Monday, September 9, 2013

So who gets custody of mutual friends after a breakup or divorce?

I was listening to a radio show the other day where the co-hosts were in a heated debate about the aftermath of break-ups. The co-hosts asked one key question, "what happens to friends who are close to both parties in a failed relationship?" In essence, who gets custody of mutual friends?

This topic got me really thinking. I've been on both sides of this issue. I've lost good friends that went along with an ex (in most cases rightfully so) and I've also chosen to side with neither party in an attempt to salvage two friendships. I will admit the latter is hard. 

My brother and his girlfriend of over a decade called it quits a few years ago and I couldn't bring myself to pick sides. Firstly, it just didn't feel right to do so. I remembered how it felt to get dumped by a friend when it didn't work out with the ex. I remembered all the moments I shared with my brother's GF. And more importantly, I remembered that in this matter, I had a choice and a relationship with BOTH.

My brother wanted me to "pick him" and actually asked for me to choose. I get that it made sense for him and that it would maybe help him close this chapter of his life. But I couldn't do it and I didn't. I explained to him that I loved him and that I would attempt to remain neutral and friends with both.

Today, I make it a point to never cross their paths. I have to be flexible. I believe I can be there for both in two separate circles. In fact my latest effort is to never tell one of the other. So far, I'd like to think I've made it work and I stay connected to both. After all, I love them both and a break up doesn't change that.

Have you been left in the aftermath of a breakup having to pick a side? Who ultimately got "custody" of you? Share your stories with us... 

1 comment:

  1. Great topic! My brother Tom is still friends with my ex-husband. He has managed to keep good relationships with both of us without making it awkward or weird but I think that's because he is a single guy. If he had kids there might be more occasions where he would have to either decide who to invite or like he has done only once before, invite us both and expect us to be adults about it.

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