How to Stay Friends With Your Ex-Husband

Though divorce may mark the end of a marriage, it is not necessarily the end of your relationship with your soon-to-be ex-husband. This is particularly true when you have children. Whether by choice or by necessity, having an ex as a friend has a lot of benefits. If this is a goal for you, here are some tips to help achieve and maintain the friendship:

Integrity
One of the first things that you should consider is integrity. This means being the bigger person, no matter what has been done to you, or how much your feelings have been hurt. It means being fair in the divorce settlement, and with any visitations for your kids. The more open and fair you are, and the more you consider his needs as well as your own, the more you will find that he will respect you. Any friendship you have as exes can be founded on that mutual respect.

Memory
If you spend time thinking about it, you can probably remember what it was that made you choose to spend the rest of your life with this man. There were clearly good qualities present, and many of those qualities still exist in him, whether or not you have also discovered other personality traits. One trick to continuing a friendship is to focus on those positive qualities, at least the non-romantic ones, that made him the only man for you once upon a time. Continue to compliment him on these things, and be generous with kind words.

Time
If there are hurt feelings involved on either of your parts regarding the divorce, one of the most important parts to going from couple to friends is time. If you get there way before he does, and things are not angry or hostile, then it may just take time, patience and kindness to get there. The trick with this is to continue to try without ever forcing him out of his comfort zone in regard to spending friend time with you. As he heals from the breakup, if you continue to be a friend to him, he will eventually respond.

Mutual Friends and Fun
Another thing that may keep you in the same circles is if you shared close friends and/or a love of an activity that is shared by a certain social circle. In both these cases, rather than working out an alternating custody agreement for friends and/or excursions, continue seeing the people you like and doing the things you love, and encourage him to do the same. It will probably seem strange at first, but this shared love will quickly outweigh the weirdness and allow you to return to friendship with some grace.

Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "How to Stay Friends With Your Ex-Husband," in PsychologyDictionary.org, February 9, 2016, https://psychologydictionary.org/article/how-to-stay-friends-with-your-ex-husband/ (accessed September 14, 2019).
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