When close friends or family members go through a divorce, it affects us as well. You can feel saddened, lost, and afraid. It can be hard to know how to try to help, how to handle their personality changes, and how to handle the change in the dynamic of your relationships with them.
There are several things to keep in mind, and a few things to avoid when dealing with the divorce of someone you’re close to. It could be family members splitting up after being together for years, or even a couple who you are friends with both parties. Either way, it can be heartbreaking.
Divorce Can Be Like Death
Grief is a natural part of a divorce. Losing a marriage can feel like a death. It means the loss of a spouse, and possibly children and extended family. The best thing to do here is to be a listening ear, and offer moral support. Help your friend(s) or family member by letting them express their feelings and allow them to vent. You may be their only outlet. You may also need to lead them to professional help if it seems like that may be a necessary option.
But They’re Both My Friends
If both of the ones going through the divorce are your friends, it can sometimes feel like you’re being pulled in two different directions. The most important thing to remember in this kind of situation is to try to not choose sides. You don’t want to make either party feel left out in the cold. As a friend to both, it’s not your job to pick one over the other. It’s your job to offer support and reassurance to both of your friends. If one of them asks you not to be friends with the other, just kindly remind them that you’re there to be their friend, but you are still friends with the other party as well. Also, always remind them (and follow through) that everything you talk about will be said in confidence, and they have trust in you. Many times people feel very vulnerable during a divorce. They both need to be able to trust you.
When Kids Are Involved
If you have children who are friends with children involved in the divorce, you have to be transparent with them about how their relationship may be affected. It’s always best to allow the kids to continue their relationship. After all, they’re not the ones that have chosen divorce. However, that’s not always possible. The kids have to know that may not see their friends as much anymore. In the digital age, it’s easier to deal with this. Kids can use social media, video games, email, and more to stay connected. The most important thing is to be honest with them and supportive of their continued relationship with their friends.
If your friends or family are going through a divorce stay supportive of all involved. Don’t trash talk or choose sides and mistake that for being supportive. Do what you can to help them feel their best. Sometimes divorce feels like a failure and they may need their spirits lifted. If your friend is struggling, make them feel included in your plans. If a family member is distant, have other family members send them a nice message. Always try to do your best to be a beacon in the dark.
We want to help too. At Abbott Law Office, uncontested divorce starts at $299 plus court costs. We want to make the divorce process as painless as possible. Feel free to let that person know about us and give us a call at (806)350-HOPE(4673). We’d be happy to help give the guidance they need.