The divorce process can be overwhelming and stressful. People going through divorce experience a variety of life changes accompanied by sometimes very intense emotions. Even the person who wants out of the marriage must deal with adjustments and sort through feelings. If you are watching a friend or loved one go through a divorce, what can you do or not do to be supportive? Here are 12 suggestions.
- Keep inviting them out to do things, even if they decline.
- If they’re moving, help them pack. If their ex is moving, help them reorganize and settle back into their place after it happens.
- Just listen. Resist the urge to give advice or tell them about your own divorce experience or someone else’s divorce experience.
- Don’t trash their ex. Negative talk and energy will not help them.
- Help them out with tasks their ex may have done. These tasks may include cleaning the house, taking the garbage out, shopping for groceries or mowing the lawn. Less short-term tasks can be a huge weight off from their shoulders.
- Be a resource and go-to person. Research divorce attorneys, mental health therapists, support groups, automobile insurance policies, rental homes or whatever your friend needs.
- Show up with a meal (or maybe several).
- Offer to take their kids for an afternoon or evening.
- Don’t press for details. If they want to share information, they will.
- Send a supportive text or leave a card or flowers on their doorstep. Do this regularly without expecting anything in return. Just knowing that someone else cares will help immensely.
- Acknowledge milestone days like a wedding anniversary. Create distractions and space to cry or feel sad.
- Be there after the divorce is final. Grief and emotions are experienced at different times in divorce. Therefore, give your support throughout the process as well as once it is complete.
Being a friend is an action. Show the person going through the divorce that you care, and they matter. The suggestions in this blog will help. Divorce is a dark time and you can bring a little sunshine.
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