I was recently contacted by a friend that I knew from high school who told me she was getting ready to go through a divorce. She lives in California, so as I am based in Texas, I can’t represent her as her divorce attorney. But I can still support her as a friend. It occurred to me in talking with her how important it is to support people who are in broken relationships and how many people out there may be interested to know how to help a friend through divorce.
As a divorce attorney, I’ve been involved in hundreds of divorces, and I know that it’s not always easy to know what to say to somebody who’s in that situation. But I want to share with you some of the things that I’ve learned along the way on the ways we can best support those we love who are facing divorce.
The first thing I wanna encourage you to do is to call and check in on your friend. When somebody is struggling in a broken relationship, it can be embarrassing. They can be filled with shame over the failure of this relationship and this often leads to isolation. And that makes their heartache that much worse.
If you know somebody who is struggling in a broken relationship, make time to reach out. Call them and check on them and see how they’re doing.
The second thing you can do for a divorcing friend is to offer perspective. When you’re in a crumbling relationship, it can feel like your very foundations are falling out from under your feet. You can feel like you’re going to be swallowed in grief and pain. But, the truth is that divorce is temporary. It will end. And the best thing you can do is remind your friend that this is a time of transition and there is hope for a future.
Remind them they are loved
Another way you can help a friend through divorce is to remind them that they are loved. In the center of the chaos and recriminations of an impending divorce, it is easy to forget those things that bring us peace, joy, and happiness, the things that make us laugh, and the people that we love. And that love us.
So remind your friend of who they are and allow them to see themselves through your eyes. Remind them that they are worthy and they are lovable.
Encourage them to explore divorce options
Encourage your friend to explore options. It is perfectly normal and natural when we’re under stress to feel like there are no options to traditional divorce but that is rarely the case.
If your friend feels like their marriage is coming to an end, encourage him or her to look into discernment counseling. The goal of discernment counseling is to help people gain clarity into their situation and to make their decisions from a place of empowerment, whether or not they want to stay in the marriage.
If divorce is going to happen, encourage your friend to explore the benefits of a collaborative divorce. In a collaborative divorce, the focus is on getting through the process without all the anger and animosity, and destruction of a traditional divorce. Find out more about the collaborative divorce process or download our guide on how to divorce without destroying your family and share it with your friend.