One of the unique challenges same-sex couples often face when they divorce is that their community of friends tends to be unusually integrated with their spouse’s community of friends. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community in any given area tends to be somewhat insular.
When you share friends with your spouse, splitting up can be extra difficult. After all, you don’t want to lose your friends at the same time you lose your spouse, right?
Here are some tips that can help you and your spouse both hang onto the friendships you cherish:
- Acknowledge that this is awkward for everyone. When everyone tries to ignore the “elephant in the room,” the awkwardness intensifies. Let your friends know that it’s okay to remain friends with both of you, and you don’t both have to be invited over for everything.
- Decide on your boundaries. Divorces always go along better when spouses can remain respectful of each other’s boundaries. Agree to give each other some space and avoid joint events.
- Work on maintaining the relationships that matter the most. The sad reality is that you probably won’t be able to keep all of your friends. Some people will inevitably pick sides — even if you encourage them not to do so. Focus on the friends that mean the most and let them know that you hope to strengthen your bonds — not lose them.
- Don’t bad-mouth your ex. You may have one or two special friends you can vent to, but the majority of your friends may feel uncomfortable hearing you bash your ex for their faults. That can drive people away really quickly.
There are many unique challenges same-sex couples can face during a divorce. Find out how an experienced divorce attorney can make the process easier.