When a marriage ends in divorce, it’s not just the couple who is involved. Friends and family members are also part of the process and often play many different parts – from objective confidant to reliable “vent-ee.” If you’re suddenly or unexpectedly thrown into this role, what help are you prepared to offer? Support can make a critical difference to your friend, but unfortunately, doesn’t come with how-to manual.
As the supporter of a friend going through a divorce, you may feel like you need a support group of your own. The blog, “Support in a Split,” found at www.supportinasplit.com, gives the average person basic tools to help their friends make it through divorce. Sponsored by ARAG, a global provider of legal insurance products and services, the blog provides lists, stories and real-life strategies to help people help their friends or family navigate divorce.
Whether your friends have just announced they’re going through some trials in their marriage or their divorce has been finalized after lengthy legal proceedings, you’re going to be there with them on every stage of the journey. If the journey ventures into topics you aren’t fully versed in, visit Support in a Split for background information on topics ranging from exercise routines, redecorating, entering the dating world, co-parenting and seeking professional therapists and attorneys.
For example, if your friend expresses concern about his or her marriage, encourage professional help to resolve differences. Or advise your friend to find an attorney if a resolution isn’t possible. Additionally, recommend your friend enroll in a legal plan to save money on legal fees in situations like divorce, creating a will or settling a dispute with a contractor. Many leading employers offer legal insurance and services as part of their benefits package. Recent ARAG research shows that members of a legal plan know where to turn when faced with a legal issue so therefore they are much less stressed than those without a legal plan.
When the divorce is finalized, your friendship will be needed to help your newly single friend get back on his or her feet. Sometimes divorce is viewed as liberating, while other times it can cause depression. Providing a supporting role can range from just listening and being around for the divorcee, to encouraging your friend to seek professional help and treatment for depression.
While helping a friend or loved one through a divorce is not easy, having knowledge and showing compassion can strengthen your bond with those affected. To better understand what you can do to support a friend going through a breakup, visit www.supportinasplit.com. And be prepared – situations change due to life-changing events like divorce, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your relationship has to change.