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Why an Ohio divorce can trigger the end of friendships

What friends think of a divorce is often important to Columbus spouses going through the process. Established friendships sometimes fade or disappear through or after divorce without any explanation. Why do some friends disengage during a time when support can be so crucial?

The end of a marriage is a loss. Friends who were steadfast during other crises like a health setback or a career disappointment somehow can't handle a divorce any better than the spouses involved. Some friends act like marital problems are contagious and back away like divorce is the flu.

People who have experienced divorce report friend abandonment stories that seemed inexplicable. Observers think divorce hits a nerve for some people. A marital split may remind friends of past divorce experiences - their own or a family member's breakup. Sometimes there's a strong underlying belief that prevents acceptance.

Married partners often socialize as couples. Common experiences including parenthood provide the binding glue. A divorce changes the social dynamic. Divorce may insert an emotional wedge in friendships that would otherwise tolerate change.

Divorced parents may be more likely than childless couples to notice social shuns. Parents' friendships created through the relationships of children can suffer after divorce. Neighbors with kids, daycare parents and sports-team moms and dads may shy away from a formerly married parent for no understandable reason.

Some divorced individuals notice a gradual detachment. Friends who phoned or emailed regularly slow or suspend communications. Invitations to social gatherings drop off and sometimes evaporate forever.

Divorce can reveal which relationships are disposable and which are worth preserving. The great divide between acquaintances and intimates becomes clear when trouble visits one person in a friendship.

Emotional support can be as essential to the divorce process as financial or legal advice. Ex-spouses might want to consider professional counseling to help deal with old friendships that don't hold up under the weight of a marital breakdown.

Source: thehuffingtonpost.com, "Losing Friends During Divorce -- Or Not?" Marina Sbrochi, Jan. 11, 2013

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