Is it possible to keep hold of mutual friends after a split?

It’s been nearly 3 years since I split up from my husband and a lot has changed since it all happened.

At first I had these ideas of how things would be going forward, but as the time has gone on, my attitude has changed. For example, when we first split up, I insisted on that going forward – at least until the children were considerably older – we would all spend Christmas together. The first two years I spent Christmas with my ex and his new partner – the first year it was only a matter of weeks since we’d split up and I was still living in the house, but the second year I went to my ex’s house and spent Christmas with them. To me, this was healthy because of the children. But in hindsight, and as time went by, I realised that actually I needed to break away and also that it was not good for me to spend Christmas with my ex-husband and his new partner in what was now THEIR house with THEIR things all around (my place was too small to have all of them for Christmas Dinner so his was the only option). It was too much and actually made me sad. So last year I spent it with my parents at their house. This year, the kids will be with my ex on Christmas Day and I will have them on Boxing Day and next year we will swap. And that is fine for me because I have no desire to do what now feels like gatecrashing on their Christmas. I want to have my own Christmases. Of course, now I have a house, this is not so much of a problem. Maybe next year I’ll have everyone (my family) over to mine for Christmas Day.

Another idea that has since changed, and one that has been on my mind a lot recently, is the idea that I would stay friends with everyone who had previously been friends with both of us. When we first split up, we made it clear that we did not expect anyone to take sides, although some definitely did take one side or the other. But as time has gone by, I have seen some of those friends less and less and many of them rarely even interact with me on Facebook but I know some of them do with my ex. In the past, this has bothered me immensely and I have felt slightly abandoned, but that is changing now and I’m just starting to realise that maybe they simply identify more with my ex-husband naturally, rather than it being about me. I’ve also started asking myself a) if I’ve made a huge amount of effort to stay in touch with them (which I haven’t) and b) if I am adversely affected by not seeing these people (which I’m not, so maybe I didn’t have that much in common with them in the first place). This actually feels like quite a big step forward for me. I’m actually moving on and accepting that life is different. I have a different circle of friends. Many of whom are incredibly supportive. And I’m grateful for that.

Another big step for me was that this week I made the decision to take my ex-husband and his partner off Facebook. I kept seeing his comments on some of these mutual friend’s facebook statuses and even though I tried not to, it still bothered me. Also, he can’t see my posts and I can’t see his, so what was the point in staying “friends”. I advised them both of my decision and then removed them. Huge step and one I came to of my own accord. Not through anger, simply because it was time to move on.

So, time really does heal. If you’re going through it now, just keep going. It will get better.


One Thought on “Is it possible to keep hold of mutual friends after a split?

  1. Elise on October 19, 2017 at 00:09 said:

    Great post Abi, so pleased for you and all that you’ve achieved xxxx

Please comment so I know I'm not alone out here!

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