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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

10 Ways To Help Someone Going Through A Divorce


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4. Write him/her a letter of encouragement. I know I’m a writer and it might be easy for me, but even if you aren’t good with words on paper, a card or a letter is extremely meaningful to someone going through a divorce. If you can’t think of what to say, just say, “I’m thinking of you. Please reach out to me if you ever want to talk or go for a walk or for a drink or dinner.” Also, you can steal an inspirational poem and speech from one of your heroes–maybe someone famous and quote them.

5. Assure him/her that confiding in you is OK. I think it is very comforting when someone assures me he/she isn’t going to run all over town and tell everyone what I divulge to them.

6. Do not exclude him/her from couple’s nights. How can you tell the difference between true friends and acquaintances? True friends still invite you out on couple’s nights. They could care less if you are solo or there with a platonic friend or even if you bring a girlfriend. My friends who did that are the real deal. It meant everything to me. Incidentally, I also had friends drop me like a hot potato. I remember that too.

7. Don’t say anything stupid. Refer to point #1 on this list. Other stupid things people say: “It wasn’t meant to be.” “He’s an asshole.” “Kids are resilient.” If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything. People appreciate silence, i.e. peace.

8. Don’t badmouth his/her ex. Trust me, they will do all the badmouthing. You just sit there and listen. Offer support like, “That must be so frustrating.” Or “I’m so sorry you had to deal with that. It must have been very difficult.”

9. Offer to babysit his/her kids if they need “me” time. That is a huge gift to a newly separated person, who might just want to sit in a room and watch American Ninja Warriors, or sleep or go for a much needed jog. Keep offering and tell them not to feel guilty for one second for leaving their kids for an hour!

10. Be honest if you must. It isn’t easy to do, but if you see some bad behavior, or the person is doing something that you strongly feel is a bad idea, inappropriate, unethical, etc. speak up. That’s what friends do.

I do want to bring up something else. If your loved one becomes distant or cold or says something mean to you, let it slide and don’t take it personally. People going through a divorce are not themselves. Forgive and forget, and let them know you are here for him or her.


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