How to Support Someone You Love through Divorce

divorce support

That’s what friends are for…….

How do you support someone you love when divorce seems imminent? This is a tough one, especially if you’re not divorced and no one close to you is divorced. Many on the divorce journey experience a significant sense of loneliness. There are ways that friends can alleviate some of these intense feelings: When a family is in crisis with a medical issue, everyone offers a helping hand. Meals, rides, companionship, cleaning, errands, etc. are offered to the family in need. This generosity is not felt during the early days of divorce.

Ask what you can do. Or better yet, just offer. Invite the family to dinner. Offer to drive the daughter home from dance. Ask if she needs anything at the grocery store. Tell her you’ll bring dinner Thursday night.

Include her in your plans. It’s challenging to transition from coupledom to singledom. And often this occurs with little to no warning to the one being left. Forget what you think about the 3rd wheel. It’s nice to be out with friends even if you are the third wheel. When you’re with good friends, you forget, albeit momentarily, the troubles that hover close by.

Keep in touch. With technology, it’s easy to let your friend know you’re thinking of her. Send a text. Leave a voice message. Even if she doesn’t feel like talking, it’s always reassuring to know a friend has your back. This is an emotional time and the love and support of good friends is not overlooked. Be that good friend.

Send flowers. We celebrate or send condolences during appropriate times during life. When your friend has a big meeting with attorneys or has a hearing in court, send flowers. It’s an overwhelming and exhausting experience and there’s nothing better to lift someone’s spirits than flowers at the front door. It’s always nice to know that someone cares about you.

Listen. I first heard the word apoplectic during my divorce. As my sister quickly pointed out, I was appropriately apoplectic. When your friend (or someone else dear to you) is going through a divorce, listen to her. Listen and nod, agree, and assure her that you’re there to listen so she can process the many crazy thoughts and ideas racing through her brain. I was lucky enough to have someone I could call any time. She was always on “mother watch” and slept lightly. I never felt like I woke her up. That was a huge blessing. And I knew it. Read about a client who shocked her sister-in-law when she reported her feeling of sadness following her divorce.

Empathize. This is a tough, unknown road. And there aren’t owner’s manuals available at the beginning of the journey. Post-divorce, people realize how invaluable it would have been to have a coach. While you’re going through it, there is mostly the feeling of overwhelm, fear, anxiety and confusion. When your friend comes up with an idea that may be over the top, know that she is simply trying to end the pain and resolve a difficult situation. Know that this time will pass and that she won’t feel like this forever, but the craziness may last a long time. Don’t abandon her. She needs you. Send flowers – see above.

Remember that Sundays and holidays are especially challenging. It’s business as usual Monday through Friday. But when the weekend hits, it seems everyone is busy with family. When you plan a family event, invite your friend. Even if she opts out, she had a choice. Having options is always a good thing. During the holiday season, check with your friend to find out the parenting schedule for the holidays. Invite your friend to your festivities but understand if she can’t handle being with a “happy” family on a holiday. If she declines your offer, tell her you’ll visit early in the day for coffee or bring dessert and good conversation later in the day.

If you’re divorced, please share what your family and friends did to love and support you. We can all learn from your experience.

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About Sheila Brennan

There are few events in one’s life that impact you financially, socially, emotionally and legally. Effective communication and negotiation skills are imperative to a good outcome. Sheila Brennan, Divorce Coach, serves as your guide and advocate through the divorce process. Take complete ownership - this is your divorce! www.brennandivorcecoach.com

One thought on “How to Support Someone You Love through Divorce

  1. pspaulasusan

    Thoughtful article. People are so often in their judgment that they lose sight of the many challenges that the divorcing person has to face, accompanied by the multi-levels of feelings. This is wonderful!

    Reply

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