My best friend and her husband were recently divorced after 6 years of marriage, during which time my husband and I fell in complete platonic love with her and her husband. We’ve been an inseparable group of four. Their reasoning for their divorce is just that the flame has died and they feel no attraction for each other anymore. While part of me wants to try to convince them to give it another shot, I feel it’s just not my place. But when we hang out with him now, I feel as though I’m cheating on my best friend.
My question is this: when two close friends decide to divorce, do I have to write off the one that I’ve know the least amount of time out of respect to the one I’ve known the longest?
“Stuck In The Middle”
Dear “Stuck In The Middle”,
Divorces amongst friends are always hard. You never know which team you should be rooting for. But in this situation, both “teams” are adults, and have made this decision for themselves, so I agree with you that it’s not your place to try to force them back together. There’s no point in losing BOTH friends in an attempt to keep them together. All you can really do is sit back and hope all of the divorce proceedings have occurred with no hard feelings.
As far as feeling torn between the two of them, that’s only natural. You feel a sense of alliance with your best friend and you don’t want to do anything to hurt her. But she will need to be understanding of your feelings as well during this time. Not only is it unfair for her to expect you to choose between two friends, it’s also immature.
Something else to consider is whether or not she’s told you the whole truth behind the reasoning for their divorce. If something serious happened (infidelity, abuse, constant fighting, etc.) between them, she might view your friendship with him as “backstabbing”. But it is up to her to be forthcoming with these details. Be wary of her claiming they divorced simply because their flame died, but going through the roof if she finds out you are still spending time with him. This means she’s either lied about their reasons of splitting up, or she’s over protective and probably not a healthy addition to your life.
It probably would not be a good idea to have any events where both of them are invited in the near future. If you are planning a birthday party for you, your husband, or if you have children that have grown close to this freshly divorced couple, you might want to have a game plan as to who to invite and who to make plans with to celebrate at a later time. If your husband has a birthday coming up and he want to invite your best friend’s ex over to grill, let her know it’s nothing personal towards her, but these are his wishes. Don’t skirt around the issue and pretend like you never see her ex, or try to convince her he doesn’t exist anymore. This could possibly make her worry about how valuable friendship is to you and your husband.
Over all, it’s going to be easiest to just address these concerns with her face to face. Let her know that you and your husband value her friendship along with her ex-husband’s, and that you hope to carry on a friendship with both parties involved. After all, their marriage relationship is not the only relationship affected here.
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