It’s an unfortunate truth, but at some point or another in your life, you are bound to know a family member or friend going through a divorce. Dealing with a divorce is a heartbreaking challenge, and it can be difficult to watch a loved one struggle with the pain of a failed marriage. If you’re wondering how to best be there for your friend, understand that she is in a similar situation—she doesn’t know what she needs, or how to ask for help during this terrible time. She’s dealing with the fear of being alone, financial issues, and how to help her kids through the process (providing that they have children together). While no divorce mourning process is the same, your help and support will be appreciated no matter what.
Help With the Move
If her divorce means she’s moving out of her current home, be her rock while she deals with moving logistics and expenses. Help her move her stuff to save money on a professional moving company, and provide support, especially if it’s a tough, unamicable breakup and she’ll have to be around her ex for an extended period of time during the move. You can also offer your home for her to stay in while she finds a new place, but this is not the best idea for every situation, so tread carefully. One thing a lot of people don’t think about is that every piece in the home is a reminder of happier times, and something as simple as a decorative object can carry a heavy emotional weight. If she’s going to have to redecorate an entirely new place, help her out by purchasing some starter pieces. It might be art prints from AllPosters.com, or a painting from a site like TouchofModern.com. This might not seem like a huge help, but it’s the kind of small gesture she’ll appreciate more than she can say.
Provide Small Bits of Sunshine
It can be hard to keep your spirits up in the midst of a divorce, and as a friend it’s difficult to watch someone you love grapple with depression. While you can’t take the pain away, you can provide little rays of sunshine in her daily life with small gestures. If you know she’s having a tough time at work and just getting through her week in general, send her a surprise to cheer her up. Even the smallest of efforts can have the biggest impact on her day. Whether you send over a fruit arrangement or maybe have food delivered from DoorDash straight to her desk, your little acts of kindness are sure to bring a bit of spark back into even the hardest of days.
Plan Weekly Meetups
She might not ask for your company, but you should assume she needs it. Very few people like to be alone when dealing with a divorce, as the loneliness highlights the person missing from their life. Your friend may also need someone to talk to but be too afraid to reach out. Take initiative and instigate weekly hangouts where just the two of you grab a coffee or head to dinner.
Offer to Babysit the Children
Give her a night off by offering to watch her kids while she has some alone time to sort through her own emotions and struggles without having to worry about her little ones. The kids will be going through a tough time too, so make sure you do what you can to ensure your house is entertainment ready for them. Everyone needs a bit of distraction through the trials of divorce, and you can provide them as much respite as you’re providing to your friend. Come prepared with movies, snacks, and your kids to hang out if you have them.
Help With Daily Tasks
When dealing with an emotionally taxing time, even the most mundane and seemingly easy of day to day chores can become an insurmountable challenge. If you notice your friend is struggling, don’t wait for her to ask for help, just offer it or do it without prompting. Send over a cleaning service to help her home stay spick and span—you’d be amazed at how big of an impact physical clutter can have on mental state. Grab some groceries, pack the kids some lunches, and drop off freezer meals that she can pull out on nights where she just doesn’t have the strength to get cooking in the kitchen.
Inspire Her to Try Something New
Many find that after a divorce they want to “spread their wings” and get out into the world to try something new. Encourage this with your friend by attending any class she expresses an interest in. Perhaps it’s a cooking course to try out some new chef-approved wares or even an ever-trendy and somewhat saucy pole-dancing class. This will help her see that life goes on and will get better even if the current times are tough.
No one wants to watch a loved one struggle through the pain of a divorce, but you can be the pillar of support your friend needs as she goes through this journey. Incorporate these ideas into your friendship and help her out in ways she never knew she needed.
Have you helped friends or loved ones who were going through a divorce?
What advice would you like to share to help friends through this journey?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.