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How Your Divorce Will Affect Those Around You & How To Navigate The Relationship Consequences

When you get divorced, the relationship between you and your spouse is not the only relationship that is going to change. Your divorce is going to have ripple effects that will spread out to various different relationships in your life beyond your romantic ones. Here are the people who are going to be most affected by your divorce and how you can navigate the consequences your divorce will have on these relationships as you are going through your divorce proceedings.

Your Mother & Father In-Laws

Your relationship with your in-laws is bound to change as you go through the divorce process. If you and your partner both value the relationship that you have each built with each other's parents, you are going to need to tread carefully to not harm this relationship. Try to avoid airing the dirty laundry of the divorce process and your feelings about what is happening with your parents; share these thoughts with a trusted friend or counselor instead.

By not sharing every detail of your divorce with your parents, and if your partner agrees to do the same, you can preserve some of the respect, love and trust that has built up over the years. Although you are not going to see them the same amount now that you are no longer married to their child, it doesn't mean you need to abandon the relationship. Especially if you have children together, you'll want to keep a warm relationship so that you and your parent can both foster your children's connection to their grandparents.

Your Close Friends

If you have a really close friend group that is composed primarily of couples, your divorce is going to affect that dynamic. You can have some control over how it affects the dynamic by sitting down and talking with your spouse about how you want to share the news with your close friend group. If you sit down and share the news with them together, instead of venting and gossiping to them about it individually, you may be able to preserve your friendships.

If you and your spouse are okay being around one another, let your friends know that. If you need space from each other right now but are willing to get together as a group in the future, let them know. Let your close friends know what you both want will help you both preserve the friendships and relationships that matter to you.

Casual Acquaintances

It can take a while for word to get around that you and your spouse are divorced. Learn to not get defensive when someone asks you how your husband or wife is doing. If you keep in touch with your spouse, let the casual acquaintance know how they are and that you are divorced. Realize that the process of informing casual acquaintances could drag on months if not years, so get comfortable with telling people that you are no longer married without it affecting your attitudes or emotions.

Try to work together with your soon-to-be former spouse to keep the details and drama of your divorce private between the two of you and a licensed mental health professional. The less you share your divorce drama with your family and friends, the easier it will be for each of you to preserve the relationships that you built while you were together. 

To make this process a little easier, hire a good lawyer to help with the divorce paperwork.