Monday 17 February 2020

Supporting your Friend through their Divorce

female friends walking a country path
Photo by Joseph Pearson on Unsplash
{This is a collaborative post}

Whilst the number of heterosexual couples getting a divorce in 2019 may have dropped by over 10,000 from the year before, 90,871 (Source: ONS) is still an incredibly large number of people choosing to end their marriage.  As such you are bound to have friends going through this difficult period. Even if your friend is the one who instigated the divorce and was fully fed-up in their marriage, it can still be a very tough time for them and it's good to be able to offer support and let them know you are there for them.

Here are a few ideas of how to support your good friend thought their divorce -

Be available to listen

Your friend many have loads of unresolved issues and hurts that they need to get off their chest, so it is good if you are just able to be there for them and listen. You don't have to provide answers, or platitudes, just show you are interested and offer a big hug as necessary.

Don't judge or place blame

Even listening to your friend talk for hours, you may never know exactly what went on it their marriage, so make sure that you do not judge or apportion blame. No-one wants to hear that they should have listened to you and left their spouse years ago, nor that you saw this coming. Avoid bad-mouthing their ex too, as they may just get back with them again in the future and then where will you be?

Keep confidentiality

Your friend has chosen you especially to bare their soul to and the last thing they want is to believe that the information is going any further. So whatever they tell you, effectively forget it and let it lie. Also, don't let your nosiness get the better of you, prying is a no-no. If they wish to tell you something, they will.

cutting up a marriage certificate
Image Credit: Steve Buissinne on Pixabay

Help them move on when they're ready

Every person is different; when you're friend says they'd like to start dating again, or maybe just looking for friendship and a way to boost their confidence you could help them by setting up a blind date with someone you trust. Or if they'd like to, help them find a UK free dating site, like match me happy where they can seek companionship.

Invite them out, or over

If your friend used to come over with their spouse, don't just stop the invites as there is now only one person, still, have them over. Or invite them out if that is more appropriate, but let them know that you still value them, even as a single person. Your friend might say no to all your invites at first and that's OK, as everyone processes something as huge as a divorce in a different way, but keep making the invites and let them know they are important to you.

Offer practical support

It's great that you're being available to listen to your friend, have them over and go for a drink, but they may just need some practical support from you. Ask them how you can help. Picking the kids up from school, dropping off some shopping, keeping an eye out for a new property. Or maybe they need you to help with some paperwork or to pack up their house. Ask your friend what they need.

Be there for the long haul

Your friend may choose to never take another long-term partner again, and of course, that is their choice, so make sure they know you are there for the long haul. Everyone needs someone to turn to at the end of a hard day and perhaps you could be that person for your friend. Maybe they could join you for special occasions or family holidays even.