My Friend Is Getting Divorced! How Can I Help?
When news broke out about your friend and her soon-to-be-ex, you were floored. You always thought they would be a couple that would go the distance. That was a shock, but that's not the big issue right now.
Your friend is absolutely devastated, and you've never seen her in such a bad state. So, what can you do as a friend? You don't know what to say to a friend going through a divorce. We're here to help! And it was only an "almost relationship!"
Friends getting divorced.
It's easy to feel helpless when you're watching your two friends divorce. Assuming that you're really close and your friend is okay with accepting help from you, there's a lot you can do…
If your friend is being abused or threatened, be there for her.
Help her call the police, offer her a place to stay, and help her find resources that can help her. If she needs help getting her items from home, call a police escort and help her pack the boxes. Do not disclose her location to her abuser.
When trying to help your friend, don't put yourself in a clear line of danger. Always get the police involved if you are unsure of your safety. Tell her about the signs of toxic relationship.
Be an absorbent shoulder.
Your friend is going to want to scream, yell, sob, and cry. As a friend, the least you can do is listen to them and commiserate. If they're in need of a cry session, offer to come up to their home with a bottle of wine.
The absolute worst thing that can happen to your friend is to feel like everyone, including friends, abandon them. Hang out with them, let them pick the next sad movie you two will watch, and let them feel loved.
Offer to help them move.
In every divorce, at least one of the parties will have to move out of the home. Moving is a very labor-intensive thing to do. You don't want them to have to do all that packing, carrying, and unpacking alone.
Friends really appreciate it when you help them move, especially when in a situation like this one. Besides, it is a good workout, and it'll help you both bond.
Choose your friend's side.
Obviously, if the break is between two friends of yours, the best thing you can do is remain neutral and supportive of both of them. However, if you were close to one friend before the other, it's often best to stick with your original friend unless they did something really heinous.
This is especially hard if your two best friends are getting divorced.
A lot of divorces end up with a "divvying up" of friends. Don't let your friend feel like their ex will walk away with her social life, too.
When your friends get divorced, you might lose one friend or the other… (but maybe you can ALL be friends again somewhere in the future). There are even more things you can do to help your friend heal after heartbreak.
No, really, don't let them feel alone.
A lot of divorcees and soon-to-be-divorced people tend to cloister themselves away as they grieve. This is their way of trying to protect themselves or just their way of handling a natural part of grief. Believe it or not, one of the best things you can do is to invite them out.
What to do when a friend is getting divorced, and they turn me down to go out?
Your friend might not accept. In fact, chances are they most likely won't. But keep doing it. Getting the invite means a lot and helps them feel loved even when they might not feel loveable. Many people feel abandoned by friends during divorce. So when you reach out, it makes them feel supported.
A text to a friend going through a divorce is easy (or give em' a ring!).
A simple message like "I'm thinking about you, reach out anytime day or night" is one of the easiest ways to support going through a divorce. If you're busy, you can text your best friend while you're on a lunch break.
Grab a meal for them, and help out around the house.
When you first get served papers in a divorce, it often feels like you've been punched in the stomach. This is not the type of news that you are going to be able to function well after hearing. This is why so many divorcees have a home that's in disarray.
If you are handy with a mop or broom, ask if they need help cleaning the house or if you can get them some food. Sometimes, just helping them when they cannot entirely keep a home can be the best help they can get.
Even if it's hard to do, don't trash talk the ex.
It is, oh, so tempting. This is especially true if he cheated/assaulted her/stole her dog/other stuff. As much as the cad might deserve it, it's not a good move. If your friend ends up going back to him, she'll remember all the trash talk you made.
What not to say to a divorced person.
"I've always thought he was a loser" isn't the way to help your friend feel support because your friend may have been deeply in love with this "loser" at one time.
While it may feel right now, saying what you really think about the ex can backfire badly. It can actually isolate you from your friend. Worse, if your friend still loves their ex, they may take it personally. They were married, ya know.
Practice the fine art of patience and understanding.
Your friend is going to be going through some stuff. And it's going to be rough on her—to the point where mood swings, crying fits, and maybe even snarky bitter comments should be expected. It will not be easy at times, and you might end up seeing a side of your friend you didn't want to see.
As hard as it may be, you're going to have to be patient with your friend. Your friend is not going to be the same for a bit. Give them time, and be understanding. Divorce has a way of bringing out the very worst in people, so try to be forgiving if you can.
According to science, your friend could be in physical heartbreak pain, and she needs your patience right now.
Try to steer your friend towards healthier behavior and be truthful with them.
A bad divorce has led to a plethora of peoples' downfall. If dire circumstances arise, it could be the thing that sparks a serious addiction or self-injury. If you notice your friend spiraling out of control, it's important to be blunt about how they're behaving.
Rather than be cool with their binge drinking, take their keys and drive them home. Then, when they wake up, be honest and tell them that they need to lay off the drinking. While they might not listen to you, it's still what a good friend would do.
At the end of the day, friends are there to help one another. That includes helping them avoid making mistakes they might not be able to recover from. Just, you know, do it gently. And if you need more breakup or divorce support join our group for women!
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