Just keep showing up.
Even the most amicable of divorces come with stress, worry, and emotional turmoil. And if there are contentious issues between your friend and their soon-to-be-ex divorce can be downright traumatizing. Being a good friend to someone going through a divorce can be tough to navigate. Use these suggestions to offer them support, but remember, just keep showing up for them, that’s the most important thing.
- Just Listen
Listening without giving advice is one of the single best things you can do for anyone in emotional pain. Be a sounding board. Most of us don’t want advice, we just want to know we aren’t alone.
2. Set and Maintain Boundaries
Remember to set boundaries with your friend. After the initial shock or event, you don’t have to make yourself available 24 hours a day for your friend. If they call you more often than seems healthy, then encourage your friend to find a counselor or divorce support group while still offering to listen. Being codependent is not being a good friend.
3. Keep Asking Them Out Even if They Keep Saying No.
Even if they don’t feel up to it yet, keep letting them know they are included and wanted. This is important especially if they are adjusting to being alone and without their family around them all the time.
4. Give Them a Free Pass to Be a Mess
The first year of a separation and divorce is messy. Let them be messy. Let them cry, them them forget to show up, let them get a little wild here and there – its all normal after a divorce. Let them know the friendship you share is a judgment free zone, a safe place where they can fully express all their messy feelings.
5. Don’t Force Them To Open Up
It can be tempting to get all the juicy details, but let them tell you as they feel like opening up with you. You don’t need to press them to talk, just asking how they are and if there is anything you can do to help is enough.
Being a good friend is impossible without first being a good friend to ourselves, so make sure to take care of yourself. As the saying goes, we cannot pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself so you can just keep showing up, and your friend will feel very lucky to have your love and support.