The papers were signed;divorce lawyers paid; the house divided; dogs alienated and the furniture designated. The bank accounts separated; the families estranged; the ring sold on eBay; the tears and memories packed away. But what happens to the friendships? The people you jointly collected in your lives when you were one? Who gets who in the custody battle of outside relationships?
B and I have a few relationships I like to think we won joint custody over. The select few couples (mainly college friends) usually consist of this scenario: the husband is closer to him and the wife was closer to me. Usually in this situation, we stay off the subject of "the other one". I know they speak to him, he knows they speak to me yet we pretend that doesn't happen.
Then there are the relationships where we have obtained sole custody-best friends, sisters, brothers etc. Usually the friendships I lost in the divorce I rarely think about. Not because I don't miss the friendships...it's actually quite the contrary. I don't think about them because I DO miss the friendships. It's one of the hardest things about divorce. So many people don't realize how many people divorce affects--I didn't realize it. It impinges on your parents, family and your friends. Some of the people I gained sole custody of, I know miss Blair-- and yet, because of me, that once upon a time, close friendship is forever lost.
I ran into some lost friends of mine Sunday at Target. I was there with my new life (mark and the kids) and there he was, the same person I knew and loved in my old life. It was so surreal to me. Of course, the encounter was nothing but friendly and warm, but the "nice to see you, take care" ending really hit a new reality for me. Divorced pretty much ended that friendship. It wasn't how our endings use to be, "see you soon; talk to you later". It was now something completely different. An open ended good luck with your life, farewell. It made me sad....it hurt a little. But, that's one of the many things a divorce destroys.
I'm thankful that I didn't put children through a divorce. When I see the hurt it has caused on the man that I love and his children, it makes me thank God that my selfishness didn't fall burden onto children. But it did fall burden onto my family and friends. Ideally, custody could always be 50/50 but they don't call it a Custody Battle for nothing. It's a fight to the end and casualties are inevitable.