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Split Happens

How to Deal With a Friend's or Family Member's Divorce

Page: 5 of 10
  • Your brother is getting a divorce, but you've grown close to your former sister-in-law and want to remain friends with her.

    There's no reason why you can't stay pals with a friend's or family member's ex, but the social etiquette can get thorny. Whereas before, you'd hang out with your sister-in-law at family functions, now it's better to plan a girls' night out for just the two of you—away from your brother and other family members. Swann also notes that you'll likely have to alternate invitations while the divorce is still a sensitive subject, by having your brother and the kids over for a big family barbecue one weekend and then asking his ex to come over with the kids for a play date the following weekend, for example.

    If your brother is upset that you are still friendly his ex, then be respectful of his feelings. "You can say, 'I'm sorry you feel that way, but I still enjoy spending time with Jane. I hope you understand,'" suggests Swann. If he's adamant about you breaking it off, then you may have to decide if the friendship is worth risking your relationship with your brother, adds Lancer.

Split Happens
How to Deal With a Friend's or Family Member's Divorce
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