What do you do when your friends divorce?
Written by Craig Cherney

What do you do when your friends divorce?

It’s never easy finding the right words to say when your friends divorce. The end of a marriage can be difficult. Everyone close to the couple can feel the impact of a separation. Of course, you want to be a good friend and offer support in any way you can, but what do you do when your friends divorce?

Mum’s the Word

When your friends divorce, it may be tempting to offer advice about how to cope. You may want to share your true feelings about their soon-to-be-ex or tell them to “get back on the horse,” but this isn’t always the best idea.

In general, advice on separating and divorcing is better left to the professionals such as attorneys, communication coaches, financial neutrals and therapists. If you feel compelled to offer advice, stick to the practical subjects like babysitter referrals, moving services and websites for finding a new apartment or house.

Unspoken Emotions

Divorce can be a highly emotional and tumultuous time for divorcing couples. This process can leave separating spouses with negative feelings including rejection, anger, sadness, self-doubt and more. It’s important to understand that everyone expresses feelings differently and some will express more than others.

As a friend, consider things that will help boost confidence and support a healthy version of your friend. Genuine compliments are always a great way to offer support. Surprising them with a day of golf or a shade of lipstick they have been eyeing may be just the self-confidence boost your friend needs.

Sharing is Caring

When your friends divorce, it can seem like a disaster that consumes every part of their daily life. One of the most helpful ways to be a good friend is by including them in your life. Share your day with them. Talk about what may be going on in your life, like current stressors, frustrations about work and amusing moments. By doing so, you are sharing your imperfections with them and offering support. Just don’t turn the sharing into a contest of who has the worst horror stories.

Positive Influences

Many people associate divorce with a dramatic court battle. Not all divorces have to be like that.  At least, not anymore. Collaborative divorce now allows couples and their attorneys to work together to find an agreeable outcome for all parties. It’s a voluntary process that gives couples the opportunity to work together to preserve their relationship while coming to conclusions that are beneficial for the family. In many cases, this process saves money since it avoids the expensive, contentious litigation process.

Listening to your friend about what’s going on and focusing on the positive can help them maintain a good attitude during the process.

Inclusion is Important

When your friends divorce, it’s important to continue to include them in social plans. They aren’t pariahs and divorce is not contagious. Prepare yourself that they may say no to invitations for a while, but keep asking. While they may be more comfortable at home for a while, feeling included in social activities can help boost their self-confidence and improve their overall emotional state. When they do agree to come out with you, remember to avoid prying into the details of their divorce.

If you would like more information on collaborative divorce, contact a Best Legal Choices professional today.