Divorce and Defriending
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Thread: Divorce and Defriending

  1. #1
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    Default Divorce and Defriending

    Lets say two friends are getting a divorce. You are friends with both IRL and on FB. You know the husband well, though you are much better friends with the wife. He has always been nice enough to you and has never wronged you in any way.

    The wife asks you to defriend the husband.

    Reason given: So they would feel more comfortable posting on your wall.

    Background: Lets say she left him. No affairs or egregiously "wrong" things done, but young children are involved and it is getting increasingly contentious, equally on part of both parties.

    Do you do it? Do you feel offended that it was asked of you (to get involved in that way)? Do you say "no" and risk offending the asker? How do you reply?

    Pretty fluffy. Just curious on thoughts surrounding divorce, defriending, and the right to ask in the first place.

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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    If you're still friends with both people IRL, I see no reason to "defriend" one or the other on Facebook. If she's uncomfortable posting something in what is really a public forum, then she shouldn't post it. I mean, does she know every other one of your FB friends? Probably not, so I'd tell her to get over herself; if she wants to say something private, send me a PM or give me a call, otherwise my wall is open for *all* my friends.
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    Hmmm, interesting.

    When my ex and I were in the process of divorcing neither of us were facebookers at the time (this was uh, 6 years ago now) so we didn't have the digital problem

    But we did have mutual friends. Neither of us had done anything horrible to each other as far as affairs or beatings but we could not live or be together - that much was obvious.

    There were naturally some contentious times and we do have 2 children together.

    Background info completed.

    I never asked any of our friends to stop being friends with my ex and I'm pretty sure he did not either. I just would not have felt right about that. Just because we were getting divorced didn't mean the other people in our lives also had to get "divorced".

    Now things naturally separated on their own over time - those who were closer with my ex stayed close with him and drifted away from me and vice versa.

    But whenever I see one of those people (which is rare but does happen) we are always cordial and ask after each other's families, etc.

    So given my experience I think I would say to my friend some along the lines of, "You are my friend, I love you. You are going through a difficult time right now and I understand your request. But I am not comfortable changing things around until the dust settles a bit. Should things work out such that I want to separate myself from your soon-to-be ex I will do so, but in the mean time let's set up another way for us to communicate digitally."

    Because if this woman is bashing her almost ex on FB that's not really a good idea anyway - it always comes back to bite (in court, with other friends or family). So maybe this would be a good way to discourage her from making a really bad digital mistake by bashing the husband anyway.

    I would not be offended. As someone whose been down the divorce road when you are in the middle of it your whole life, and sometimes your sanity, stops. Thinking becomes muddled and you do the best you can but some days are horrendous. I would offer emotional support and a kind ear and try not to be too judgmental about things. I guess I'm a bit soft but when you are hurting unspeakably the last thing you need is a lecture from anyone who hasn't been where you are - sometimes you just need to have a friend or more who can just help you through day by day.
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    Oh boy, that's a tough one. It'd be much easier to do if there was something obvious that the other friend did wrong to have the division so clear. In this case, I don't know that I would unless I'm incredibly close to the friend and wanted to completely support them. I don't think it would be her place to outright ask, but I'd be very apt to offer to if someone told me their situation, explained they've stopped communicating with me because of it, and because I value my relationship with them and want to show support. Divorce definitely draws lines when it comes to those that are friends with the couple regardless of the reason. It gets very ugly but clear as to who one's close friends truly are. The reality of it (for me) was that some friends even back off with both sides regardless of the reason (as if it's a germ that could be spread), until everything has settled.

    That said, if it were a not very close friend and they're just updating you on what's going on with their life and outright asked me to stop being friends with their spouse, I don't think I would honor their request for the simple reason that they're separated for reasons that don't include misconduct on the spouse's part. To make a divisive line between them could end my friendship with the spouse, which I mostly like value almost as much as the friend requesting me to defriend. What if they end up getting back together? That would be an awkward I don't want to deal with. If the friend is so worried about their spouse reading what they're writing (and possibly using it against them), then they shouldn't be posting on FB at all or not of substance until it rides through. And if they are offended that I refuse to pick sides, then they can choose to defriend me instead. Just don't put me in the middle.

    If the not close friend told me that they're separated because of abuse on the spouse's part, etc. I absolutely would defriend the spouse in a heartbeat unless they told me not to so they could possibly get information that may be useful to their case.
    Tracey

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    DD Twins: 8/4/09 @ 35 Wks - No NICU, woot!
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    Quote Originally Posted by carg0612 View Post
    Hmmm, interesting.

    When my ex and I were in the process of divorcing neither of us were facebookers at the time (this was uh, 6 years ago now) so we didn't have the digital problem

    But we did have mutual friends. Neither of us had done anything horrible to each other as far as affairs or beatings but we could not live or be together - that much was obvious.

    There were naturally some contentious times and we do have 2 children together.

    Background info completed.

    I never asked any of our friends to stop being friends with my ex and I'm pretty sure he did not either. I just would not have felt right about that. Just because we were getting divorced didn't mean the other people in our lives also had to get "divorced".

    Now things naturally separated on their own over time - those who were closer with my ex stayed close with him and drifted away from me and vice versa.

    But whenever I see one of those people (which is rare but does happen) we are always cordial and ask after each other's families, etc.

    So given my experience I think I would say to my friend some along the lines of, "You are my friend, I love you. You are going through a difficult time right now and I understand your request. But I am not comfortable changing things around until the dust settles a bit. Should things work out such that I want to separate myself from your soon-to-be ex I will do so, but in the mean time let's set up another way for us to communicate digitally."

    Because if this woman is bashing her almost ex on FB that's not really a good idea anyway - it always comes back to bite (in court, with other friends or family). So maybe this would be a good way to discourage her from making a really bad digital mistake by bashing the husband anyway.

    I would not be offended. As someone whose been down the divorce road when you are in the middle of it your whole life, and sometimes your sanity, stops. Thinking becomes muddled and you do the best you can but some days are horrendous. I would offer emotional support and a kind ear and try not to be too judgmental about things. I guess I'm a bit soft but when you are hurting unspeakably the last thing you need is a lecture from anyone who hasn't been where you are - sometimes you just need to have a friend or more who can just help you through day by day.
    ITA. I like your suggestion as to how to respond as well. To the bolded, incredibly true. There were days that were so foggy by just going through the motions and other days emotions got the best of me that I wondered how on earth we got through.
    Tracey

    DD: 7/27/08
    DD Twins: 8/4/09 @ 35 Wks - No NICU, woot!
    7/9/07

  6. #6
    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potter75 View Post
    Lets say two friends are getting a divorce. You are friends with both IRL and on FB. You know the husband well, though you are much better friends with the wife. He has always been nice enough to you and has never wronged you in any way.

    The wife asks you to defriend the husband.

    Reason given: So they would feel more comfortable posting on your wall.

    Background: Lets say she left him. No affairs or egregiously "wrong" things done, but young children are involved and it is getting increasingly contentious, equally on part of both parties.

    Do you do it? Do you feel offended that it was asked of you (to get involved in that way)? Do you say "no" and risk offending the asker? How do you reply?

    Pretty fluffy. Just curious on thoughts surrounding divorce, defriending, and the right to ask in the first place.
    Holy cow, aren't they grown-ups? Can't they deal with the issues with their divorce without putting their mutual friends in an awkward situation?

    We were friends with a couple who got divorced. I actually was friends with the guy first....i worked with him. Then we became friends with them as a couple and became very close to both of them. In many ways, DH and I feel closer to the wife than the husband, but we are actually still friends with both. And we are both still Facebook friends with both.

    Whatever awkwardness they've had to deal with, they've figured out how to deal with it themselves.

    Would i be offended. I wouldn't be offended persay. I would roll my eyes and think 'seriously?' Would i do it? It would depend on how close i was to the other individual. Maybe if i thought there was little chance of us staying friends after the divorce i might do it.

    But in the case of the couple i was talking about? If one of them asked that, i would have to say 'no, i can't do that'. We are good friends with both of them and I will not actively make a move that could potentially indicate i'm taking sides.

    If that means i risk offending the asker? So be it. The balls in their court at that point.

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    I think it is silly. I deal with this because even though we were married for 16 years and together for 18, my ex expects me to completely disassociate with his family. He gets mad at his sisters and his parents because they still talk to me, and doesn't think they should be friends with me on fb. Also some of his cousins and nieces and nephews on his side, even though they grew up together with my kids and when they would come to visit I was the one who took them out to the mall or the zoo or whatever because he was always working. The whole thing is childish and I would tell her to grow up.
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  8. #8
    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GloriaInTX View Post
    I think it is silly. I deal with this because even though we were married for 16 years and together for 18, my ex expects me to completely disassociate with his family. He gets mad at his sisters and his parents because they still talk to me, and doesn't think they should be friends with me on fb. Also some of his cousins and nieces and nephews on his side, even though they grew up together with my kids and when they would come to visit I was the one who took them out to the mall or the zoo or whatever because he was always working. The whole thing is childish and I would tell her to grow up.
    Thats really sad. My brother divorced his wife not that long ago, they had been married for years and years (one adult child and one teenage child). I would be so sad if my brother was acting that way towards his ex.

    My kids LOVE my brother's ex and she loves them equally as much. We still call her Aunt and I still call her my sister-in-law most of the time (when i want to refer to her but don't want to explain the back story). My kids would be seriously sad if we cut off ties with her! She also still talks to my mom sometimes too.

    She's been part of the family for so long, it just doesn't seem right to cut her out....at all.

    She was supposed to come and visit us at the end of this summer, but ended up not being able to due to Hurricane Irene. I was so sad!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimPossible View Post
    Thats really sad. My brother divorced his wife not that long ago, they had been married for years and years (one adult child and one teenage child). I would be so sad if my brother was acting that way towards his ex.

    My kids LOVE my brother's ex and she loves them equally as much. We still call her Aunt and I still call her my sister-in-law most of the time (when i want to refer to her but don't want to explain the back story). My kids would be seriously sad if we cut off ties with her! She also still talks to my mom sometimes too.

    She's been part of the family for so long, it just doesn't seem right to cut her out....at all.

    She was supposed to come and visit us at the end of this summer, but ended up not being able to due to Hurricane Irene. I was so sad!
    I don't understand it at all and it breaks my heart sometimes. His mother and one sister just pretty much ignore him when he complains about it, but the other sister won't hardly talk to me because he gets mad. His dad talks to me but he is always careful to make sure my ex doesn't find out about it. The last time I was going through town and the boys and I spent the night with his sister and he even called my sons and yelled at them about it because his sister and I wouldn't listen to him and he didn't think I should be staying there, even though she invited me. The sad thing is I think I am closer to his sister than he is. I wanted to go to my niece's wedding once and he threw a fit about it said that if I went that he wasn't going to go, even though his own sons didn't get to go either because they didn't have a way there if I didn't go. Somehow he thinks that they are taking sides if they talk to me and he still feels guilty about leaving his family. It doesn't really help I guess that they don't like his new wife very much. You can't be family for 16 years and all of a sudden they aren't your family anymore.
    Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
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    I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosopy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend. --Thomas Jefferson

  10. #10
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    I wouldn't de-friend. Anyone who is on my friends list is because I'm friends with them. If she wanted to say private things, she should PM me.

    I've been in a position of being asked to de-friend people due to not so nice situations. I haven't done it. Who I'm friends with and why is my business.
    ~Jordan~

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