Updated: Aug 22
Going through a divorce is a trying time, and many people come out on the other side with a wide range of emotions. It's common to feel anger, sadness, and even relief all at once. One question that often comes up after a divorce is whether or not to remain friends with your ex-partner. While some people might jump at the chance to maintain a friendly relationship, others may wonder whether it's a good idea. Let's explore the issue further and see whether or not staying friends with your ex is advisable.
The Positive Aspects of Friendship with an Ex
One of the main reasons people consider staying friends with their ex is because they have shared a history and still care for one another, just not in the same way. In certain situations, staying friends with an ex might be beneficial for both parties. It may allow for shared custody or make things easier when it comes to arranging holidays or other events you may attend together. In some cases, being friends after a divorce might even help you deal with your emotions and move on more quickly.
The Negative Aspects of Friendship with an Ex
On the other hand, staying friends with an ex can sometimes be problematic. If there are unresolved issues, staying in touch might open up old wounds and create tension. You may also feel like you're being led on if your ex-partner shows any affection towards you, making it harder for you to fully move on. It's essential to look closely at your motivations and consider how you will feel about your decision now and in the future.
Establishing Healthy Boundaries
If you do decide to remain friends with your ex, it's crucial to establish healthy boundaries. This can prevent any miscommunications or misunderstandings from occurring. It's very important to understand that you are no longer in the same intimate relationship that you used to have, so any expectations of the same behaviour or treatment between the two of you should be eradicated. You may want to consider laying out rules or guidelines for what is and isn't acceptable going forward, and what both parties expect from the relationship.
Moving on After Divorce
Regardless of whether you decide to remain friends or not, moving on after divorce is essential. Take the time you need to grieve the loss of your relationship, seek support from loved ones, or even a licensed therapist. It's important to understand that friendships might not always be possible, and that's perfectly okay. Ultimately you need to decide what's best for yourself and your wellbeing.
The Importance of Self-Reflection
If your ex-partner wants to be friends after a divorce and you're not sure how you feel, it's important to take some time for self-reflection. Consider your motivations, needs, and boundaries. Are you hoping to reconnect romantically, are you not interested in maintaining contact, or are you open to the possibility of a platonic relationship? Answering these questions honestly can help you move forward in the healthiest way possible.
In conclusion, the decision to remain friends with an ex is entirely up to you. There are both positive and negative aspects to consider, and it's important to evaluate your unique circumstances before deciding what's right for you. If you do decide that staying friends is the best option, then it's important to establish healthy boundaries, avoid misunderstandings, and seek support as you move forward. Regardless of your final decision, the most important thing is to prioritize your wellbeing and take the time you need to heal.
Are you going through a divorce or know someone in a difficult relationship? Divorce is Simple can help. We offer professional mediation services in Ontario. Whether it is an uncontested divorce or a more complicated situation, we can help.
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