We all know having a true friend is one of the greatest assets in life. Having a person that sticks by you when the going gets tough makes a huge difference. However, when that friend is going through a divorce, it can be hard to know how to help, especially if you haven’t had that experience yourself. Here are some tips to help a friend through a divorce.
And I mean really listen. Being rude about your friends ex will not make them feel better, it only stirs up further animosity. It may be difficult to keep your thoughts to yourself, but it will not helpful to give your opinion on their ex-partner.
Loneliness and social isolation are extremely harmful to the mental health of society. Living on your own with young children, with no adults to talk to, people will feel trapped and isolated. If your friend finds themselves in this situation, you can help by perhaps offering to babysit, or going out with them and their children. You could offer to cook dinner in their home, instead of them going out. Its the social interaction they miss, so where ever you go will be beneficial to them.
Your friend might find themselves on their own at weekends when the children go to their ex. This can be difficult for them too, as people tend to busy themselves around the children. Having that crutch removed can be hard to accept. Encourage them to take up a hobby that they never quite got around to before or take up a hobby together. This will also be a good start for them to meet new friends in a different social group.
Playground gossip can get out of hand, and a friend going through a divorce can feel like everyone is talking about them. Hearing gossip about yourself can be very upsetting. As a friend, do not participate adding to the gossip, even if you feel your are speaking on behalf of your friend. Gossip gets distorted, and you wouldn’t want the distorted version of something you said getting back to your friend.
Your partner maybe friends with the ex of your friend. This can make it difficult for you both. Make a pact with your partner that you will not discuss what you have been told in confidence. If you’re not told anything, then you can’t accidentally repeat it.
Another key factor for people getting divorced is the change in their social status. Going out socially as a single person can be daunting after years of being in a relationship. It is an important step to getting back on your feet emotionally, and will help the well-being of your friend. Offer to along with your friend if you think they are turning down social events. Once over the initial step of socialising as single, your friend will soon find the confidence to do it on their own.
Whatever the reason for your friend’s divorce, whether it is their fault or not, you need to remain impartial. No one ever knows exactly what goes on between two people, except the people themselves. Often they don’t even understand it themselves. Support them to become stronger slowly every day. It may take time, but as a friend you will see them grow.
For friendly divorce advice, contact Divorce Negotiator on 0800 177 7702