The statistics on divorce are disheartening; each year, the number of couples who want to dissolve their marriage increases. Many of us know a person – perhaps many – who has gone through this ordeal. Divorcees face a host of difficulties, including but extending well beyond legal problems. Therefore they, in particular, are in need of support from friends and relatives.
When a couple breaks up, we see changes not only in their life but also in their social environment. Many friends turn away, and couples that the spouses knew often stop communicating. Social changes of this nature are understandably jarring on an emotional level since many of them became “couples friends”. When a person gets divorced, they might no longer get invited to parties, as they seem to be something of an outcast. Married couples often do not want to see divorcing spouses next to them; they subconsciously perceive these people as a sort of threat to their own marriage. This can be rather daunting and overwhelming for the person who is going through divorce.
Tips for how to support your friend
According to BestLIfe, different people experience divorce differently. Some keep everything inside themselves and pretend that nothing has happened, some fall into depression, and some begin to abuse alcohol. No matter the case, every person who is getting or has gotten divorced needs support. Not everyone is willing to trust a psychotherapist and lay out all their feelings; it’s much easier to share your grief with a loved one. It is important to show your friend that they are not alone with their problems and fears and that there is someone nearby who is ready to support.
Many believe that men have a less emotional experience of divorce compared to women, because of the trope that men should always be stoic and strong. This, however, is not the case. Men also worry a great deal but tend not to show it as much. If you want to help your male friend, it’s crucial that before everything else, you listen. Men rarely talk about their feelings, but now is the very moment where this is needed. Do not put pressure on him; just give him the opportunity to speak candidly and let out his inner burdens. Great psychological discharge can result from this, which is beneficial for both men and women. It will also give you the opportunity to learn something new about your friend.
If your friend is a woman, give her the chance to cry. Tears also help us release negative emotions. However: don’t take the side of one spouse over the other and do not blame anyone; what happened between them is their own business. Your task is to help out a friend with emotional relief and show support.
Personal meetings are very important. A friend must understand that he or she is not alone. If you do not live far, simple acts like popping by to say hello or bringing pizza can go a long way. While doing that, you can make new plans to watch movies, which can help take their mind off the situation. Also, make sure that your friend goes outside and is socially active; that way, they will not get bottled up in their own world, ruminating over the divorce again and again. Invite your friend to spend a weekend together, maybe go somewhere that you haven’t been before, as this will present an opportunity to experience new sensations and bring joy back to their life.
How to support a friend of the opposite sex who is going through a divorce
Onlinedivorce.com claims that all people have difficulties in divorce regardless of gender. Nevertheless, in order to help a friend cope with the dissolution of their marriage, you need to know his or her features and use your strengths. So, if you are a man, and your friend, sister or female acquaintance is getting a divorce, you can make use of the following insight:
Perhaps she wants to repaint the walls or change the interior in her house. It is unlikely that she or her girlfriends will be able to manage this on their own, but your abilities as a man will come in handy. Or if her car breaks down, you can help her solve this problem.
If she has children, they are likely to remain with her during the divorce. Arrange a day for her where she doesn’t have to stress over the kids, and help her out in that department.
Invite her on a date. Not romantic, but friendly. Let her feel those wonderful emotions again when a girl is preparing to go out. Perhaps it will be a cozy restaurant, a modern art exhibition or a trip to the movies.
Men need support just as much as women do; do not hesitate to show your feelings if you really want to help him. So, if you are a woman and your friend or brother is getting a divorce, you can do the following:
Cook something tasty for him – apple pie, for example. Sweets help us calm down, and the smell of fresh pastries might remind him of his childhood, where he was happy and protected.
Many men turn to the bottle during a divorce. Pull him out of the bar and take him to, say, a baseball game, or to the lake for a day of fishing. If you haven’t done it before, it’s possible that you too may find these activities peaceful and enjoyable.
Chances are that during the divorce, he had to move to a new home. Help him unpack his things or clean the apartment. A woman’s supporting hand helps instill comfort.
Another great opportunity to help a divorcing man or woman is to introduce them to your unmarried friend. According to statistics, many relationships start like this.
How to support a friend going through a divorce after being cheated on
Adultery is one of the most common causes of divorce according to Attorneys.com. A person who feels betrayed by their spouse usually experiences strong emotional trauma, and the recovery process can last from several months to several years. Quite often people who have been cheated on cease to trust anyone else. If your friend is in this situation, you need to help them get through this difficult period, and the first step to healing is to forgive.
This sounds simple, of course, but in reality, things do not always pan out how we wish them to. Forgiveness, however, is essential. Resentment destroys a person from the inside, and if you keep all these negative feelings and emotions bottled up for an extended period of time, they can develop into serious diseases; anxiety and harmful emotions put pressure and strain on the body. So, help your friend let this affront go. Cheating, after all, never happens without a reason. Both spouses – the one who cheated and the one who was cheated on – typically play a role. It may sound cruel, but it is true. If a person is satisfied with everything in the marriage, they will not seek things on the side. Help your friend understand: mistakes that they made may have led to the current situation. However, do not push hard. If your friend is not yet ready for this, postpone the conversation until calmer times. Awareness of mistakes will play a key role in your friend’s future. If they understand what they were doing wrong, they will not repeat it once more.
The next step to healing is that of changing negative thoughts into positive ones. So, you and your friend have pinpointed actions that pushed the other spouse towards adultery. It is now crucial to change their mindset and let these negative attitudes and mental blocks just go. Help your friend change for the better. If they adopt a new, more positive way of thinking, they will not repeat old mistakes.
Help your friend fall in love with themselves. Self-love is essential. Tell your friend what a wonderful person they are, remind them about their achievements in life, and let them be proud. To love yourself is to understand your value. Point your friend’s attention towards all their strengths and talents, and recollect those situations where they made the right decision. Partner activities are a great idea – going to the spa together, for instance – as is helping your friend find a better job. Focus your friend’s attention on their unique qualities, on things that they, in particular, excel at, in order to boost self-esteem. Self-love is the key to healthy relationships in the future; a person who loves oneself knows how to love others and accept love from those around him, and will not be cheated on.
Divorce always brings pain, even if it is peaceful. Many people experience strong emotions, but don’t show them and are afraid to ask for help. But after all, it’s at the most difficult of times that we need our friends the most. If your friend is going through the dissolution of their marriage, show your support and make it known that, should they fall, you will be there to catch them. No matter how difficult it may be now, always talk about a bright future; life changes, after all, and good things are bound to replace bad streaks. Perhaps your friend and their spouse had a set of habits and traditions, but now that is in the rear view mirror. Try to fill this void. Come up with new traditions or habits that will bring pleasure to both of you – a great step towards a new life.