13 Ways To Be A Good Friend To Someone Getting Divorced
Maybe don't sign them up for Tinder right away.
1. Remember that a breakup is not the same as a divorce.
"Don't compare a breakup to a friend's divorce. I totally understand that people who date for a long time and then break up can go through very intense heartbreak and they're trying to relate, but it just isn't comparable to divorce where you have to wade through all the legalities of leaving your spouse." —Meaghan Allen-Harris, Facebook
2. Respect their privacy.
"I appreciated heartfelt apologies and help. I did not appreciate people whom I haven't spoken to since high school flooding my Facebook with 'heartfelt messages' of support (I could virtually hear them congratulating themselves on the kind gestures). Accept that it's private, and that the person will talk if they want to talk. Don't press, don't ask them to delve into reasons. Take your cues from the person." —Estelle Nagel, Facebook
"Never assume you know why someone is getting a divorce, even if they're a close friend. Some have dark secrets they keep hidden behind closed doors. Don't pry and don't judge. Just be supportive and offer to listen. If they want to, they'll tell you what brought them to that decision." —Mkrufener
3. Make sure they know you aren't judging them.
"There may be tears; don't embarrass him — he's probably embarrassed enough already." —Marla Brunker, Facebook
"I got married at 18, and was terrified that everyone would take on an 'I told you so' attitude. Amazingly, no one has (at least to my face). They are amazingly supportive, sometimes even relieved that I didn't let my stubbornness keep me locked in a place I didn't want to be." —dylanelizabethgood
"I was never able to ask for help or for someone to just come over and be with me because my ex-husband had made me feel needy and pathetic. I never wanted to appear that way to friends when in reality I just wanted someone to call me up and say, 'I'm coming over.' I just needed not to feel alone." —frizk21
4. Include them in social events.
"Invite them to stuff. During my divorce, I lost all my friends except for two. Dinner invites kept me sane and social!" —Logan Penland, Facebook
"Being willing to socialize with your newly single friends is a huge mental help. Often during a divorce, the friends get split just as much as the stuff and finances and kids do. Unless you absolutely hated the other person in the relationship, there's no real need to pick sides; just be there for everyone you care about." —Matt Michaud, Facebook
"They won't say yes to everything you invite them to but don't stop inviting." —mikaelag43aa73d65
5. Help them establish a new normal.
"Help establish the new normal...I had a friend who literally did whatever, whenever I needed her. Which included picking me up after I had to drive the ex in a drunken state to a sketchy area, painting a house, random emotional meltdowns. It's good to keep moving forward but also to be in the moment of what's happening." —Krista Hill, Facebook
"During my divorce I felt like I should be ashamed of myself and what I was going through. I was nervous to tell my friends. When I did, one friend said, 'OK, wanna get a beer?' That made me feel human again. Knowing that I wasn't being judged." —Avital Klausner, Facebook
6. Know that they might not be interested in dating for a while.
"Some friends tried to push me to meet boys or move forward, and I think that's not helpful. Everyone moves at their own pace, and some people aren't ready to move on yet. Friends who respect the time you need to heal help make you feel more comfortable with your situation." —Judy Cox, Facebook
7. Don't tear their ex down in your effort to build them up.
"Hold off on the very unhelpful 'he/she was no good' line of advice. They might get back together and then you're the unsupportive friend who is judging them. Just be there for someone. Being supportive has nothing to do with your own opinions." —Marc Sauvé, Facebook
8. Let them talk.
"EVERY person who undergoes a divorce goes through a patch where he or she just CANNOT shut up about it. This will be your friend at their most miserable and unattractive. Yes, he's know he's boring you and that it's unseemly to display the dirty laundry. But he/she won't be able to stop themselves. Let them rant. Don't cut her off, don't interrupt. This may take all evening (or probably several evenings). It's your friend's storytelling time, not yours. This isn't fun, but your friend is probably going to be fun-impaired for a little while anyway. Things will improve after they start getting laid again." —Marla Brunker, Facebook
9. Don't talk about them behind their back.
"Just don't gossip about it with other friends and people in the community, even if they ask, 'What's going on with ____ and ____?' because the version of 'the story' you as a close friend might have gotten may be different from the one they're going to tell, like, someone from your yoga class or church." —Courtney Elizabeth
10. Avoid placing blame.
"I would say that the best thing for me was when people reminded me that it was not 100 percent anyone's fault. We both played a part. I tried to take on all the blame for the end of that marriage and it took me a long time to realize that we were both at fault." —mikaelag43aa73d65
11. Know that they might not be sad.
"During my divorce so many people I knew would automatically say how sorry they were that my marriage was ending. I wasn't and I didn't want their apologies or pity. If we opt to leave a relationship, there is a reason behind it. Offer your support but don't assume the end of the marriage equals sadness." —Bethany Clariene Germany, Facebook
"Treat them like an actual person who isn't made of glass. While I was getting divorced so many people thought I couldn't possibly handle seeing happy couples, or they would try to downplay their own happiness for my benefit. It made me feel awkward, not supported." —rosieamnell
12. Remember it's about them, not about you.
"What not to do: what my dad did. He is against divorce, and he made my divorce all about him and his feelings." —turtlewexler
13. Make your support ongoing.
"Check in on them, make sure they're doing OK. Divorces make the breakup process so much longer and harder, so long-term support is key. I am so grateful for the friends that really stepped it up and supported me during my divorce. Just a random text or 10-minute phone call meant the world." —Kelly Short, Facebook