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Ex-spouses often expect close people to decide, take sides and condemn the other. Sometimes this attitude is blackmailing: You are either with me or you are against me.
When people enter into a serious relationship or marriage, they "bring" their friends into that relationship. After a while, with perhaps a few exceptions, she and his friends become mutual friends. When, after a certain number of years, the two decide to break up or divorce, it emotionally "shakes" the network of mutual friends. Divorces and breakups are sad, which is why mutual friends often react with a feeling of sadness that a period of socializing and living together has ended. The typical result is that everyone "takes" their personal friends that they "brought" into their life together.
Every breakup of a deep emotional relationship, whether marriage or a serious relationship, is accompanied by numerous feelings, from anger, sadness, anxiety, all the way to contempt and hatred. Although people often say that they have agreed to separate, behind that "agreement" often lies the truth that one of them is leaving the other who would like the relationship to continue. Every divorce is the result of various forces, it is always a complex phenomenon, but people often want to simplify all that complexity and put things in black and white and clearly indicate who is "guilty" of divorce and who is not.
Transfer of responsibilities
The essence is in shifting the responsibility for the failure of the marriage or relationship to the other side, while denying any of one's own responsibility.
In that way, a simplified picture is created in which one side sees itself as a victim, and the other side sees itself as a traitor, exploiter, manipulator, dishonest, unfaithful, violent, etc. When someone creates such an image, he expects relatives and friends to accept and confirm it. Especially with those people who feel ashamed that they didn't succeed and who think that others might think that they didn't succeed because they are not good enough at something. That is why a person expects close people to decide, to take his side - the side of the victim and to condemn the other side. Sometimes this attitude is blackmailing: You are either with me or you are against me.
It is not uncommon for a person who is convinced that he is a victim of the other side to conduct a small propaganda campaign to denigrate the other side to all mutual friends. It is also not uncommon for friends to opt for and take the side of the victim, strongly condemning the other partner. The whole thing gains in intensity when the blackened partner opposes a similar counter-campaign with mutual friends, with his arguments according to which he is a victim of the other side.
The worst is when one of the partners asks the joint children to accept that he is the one who is the victim, and that the other partner is a bad person, and that the children should take sides and condemn the other partner - mom or dad. This forcing children to decide and condemn one parent creates fear in them that they will be rejected if they do not, but at the same time confusion about the emotional attachment to the other parent. It is often an introduction to relationship poisoning and the alienation syndrome by which the "victim" parent vindictively prevents the other parent from exercising his or her right to see the children as well as the children's right to communicate with the other parent.
While it is understandable that friends take the side of those they care about, taking sides is primitive and bad. If the divorce is already complicated and difficult, by getting a friend's confirmation that she is a victim, she becomes even more vindictively aggressive. That makes a difficult divorce even harder.
Emotional support instead of condemnation
Someone's mutual friends, as well as people who are divorcing or breaking up, should be aware of the problem of "taking someone's side" during or after the divorce. Friends should not take sides, but emotionally support a person who is divorcing in ways that do not involve denigrating the ex or ex. People who get divorced should not visit friends and expect others to accept their black-and-white proof that they are a victim by eating and taking out "dirty laundry".
An additional reason why the denigration of the other party should be rejected is that an unexpected turn of events can occur: for the two to reconcile and continue with the marriage or relationship. In that case, socializing after reconciliation can be so uncomfortable for everyone involved that the socializing stops. Although the practice of seeking to take sides is still widespread, it seems that more and more people are divorcing in a civilized manner, maintaining friendly relations as much as possible, which is especially important when children are involved in the divorce.