Refrain From Choosing Sides
If you know both members of the couple, this can be difficult. However, it’s best to avoid choosing sides. Most times, neither member is “totally without fault”. If the divorce happens because of abuse, addiction or something similar, it may be hard to NOT choose sides. Nevertheless, it’s best to keep your judgements to yourself.
This may mean listening to the latest difficult battle in court, or some other such subject. Don’t feel obligated to “fix” the problem or to offer advice. Many of the situations are very difficult and no doubt there are professionals involved who can offer assistance and advice. The best thing you can do is listen!
Another great way to support your friend is to remember them during holidays. Holidays are a difficult time, especially if you are undergoing a divorce. If you know that your friend will be alone during a particular holiday(perhaps his ex has custody of the kids this Christmas for example), invite your friend to spend some time with your family.
Many times, a divorce means that one or both members of the couple must move from the family home. Offering to help pack, move, and unpack is a great help.
Remember the Children
As difficult as divorce is for adults, it’s even more difficult for children. If your friends are going through a divorce, it’s important to continue to be supportive of their children too. Perhaps this may mean planning a special outing, or just listening to their concerns. Perhaps you may agree to watch your friends’ children while they are at court ordered counseling sessions or in court.
Along with life come emergencies. An emergency may mean that a child has to be rushed to the doctor; a parent gets sick; or a car breaks down. Depending upon the circumstances surrounding the divorce, your friend may not be able to depend upon the ex to support him or her during an emergency. If your friend does not have family close by, it may even be more difficult. It’s important to let your friend know that you’ll be available to help if there is an emergency.
Eventually, your friend will close this chapter of his or her life and things will become less stressful. Counseling sessions, court appearances, and all that goes with them will end. Until then, hang on, and be there for your friend.