If you’ve been through a break up or divorce, you know that sometimes friendships go away just like the relationship. I’ve been on both sides of the situation and it’s never easy. When a couple breaks up, we tend to side with the one we are closest with, but what happens when you are close with both of them? In one such experience, I found that I didn’t want to choose sides and I wanted to remain friendly with both of them. It worked for awhile until the wife of the couple said I had to choose and I really couldn’t, so she chose for me and ended our friendship. It made me sad, and I told her that, but I also respected her decision. I’ve never been one to chase after someone who doesn’t want to be friends with me.
When my marriage ended, I told our friends that I didn’t expect them to choose sides and that I had hoped that we would all stay friendly. But as human nature goes, some of the friendlier ones with my Ex chose him and vice versa. I watched how my number of friendships depleted. I never held a grudge because I understood. It’s just the way it works, even though I had hoped otherwise.
A divorce not only affects the married people; it affects the entire group of relationships. Family members tend to choose blood over the ex spouse. Children try to remain neutral as they’re in the thick of the broken family unit. How the divorced couple react with each other usually sets the tone for the rest of the relationships. Being bitter and being unable to communicate, makes it harder for everyone else. But as you may know, we can’t control anyone but ourselves.
I’ve worked really hard to be kind and to take the high road. It is who I am and I can’t change me. It’s hurt me and it’s helped me in so many ways. But I promised myself that I wouldn’t allow this divorce to define me nor to change who I am innately. I’m no saint and I won’t be a doormat, but I choose kindness over vitriol. I am trying to be a good role model for my kids and for those around me.
How about you? Did you have a tough time with friendships after a breakup?