Friends after divorce. Is this possible?


#1

My husband and I have been separated for 18 months. We had hoped to reconcile but now I see that is impossible.
I don’t know if I will get a divorce but the point is, we have a 2 and a half yo son. I am hoping that we can be friends for the sake of our son. I never wanted a life like this for him, (I guess it is why I put up with so much)
I am very sad about the marriage ending but even sadder about my son not having us together and having the kind of family he should have. I feel very sorry for my husband as he is bitter and very angry with me at the moment. He has noone but his 2 sons (one from a previous marriage) in his life and blames me for ending the marriage.
I just wonder if down the road when he lets go of his anger, if it would be possible for us to be friends. Has anyone gone from being married to friends after a separation?
I know you do not know my husband or his character, but I really want to know if others have done it and how they make it work.
I love our son so much and I just want the best for him. I want him to have a life as close to normal as possible, despite the marriage breakdown.


#2

Hello Jules,
Divorce is not easy for anyone. ((hugs)) to you and your son. My husband was married and had two children when he divorced his wife after she cheated on him. The situation was very hard for him. After much prayer he was able to open his heart and forgive her, move past all the emotion and be there for her and his sons.

I cant say they are friends but they are civil and amicable with each other. Its not easy but they make an effort for their sons (our sons) to talk, meet, and stay up to date in relevant points of each other’s lives…I define relevant as anything that affects the kids.

Considering various circumstances an annulment was granted by the Catholic church. My husband and I were married last year in June and are now expecting our honeymoon baby due April. She too has found a wonderful man and they will be wed in April of this year. They did not attend our wedding and we wont attend theirs; however, we are happy for each other and hope nothing but the best.

Sorry that I went off on a tangent. To directly answer your question I have to say that we dont have a friendship with each other but we do have a respectful relationship that the kids can look up to and understand. Your situation may and probably is different. Your son is young (my step-sons are 9 and 11). Also, it may take longer to forgive and forget; or your son’s father may be unwilling. Just remember to pray for him and to do what you can to show him God’s love.

God Bless.


#3

Jules, sorry – no advice, but prayers. :crossrc: :hug1:


#4

My parents were also able to have this type of respectful relationship after their divorce.
I guess when I think of a “friendship” it is people who go out to dinner, shopping, mass, etc. together. That might be more difficult.
My mother’s side of the family also remained close to my father. They would invite him to family dinners if he has no where else to go or if it was something to celebrate one of us kids accomplishments. They were able to be a neutral ground for not only my parents but their new spouses also.


#5

Oh Jules… Praying for you… I don’t havee any advice as my ex disappeared and my dh’s ex is a pain in the tush… just prayers…


#6

Maybe co-parenting therapy sessions (which solely focus on how the two of you will raise your son when not living together).

As for me, my father cheated on my mother over and over and over and over again. My mom forgave him numerous times until she had encough and they divorced. They both are civil with each other (and have a small place in their hearts for love of the other because of the children they share - me and my brother). My dad’s family still invites my mom to events, my dad still attends some family events on my mom’s side. My little sister and brother (both from my dad and step-mom’s marriage) are always welcomed in my mom’s house. My dad always wanted it to be known that my step-dad’s children were welcome to go to his house to horse-back ride. My step-mom and my mom get along just fine. The only one who still is upset about any of this is my step-dad, and that’s because of the way my dad treated my mom, but my step-dad is more than nice and willing to talk to my step-mom, little sister and brother. It’s a weird family dynamic, but I guess it’s a blessing that they all do get along rather well, even into my brother’s and my adulthood.


#7

It is very possible but very difficult. My Ex and I went through a rough divorce and had a few very troubled years before we each moved on and learned to be friends again.
He still drives me crazy but thankfully he’s not my concern anymore. One thing that always helped me was to remember that at one point in time, I was madly in love with this man. He has a good personality and is a good friend just not a great husband.
We share a wonderful daughter and talk on the phone a couple of times a month (DD is 14 so they do all of the coordinating of visitation and such).
My advice is to concentrate on your son and yourself and let DH concentrate on himself and DS and hopefully you two will be able to salvage a little of what you started out with.
Prayers------


#8

From what I read I have the impression is that you are simply looking for civil behaviors. In all honesty I doubt that two people can be real friends after a divorce. However, they can and should have a civilized (friendly) relationship. Just because a person is not a good spouse that does not automatically imply that he/she is a bad parent. A good parent makes the effort of being nice/civilized to whomever loves and cares for his/her children, even an ex-spouse.


#9

Jules, I’m sorry about what you’re going thru… I don’t know what to tell you about the remaining friends for your son’s sake, but do know you can count on me for anything, my PM is always free for you. (((((HUGS)))))

BTW, it’s not your fault, you know that, right?


#10

I think most people would like to have the opportunity to at least be civil to each other. That’s not always possible though I guess, because sometimes the other spouse is bent on venting their anger and wanting revenge, to the point that even when you do not respond in kind, they keep escalating. I think it takes two to be able to be friends, but it really only takes one for things to be very hostile, unfortunately.

I wish you luck, Jules. I know that your inentions are only the very best. Prayers for you and your family.


#11

I think the way the spouses treated each other during the marriage, or one treated the other, is a pretty good indication of how they will get along after a divorce, sometimes multiplied many times over once the lawyers are through causing even worse damage and bitterness in the winner take all approach they have.

If my ex could treat me with any kind of kindness, we’d still be married. I envy people who have any kind of civility.


#12

It is definitely possible! My son has a friend whose parents I have always admired. Although they divorced (not Catholic) they have always made a point to live close and both are really there for the kids.

At one point the father had some financial difficulties (I believe) and even moved in with the family. I am sure it was a simply platonic thing but I thought how cool is that that they can maintain that kind of relationship.

When she got remarried the new husband moved in there (he had a home in another city but it was some distance to travel) and I believe the father of the kids lived there for a period after that even.

Somehow I was just always struck that they were able to do this and put the kids first no matter what. It just struck me as really mature.

I was not able to remain on a good basis with my ex because he is an alcoholic and abusive and did not really take part in my son’s life after our divorce but I know I could have had a friendly relationshipo with him if it were not for the fact of being afraid of him and having to protect myself and my son from him.

It can be done.

Amie


#13

short answer, sure it’s possible! :slight_smile:


#14

I’m just saying that if you could manage even that level of friendship, then I personally would have kept the marriage going. The vows are till death do you part. I never understood couples who were “friends” afterward. If they could manage a little love and respect, why not keep the family together.

In my case, there was no possibility of any of that and I had to get out.


#15

Thank you for all of your replies. I guess, I’m just a person that doesn’t hold grudges. No matter how bad things had been, I always hope that we could get past it for the sake of our son. But it seems that it will be a long long road as he hates me so much at the moment.
I can’t even talk to him. We haven’t spoken in 4 weeks. Just communicate through text messages. But I do hope that one day he won’t hate me so much, that he will see that he played a part in the marriage ending and get over it.


#16

Dear Jules,

I just wanted to write and say I am sorry you are going through this. I will keep you and your husband in my prayers.

Sincerely,

Maria1212


#17

Thank you so much Maria1212. We really need the prayers


#18

Good post, and I agree!


#19

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.