Your friend is getting a divorce… now what? How do you help them through this difficult time?
If you’ve never had a close friend or family member go through a divorce you may be at a loss of exactly how you can help them. Luckily there are three easy steps you can take to show your friend support.
Be Willing to Listen to the Same Things… Repeatedly. While going through a divorce, your friend will be processing an overwhelming amount of emotions at once. This means that it might take several conversations about the same topic to completely understand how the person feels. Be willing to listen to them talk about the same things several times without getting frustrated.
Explicitly Talk to Them About How You Think They Are Doing. It’s one thing to talk about how well you think your friend is adjusting to the divorce, and it’s another to tell your friend how well they are adjusting. While it’s wonderful to praise a friend for how they are doing post-divorce, it’s important to tell them directly. Explicitly stating the ways in which you are proud of them, can help them tremendously (e.g. “I’m so proud of how much love, and support you have shown your children while they process the new life changes.”).
Spend Time with Them on Their Time. When you are going through a divorce, your schedule can get thrown off. Your friend will have the kids on different days than they normally would, which leaves time open to spend time with friends on nights they may not have had before. Think movies on a Tuesday, or lunch on a Thursday. Talk to your friend about when they have time and see them on their schedule.
Although every friend will react differently to divorce, trying these three steps can help you be the friend your friend needs during this difficult time. It’s going to take some time, but it will provide some much-needed comfort and support.