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Tips for Helping a Friend Going Through a Divorce

Posted on February 02, 2016 in Divorce

help, Arlington Heights divorce attorneysIf you have a friend going through a divorce, you probablywant to be there to support them, but knowing what to say and do can be tough. You may see your friend in pain, sadness, or depression, but have no idea how to best offer your support to them without invading their personal space. It might seem like a good idea to back off and allow your friend time to process and heal on their own, but in reality, the opposite is often much better. During the difficult divorce process, having the help of a close friend or family member is extremely beneficial. Here are a few tips to help you be the best friend to your friend during their divorce.


Your friend is facing a barrage of emotions. The simplest thing you can do for them is listen to them. Knowing what to say can be tough at times. He or she may be angry one day, then sad the next, the completely frustrated later. Rather than trying to think of the perfect response to each of their moods, simply listen to them. Venting is a healthy part of coping with and recovering from a divorce, so allowing them to express their emotions is one of the best things you can do. Let your friend lead the conversation, giving them room to discuss anything that is on their mind, and simply listen empathetically and provide help if you can. Also remember to avoid sharing your opinions. You may think that your friend’s divorce is a bad idea, or have some gossip on your friend&s soon-to-be ex, but your goal here to listen and provide support when possible, not weigh in with your personal thoughts.

Keep in mind that anything your friend shares with you should remain confidential. Other people may be aware that you have insider information about your friends divorce, and come to you seeking news and gossip. As a good friend, refrain from sharing anything with others. Your friend will share with everyone when they feel comfortable and the time is right.

Offer to Help

On top of the emotional chaos a divorce brings with it, people going through divorces are often extremely busy. Your friend is likely meeting with attorneys, dividing up marital assets, and dealing with custody issues if they have children. Allow them to know that you want to help in anyway that you can, and then follow up with actual action. It is very easy to tell your friend "let me know what I can do to help," but this forces them to ask for help, and they often will not. Instead, say "I am making you dinner tonight." Small things like that can make a big difference to a person who feels overwhelmed. Offer to go to legal conference with them, babysit their kids for a day, or buy groceries for them. Anything you can do to make their world a little less chaotic will surely be appreciated.

Be Honest About Their Ex

You may be good friends with both your friend and their soon-to-be ex, and feel like you have to choose sides. While it is possible to remain friends with both parties, be sure to be honest with your friend about it. When the time is right, preferably not at the start of a divorce, let your friend know your plans. Sneaking behind their back to maintain relationships with both people will only make things worse. Show your loyalty to your friend by being honest and disclosing that you plan to stay friends with both people. You may be able to make things work out perfectly. If your friend insists you choose sides, however, it becomes extremely difficult to maintain relationships with both people. In that case, you will likely have to choose.

Suggest Further Help if Necessary

Life-changing events, like divorces, can lead people to depression. If you notice your friend’s emotional health declining, or they start seeming less and less like themselves, do not be afraid to suggest further help. It can be uncomfortable suggesting that your friend seeks a therapist, but allowing them to continue on a downward spiral could be much worse. Tell them that professional help could provide comfort to them, and offer to go with them.

Divorce is a trying process, and having help is absolutely necessary. If you or a loved one are going through a divorce, add a qualified Arlington Heights divorce attorney to your team. Contact 



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