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Not sure where to post this..need advice about staying friends with divorced couple

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

My husband and I are good friends with a couple who is currently going through a divorce. Literally a month ago we were hanging out at their house, having dinner, drinking and chatting and now she's got her own place and they are going through a divorce. We had suspicions that there was trouble in paradise, but no clue to the extent of it. Well, here's the thing. The husband is my DH's best friend. I'm friends with his wife, but we're not as close with eachother as DH and her DH is...we were friends mainly because DH and him got along so well and were good friends, so we did a lot together as a couple. I wont get into the details about why their relationship ended, but I will say that I've heard his reasoning for the divorce and I'm about to meet with her tomorrow to hear her story. From what I've heard, her side is different than his, and they seem to both be placing the blame on each other, and of course I still want to be friends with her but DH and I are friends with the husband too, and I can't imagine severing ties with him. He was someone we looked up to and trusted, but after learning the reasons for divorce..and the current situation(he's already involved with another woman), I am having a hard time trusting and respecting him. Without knowing the honest truth, is there any way we can remain friends with both people and stay non-judgemental? I am a very non-judgemental person. I really am. I want to stay friends with both of them, and my DH doesn't want to lose his best friend, even though circumstances would suggest that his friend possibly did something morally wrong, but we'll probably never really know the whole truth. Can we just stay out of the whole situation and continue to be friends with them? Has this worked for anyone?? I'm so confused and sad that I may be losing them.

post #2 of 11

Well, I think it's pretty normal to judge, and trying not to will probably make it impossible.  To my eyes it seems like your husband has the closest relationship with the man of the ex-couple;  can you let your husband take the lead and remain cordial with the wife?  Maybe your husband wants to maintain the same level of closeness with his friend, maybe he doesn't.

A man that was somewhat of a father figure to me left his wife amid circumstances that, even in the gentlest light, make him look like the dirtbag of the year.  I have to remind myself that his recent behavior doesn't erase the kind, joyous man I liked to be around as a small child, it just makes him complicated, like the rest of us.  Nice people do awful things. 

You have lost "them", the couple.  Of course you have, they're divorcing.  I can't recommend you complain to either of them about it, but grieving the loss with mutual friends or with your own husband, respectfully, would be totally within the realm of polite behavior, in my opinion.  But there is no need to lose them as individual friends, or no need to keep either. 

I'm sorry your friends are divorcing.  I think that's a hard thing to go through for everyone involved.

post #3 of 11

I wonder if this will even continue to be an issue as the next few weeks pass. The wife may very well set up a whole new life and new social circle for herself; if your DH is her ex's bff, she may feel a little uncomfortable spending much time with you. Which leads to the main point, as PP said: you've lost your favorite set of "coupley friends," and it's natural to grieve over that. If the wife does move on, it's not personal. If she and you manage to stay connected, I think that shows a really strong bond between you. Many newly divorced women stop hanging out with their married friends even without this kind of situation - it's natural to be drawn to people who are in the same boat. So if she doesn't do that, you'll have a whole new sense of what a great friend she really is.


I'd say let yourself grieve, and stay as open as you can to be sensitive to how things start developing. Don't try to block your emotions, though, if you feel like the husband has let you down as a friend. You don't have to be mad on his ex's behalf; you can just be really disappointed that he's had a lapse in a trait you really valued in him, loyalty. He has his own reasons for doing that. You may agree, you may not, but pretending you don't feel let down when you do isn't good for anyone. Who knows how things will turn out in a years' time.


Hugs to you AND your DH! I know it's hard on my hubby when a guy he trusts does something just plain stupid. It's like they let the whole team down. Some bounce back from it, and learn more about themselves. Others...don't. hug2.gif

post #4 of 11

I agree with PP, it's normal to judge.


I've been in situations where DH and I were BFF's with a couple and the guy cheated, but according to him he had his reasons for it, but I didnt care. He cheated, he lied, and he took advantage of knowing that she'd never suspect. He was wrong, and it was clear. Did they have some problems that led him to want to look for a relationship elsewhere? Sure, and some of them were her fault, but HE is the one who fell short in my eyes. If he can look at the person he loves and lie every day, I can never trust him as a friend. Now they are back together, and it sure is hard to sit and have dinner with him. She's forgiven him, but I still think he's a liar and a cheat. (2 year affair, not a one night stand).

Sometimes you have to pick sides, depending on how cut and dry things are. Sometimes you have to choose the side that isnt what you'd choose because both people need support, even the one at fault. If the H is at fault, that doesnt negate your DH's friendship, and that goes the other way around too. She may really need you right now :)


We've had other friends who, like pp said, have started other circles and we seldomly see them, so it isnt really an issue. It's good that you are going to hang out with her though.

post #5 of 11

I think it's best to support them both and see how it works out over time. I've found that sometimes I stay friends with both and sometimes it turns out I had a stronger friendship with one or the other. I don't think you have to decide, but be open and see how it develops. There is always at least two sides to every story.

post #6 of 11

Yes, and remember that breakups happen, and there doesn't always have to be someone to blame. People sometimes do wacky things as their relationship falls apart; it's a really tricky situation to navigate.

post #7 of 11

I hope you are able to stay friends with all involved. That's a sucky situation!

post #8 of 11

Just give it time.

post #9 of 11

I think it can work, but you have to be very careful not to become directly involved. Do not be a source of information about the other spouse to either of them. Also, it'd probably be best not to share the details of your conversations with the wife with your husband... he might have a hard time not passing something on to the husband. It's hard not to be judgmental, and when I was in the position I didn't even try... she was right and he wasn't willing to get his act together, even for their kids. I'm polite to him when he visits my husband, but I have no desire to socialize with him anymore.

post #10 of 11

Good advice, Mummoth. 

post #11 of 11

Oh man I've been there before. We have friends that split up and it meant a couple ugly arguments between me and my husband after they put us in the middle once.  After that we did our best to stay neutral. We still talk to them both, but don't mention all the details of our outings with the other ex-spouse, individual lives, or conversations between them. Its okay to be friends with someone and NOT agree or be involved with every decision in their relationships.

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