Your BFF Is Getting Divorced: What You Should and Should Not Do!
Seven Things You Should and Should Not Do For Your BFF
1) Listen, don’t speak. If she has the courage to tell you about the ugliness in her marriage, don’t tell her you feel bad for her or you know how she feels because your cousin went through the same thing. Just listen. If she wants input she will ask you for it.
2) Don’t pry. There might just be things about her life that you don’t know about. She has a reason for that. If she wants to tell you her deep, dark secrets she will tell you. If she does open up then let her know you don’t understand because you might not have ever been in that situation, but you can sympathize with her. Emotional pain is not exclusive to divorce. If you have been hurt then she knows you can relate somewhat.
3) Don’t judge. The last remark anyone wants to hear is “I told you so.” She knows she made some mistakes if she is getting divorced. You don’t have to remind her. If you always disliked her spouse, she knows that, too. Remember, this is about her, not you.
4) Don’t insult the ex, but don’t compliment him, either. Detailing what a jerk he is might feel like you are supporting her decision but it will come across as an insult to her because she was with him. Complimenting him is the last thing she wants to hear, too. Telling her what a great father he is or how is nice to all of her friends will make her feel foolish and misunderstood. She might even feel like her divorce is invalid if she hears what a great guy he is. Continue this even after the divorce. Five years down the road she will still not want to hear how well he is doing. In fact, she will feel betrayed and hurt all over again. Few things are worse than hearing how great an ex-spouse is doing because all your friend will think is, “Why couldn’t he be that great when he was with me?”
5) Include her in social events, especially holidays. More and more divorced parents are splitting the holidays with the kids. If it is not her turn to have them for a holiday, invite her to yours. Do not leave alone even if she says she doesn’t want to come. She will be glad she came as soon as she gets there. Remember, many families of divorced women are not supportive. Holidays can bring out the worst in people. Offer up your family if you think being with her own will cause her depression, anxiety, and the like.
6) Compliment them. When she does have a good day tell her how her eyes are shining and she is beautiful. She needs to feel secure and confident while going through the divorce. It takes guts to divorce a spouse so uplift her as much as you can without mentioning the divorce.
7) Let them give back to you. Your friend is grieving a life lost, very much like grieving the death of a loved one. You may not understand but you don’t have to. Even if she doesn’t accept help from others, she will want to help you. Let her. It will give her a purpose and she will feel appreciated, something she probably didn’t feel in her marriage. Being kind to others is the number one killer of depression and anxiety, it will be one of the best therapies for her.