Supporting Friends Through Divorce
Divorce is a devastating time. If you have a friend who’s going through this process, you may feel helpless, upset and scared. It can be heartbreaking to see someone you care about going through the stress of a family breakup.
There are several things you can do for a friend in this situation:
1) Be there.
One of the most important things you can do as a friend is simply being there for someone who is going through a difficult time. Make yourself available and spend time with them. Keep in mind that some friends will disappear from your lives when they announce a divorce. Others, however, will need support. Simply being there makes a big difference.
2) Be prepared to listen.
Very often, someone who’s going through heartbreak needs to vent. Be prepared to simply sit back and allow yourself to listen.
3) Make things easier for your friend.
Offer to babysit, make a meal or help them pack if they are moving out. Take them for a night out. Simple everyday things can become overwhelming when dealing with the stress of a divorce. Having some extra help can make a big difference.
4) Ask what you can do.
Maybe there is something that your friend is really struggling with â€” such as not knowing how to start dating or struggling to find a job. Maybe you can play matchmaker when theyâ€™re ready or help them comb â€śhelp wantedâ€ť ads.
5) Create new traditions.
If you knew your friend as part of a couple, maybe youâ€™re used to certain traditions â€” such as taking vacations together or having Sunday-night potlucks. If those are no longer on the table, replace them with new traditions that involve your friend.
6) Create a judgment-free zone.
Remember that your friend is going through a significant grieving process. Even if you think that their new partner is not the greatest, or you question their decision to quit a job or other choices they make, be prepared to support your friend, no matter what. Judgment and criticism might not help â€” support will.
7) Make sure your friend has good legal advice.
Divorce is a legal as well as an emotional issue. Your friend should have good legal representation to ensure that their interests are protected and they arenâ€™t left financially devastated by the divorce.
8) Take care of yourself.
Of course, you want to take care of your friend. But keep in mind that a friendâ€™s divorce can be upsetting to you, too, especially if you were friends with both partners. You might feel as though you have to â€śpick sidesâ€ť or your friendâ€™s ex-spouse might no longer want to spend time with you. Give yourself time to grieve the end of the friendship and relationship. Hug your own loved ones a little tighter and be kind to yourself.
If youâ€™re looking for ways to help a friend through a divorce, thank you for being a good friend. Follow these tips to help your friend, yourself and your friendship through the process.