Even if the divorce is amicable and the reasons behind it are innocuous, divorce can be unsettling. When you see a loved one struggle through sorrow, anxiety, anger, and frustration, not to mention lengthy legal procedures, it’s easy to feel powerless or worried you’ll say the wrong thing. Although giving them a book about divorce may be an excellent place to start, this may not speak directly to what they’re going through. And telling them to go back out there may not be the unique approach. What counts most, say, experts, is that you attempt to assist friends and relatives getting divorced.
Try to Make Them Feel Included
When individuals get divorced, they often experience being isolated from their married social group, according to Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., a certified clinical psychologist and the author of Should I Stay or Should I Go? Your loved one may be feeling lonely as well. In the words of David Klow, certified family therapist and author of You Are Not Crazy: Letters From Your Therapist, said that those who were accustomed to spending time with their ex-partner or with their family daily might find it uncomfortable when they’re suddenly alone. Even if they cannot interact due to fatigue, continue to get them in plans to remain connected, or at the very minimum, feel desired.
Lend Your Ears and Be a Friend
Yes, you will most likely be talking in circles for quite some time, but keep in mind that this is very beneficial. Let your buddy have a good discussion about it. This can become repetitious, and that’s OK. That’s how we get rid of our sorrow. You shouldn’t feel obligated to know the answers, either. Most individuals don’t need counsel during a divorce; they just require the knowledge that they are not alone and that others are concerned. However, try to avoid the temptation to join in.
When it comes to emotions, they can fluctuate fast, often, and intensely. One day, your buddy may be feeling and saying extremely negative things, and the next day they might be experiencing and expressing the complete opposite. If you wind up contributing your two cents, your buddy will not feel comfortable expressing their feelings with you, especially if their feelings shift to something more favorable later in the conversation. In contrast, it’s advised to concentrate on listening to and supporting your friend’s feelings rather than stressing your judgments or viewpoints. Talk to them about the divorce, and if they need it, refer them to an excellent divorce lawyer.
Checking in with your buddy to see whether she wants to speak is beneficial. It is not acceptable to press them for information. If you encounter resistance, avoid placing any pressure on your buddy to speak out. You should also avoid saying anything that might be seen as criticizing their decision to remain silent. Everyone deals with loss in their way, and your buddy may not be ready to share her feelings just yet. Alternatively, they might want a diversion. To make them feel better, email them an Oprah meme or a motivational video if they aren’t very talkative.
Don’t Judge Them If They’re Dating
It’s easy to want to set them up with someone fantastic, you know, or to raise eyebrows if they start dating again soon afterward. But don’t fall into this trap. However, you must support them no matter what decision they choose. Friends often wish to assist a divorced individual in resolving their love life. It can be beneficial to let them know that you are there for them and that you are concerned about their well-being rather than giving them advice on what to do.
If they want to talk about any dates they’ve gone on, you’re brave enough to take them out for a drink (or three) of wine.
You may be well acquainted with your loved ones, yet they may have immediate requirements that you are unaware of. So, go ahead and ask. While there are certain similar emotions connected with the difficulties of divorce, the experience may vary. The most effective approach to assist someone is to be straightforward and inquire explicitly and often what helps and what doesn’t.
For example, you might inquire whether they found the lunch you gave them helpful. Let them know that they will not be wounded or offended, nor will you believe they are unappreciative, should they fail to discover anything of value. Make it very obvious that assisting them is your top priority.