Chances are that you probably know at least one person in your life going through a divorce. Regardless of whether they have kids with their soon to be ex or not, divorce can be an incredibly painful and heart-wrenching process.
Saying goodbye to a relationship that you once believed in enough to commit to forever can shake your entire belief system. So, how can you help your friend navigate this difficult experience? What could you possibly do or say that would make it better?
Even though you may feel like there’s nothing you can do personally, the truth is, you can. Here are some of the best ways that you can help your friend handle a divorce.
Be a Good Listener
It’s easy to make things about you when someone starts telling you about their current challenges. You may think you’re helping by telling them a similar story that happened to you.
However, in many cases, the best way to show your support is to shut up and listen. Rather than spewing out advice or solutions about whats going on in their divorce, just listen to what they have to say. Don’t agree or disagree, just listen wholeheartedly. Offer a hug if they need it, and don’t pass judgment.
Even though a lot of people have the attitude that they should “mind their business” sometimes that’s not the best solution. Sometimes a simple text or call asking if there’s anything that you can do can be incredibly helpful.
Let them know that you are there if they need and remind them that they’re not alone.
In addition to being a good listener, the next best thing that you can provide is resources. Perhaps you know of a great book that they might find healing. You might find a divorce support group in the area that you think they’d be interested in.
Try to offer concrete resources which will help them through the transition of divorce.
Keep It Private
One of the worst things that you can do when someone confides in you is to repeat it to someone else. Even though you may have the best intentions in mind and believe you’re doing it out of concern, there’s no better way to break someone’s trust.
Keep it private and don’t gossip. Even if it doesn’t feel like gossip, it’s gossip.
Boost Their Spirits
When someone is going through a hard time, sometimes the best medicine is a distraction. Try to make them laugh, or take them to a fun event that takes their mind off of their worries.
Remind them of their good qualities and help them to feel better about themselves.