Divorce is famously one of the most significant changes a person can go through. After years of building a life with your spouse, you have to separate yourself from everything you find familiar. Often, navigating social circles is one of the most significant challenges for divorcees. Shared friends may feel loyalty toward one spouse or the other, while separate friends may not know how to navigate the emotions that accompany a divorce.
Whether you are going through a difficult divorce or an amicable one, there are certain ways to navigate your social life following a marital change. Following appropriate behaviors and protocol is key to maintaining your dignity and poise within your social circles. These behaviors are vital, both in keeping friendships and preserving aspects of your divorce case in court. The following tips will help you navigate your social life during and following a separation and divorce.
Don’t Bad-mouth Your Ex
It will likely be tempting to vent about what is going on in your relationship. When marriages end, it often unleashes a significant amount of resentment and frustration, making gossip a natural outlet. However, this is not a good idea. Speaking ill of your ex can easily get back to their attorney, who will use the information against you in court. It could jeopardize your settlement, spousal support, and much more.
Instead of venting to mutual acquaintances, choose one or two close, personal friends or family members to lean on. Ask them if you can speak freely with them in confidence, and tell them that it is important that any information remains between the two of you. This allows you an outlet for your feelings, without as much risk. If you want to be totally safe, speak to a counselor or therapist.
Mind Your Social Media
Social media posts can have a similarly negative effect on your divorce. It is best to avoid all talk of your divorce on social media sites, whether the comments are direct or subtle. It is also important to be mindful of seemingly unrelated activities. For example, you do not want to post about lavish vacations or purchases on social media sites during a divorce. This can affect your settlement sum, and even make you ineligible for spousal support.
Photos and posts are misinterpreted in the best of times, and divorce only makes this worse. If you can, completely logging out of social media is the best thing you can do.
Talk To Your Ex
Though it may be uncomfortable or painful, it can be helpful to speak with your spouse about your shared social circles. Communicate any boundaries you may have about seeing them in public, and what is okay to share with friends once the divorce is finalized. For example, you may decide together that you will send one another a heads-up text before bringing a new significant other to a social function. Or perhaps you will decide that you do not want to share details of infidelity with friends when discussing the divorce.
These simple boundaries can make a significant difference. They often allow couples to continue to enjoy shared social circles with minimized awkwardness and increased respect.
Make An Effort With Your Friends
Divorce takes a lot of emotional energy, not to mention time and concentration. Despite this, it is important to make an effort to see friends during this time. Try to connect with close friends, and make an effort to discuss topics other than your divorce. This often helps to deepen relationships, and assure your friends that you still want to spend time with them even if you and your spouse are no longer together. Stick to the boundaries you created with your ex, and put in effort with both shared and individual friend groups.
Leave the House
For your personal well-being, make sure you leave the house when you socialize. Though it may be tempting to invite friends to your home for drinks and appetizers, it is important that you begin to build a new life outside of your home and relationship status. This will have the same effect and will help you to see that there is more to life than what you are losing in your divorce.
If your ex says or does something that is out of line, rude, offensive, or hurtful, try not to retaliate against them. Though you may want to, fighting back will only make things worse for you, especially in a social context. For example, if a friend tells you that your ex has been talking about your personal flaws in a public setting, you may be tempted to do the same. However, remaining dignified is always a good thing in divorce scenarios. It also preserves friendships and can help keep situations from feeling awkward.
Accept That Things Will Change
You probably won’t be able to continue your social life in the exact same way as you did when you were married, and that’s okay. It is important to accept the changes, and try to navigate your new social landscape with dignity and respect. Some friends may fall away, but it is best to understand that divorce simply has this effect. Make an effort with friends and family who are present and supportive, and try not to make issues with those who would rather not see you anymore.
Contact Stange Law
For many years, our team at Stange Law has been helping couples to navigate divorce in a respectable, understanding way. We understand how challenging it can be to navigate your social life after a divorce, and we do everything in our power to empower our clients with tips and tricks to make the transition easier. Our legal advice is reliable and sound, and you can rest easy knowing that we are giving you appropriate information. Whether you are navigating a contentious divorce or have split amicably, we are here to support and guide you through the legal side of the divorce process.
For more information on our services, our staff, and our service areas, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us via our website today.