Divorce isn’t usually the separation of just two people. Oftentimes, a marriage’s split severs other relationships too.
If you’re uncertain about which of these relationships are worth saving, here’s our guide for when you should and should not keep relationships that are tied to your ex.
After deciding to split from your spouse, you might feel a little awkward about continuing relationships you’ve made with your ex’s siblings, parents or other extended family. In most cases, it’s best to get a clean break from your ex — including his or her family. But, you can avoid burning these bridges by letting this separation happen naturally, rather than explicitly cutting ties.
However, if you share children with your ex, it may be in your child’s benefit to stay friendly. You may also want to keep relationships that exist outside of your ex. For instance, if you were good friends with one of his or her family members before your marriage, the friendship may mean more to you. Yet, even in these cases, it’s a good idea to take a break while healing from the divorce.
Friendship territory can be tricky — especially if you and your ex were friends with couples. But, this separation is also likely to play out naturally.
Those that feel closer to you will rally their support around you, while others will gravitate toward your ex. Some friends play both fields, offering their support to each of you or attempting to stay totally neutral.
It’s not fair to tell friends to choose a side. However, as you seek support during your divorce, you’ll likely seek the comfort of those who are “on your side” and less connected to your ex.
If you’re feeling a little weird about returning to a particular community you and your ex were a part of, you’re not alone. Many couples meet through shared interests. In some cases, a particular shared interest may make up a community, such as a motorcycle club, an intramural sports or a worship group.
If your ex is still engaging with this community, it may be a good idea to take a break from it until you’ve worked through your divorce emotionally. However, you should also consider switching to another community that shares this interest. This way you can build a new support group that isn’t connected to your ex.