Couples who have been together for more than a few weeks generally introduce each other to their friends, and they can become very close over time. When the couple decides the relationship is over, their friends often feel they must choose to remain with one or the other. It is difficult if the break up is contentious, and most casual friends will slip away quietly. Those who are close will often choose sides based on who was their friend first, but they could choose to be with the other partner if they have grown closer to them over time. Dividing the friends is one of the more difficult parts of going separate ways at the end of a relationship.
There are few people who want to give up a friendship that has existed for years, but it can happen when a couple splits. If one person cheated on their partner, their friends might believe they are no longer worthy of a relationship. They could make the choice to remain friends with the spouse, or they could desert both of them. Some friends, regardless of the circumstances, will remain close with the person they have known for years and avoid their former partner.
When two people are in a relationship, they often meet people when they are together. Some of them will be other couples they become close to when their lifestyles are nearly the same, and it can be difficult when they go their separate ways. These are the people who will generally be the first to leave as friends, but they can be amazingly supportive if one of the partners has done something they consider unacceptable. They will remain friends with the person who has been emotionally or physically battered, and their relationship could become even closer.
As the years pass, many couples in a relationship will begin to get very close to the family members of their partner. It can become an issue when they split, and letting family members know their friendship with a former partner is okay can ease the tension. If the split is contentious, family members are expected to break off all ties with the former partner. When they believe their own family member has done something wrong, they might remain friends with the former partner. It will become a low-key relationship, but that does not negate the support and bonding that could occur over time.
Going their own separate ways is usually a difficult time for couples, and they need the love and support of their friends. As the break up proceeds, they will often find casual friends are quick to drift out of their lives with weak excuses. Close friends are generally going to choose one or the other partner and stick by them, but their choice is often based on what occurred between them. If a close friend feels one person did something wrong, they will generally dump that person as a friend. Those who feel friendship trumps right or wrong will tend to remain friends even after the split.