When you first hear that your friend is getting divorced it is a confusing time. You want to support them, but you don’t want to say the wrong thing. You want to help them but you don’t want to crowd them.
Some people get so anxious they do nothing, which is no help at all, whereas others go overboard and end up doing more harm than good.
To be a good friend, there are some little things that will make all the difference.
Avoid being nosey
Don’t demand all the details, if your friend doesn’t want to give them. Divorces are always complicated and there may be some things that they are not ready to divulge. Say things like “You don’t have to tell me anything, but I want to chat so I know you are OK.”
This takes the pressure off and lets them know that you are there for support.
Don’t stop inviting them out
Just because they are divorcing, doesn’t mean they want to stop socialising. Keep including them with social events. They may turn several down, but it is comforting to know that they are still invited.
Be aware of financial constraints
Divorce can get costly, so keep this in mind when you suggest socialising. If they are having to tighten their belts, go round with wine and a takeaway instead of insisting that a night at the latest restaurant is the best thing for them.
Avoid badmouthing the ex
Unless prompted. They were married, so at some point they were deeply in love. The divorce process isn’t linear and there will be some days when they want to think about the good times. Blundering in with all the negative points about the ex won’t help them on these days. By all means, join in if they are ranting though.
Don’t update them about the ex
If the ex has been seen out clubbing with a new fancy on their arm, your friend doesn’t want to know. Keep it to yourself and spare them the pain.
Find other things to talk about
Divorce can be all encompassing, but it is important to talk about other things. As a friend you can distract them and remind them of life outside of mediation and asset divisions. Keep their spirits up and be there when they fall.