Navigating Friendships & Family Relationships Following Divorce
In this blog, one of FLiP’s in-house therapists Andrew Pearce provides his thoughts on how navigating friendships and family relationships can be made easier following a divorce or separation.
The build up to and ending of a relationship can be an emotional roller coaster for all concerned.
For the couple themselves powerful emotions akin to a bereavement are common and when angry it is perhaps natural to lash out verbally or in other ways which quickly becomes polarising.
As the divide grows, other people including family and friends become involved. Perhaps inevitably people take sides, make judgements and divisions deepen. Partisan people will often make judgements or comments which fan the flames to an inferno and we can find ourselves feeling excluded, shunned and marginalised.
Whilst this pattern might be commonplace there is unfortunately no “golden rule” to navigating the choppy waters. There are however some key things to keep in mind which will avoid you further heightening tensions and help maintain your equilibrium.
- People often don’t know what to say in “tricky” situations and speak without thinking: Think twice and then say nothing!
- It’s easy to find yourself on the back foot: Apologise only if you believe it is deserved and avoid placating others.
- All relationships and friendships evolve over time: Allow some water to flow and time to pass and see who is in your corner: What’s for you won’t pass you by.
- What’s really important to you in relationships/friendships? Do the people around you meet those needs?: Be selective about who YOU want in your life, it’s ok for things to fizzle out.
- Be true to yourself, just be who you are: Some people will like that and other’s won’t, and that’s OK.
At FLiP, we truly recognise that it may feel every inch of life is affected by divorce or separation. Managing friendships and family relationships in times of heightened emotion can be particularly challenging, especially in circumstances where friends and family are mutual and very much integrated in both your and your ex-spouse/partner’s lives.
This is why at FLiP we offer our counselling services alongside our expert legal support. Counselling can help those struggling with family breakdown to come to terms with the changes that they may face, regaining their equilibrium and enabling them to make good long-term decisions.
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