How Friendships Change After A Breakup

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?

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13 Responses to How Friendships Change After A Breakup

  1. LA says:

    My first husband and I had very few combined friends….they were either my friends or his, so the break was natural. And in my relationship now, my husband has his friends and I have mine, and even though we socialize as couples, the divide wpuld be pretty clean. He’s never going to go out with my bestie and her husband, and vice versa.

    Liked by 1 person

    • janieleeds says:

      That’s great for you that the relationships are defined. Because our kids were in sports for a long time, we had a lot of shared friends. It’s all good now though. I’m happy for those that are friendly and for the others, I don’t hold a grudge as I get it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • LA says:

        I’m more of an introvert. We met a lot if people but I consider them acquaintances…they were in my life for a time period and then naturally moved on. I have 5 close friends that live around me, and 3 that don’t, and that’s all I need. I’m not a very social person.

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      • janieleeds says:

        I think it’s quality over quantity with friendships. It’s the ones you know you can count on at 3am that make the biggest difference in our lives. I know for me, I have a small circle of trusted friends and I’m content with them. The larger circle is nice once in awhile, but I don’t enjoy that superficial connection that I have with them. They are nice, but I don’t feel the connection so it’s superficial. You know what I mean?

        Liked by 1 person

      • LA says:

        I know exactly what you mean. Go out and make new, great friends. I met two women in writing class that 8 have become friends with. What you want/need in a friend changes over time. Nothing wrong making new ones

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      • janieleeds says:

        I agree with you! I am always open to new friendships and I especially cherish the ones we’re making here by blogging!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: reblog: how your break up affect – My coffee and Me.

  3. Absolutely been in this boat, it is so hard to watch after divorce as your friends spend more time with the ex’s new gf and just don’t have time for you, but as you pointed out we can only control ourselves. Due to my ex and I being very friendly because have a child and we choose to put him first, everyone thinks its okay to be friends all around, it makes things awkward for the new relationships. I have chosen to be the bigger person and let things go as well, becoming more a text friend instead of a “do stuff with” friend. My friend circle changed for the better, but it was hard to watch it deplete.

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    • janieleeds says:

      What great news that you put the child first and have been able to navigate the sticky waters of friendship after divorce. I applaud you! My friend circle changed too, for the better, but it is more compact now which is ok with me. But it was a little daunting when people did fall away. I understood, but it was sad all the same. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to share! Nice to meet you!

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  4. Wretched says:

    In the past, I’ve tended to voluntarily disconnect from mutual friends or friends that were my partners first. The couple times I haven’t, there was weird drama that would eventually develop… On the other side of it, I’ve tried to remain friends with both sides of a failed relationship. While I’ve found some level of success, it depends on how amiable they are with each other. Or how much they try to involve friends… The couple that tagged people in argument posts on FB? Not so much friends with either at this point.

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    • janieleeds says:

      I agree with you! I would stay clear of the drama couples and not involve myself either. I don’t like drama to begin with so I don’t want to be mixed up with the he said/she said garbage that can happen. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Nice to meet you.

      Liked by 1 person

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