Lend a Helping Hand: How to Help Friends and Loved Ones Navigate Their Divorce

It can be heartbreaking to watch a friend go through a divorce. Whether you’ve been through it yourself and know the pain and complicated emotions that go along with ending a marriage, or you’ve never been through something like that before and can’t even begin to imagine what it would feel like, trying to find the words to say that will make your friend feel better can feel impossible. Luckily, a true friend doesn’t let an intimidating situation get in their way of lending a helping hand. Today we’re looking at some ways you can be there for your friend, even when you feel like there’s no “right” thing to say.

  1. Don’t wait for an invitation.

During a divorce, many people find it difficult to ask their friends and family for the emotional support they need. There may never be a text that says, “Can you come over and bring a bottle of wine? I need to vent.” (Although if there is, you should absolutely clear your schedule and jump on the opportunity to lend an ear.) In fact, they might even reject your invitation to a de-stress movie night. It can be hard to tell if they’re just worried about burdening you, or if they’re really craving some alone time. A great solution is to drop by (with a text when you’re on the way to let them know you’re coming, of course) bearing gifts. “I thought of you and ordered two pizzas on a whim. I thought it might be fun to have dinner together, but I could also just drop this off for you as a little thinking-of-you gift if you’re not up to it! No pressure!”

  1. Let your friend take the lead on when to talk about the divorce.

Your friend probably feels like all they can think about is their divorce. Sometimes, they might need you to distract them from it. Other times, though, they might need to talk about what they’re feeling and experiencing. Let them take the lead on when to talk about it and when to focus on other things. They’ll open up when they need to, and they’ll treasure your ability to get them laughing about old memories or funny stories when they’ve just spent the last week convinced the world is ending and they’d never feel joy again. 

  1. Refer them to professionals who can help more than you can — tactfully!

There is almost nothing more essential to a healthy divorce process than having a team of strong professionals to help you through. Your friend needs the help of two major players: a therapist and a divorce attorney.

Referring your friend to a therapist must be handled in the correct way. You don’t want it to come across as “Gosh, you’re crazy and I don’t want to hear you talk about your emotions anymore.” But if your co-worker has been raving about how great her new therapist is, get that contact info and tactfully provide it to your friend. A therapist can help people who are facing a divorce learn healthy coping mechanisms and better understand their feelings.

If you want to make sure your friend has an experienced and well-respected attorney on their case, look no further. At the Law Offices of Kayleene H. Writer, we advocate effectively for our clients. We can help with all the ins and outs of a divorce, from child custody to alimony. You can even tell your friend we offer a free consultation, so they can discuss their case with us and see if we’re the right fit. Our number is (949) 823-1027. We are eager to hear from anyone facing divorce in the Irvine area!