Is it Possible to Stay Friends After a Divorce?

On paper and legally speaking, divorce is nothing but an end to a legal arrangement between two people. Of course, the emotional bond that led to the marriage forming in the first place means that ending it can be a source of pain, bitterness, grief, and hostility. If that’s the case in your divorce, then a friendship may seem out of the realm of possibility. But if your relationship didn’t end as a result of abuse, and if you and your ex’s original relationship was built on friendship then finding a way back to cordial relations is not only possible but also preferable –this is particularly important if the two of you share children.

Managing relations after a divorce that did not involve children is a matter of personal preference. If the two of you have a shared friends network or social or professional scene that will necessitate being in the same place at the same time, it may make sense to figure out a way to be around each other, without making others uncomfortable. Making amends can be helpful, but if the relationship ended as a result of betrayal or some other deeply felt hurt, it may not be possible.

If, however, the two of you have children together the dynamic changes entirely. Even if you have no interest in being chummy, you are co-parents, and your children are watching for the example that you are going to set for how adult relationships work and whether the two of you are both able to work together for their best interests. This means not allowing petty differences or old grievances get in the way of their happiness or the normal functioning of their lives. It means that shared experiences like birthdays and school plays and sporting events should not become stage sets or excuses for doing battle – and the same should be true for your extended family.

Though it may take a long time – and it may not be realistic at all – for the two of you to return to friendship, being cordial is often more than enough for your kids. And you will likely be amazed at how much better it feels to stop fighting with each other and just move forward and let go of the anger.

For assistance in navigating divorce’s challenges, contact our office today.