Okay, So Who Gets the Friends in the Divorce?

from the Casper The Unholy Ghost Collection, written in 2015

Hey, it Happens

Divorce is never a cakewalk. Even when you divorce later in life (called grey divorces), the process still has many of the same issues as divorces where minor children are involved. Rather than hashing out who gets the kids, for us old geezers, our question sometimes becomes: who gets the friends in the divorce?

The answer is sometimes you get the friends; sometimes, your ex gets the friends. That’s not bad because a deep cleaning of the people in your couple-sphere is probably in order. Things generally shake out as they should.

The Custody Count: One For Me, One For You

As you start your sorting process, keep a couple of things in mind:

If Backstabbing Barbie crosses over to your ex’s team, drag out the pom-poms and celebrate. Now you know who she is. Suppose Loser Larry stays huddled at the line of scrimmage with your ex and his new woman, high-five everyone around you. Now you know who he is. This is probably not the first time Loser Larry has done a little goal-line defense on behalf of your ex.

Don’t think battle lines and allegiances will remain as they appear immediately following your breakup or divorce. You’re going to have to wait for the dust to settle.

Late Hits After the Whistle

Once your ex gets all cozied up with your replacement (let’s nickname them ‘Shiny New Love’) and they settle into a domestic existence, you’ll probably see a few more surprising defections in your group of still-thought-to-be friends.

Fair-weather friends may be even more tempted to cross party lines if Shiny New Love happens to have a few shekels to rub together or if they hold a significant title or elevated station in life.

It’s a given; there will be late hits after the whistle has blown and the play is dead. Once your ex and Shiny New Love move in together or marry, they mystically-magically(!) become legitimized by all but your staunchest allies. Prepare yourself because once this happens — Poof! — you never existed.

Try not to be offended by this; it’s not personal; it’s just human nature. People like to align themselves with what appears to be the winning team. They’re broadcasting with a megaphone that the winning team doesn’t include you anymore, my friend. Accept that.

There’s Sound Psychology Behind My Assertion

When you are the aggrieved party in the Dump The Chump Game, you remind people that getting dumped can happen anytime and to anyone — including them. Your meme presence unsettles them, and as a result, they become uncomfortable with you, not even knowing why. Accept that, too.

Your star is no longer rising, and your stock is in a downhill slide.

In the eyes of some of your so-called ‘friends,’ you started teetering between HOLD and SELL the day you became an official dump-ee. With the validation of the new couple’s domestic relationship, your now-devalued stock offers little or nothing to your waffling friend’s portfolio compared to what Shiny New Love’s IPO (Initial Public Offering) may add.

Author-made image from Canva.com

About this time, defecting contacts and what we call ‘Switzerland friends’ will hand you a bucketful of maggots and encourage you to dig in. Not only have former allies flipped on a dime, but they now dare to instruct you on your need to ‘take the high road.’ How rich.

Don’t waste your time (or, if you’re like me, your humor) on a snappy retort — these folks aren’t likely to get it. They want you to ignore the situation and turn a blind eye to the maggots wriggling in your lap.

The ‘Be The Bigger Person’ Directive

These do-gooders view themselves as morally superior to you and genuinely believe they are helpful when they offer you their pearls of wisdom. One you’re likely to hear is, “Come on now, don’t you think you need to be a little more forgiving?”

Let me translate that for you. They’re saying that since you, Darling Ex and Shiny New Lover now share the same last name, it isn’t too much to expect you to hold your nose and gulp down some slimy wiggle-tails now and then, now is it? At least for the sake of everyone being together for family holidays and social gatherings — right?

Wrong. You have zero obligation to participate in social gatherings where your abandoning ex is to be present. There’s no need to be rude or rant about all the pain the couple has inflicted on you. Be gracious and politely decline the offer. You have spices to alphabetize at home.

A Betting Woman

I’ll lay you odds that you’ll also hear this classic gem as well: “Well, just because they ghosted you and cleared out the bank accounts on the way out [or insert your drama here] doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still be friends with him/her/them. They’ve always been nice to us.”

Stop and take a few moments for that inane statement to sink in. Done? Okay.

That’s as ludicrous as friends and family members inviting a serial killer to Thanksgiving dinner. Making this even more of a head-scratcher is the justification: “Well, there’s no reason we shouldn’t invite them. They never murdered any of our children or dismembered any of our family members. Pass the cranberry sauce, please.”

Do you see the flaw in that logic?

Here’s another way to put this in perspective. Would you invite a rapist over for dinner and expect your son or daughter to come after said guest heinously harmed or maimed them? I rest my case.

Just Hit Delete

Give a good hard yank to the bib they’re trying to tie around your neck. Once you’re free of that choking sensation, grab your technology as quickly as possible and block/delete these turncoats from anything and everything. Rinse, lather, and repeat until you remove all double agents from your social media. Better yet, go dark and delete all social media altogether.

While you’re at it, be a doll and toss them the bucket, bib, and spoon on your way out. After finishing their turkey and dressing, they might enjoy a tasty scoop of wiggle-tails.

A Final Order Of Funny Business

You’ve given it some time. Now things have shaken out, and you know who your true friends are. Call them all up and have a divorce party. Let everyone know it’s a theme party, and ask everyone to come in Egyptian garb.

Drag a toy snare drum from the attic to kick off the festivities, and have someone perform a tense drum roll for you. Close your eyes, and imagine yourself as Sethi (the Pharoah) in The Ten Commandments movie.

Find the most oversized spatula in your kitchen. Raise it with an outstretched arm. (Be serious as a judge, and do not laugh during the formalities.) Stand in the middle of the floor. With your most authoritative tone, firmly decree: “Let the name of Darling Ex be stricken from every pylon and obelisk in Egypt!” Do another drum roll and follow with: “Let the name of Shiny New Love never be spoken again in my presence!”

Humor, Silence & No Contact

When everyone claps, have yourself a good laugh, and never speak of your ex again. Do you think I’m kidding? I’m not. It’s been a decade since my husband disappeared. When I must reference him, my friends and I jokingly refer to him as “He Who Shall Go Nameless.” LOL

“So let it be written. So let it be done.”

‘Sometimes You Just Gotta Laugh’

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