Who Gets Custody of Your Friends After a Divorce?

broken heartWhen I was getting divorced, one of the biggest tasks, after agreeing on a custody arrangement for the kids, was dividing up all of our material things. The car, the house, the pots and pans.

There was a lot of back and forth with our attorneys as we figured out what stayed with me and what was to go with my ex-husband.

It wasn’t pleasant and it wasn't easy -- but then again, divorce is never easy -- but we accomplished it without having to go to court.

What wasn’t decided in the attorneys’ offices? Which friends would remain with me and which ones would go with him. Figuring that out was simpler than I initially thought it would be. Especially once I came to terms with the fact that we couldn't all remain friends.

Here's how it went:

The friends I had before we got married, like my high school bestie and my college roommates, remained mine. Which makes sense. They're the ones who got excited for me when I got engaged, stood by me at my wedding, and then supported me through my separation and divorce.

And his friends before the marriage were still his friends. And his alone. They had no interest in me and my life once my first husband and I separated. I don't blame them.

It started to get kind of tricky with the friends we met during our marriage. Most of them went to me and I felt kind of bad about that. But I fostered most of those relationships with the wives in those couples.

There were a few wives of my ex-husband's friends whom I tried to stay in touch with, but the friendships were never quite the same. Which was a loss for me because they were some pretty spectacular women.

Then there were a few couples who chose not to be friends with either of us. These were the people who were probably scared by our divorce. Because to an outsider, everything about my marriage seemed great. Maybe they thought that if it could happen to us then it could happen to them.

I never felt angry or let down by those who did not come over to my "side." Just sad that those relationships ended. But I understood. And I've been on the other side of it since then, having to pick which person of a divorcing couple I was going to remain friends with. Because divorce is too divisive for you both to keep all of them.

Have you had to choose sides when a couple you were friends with got divorced?


Image via sweethaa/Flickr

divorce, breakups, relationships


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youth... youthfulsoul

Yes. I left my 1st husband and therefore I was the bad guy because they disagreed with my decison to leave.  Almost everyone remained his friend, even a girl I'd known since I was 15. Sad. 


nonmember avatar Rebar

I'm going through a divorce right now, and my ex and I work at the same company so a huge amount of our friends are/were work friends.
At the beginning, they ALL said to me, that they would remain my friends due to the situation (ex husband cheated).
However, as time went on, only one did, and the others? They made fun of him due to that, cause obviously we must have been sleeping together for him to remain my friend - we were not.
I don't mind the loss of friends so much - cause really if they say one thing to me and then don't stand behind it, why would I want them as friends - more the loss of integrity I thought they had.
I would have preferred them not say anything at all to me though.
Side note: I made sure to tell them all, that unlike my ex, I wasn't going to 'make them chose' as he had made clear, cause we weren't children or in high school. Seems they made a choice though.

Venae Venae

Mine cheated on me, but most of the friends we'd made since we met (I was 16, he was 19 -- 25+ years ago) stayed w/him.  One of our great friends even let my husband use his house to cheat.  What a great friend to me, huh?  None of them seem to have a problem that he was a cheating piece of shit, so I am glad to be rid of them.



Ladyb... LadybugsMonkeys

I have never been divorced but friends of mine are. This is how I have done it: If I was only ever friends with the wife, I am still friends with her. If I was only ever friends with the husband, I am still friends with him. If I was friends with both of them, I am still friends with both of them. Why should that change just because they are no longer married.

Cel7777 Cel7777

I don't get why your friends couldn't remain friends with both of you? I've never been divorced, but if I were, I wouldn't care if me and hubby's mutual friends remained friends with both of us. Obviously I wouldn't want them discussing my life or business with him, and I wouldn't want to hear about his, but beyond that I think there would still be plenty to maintain a friendship.

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