Reaching out to friends that you and your ex-spouse shared during or after the divorce may seem like an awkward and uncomfortable thing to do. Depending on how close you and your ex were, it is highly likely that you both shared the same friends, even befriended other couples who you both were acquainted with.

It can seem tricky to navigate because you may not know what to say or you may not be ready to have those friends ask questions about the nature of your divorce. The key to reacquainting yourself with these old friends is to only do it when you are ready and willing to put yourself out there. 

Tips for Reaching Out to Your Friends

Of course, your divorce is truly no one’s business but yours and your ex-spouse’s, but it would be irrational to think that old friends won’t have questions – especially if they are used to hanging out with both of you at the same time. These people may have been really rooting for you both at one time and now they are confused as to what happened and why. Here are some tips to try to navigate this sticky situation.

It is up to you if you want to retain these friendships.  If you do, don’t make your friends choose. If your friends are equally as close with your ex as they are with you and you are comfortable with it, let them know that they don’t have to choose sides and it is okay to remain friends with both of you. If you find that over time your friends are being more one-sided or showing your ex-spouse more loyalty or confidentiality than they are you, there are appropriate ways to handle this before cutting them off.  You need to do what is best for you and surround yourself with people who add benefit to your life.

Try and remember that this can be awkward for your friends too and if you choose to remain friends, don’t drag them through this process with you. Avoid bad-mouthing your ex around your shared group of friends and don’t mention anything about them, that you don’t want to be repeated or that you wouldn’t want to be mentioned about you.

Establishing clear boundaries about what you want and do not want to discuss when you are around them simply means being firm and/or clear on how you want to be handled during this process. If you are invited over by a mutual friend and you are comfortable telling them a few details but they dig too deep, let them know that you are not comfortable discussing it and  you don’t want to put them in the middle.

When to Back Off

If you find that your shared group of friends are making it really difficult to move past your divorce, you may want to take a step back. If they aren’t embracing the renewed version of yourself that is independent of your spouse, you may need to consider making new friends.

Although it sounds harsh to say, people can become toxic and you may be better off establishing friendships with people who understand you on an individual level, away from your spouse.   

I have told my clients for years, our friends and family love us and want the best for us, most of the time.  With that love and support comes opinions of what we should do, how we should handle our divorce and a lot of questions about what we are doing and why….your friends and family, while well intentioned, were not part of your marriage, don’t let them be part of your divorce.  Do what is best for you and/or you and your spouse during the divorce.  You are the one that has to live with those decisions once the process is over.

Are you having trouble with retaining mutual friends or finding new friends after divorce? I’m here to help you and would love to talk with you! Schedule an appointment with me HERE!