Divorce is a difficult, emotional rollercoaster. It’s a season of life that no one hopes or expects to find themselves in. One of the best ways to cope with divorce is to find a support system to help you through the process. If you know someone who is currently going through a divorce, or has one on the horizon, here are some of the best ways you can help support them.
Things that are not helpful:
- Offering unsolicited advice. Don’t pretend you know their situation or what might be best for them.
- Comparing your divorce (or any other divorce you may know of) to theirs. Every situation is different, they should never be compared.
- Sharing divorce horror stories.
- Saying negative things about their spouse. It isn’t your place, and it isn’t helpful. Listen if they need to vent and offer advice as they request it. Tearing down their spouse will not help build them up.
- Spewing I told you so’s. Don’t do it!
- • Asking for details. They will share what they feel comfortable sharing. If they do share information with you, be sure to keep those details private.
Things that are helpful:
- Offering a listening ear without being invasive or persistent. Let your friend know that you are a safe, non-judgmental space. Let them come to you if and when they feel comfortable. Only offer advice if they ask for it.
- Bringing them dinner or care packages (with their permission).
- Helping with their kids. Offer to take them for play dates with your own children or assist with school carpool. This can be especially helpful if they have meetings or court appearances that require childcare.
- Offering to help with daunting physical tasks, like organizing the house or packing.
- Inviting them out to do something they enjoy. If they say no – keep trying.
- Sending a text to let them know you’re thinking of them.
- If you are able, offering to help pay for a legal consult.
- Most importantly, asking them what kind of help they need. The answer may be nothing – and if that’s case, always respect that.