Guest post by Sylvia Smith
Statistics show that out of 1000 marriages per year, 16.9 married women will end up divorced. The reasons why? Research indicates that the most common reasons to get divorced often involve infidelity, lack of communication, or some form of abuse.
However, many couples part ways because they simply grew apart. In these cases, it seems unfair to lose such an important person from your life just because you couldn’t make it as a couple.
Your ex-partner probably knows you better than most people.
They know how you take your coffee, what your hungry-face looks like, and how you behave in social situations. You’ve been through situations that have brought you closer together and taught you a lot about life and love.
Just because you aren’t married anymore doesn’t mean you can’t still be friends with your ex. It may be a long road to get there, but friendship with an ex is possible.
Here are 8 amazing pieces of divorce advice to help you get there.
Mourn Your Relationship
If you want to move past your romantic relationship and enter into the world of post-divorce friendship, you need to take the time to properly mourn your breakup.
Take some time away from your ex to process what happened to end your relationship.
This will help you to learn from your shared mistakes and move on into a new world of friendship without any hard feelings.
Learn To Be A Good Friend
One way you can initiate a friendship with your former partner is by checking in with them the way you would with any other close friend.
Start thinking of a way a great friend would behave, and start developing great friendly habits such as checking in on your ex when they are sick, inquiring about life events such as a new job or family health, and inviting your ex to come out to social events.
Study the traits of a good friend and start using them in your newfound friendship with your ex. Some great traits of a good friend include:
- Being open and honest with one another
- Having fun together
- Being non-judgmental
- Respecting each other’s privacy and boundaries
- Encouraging each other
- Have fun together
One of the biggest pieces of divorce advice you can follow is to put your children first. Just because you’re no longer lovers doesn’t mean you can’t still be partners. You must still work in harmony with one another to take care of your children.
A great tip for co-parenting after divorce is to discuss ground rules for raising your kids. Having the same routines and rules across both households can be beneficial for both you and your children.
The partnership will bring you closer together and help you develop a post-divorce friendship.
Ease Into Personal Details
Even though you’ve committed to being your ex’s friend, that doesn’t mean you’re going to be comfortable hearing about their new relationship.
When initiating a friendship with your ex, don’t feel like you have to hear the salacious details of their new love life. Ease into personal details and focus instead on things you share in common, such as hobbies, television shows, social groups, and music.
Diving into personal details too quickly can result in hurt feelings and an awkward atmosphere with your ex.
Talk to your former partner about conversational boundaries to prevent hurtful or uncomfortable situations from arising.
Do Things As A Family
A divorce can have a severe impact on your children. For example, adolescents living in a fatherless home are more likely to have learning disabilities, experience emotional turmoil, and act out sexually at a young age. They are also less likely to attend college, have trust issues, and deal with depression.
Opposite of these things, children thrive when their parents strive to maintain a positive relationship. One way you can do this is by regularly planning family outings together.
Mealtime is another great way parents can continue spending time with their kids as a family unit post-divorce. Research indicates that spending time together as a family can help improve your child’s cognitive development and linguistic skills.
Don’t Have Sex
Sex induces anti-stress effects by reducing your blood pressure and your cortisol levels.
It also promotes healing, growth, and increases your body’s pain threshold. Because of these positive side effects, it can be tempting to fall back into the old habit of being intimate with your partner, but hold back!
Not only will sex create a strange, awkward, or muddled dynamic between you two, but it can also trigger attachment. Research shows that the oxytocin hormone released during sex is responsible for bonding between partners.
Do Things Together
If you want to start a friendship with your ex, you need to learn how to hang out and do things that aren’t coupley. Some ideas include:
- Go to the movies
- Play cards
- Head to a museum
- Go out to dinner with mutual friends
- Check out a concert
- Have a Netflix night (without the chill)
- Play board games
- Go for a picnic lunch
- Play video games
Avoid anything that seems overly romantic, such as going to a wine tasting or spa, as it may inspire lusty feelings that could complicate your newfound friendship.
Forgive And Forget
Forgiveness is an essential piece of divorce advice you need to follow if you want to be friends after your separation.
It may take some time, but as you allow yourself to go through the process of grieving, eventually you will be able to forgive your partner for the role that they played in your separation.
After this happens, you can start putting the more important things first, such as being responsible and united parents for your children and emphasizing the new role of friendship in your lives.
Friendship after divorce is possible, if you are willing to put in the time and energy it takes to rebuild a relationship with your ex.
It can take time to get over the hurt that caused your breakup, but if you are willing to put the past behind you, you can benefit from a wonderful friendship after divorce.
Sylvia Smith is a writer who likes to write about relationships and how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. She is currently associated with Marriage.com. She is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt its principles in their relationships. By taking purposeful and intentional action, Sylvia feels any relationship or marriage can be transformed and truly enjoyed.