It does not matter if a divorce is mutually desired and amicable or a long-drawn out court battle – getting divorced results in emotional upheavals for both individuals. Going through divorce can also be a challenge for the friends and family of the couple splitting up. What’s the right thing to do or say? Is it better to ask questions about the divorce or wait to see if it’s brought up in conversation?
When a friend or loved one is getting a divorce, it’s easy to become paralyzed with uncertainty! However, the best thing you can do in when encountering this situation is simply to offer your support, time, and personal attention without any “strings attached” or judgment. Here are a few simple ways you can support that special person, be they male or female, in the days during, and after, their divorce.
Going Through Divorce: Offer Practical Support
Even a simple, uncontested divorce can create financial worries and family stress. You can offer to help in a variety of ways including bringing over some pre-cooked meals like soups, lasagna or salads so they don’t need to worry about cooking. You can also offer to help pick up or transport children to clubs or activities, or watch them for a few hours after school or on the weekend so your friend can run errands or meet with their attorney without worrying about how to care for the children.
Going Through Divorce: Be a Good Listener
Be a generous listener when the person you care about needs to vent or express their emotions. Reserve your judgment and simply be there for them to talk when they want to. Hold back on giving advice unless it is explicitly asked for, and remember to let them know how much you value their friendship and that you want them to be well and happy. If you believe your sibling or friend could use some additional help in managing their emotions, encourage them to seek mental health counseling and offer to help them find a therapist.
Going Through Divorce: Don’t Engage in Ex-Bashing
While it might be tempting to say unfavorable words about your friend’s or sibling’s ex-spouse, it’s better to keep your thoughts to yourself. Individuals undergoing a divorce are often emotionally conflicted and negative words from you may cause them to become even more hurt or angry. Take the high road and try to keep your conversations as positive and calm as possible.
Going Through Divorce: Get Moving
Married life takes up a great deal of time and your friend or sibling might feel a bit lost and aimless once their daily routines have changed and they are living alone. Plan easy, low-stress get-togethers like a night out at a favorite pizza place, going to see an upbeat or funny movie, or taking a walk or run in the local park, to help keep up their spirits.
Going Through Divorce: Let Your Friend Take the Lead
If you’re unsure of what to say or do when you’re with your friend or sibling, take your social cues from them. If you get the sense they don’t want to talk about their ex or the divorce, bring up other topics. On the flip side, if they start talking about their latest visit with the divorce attorney or an issue that has come up during divorce mediation or settlement negotiations, listen to what they have to say and be an understanding friend.
Going Through Divorce: Start a New Tradition
After going through divorce, your friend or sibling will start rediscovering who they were before they got married – and this is a great time to start new traditions and activities to do together. Whether it’s a new twist on an old holiday tradition, or picking up hobbies and activities you once enjoyed but haven’t done in years, this is a great time to deepen your friendship and help them to start a new chapter in their lives.
Laura Monty Law Can Help
If you or your spouse will be filing for divorce in Northern Colorado or reside in the Larimer County or Fort Collins region, and want to explore divorce options that protect your children as much as possible, do not hesitate to contact Laura Monty Law. We provide collaborative divorce representation, divorce mediation services, legal advising for uncontested divorces, and a full array of divorce and family law services in Northern Colorado. We strongly believe in taking a compassionate approach to family law, and recognize that every situation is unique.