Six Simple Rules for Befriending the Person You Used to Love

Post-breakup peace is possible. Heed these marching orders.

By The Editors
April 21, 2016 9:00 am

In the words of Louis CK, no good marriage has ever ended in divorce. Same goes for any serious relationship.

If you’ve split, the hardest part is over. Now for the easy-ish part: remaining amicable. If not for yourselves, do it for the loved ones trapped between you two.

“When there’s a hostile split, friends and family are forced to choose sides,” says DivorceForce cofounder Gregory Frank. “When you have an amicable split and can remain friendly for the sake of others, you alleviate that pressure.”

Frank’s own search for serenity after divorce inspired his one-stop decoupling app. DivorceForce features divorcée networking, attorney reviews, breakup-related news, shareable family schedules and a CEO who genuinely wants us all to just get along.

These are Frank’s tips for staying cool with your ex, complete with zero uses of the phrase “conscious uncoupling.”

For Exes With Mutual Friends

Stop negative solace in its tracks
Some loved ones will inevitably attempt to comfort you by reassuring what an amoral tramp your ex is. Politely stop them. That’s your amoral tramp they’re talking about. Trash talk does not a happy friend circle make.

Proactively keep peace among mutual friends
They’re uncomfortable. Lines in the sand will be drawn, so tell mutual friends they don’t have to choose a side. And help the situation by avoiding awkward encounters between girlfriends new and old.

Make divorced friends
Not to be confused with “make friends divorce.” Friends who’ve been there make being there less arduous. Divorced friends offer the best support (and attorney connections). At the very least, they’ll relay how they handled similar circumstances so you can determine whether you want the same results.


For Separated Parents

Never talk trash around the kids
Don’t disparage your kids’ other parent in the house. You’ll plant resentment that grows in all directions, especially back at you. Remember, kids are like sponges: they soak up everything around them — and then spill it all over the place when squeezed.  

Schedule from a digital distance
Most interactions between separated parents are about scheduling.  The Internet, great arm’s-length connector of humans, has never been more ideal. Services like DivorceForce and Google Calendar feature shareable calendars so you can check who has the kids this weekend without having to text, call or relay the fact that you don’t know who has the kids this weekend.

Share your skillsets
Most parents complement each other somehow, even long after they’ve stopped complimenting one another. Perhaps you’re the financial mind and Mom’s the planner. Set up Junior’s 529 and let Mom schedule his tutor around soccer. Everybody wins.

—Michael Howard

Main image via Universal Pictures

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