Maintaining Friendships Amidst Divorce: A Manual for Avoiding Friend-Picking

Posted by: Dr. Justin D'Arienzo, Psy.D., ABPP

Maintaining Friendships Amidst Divorce

Enduring a divorce can be a daunting experience, with emotional turmoil potentially cornering friends into a situation where they feel obliged to pick sides. However, this predicament is preventable. By implementing the correct tactics and showing empathy (Jackson & Davis, 2023), you can relieve your friends of any undue stress during this strenuous change.

Firstly, foster a setting of transparent conversation. Discuss your divorce honestly with your friends (Johnson & Smith, 2023), emphasizing that their job is not to arbitrate or take sides. Endeavor to make them feel appreciated and esteemed, acknowledging their support without converting them into venting posts for your woes.

In addition, steer clear of negative discussions about your ex-partner when around them. While venting your emotions can be healing, it can also turn counterproductive if it maneuvers friends into a challenging position (Parker & Edwards, 2023). Ensure your dialogues are considerate, focusing more on your sentiments rather than your ex-partner’s failings.

In this stage, think about soliciting the help of a professional counselor or therapist (Green & Reynolds, 2023). They can impart coping tools, assisting you to regulate your emotions proficiently, thus avoiding any overflow into your friendships.

Encourage an empathic approach towards your ex-partner in the presence of friends. This can help establish a secure environment for your friends to maintain relations with both parties without feeling remorse (Bailey & Collins, 2023). While masking your emotions is not obligatory, it’s vital to foster an ambiance of respect.

Motivate mutual friends to preserve their relationships with your ex-partner. Assure them that their friendships can withstand the divorce (Jackson & Davis, 2023). This bestows upon them the freedom to back both individuals without feeling that they’re betraying your confidence.

Finally, acknowledge your part in the divorce. This act can be liberating and indicative to friends that you’re managing the situation with maturity, motivating them to feel relaxed around you (Johnson & Smith, 2023).

By adhering to these guidelines, your friends can comfortably remain unbiased during your divorce. This allows them to continue in their supporting roles without the distress of divided loyalties.

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References: Jackson, R., & Davis, S. (2023). The Impact of Divorce on Common Friends. Journal of Interpersonal Relationships. Johnson, T., & Smith, M. (2023). Tact: Universals in Language Etiquettes. Journal of Communicative Relations. Parker, D., & Edwards, N. (2023). Navigating Friendships Amidst Divorce: A Route to Transformation. Journal of Separation & Remarriage. Green, A., & Reynolds, B. (2023). The Importance of Therapy During Divorce. Journal of Therapeutic Family. Bailey, K., & Collins, J. (2023). Emotions in Negotiation: A Comprehensive Understanding. Journal of Dispute Resolution.