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Secondly, make it clear to your main friend that you may still see or respond to their former partner from time to time after divorce or separation for obvious and practical reasons. Most of our lives are intertwined these days with other stuff such as sharing of school run or business contacts for example. It needs to be made clear by way of simple inexplicit references with your normal conversations that this will happen. This signals to your main friend that divided loyalties are not actually that simple to divide in manner that they may be thinking. It also ensures that you are not accused of being a ‘Judas’ and losing confidence or friendship of your main friend when they find out that you have had contact with their former partner.
And thirdly, never, ever say what you really thought of their former partner even if you think that having empathy with their feelings will help them over this period - Just remember that a high proportion of separating couples do actually end up getting back together again & releasing a load of sympathetic venom last month will stick in your reunited friends throat like barbed wire and your relationship with them both will never be same again.
Within these three basic guidance rules will be a whole host of anomalies that will occur that will need careful thoughtful planning on what your responses will be for each individual case of a divorcing couple. It wont be easy - it never is especially when dealing with a high emotional content. But trying to frame your responses within these three basic guidance rules should ensure that your friendship is retained and remains flexible for most situations that may occur over coming years.
Jenny Clair is the editor of Marriage-Divorce-Separation.com an article based web site exploring the human side of marriage breakdowns, divorce and separation situations.