How to Help a Friend Going Through a Divorce
QUEENS, New York. If your friend is going through a divorce, you may be wondering how you can help and what you can do. It can be difficult to know what a friend is going through, especially if you haven’t been through a divorce yourself. What are some things you can do to help?
- Make time to talk. If your friend is going through divorce, you may be struggling with the separation as well, especially if both people in the couple were your friends. If you were friends with both parties, make time to talk to both and let them know that you are not taking sides. If you plan to maintain a friendship with the couple, you may need to set boundaries about what you can and cannot talk about—to avoid finding yourself in the middle of their arguments. However, if you were closer to one person in the relationship, sometimes it helps a divorcing friend to know that they have a friend who is there for them.
- Invite your friend out. According to the Huffington Post, a friend going through a divorce will still want to be included in social events. In fact, your friend may need outings now more than ever. Even if the events were “couples events,” consider including your friend.
- Don’t post about the divorce on social media. If your friend is going through a divorce, keep in mind that anything you post on social media could potentially be used against them in trial. If your friend has not resolved child custody issues or financial concerns related to the divorce, anything you say or do on social media could hurt their case. In general, if you have something to say about the situation, say it in private.
- Help them get help. If your friend is going through a tough time, he or she may benefit from talking to a counselor. Your friend may also benefit from the assistance of a divorce attorney. A divorce lawyer like the Law Office of Charles Zolot in Queens, New York, can review finances, child custody questions, and protect the rights of individuals going through a divorce.
- Avoid offering open-ended help. Sometimes it can be hard to know what you need and to ask for it. Worse, your friend might ask for help when you’re not available. Instead, Prevention recommends that friends think about ways they can help and be specific when offering help. If you can watch the kids on Wednesday during their court date, say so. If you can bring dinner on Thursday, offer it.
- Avoid bashing the ex. Your friend may bash his or her ex, but your job is to listen. After all, if your friend needs to co-parent with this person, they may eventually have to develop a friendly relationship with their ex for the sake of their children. Bashing their ex might feel great over drinks on Saturday, but it won’t help later.
If someone you know is going through a divorce, it can be hard to know what to do. Listening, offering concrete help, and providing support is essential. Additionally, it helps to know your limits. You won’t be able to play the role of a counselor or a divorce lawyer.