Jack Carney-DeBord | Profile for Jack's Law Office Blog

Informative posts about Divorce, Dissolution, Child Custody and Family Law.

How to Remain Friends with Your Ex After Divorce

Marriages can end for a variety of reasons, whether due to infidelity, stress, a change in character or simply because you have fallen out of love.

Despite the fact that divorce rates dropped to a 40-year low in 2016 according to the National Center for Family & Medical Research, marriages still have about a 50% chance of lasting.

Those aren’t exactly great odds, but just because you don’t want to be married anymore doesn’t mean that you still can’t be friends. After all, isn’t that how most relationships begin? Though it was once considered taboo by some, staying friends with your ex after divorce has become more accepted within society and can often make the process itself go much smoother. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Communication is Key

This goes without saying, but knowing how to communicate with your ex is paramount to maintaining a healthy relationship. This begins with acknowledging that the marriage isn’t working and displaying compassion instead of anger or resentment throughout the legal portion of the divorce.

communication is key

Instead of engaging in a drawn-out courtroom battle that pits you against one another, mediation with a lawyer can typically lead to a more amicable split, which in turn leaves the door open for friendship after the marriage has ended. Though you may not have always gotten along as a married couple, treating your ex with the same respect that you would like to be treated can go a long way toward remaining friends.

Do it for the Kids

If you happen to have children with your ex, that person is going to be a part of your life whether you like it or not. But while many people use to stay in a toxic marriage for the sake of their kids, the best thing you can do is accept that divorce might be the healthiest option for everyone involved. In fact, according to the American Psychology Association, children are more likely to experience problems when parents remain in a high-conflict relationship, so even if you don’t like each other, maintaining some sort of respect and friendliness is beneficial to the child.

do it for the kids

Kids also perform better when they keep in contact with both parents after a divorce, which not only helps with your child’s basic development but also teaches them important life skills like acceptance, tolerance and understanding.

Set Ground Rules (and don’t break them)

Marriage is all about compromise, and although you may be enjoying your newfound sense of freedom following divorce, it’s still important to set some rules when it involves you and your ex. Whether you’re putting together a co-parenting plan or deciding how to share your friends, you should approach post-marriage life with a willingness to work together.

set ground rules

You might not be on the same team anymore, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a collaborative effort. For starters, don’t dig up old wounds; let the past be the past and focus on the future. This includes establishing new boundaries and agreeing not to pry into personal matters that don’t involve your kids. You should never use your friends against one another or turn it into a competition.

Additionally, while it’s helpful to be flexible with each other’s schedules, you shouldn’t get flexible with one another in bed. Regardless of whether you’re still attracted to your ex, becoming intimately involved with them can not only ruin a new friendship, but it can also hinder the healing process emotionally and mentally.

Take Your Time, There’s No Rush

Divorce isn’t an easy decision and can often be a long process, which is why so many people cut ties with their exes altogether; it’s simpler and cleaner. However, if both of you agree that you’d like to remain friends, it’s vital to take the appropriate amount of time to rediscover yourself before you try reconnecting.

take your time Try new things you might not have done while you were married and get your own life straightened out before jumping into a new relationship. Some people will take longer to adapt than others, so be sure to have a conversation with your ex beforehand so that there isn’t any confusion or preconceived expectations.

Conclusion

Your relationship with your ex doesn’t have to end when the marriage does as long as both parties are willing to follow these simple suggestions. By communicating with each other, setting strict ground rules and taking the time to recover from your divorce, you may find that even though you don’t love your ex anymore, you like them enough to still be friends. Would you be able to remain friends with your ex after divorce? And if so, what do you think is the most important part of making it work?

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