Other People You May Need to Break up with after Divorce

Your divorce isn’t just the end of your marriage. It is the end of the life you have known since you walked down the aisle. Not only have the dynamics changed between you and your ex, but they’ve changed throughout all the concentric relationships you shared.

Relationships change after divorce

The reality is that many of your relationships will change after your divorce. No matter how friendly your divorce was, you’ll never have the same relationship with your in-laws or any of your ex’s relatives. Your mutual friendships will feel different, and some or all may end because of it. Even your own friendships may have changed. 

You may be having a hard time with such losses. If so, that’s okay. It’s important to grieve your losses, big and small, as you move into your new reality.

Now, flip your perspective on its head for a moment: If you’re honest with yourself, these changes may be a good thing. You’re ready to leave your old life behind and start fresh. Even if these people wouldn’t necessarily keep you stuck in the past of your marriage, they may carry baggage that could potentially weigh you down in your new life.

Your divorce offers an opportunity to break up with some of the people you don’t want or need in your future. 

Your parents-in-law

Your relationship with your in-laws may have been a great one or a strained one. Regardless of what it was when you were married, you can count on it taking a few steps down in the relationship-o-meter amid your divorce process. 

If you don’t have children, this may be the opportunity you’ve looked for to cut ties with them. It doesn’t have to be unfriendly; it can just be a quiet and steady move away from further communication. Of course, if you live in the same geographic area, you’ll want to make it as respectful and cordial as possible to maintain your local reputation – and in case you run into them at the grocery store. 

If you have children, that complicates things. Your kids may love their grandparents, and that is a good thing. Weigh your relationship with them accordingly to keep that love and respect intact. 

Your ex-spouse’s extended family members

What about your ex’s siblings and all the various and sundry relatives you cheek-kissed at the annual family reunion over the years? 

If you had little contact with them while you were married, there’s little reason to keep in touch with them after your divorce. Evaluate what each relationship currently means to you in terms of proximity, friendship, and respect, and make your decisions based on the present, not the past.

Your ex’s friends

Friendships can be messy post-divorce. There’s a yours-mine-and-ours aspect that needs to be considered, and some friendships may slip from one to the other while you’re not paying attention. 

Your ex’s friends are their friends, and you can’t control how they feel about you or what your ex says about you. Plaster on your best I-don’t-care attitude and walk on by. But the friendships that were once in the “ours” category can be tricky. In the mutual friendships you’ve shared with your ex, people may take sides. Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right with one of your mutual friendships, let it go.

Read: Tips for Boosting Your Mental Health

Your ex’s co-workers

“What others think of you is none of your business.” You may have heard this saying before. And it’s a perfect stance to take when it comes to your ex-partner’s co-workers. Unless you’re employed at the same company, this may be quite easy to accomplish.

If you work at the same company, you might consider talking to a supervisor or management about the best way forward. Office politics and gossip aside, there may even be company rules and policies at play. 

Your financial advisor, lawyer, accountant, or other professional and service providers

Chances are, as a married couple, you and your ex-spouse shared professionals who oversaw your finances, legal life, and even aspects of your household. But now, as independent individuals, you may not want to share these professionals – and in fact, to do so may pose a legal conflict of interest for them. 

There’s no reason for you to use the same service providers you did when you were married, nor should you from a privacy standpoint. This is a perfect time to assert your independence and hire your own people. 

Your family physician

Your doctor may have been someone your family has been with for many years. At the very least, they probably understand your physical health and healthcare needs better than anyone else. 

But sharing your family physician with your ex after a divorce may feel uncomfortable. Although the law requires doctors and their staff to keep all medical information strictly private, doctors and staff are human. Someone may inadvertently say something to your ex, not realizing you are divorced. 

If the two of you share a physician, it may be time to seek healthcare elsewhere. 

If you have children, the matter will look different. As co-parents, you both need to have a comfortable relationship with your children’s physician. Divorce is likely not a good reason to change that unless there are other issues.

Downloadable worksheet: Create Your Self-Care Plan

Your next chapter

Everything changes after divorce. And while some relationships may end, others may need to change simply because you’ve changed. You’re no longer the person you were, and some relationships may need to be renegotiated or fall by the wayside. 

This is a new beginning. Investing in your well-being and learning to be happy and healthy on your own will not only enhance your life but also enhance your relationships, old and new. Relationships that were built upon the old foundation of unhappy circumstances may no longer be relevant to the new you who has changed and grown and continues to do so. 

At Hello Divorce, we are by your side through each step of this life change. We are dedicated to helping you get through the ordeal of divorce and becoming the person you were meant to be. From access to online divorce plans and professional services to a library of important resources, we are part of your team.


Divorce Content Specialist
Mediation, Divorce Strategy, Divorce Process, Mental Health
Candice is a former paralegal and has spent the last 16 years in the digital landscape, writing website content, blog posts, and articles for the legal industry. Now, at Hello Divorce, she is helping demystify the complex legal and emotional world of divorce. Away from the keyboard, she’s a devoted wife, mom, and grandmother to two awesome granddaughters who are already forces to be reckoned with. Based in Florida, she’s an avid traveler, painter, ceramic artist, and self-avowed bookish nerd.