It’s something we’ve done for our friends since the inception of our friendship in our adult lives: helping them through a breakup. Maybe it was back in high school or even in their early 20s when we’d be called upon to offer advice, support, and justification for friends who find themselves suddenly out of a relationship that had previously been their world. It’s never easy and it becomes even more difficult when that breakup means a divorce.
There are a variety of reactions people can have to their divorces.
While many are amicable, someone is always hurting more than the other person and someone is always the initiator of the divorce, even if both parties think it’s a good idea. You need to be there for your friend no matter the situation and be ready to be supportive no matter their role in their own divorce.
Below are some of the best things you can do for your friends who are going through a divorce.
Be an Asset
If they have to move, if they need to go apartment hunting, or need a place to stay for a few days, be that person they can go to. We often underestimate the little things we can offer people going through a rough time. Helping them buy groceries or pack their things or find a new place to live can be hugely helpful to them both practically and emotionally.
Invite Them Out (But Be Respectful)
Even if your friend continues to say no, continue to invite them out. It will be good for them to feel thought of and wanted, even if they don’t have the energy or time to come out. And, eventually, when things calm down, they will say yes. On that note, also be respectful of their choices. Don’t try to immediately fix them up with someone or insist they start dating again immediately.
Listen and Ask
The best thing you can be for your friend is present. Give them someone to talk to and let them know someone is listening to them. Don’t be afraid to ask how they’re feeling and check in on what’s going on with them. They will appreciate the care and interest, even if they don’t want to share anything with you right now.
What About Talking About Their Ex?
It’s tempting to trash their ex. You’ll want to make them feel justified and like the better person and that often comes at the expense of being cruel to or about their ex. Don’t do that. Every situation is different, but you want this to be amicable, especially if children are involved. Focus on bolstering your friend’s confidence, rather than tearing down their ex-spouse.
How Long Should I Be There For?
This is not going to be quick, especially if it was a long marriage. And you don’t want to just be around for the fallout and then disappear when life gets back to normal. Friendship is for life and your friend will need a solid base at every point in their life post-divorce.
You can’t take your friend’s pain away, but you can offer them support and help through a difficult time.
If you are contemplating a legal separation or divorce it is important to seek legal advice. The divorce and family law attorneys at Rappleye & Rappleye, P.C. Jackson MI, have the experience and compassion to help. We are prepared to offer our clients knowledgeable representation on a wide range of issues that range from legal separation, property division, child custody, spousal support and more. Divorce is about the future, not the past, so if you are ready to move on, call us today!