When a close friend is going through a divorce, it may be difficult to know how to help and you may feel at a loss when trying to know what they need. No matter what is going on, you feel frustrated knowing that someone close to you is in pain. However, there are ways you can support your friend, no matter what their situation is.
The best thing you can do to your friend while they’re going through a divorce is to simply listen. It’s important for your friend to know that their thoughts and feelings are important. Instead of sayings things like, “I know how you feel,” you should simply stay quiet and open your ears. When you are talking with your friend, make sure you ask them what they are looking for. Sometimes they may want advice, and sometimes they may just need to vent. Allowing them to dictate the flow of the conversation is very important.
Offer Your Help
Your friend is going to go through a lengthy process of divorcing their ex, which can cause a lot of stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. You can help comfort them by offering your help in their time of need. If you have experienced a divorce, you can offer to help them find a lawyer with experience in family law or a therapist that they can go to if they need help with the process.
However, don’t ask them what you can do, since that can be burdensome to them. They may not feel comfortable asking you to do things because they don’t want to be a burden. Instead, offer your help to go food shopping, watching their kids, or taking them out to lunch. Offering to do specific things takes the burden off of them and can provide them relief from various menial tasks that they are also worried about.
Don’t Talk Bad About Their Ex
Don’t worry about talking bad about your friend’s ex, they can take care of that. Instead, just sit and listen to what they have to say. Hopefully, your friend will have the strength to leave their insults behind while meeting with their ex and lawyers and instead can vent to you afterward. If they want to try and maintain a healthy relationship with their ex, be supportive of that as well. Continually bad mouthing your ex has been shown to be harmful to your future relationships, so support your friend as they try to move past this.
Keep an Eye on Their Mental Health
It’s important that you keep an eye on your friend’s mental health to see if you notice any extreme behavioral changes that may indicate a problem. It’s no surprise that a huge life change like divorce can stir up some heavy feelings, but it is important to make sure that it doesn’t lead to more serious problems.
If you are worried about your friend, make sure that you talk to them, and not their family or their other friends. Be sensitive about the topic, but make sure you don’t beat around the bush. Tell them you have noticed that they seem to be struggling and ask them if they need help. It may be a bit of an uncomfortable conversation, but it may be necessary.
Going through a divorce is never easy, but you can make it easier on your friend by being supportive. Let them know that you are there for them, no matter what they need. If they need time away from the divorce, be that time. If they need a listening ear, be that ear. Help them remember that things will get better eventually.