You’ve played many roles as a friend – fashion advisor, wingman, house sitter, babysitter, counselor and more. Now, you’re facing one of the most challenging roles yet: that of a supporting shoulder to lean on for your friend going through a divorce.
Divorce can be one of the most emotional events in a person’s life. Finding the right thing to say or do can be challenging. Here’s what you should know about what to say to a friend going through a divorce:
Can I Give You a Hug?
Sometimes, the smallest things can make the biggest difference to someone. For someone going through a divorce, it can feel incredibly lonely and overwhelming at times. One of the things you can do for a friend who is going through a divorce is to offer them a hug. This is a great way to show support for your friend and reiterate how much you care about them.
Studies show hugging can be incredibly beneficial. This simple act is thought to help decrease stress, reduce depression and lower anxiety by aiding in the release of oxytocin in the body.
Of course, you should always keep your audience in mind. Not all friends like hugs. In that case, just being near someone and showing your support by being present in whatever conversation they want to have can be a comfort. Sometimes, a supportive fist bump can send the same message.
When you have a friend going through a divorce, they may have a hard time understanding where they fit in, especially if they are separated from their family. Hearing a sincere invitation to dinner, a movie or even happy hour can go a long way. Even if your friend declines the offer, keep asking. They may not feel like leaving their house today, but tomorrow may be a different story.
If socializing just isn’t in the cards, make sure your home is a non-judgmental, safe-zone for your friend. It could be the welcoming sanctuary they need. Let your friend know that you believe in them, love them and are supportive of the decisions they are making.
How Can I Help?
When you have a friend going through a divorce, sometimes simply acknowledging the emotional upheaval they may be feeling can do wonders for their day. Genuinely asking how you can help may reduce some of the stress they feel.
In many cases, your friend will say “thank you” and move on. If they aren’t asking for help, try offering something specific. Picking up a gallon of milk or dropping off frozen meals could make a big difference. Depending on how well you know your friend, you could offer to help with laundry, cleaning or childcare when you know they’re having an especially stressful week.
You Can Do This
Be compassionate and mindful of their feelings and let your friend know you are there for them. Remind them that you will help however you can. Rather than asking your friend what happened during the marriage or what they did to prevent it from failing, offer encouragement for them to embrace the next stage of their life.
Supporting a friend going through a divorce is much like being a good friend any other time. Simply listening and being present to spend time with and support your friend going through a divorce can help them effectively navigate this emotional and stressful time.
Recommend the Professionals
If your friend is looking for a recommendation to guide them through their divorce, they can reach out to the professionals at Best Legal Choices. They can help your friend end their marriage with respect.
Is your friend worrying about a lengthy courtroom battle? Collaborative divorce offers families an option to work together to save time, money and energy. Ending a marriage with respect can have a positive impact on co-parenting and future relationships.
If you or someone you know are considering divorce, contact a Best Legal Choices professional today.
Judy Morse has been helping families resolve their questions about parenting time, legal decision making, and their finances and assets with her Collaborative Practice since 2006. The founder of Judith A. Morse, P.C., now known as Morse Law Group, Judith A. Morse has been practicing law for more than 32 years.