There will come a time in your life when one [or more] of your friends is facing divorce. It could be a casual acquaintance–a kids’ friend’s mom–or it could be your BFF, your Ride or Die. You want to help, but you just don’t know what kind of help would be best. Maybe you don’t exactly know how to approach her. Your BFF needs your support right now during this time of her life. Read on for some tips on ways you can support and help your friend.
>Be a patient, non-judgmental listener. Understand that she might be all over the place emotionally. She might miss her ex one minute and the next, tell you how awful he is. Just listen and resist the urge to pile on. Your job as her friend is to help her process what she is going through, and help to lead her back to a place where she can have hope for her future and new life she gets to create. Engage in other topics, too–talk about Yellowstone and the Rip v. Kayce debate for an hour–getting her mind off her divorce might just be what she needs.
>Offer to watch her kids. When going through divorce, there are many many phone calls and meetings that we have to attend and endure, and they are definitely NOT for kids. If you can give her a break for an hour or two to meet her attorney, attend a hearing or mediation, pick a sick kid up from school so she doesn’t have to leave work [again], or take a walk alone, that can be more valuable than anything. Moms especially have a lot on their plates during divorce, and child care is one of them. Help in this arena can alleviate a lot of stress.
>Invite her to everything. Even if the invites are turned down. Remember her on holidays like Christmas and New Year’s, and kid-focused ones like Easter and Halloween. If she is without her kids on those days, it can be hard. Being included in someone else’s celebration feels good and can help her to look ahead to calmer times. Remember, it is nice to be asked, even if you don’t attend. Also, don’t forget that dates important to her–her birthday, Valentine’s Day, or her Anniversary will definitely be different for her now. Just a quick note or text to acknowledge the day is sufficient. You will make her feel loved that you thought of her.
>Help her move. If your BFF has to move during the course of her divorce, then be one who can help. I remember that I had a whole tribe of women helping me pack my old house when I moved, and I couldn’t have done it without them.
>Bring over a meal. Something her kids will eat. Taking dinner off her list of things to do that day will be a welcome break from the tediousness of managing a household, a job, and kids alone.
>Be accepting of her decisions on dating. If your friend wants to jump right in and start dating, be supportive of her choices. As long as she isn’t endangering herself or her children, let that stuff go and let her have some fun. Give advice when asked, but don’t act like an overbearing mother to her–she is an adult after all. Draw the line for yourself if she’s repeating a bad pattern with every guy, or jumping into a too-serious relationship too soon. She will appreciate that you are looking out for her.
Overall, the best thing you can do for your friend is to be there for her, no matter the situation or whether or not you agree with what she says. Have a listening ear and an open heart for her. She needs you now more than ever.
Are you ready to feel joy again, reclaim your independence, and chart a path toward healing and recovery? I would love to help you as you take those steps.