce?

Staying friends with your former spouse following your divorce can be very complicated and emotional. Because everyone’s divorce is different, there is no all-encompassing answer to the question of whether or not you should stay friends. 

At the Center for Divorce Solutions, we believe that getting divorced does not have to be grueling or anxiety-ridden. Our goal is to help you have a kinder, gentler divorce which culminates in the best possible outcome for both parties. Here is some divorce advice to help you make your decision to remain friends with your ex-spouse.

Allow Yourself Time to Grieve

Getting a divorce often feels like enduring a loss in your life, so you need to take time to grieve for your loss. The method by which you grieve and the length of time that you are grieving is different for everyone, but it is an important first step in moving forward with your life. Once you have grieved, you will also be able to think more clearly and make the decision about friendship.

Take Baby Steps

Because you and your ex-spouse were so intimately connected, it may seem like second nature to just jump into a similar routine. You may want to go out together, text often, or even just tell each other how your day was. This can hinder your independence. Once you have accepted the divorce and the fact that you are no longer a couple, you should move forward in friendship slowly. A text every now and again asking how he/she is or going out for lunch on a rare occasion is ok, but don’t go overboard.

Don’t Become Intimate

Intimacy in a marriage should not turn into intimacy in a friendship after your divorce. This could lead to confusing emotions and hurt feelings very quickly, and then any hope for a true friendship could be eliminated. If you choose to be friends, keep it platonic!

Try to Re-Build Trust

Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, there may be feelings of distrust and unease with your former partner. It will take time to re-build that trust and make the leap into friendship. It is ok if you do not feel comfortable being friends with your ex-spouse because of a lack of trust. He/she may need to earn your trust back (or vice versa) before you can accept his/her friendship.

Focus on the Good

Becoming friends with your ex-spouse means that you are putting the past behind you and focusing on the good part of friendship. It can be very easy to fall into the marriage mode and remember all of the rough parts of the relationship that led to the divorce. Stick to focusing on the positives that being friends brings.

Contact Our Divorce Mediation Specialists

At the Center for Divorce Solutions, we understand how difficult it can be to go through a divorce, and we know that friendship may not always be plausible. We want to help you have a kinder, gentler divorce so that you might be able to build a better relationship with your ex-spouse as a friend. Contact us for divorce advice, mediation, and help.