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Truly Supportive Friends and Family

Difficult break-ups may make it impossible for people to communicate.

Friends and family may be willing to serve as go-betweens for the benefit of the children or to facilitate the transfer of personal property and personal papers. Friends and family should not to be guilt-tripped or compelled into these roles — many are happy to help. They feel helpless and also mourn the loss of the relationship, and the ability to participate in a productive role may suit the friends and family who will still be around for both of you at the end of the break-up.

Your friends and family may be deeply hurt by the break-up. Who do they invite to family functions? Who do they invite out to dinner? Who do they call first to announce the birth of a new child or the death of a close friend or family member? Our thoughtful friends fret over these questions. They want to keep both of you as friends and do not want to pick sides before, during, or after the break-up. Our mindset during and after the break-up shouldn’t be to burden our friends with difficult decision-making. If a friend wants to invite both exes to a family wedding and you cannot be in the room with the other person, offer to take a pass so that the other person may attend. If you can stand being in the same room, offer that information and suggest how many tables ought to separate the two of you.

Your friends and family will be impacted by your break-up, and you will be impacted by their break-up. Supporting one another during the process is helpful. Becoming a combatant will help neither.

In my own family, my mother’s brother divorced. He had two boys the same age as my two brothers and I. His ex-wife was my aunt before, during, and after the divorce. She is still my aunt. When we were invited to and attended her second wedding, my mother’s brother went wild and vented his continuing anger on my mother. My aunt and uncle had been divorced for years, yet my uncle still harbored such venom for his ex-wife that he preferred to deprive my mother the opportunity to continue a relationship with a long-term friend and family member and to deter the innocent relationships between the cousins.

This is an extremely mild example of post-break-up combat, yet thirty years later, it is a memory that sticks with me and has helped me relate to those seeking a divorce lawyer by Tom’s River new Jersey. I had a blast at the wedding with my cousins, but my mother got blasted by her brother.