No divorce is ever perfectly amicable. The residents of California know it better than anyone, considering that the divorce rate in this state is higher than the average across the country by 10%. But the important thing to remember is that you can remain friends with your ex if you both work for it. If you don’t need this for yourself, you should do this for your children who need both of their parents to get along instead of poisoning the kids with your mutual spite and negativity. (1)
How to Remain Friends with Your Ex after Divorce
1. Let the volatile emotions settle
If you want to remain friends with your ex, you shouldn’t rush it. Give both of you time to cool off after the ordeal that is the divorce. By trying to contact each other right away you will only exacerbate the negative emotions caused by the situation. Therefore, the risk of saying something there is no coming back from will increase.
Instead, you should take time to process your new situation and let your ex do the same. Settle into your new routine and don’t try reaching out until you are perfectly sure that the anger and resentment festering within you are muted or removed completely. At that time, you will be able to focus on rekindling whatever spark there was that brought you together initially.
2. Go for the least stressful divorce
Your chances of remaining friends will be much better if there is liminal litigation involved in your divorce proceedings. Therefore, the best thing you can do is to go for a quick divorce in California. This will require minimal paperwork and will allow you both to move on with your lives reasonably fast.
If this option is impossible for you, at least hire a good lawyer. Entrust the bulk of your divorce proceedings to them so you can take your mind off the paperwork for a while.
3. Focus on the bigger picture
If it’s your anger about the personal insult that’s dragging you down into the pit of fury, you need to try and cope with it by looking at the bigger picture. Yes, you’ve been hurt and this isn’t fair. However, this is hardly the main thing at stake here. Your children need to have their parents as positive role models, so you have to be at least civil to each other. You also need to move on with your life if you want to make any progress and support yourself.
When you look at a situation like this, the reason that pushed you toward divorce in the first place seems much less important. It won’t go away, and likely your anger won’t go away either. However, when you think about the impact of this on your and your children’s lives, you’ll see how this situation is only another hurdle to overcome.
4. Do regular check-ins
Friends don’t just ignore each other until the moment they are forced to interact. Therefore, you need to be active in maintaining your new relationship and check in with each other.
Today you can do this through short messages, so you won’t even have to be in the same state to do this. The point is to contact each other regularly, if briefly, and make sure that the other party is healthy and reasonably happy. (2)
So, Can You Stay Friends with Your Ex?
The answer to this question varies for everyone. Most of it depends on the reason for your divorce as well as both of your willingness to work on changing and maintaining your relationship in its new ‘friends’ status. But this is definitely not impossible, so if you have kids, it’s your duty to them to at least try to get along.
Ana Miller is a creative writer. Her topics of interest and expertise range from psychology to all sorts of disciplines such as science and news.