Best friends getting divorced

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by JKF, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Our best friends are getting divorced. husband has known them both since grade school and I've known them for the last 12 years. We are definitely close to both of them - we've vacationed with them quite a few times and have hung out with them more times than I could ever begin to count. He was our best man - she the maid of honor. They even lived next door for years. Anyway - you get the picture.

    I'm finding myself stuck in the middle. She's very into "loyalty" and wants me to be on her side. She's a HUGE difficult child. He's a difficult child as well but not nearly as bad. She has major issues to say the least. Yes - I agree that he left her abruptly and could have gone about it in a more civilized way but I also get WHY he left her. But I could never tell her that because she would freak. She thinks it's all him - but honestly she drove him away with her beyond crazy behavior.

    This is turning into a very ugly divorce and I want nothing to do with it but it would be impossible to just walk away. Uggggh! Any suggestions on handling divorce between friends?? We want to stay neutral but both sides are trying to drag us in.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    When my son got divorced, the friends did take sides and split almost in half. Sad, I know.
  3. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Can you take a vacation? Get really really busy with a project? I just don't see you coming out unscathed no matter how you handle it if you have much contact with either of them until a while after the divorce is settled.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Truly, in my experience, you are darned if you do and darned if you don't. My best suggestion is for you and husband just to decide on one phrase to use when speaking with either of them. "We are both sorry that you all are having such a hard time and care deeply for both of you." "I'll always be your friend but I just can't share your pain." "Why don't we go shopping or have lunch or ??? but not mention X or Y?"

    I (actually we, the family) were so happy when one of the kids left his spouse that we had a hard time not dancing. on the other hand even though we never said YIPEE and left it at "we hope you both will be happier"...they reunited and actually things have never been the same between us. It's a treacherous thin line and I hope you and husband and avoid the easy pitfalls. by the way, you can suggest a counselor to your friend so she can share all her pain openly. Chances are she will not do it. Sigh. DDD
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tough place to be! I would just say....we can not choose and we will not be in the middle. If you can't figure out how to make sure WE are not uncomfortable we will just stay away from you both.
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    We had this happen with a friend/couple who had been married 37 years. I think that it helped us to bear in mind that there is always a great deal of hyperbole involved on both sides, and it's best to remember that no one ever knows what goes on behind closed doors. No one knows your marriage, and you don't know theirs.

    With our friends L & N, I was supportive of N in a limited way. I'd get her out of the house, go shopping or for lunch, anything to get her from shriveling up to die in the house. In that case, she was the one that asked for a divorce, she was the one who abandoned her vows. I spoke to her husband L and told him that I didn't really care who did what, and that I was sure that there was no way for us to judge them. But, I was N's friend during their marriage, and I was going to do what I could to keep her from going off the edge without ever laying blame at anyone's feet and I hoped that we could remain friends. Given that N had essentially stolen L's best friend after the separation and he was at that point ignoring his wife for N, there was no way for me to gracefully be a close friend to L in this, and he understood how inappropriate it would be for him to hang out with me. husband and I did spend time together with him, but it wasn't the same.

    L & N were very invested in having more supporters than the other. In the long run, supporting N and being honest with her wasn't enough for her and she dropped me like a hot potato. In understand that she still has issues 3 years later. But I don't feel badly about the way that we handled it. People move on, and she made her choices.
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It's a slippery slope you're on. Emotions run high and I doubt whether either party at this point in time is thinking clearly or rationally, assigning blame and getting support for their positions will now likely rule. I don't know, if it were me I think I would make a clear statement to both parties that being in the middle of two good friends during a divorce is a precarious position at best and that I will be making every attempt to remain neutral and keep myself out of the turmoil of their drama.

    Since they are both difficult child's perhaps utilizing the skill you've learned with your son........figure out what you are willing to put up with and what you're not, state your boundaries clearly making sure you take care of YOU and hold on tight.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is a tough one and one I have only had limited experience with other than my parents divorce. Given that my mother's former best friend ended up being my step-mother you can imagine how confused I was. Obviously she picked sides and it wasnt with my mom. It took awhile for me to get somewhat comfortable with her marrying my dad.

    Now I ended up being a mother in law when a divorce happened in my family. I had zero contact with the ex for a long time but she did send me an email when my father died which I was amazed at. It was a very nice email so I think she has grown up some.
  9. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah - the s**t really hit the fan today. She was served with the official divorce papers and he showed up with the cops to get his things. And I also just found out he got an apartment - the one they used to live in - RIGHT NEXT DOOR to my house. OMG! I am at therapist with easy child and told her I'll call her in 10 min. She said don't bother. So whatever. I tried.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I hate that... Especially when they do the side-choosing for you. Easy way to stay out of it... Stay out of it.