Ending a marriage is always hard and emotionally fraught, but you can work to stay friends after divorce. However, just because staying friends with your ex-spouse is possible and something you want, doesn’t mean it will happen right away or even soon.

Challenges to friendship after divorce

When it comes down to it, the social contract for a marriage is that it is a romantic relationship. You and your spouse shared intimate moments and strong feelings and had a deep connection, at least at one point. Whatever changes bring about the divorce does not change that history or context.

In addition, even if you otherwise care deeply about your ex, simply moving into the divorce process opens up significant inroads for negative feelings. Your divorce can bring out ugly circumstances and sides in discussions such as:

  • Property division
  • Child custody and support
  • Ongoing spousal support

Another aspect that can bring up difficulties for rebuilding your friendship with your ex is how post-divorce life hits both of you. You may be placed back into a dating pool or have new found pressures on you in terms of day-to-day living that stress you both out.

The common thread in all of the situations you could find yourself in is that the history of your relationship will impact your future friendship. And you may have to face the truth: friendship with your ex may not actually be possible.

Can you have an easy divorce?

Often the difference between a bitter divorce and an amicable divorce hinge on these topics. However, if there were other aspects to the divorce, such as romantic feelings for people outside the marriage or inappropriate intimate relationships, you have a significant problem.

A protracted, hard-fought divorce will sour feelings quickly.

If you decide to pursue a divorce, you will change how you interact with the person you were married to. The legal proceedings make sure of that. However, you can opt for the least painful path in the divorce process if you find the right representation.