Supporting a Friend Through Divorce
All legal consequences of divorce aside, it is important to remember that divorce is an extremely emotional time for all parties involved. The loss of a partner is difficult and the grief of the separation can be manifest similarly to how one grieves after the death of a loved one. Even if your friend was the instigator of the divorce, they are still going to feel alone if they do not have a good support system to turn to.
Listening to your friend's concerns may be all it takes, but more than likely they will need healthy distractions and a good friend to make sure they get back on their feet. There is nothing you can do to fix the situation. Try to actively listen and be patient with them. Regularly invite your friend to do enjoyable one-on-one activities with you like camping, running, fishing, or rock climbing. If you see signs of excessive drinking or drug use as coping methods, suggest helpful professional resources to them like a good therapist or family law attorney. Unless you are a therapist, try not to diagnose a friend's symptoms as depression or anxiety. Everyone handles stress and loss differently, so the safest and quickest way to recovery is professional guidance.
A friend going through divorce may turn to you now more than they ever have before. It is important for you to let them know that you want to listen, help, and support them through it. Not only will your friend need emotional support, but they may have a hard time completing regular tasks without the partnership of their spouse. Wherever possible,s offer to help your friend take care of housekeeping, landscaping, errands, and maintenance issues they may not have the motivation or time for. When children are involved, be mindful of the children's needs and offer to help in whatever way you can. Creating a support group of friends and family members for a divorcee will ease their burden and ensure that your personal life does not suffer from trying to balance the burdens of your loved ones.