A lot of families want to talk to me about boundaries relating to friends, relatives and neighbors after the divorce.
When families divorce, there is a disruption so to speak amongst your circle of friends and family that came with the blending of these relationships through marriage. As a result you may see these people stepping back a bit and distancing themselves.
For the children, this sudden distancing of important figures in their lives is confusing and upsetting. They may even believe they did something to cause that.
Unfortunately, this is one of the effects of divorce on children and it needs to be addressed.
It kind of goes unspoken, but there are a lot of assumptions made by family and friends. They often feel that the one they are blood related to, or a relative of, or the first one of you they became friends with, are the ones that they should align with.
Although blood is thick so to speak, and as an ex you don’t want to interfere with any of those relationships, if you have been married and have years of a healthy and loving friendship in this circle, it doesn’t mean it has to end.
Keeping the best interest of the children in mind especially, you want to keep these healthy relationships in tact.
In conversations with the loved ones and people that have been in your shared life, communicate to them that both you and your children would like to stay connected. Ask them what they feel needs to happen to help them be comfortable so that no ones feels violated or betrayed.
Communication is the key here as it is in so many relationships.
So as time goes on and you encounter members of your circle of friends and relatives, one by one, have this conversation.
Communicate what your wishes are, and what your desires are, and see where they are with that. Then continue or nourish the relationship so that it can stay healthy and in tact.
Continue to support your child in maintaining these relationships as well with the understanding that some of those relationships may look different from what they have known moving forward.
Dr. SueAnne Magyar-Hill
Support System Inc.
Founder of Empowering Children Of Divorce
P.S. Speaking of support, I have created a resource for you called “Healing Broken Families” to help you with the most challenging issues surrounding divorce.