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  #1  
Old 11-26-2003, 10:09 AM
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Anyone with divorced friends?

Some dear friends of ours are getting a divorce. This is the first couple we've ever known that is splitting up.

While the bitterness level is quite low, every divorce is a struggle between two parties. There are substantial assets, so I know that lawyers on both sides are probably getting ready to bare teeth.

How is this handled socially? We often host gatherings at our home, and both agreed that they would be able to attend when the other is present, so that's not a big deal. The thing I'm worried about is when they're apart. They're both our friends, and I want to keep it that way. The part I'm concerned about is keeping my friendship with each of them indivdually.

Any tips?
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2003, 10:18 AM
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Once the lawyers get involved, the bitterness level will go up dramatically. Each of them will probably try to talk to you about the nasty things that their X, or their X's lawyer is doing. I'd recommend that you avoid those discussions if possible. Respond with something like "I'm very sorry that you two are getting a divorce, but I'm still friends with both of you. So I'd rather not talk about the X."

Even with that, you may end up having to choose on or the other of them to remain friends.
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  #3  
Old 11-26-2003, 11:28 AM
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I say just listen. Try not to make too many statements supporting one or the other, but listen to both equally.

I have a somewhat similar situation at the moment, except that the guy is a much closer friend than his wife. To the point that he is moving into our house for a few months until things smooth out a bit. I struggled with the decision to offer our space, as I've been stuck in the middle of other people's break-ups before, and its not fun. However, the benefits to us and him of being at our place outweighed the pitfalls, so he's moving in this week. Mostly he just needs a friendly ear to talk things out with. I'll do my best to not make judgements about the situation. Hopefully, it will remain amicable.
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2003, 10:27 AM
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advice: default to not bringing things up AT ALL, avoid having the 2 in the same place as much as possible, also avoid talking about the other person AT ALL...do nothing untill you are sure you know the feelings of the person whom you are talking to.
My experience- my parents are divorced, I love them both, it took "them" 10 years and my wedding ceremony to finallly be able to occupy the same **building** together (one parent even intentionally arrived 15 mins late...TO MY WEDDING :mad ...so he/she didnt have to sit next to the other). I'll admit that one parent was more easy-going than the other, but that still prevented me meeting the 2 of them for an event. It *may* take up to a few years...yeah, if things are bad it could take years...for their feelings (about each other, you, your role in the issue...) to get really sorted out- you may need a lot of patience with both/one of them to keep the friendship going...
(I swear, if he/she werent my parent, I would have stopped talking to her/him long ago) I hope that my parents have a 'worst-case divorce" scenerio
...actually
...all divorces are 'worst-case..."

Or, (I hear people can do this, but never seen it =) ), in a year feelings will be solidifed, divorce(/child arrangements ?) will be finalized and you will be well versed in how each party feels. Sometimes it takes a year or more for just the court proceedings/legal stuff to get worked out. I wish you luck. (my parents are stilll arguing child support issues in court...

Lastly, since I was 16 when my parents seperated, I would ask that you do what you can for the children (if they have any)- It royally sucks (first my parents seperated, then 6m later my then-girlfriend's parents divorced, so I've seen it from the inside and the outside). There probably isnt a lot you can do, but if there is (take them to the zoo, offer to talk/listen about whats going on...children suffer greatly in any divorce) helping thier understanding and giving them an 'outside source' for information/compassion will help them out in the long run.

whoa...you seem to have hit a nerve =) , sorry if this post is too long.

This post edited for fairness to my parents =)

-John
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  #5  
Old 11-27-2003, 11:20 AM
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Thanks for all the advice guys.

While I have read that something like half of all marriages end in divorce, we just have never known any personally. This family had three terrific teen children and it's just plain wrecked them.

However, staying together miserable is not good either. My wife wished her parents had divorced instead of spending one miserable year after another together.

The problem is these situations of course, is that the involved individuals want to "vent." In many ways it's been pent up, and now it's being released. As their friends, we want to be there for them, but it's really hard not to end up polarized on one side.
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2003, 11:44 PM
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My good friend is going through a separation that is waiting for divorce (takes a year here). I was good friends with both of them. Turns out that she holstered a few extra pistols in the 5 years or so they were married. I haven't even talked to her since they split (no kids). Your situation depends on the specifics involved in their divorce. If it's amicable, you may still be able to be friends with both of them. However, it is seldom amicable when kids are involved. Whoever gets custody of the children will get the lionshare in the settlement and the other person will be bitter about it, esp. if the former initiated the divorce. In that case, I agree with Rick that you will end up being friends with only one of them. You may not actively have to choose, but that's how it will end up.
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2003, 01:38 AM
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The only friends I have that haven't been divorced at least once have never been married.Is the divorce rate lower in Canada?

William Rogers............
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2003, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by william rogers
The only friends I have that haven't been divorced at least once have never been married.Is the divorce rate lower in Canada?
Don't think so. Just been "lucky" with our circle of friends, I guess. When I was working in industry, just about everyone but me was on spouse three or four, but no one was in the process of divorcing, and even if they were, I didn't know their spouses anyway.

My wife's collegues are our friends (she works with nice people, unlike me) and none are divorced. Hhhhmmm.
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  #9  
Old 11-28-2003, 09:58 AM
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In the long run, you may wind up not being friends with either. I've always noticed that married and single people seem to live in different worlds. Once your divorced friends become accustomed to their new single status, they may develop new circles of friends to the point of excluding their old ones. Hopefully not, but it certainly wouldn't be unusual.

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  #10  
Old 11-28-2003, 11:26 AM
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Most of my friends & family have stayed married. My wife says we've stayed married because we both lack imagination.

Divorces leave open, bleeding wounds for everybody, including friends. I doubt one could maintain deep personal relationships with both sides. Loyalty cannot be divided, else most marriages wouldn't end in divorce.

In my experience you'll end-up with one side or the other as the permanent friend and the other will resent you for your betrayal of their half of the friendship.

Like Angel said, the kids get severely screwed--they are doubly betrayed. Hope you can find time for them whenever you seem them.

Botnst
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  #11  
Old 11-28-2003, 01:06 PM
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Refuse to discuss the situation at all if both parties are not present. If they are truly your friends, they will understand that you do not want to be put in a conflicting position between the two of them, concerning issues that are none of your business.

I have two good friends that WERE friends with each other as well, but now they are involved in a lawsuit situation, and I don't discuss it at all with either of them, and so far they have respected the fact that I don't want to be in the middle of it.

Mike
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  #12  
Old 02-15-2005, 07:23 PM
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I agree with most of these postings. I am the first divorce of a rather large group of friends.

Speaking as the person who is getting the divorce, I appreciate the friends who simply do not get involved. These are the people who have stated to both me and my soon to be ex that they are sorry that we are going through this but they will support BOTH of us. Make sure your wife is on the same page as women tend to rely on and seek support from other woman. This can lead to situations where you are having to defend the male involved in the divorce to your wife and you just don't need this.

Remember this is nobodys business except your friends. Remind your friends of this as well, don't get wrapped up in speaking unkind of either party.

As far as the social setting of everyone being together and getting along.....well this may work for the first period of time but I think you will find one or both of the parties weaning themselves from the group over time. This is common and to be expected. The best you can do is keep ties to both and continue to support them.

Not fun.....not fun!
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  #13  
Old 02-15-2005, 09:00 PM
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MYOB. You know what happens to the guy that gets between 2 fighting dogs, right? He gets bit by both dogs. I would not discuss one party WRT the other in both of their presences. I will not take sides either way nor do I want to even know anything about why they got divorced. The minute they tell you something, you know that sooner or later you will get involved and become the guy between 2 fighting dogs. If you even know from one side of the divorce about the reasons, the teller might tell the other side "Well, Jack Mehoff agrees with me that you are a slut." when all he told you is that "I think she is sleeping around."
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  #14  
Old 02-16-2005, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aklim
MYOB. You know what happens to the guy that gets between 2 fighting dogs, right? He gets bit by both dogs. I would not discuss one party WRT the other in both of their presences. I will not take sides either way nor do I want to even know anything about why they got divorced. The minute they tell you something, you know that sooner or later you will get involved and become the guy between 2 fighting dogs. If you even know from one side of the divorce about the reasons, the teller might tell the other side "Well, Jack Mehoff agrees with me that you are a slut." when all he told you is that "I think she is sleeping around."

i can attest to being bitten by two dogs. i was friends with a couple once. they decided to get divorced. i happen to make the mistake of asking the wife what happened, she then accused me of being his spy which i wasn't. since that episode, i have avoided dealing with either one of them to avoid being accused of taking sides. i lost two friends.

my advice is for you to lie low till the storm passes. there's a lot of unreasonable logic floating around so it is best to keep you distance for now.
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  #15  
Old 02-16-2005, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanStar
In the long run, you may wind up not being friends with either. I've always noticed that married and single people seem to live in different worlds. Once your divorced friends become accustomed to their new single status, they may develop new circles of friends to the point of excluding their old ones. Hopefully not, but it certainly wouldn't be unusual.

Ron
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This is a pretty accurate assessment of what will transpire...as is JenTay's "two fighting dogs" analogy.

So stay away and become a neutral party. Allow either to come see you if they desire, and lend a compassionate ear.

We have many in our circle who are divorced (but not recently). But no matter how amicable the break-up, one party cannot resist tossing a few well-placed "jabs" about the other in a conversation...
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