How To Stay Friends After Divorce — And Keep Your Family Together

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Written by a child of divorce, who witnessed true friendship after divorce first-hand.

For my parents, the spark went out after 18 years of marriage. But just because they’re not “together” doesn’t mean they can never be together in the same room. Sure, my parents get on each other’s nerves on occasion, but they still consider themselves friends at the end of the day.

Over the years, I’ve seen what makes their friendship work (and what doesn’t). My divorced parents are just one example of a former couple who still gets along well — plenty of celebrity couples have also made a relationship with ex a real possibility after divorce.

RELATED: 4 Things You Need To Do Immediately If You Want A Divorce

As difficult as it may seem when ending a marriage, ​it is possible to divorce gracefully and carry on a friendship with an ex. 

Read on to find out some valuable insight and advice for how to maintain a friendship after divorce, as told by a child of divorce, who witnessed it firsthand.

1. Give each other the space you need.

Since my parents are still close, they find themselves crossing paths fairly often. Still, with any friendship, there’s a limit to how much time they can spend together while staying sane. Everybody needs their space, after all.

With my parents, when an argument is about to happen or negative feelings are brewing, one of them will usually say “I’m leaving!” or “Get out!” This may seem harsh, but it’s much better than dragging out an argument and having them both get heated.

If one of them just leaves the situation for a while, they both have the space they need to cool down, and they return to what they were doing sooner than if they were both screaming at each other at the top of their lungs.

Ultimately, this arrangement allows both of my parents to keep their emotions (and blood pressures) at appropriate levels. Any former couple who still interacts regularly should prioritize their emotional well-being over their ego. Knowing when to walk away and give another person space is a necessary skill for any friendship.

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