Although it seems like a fairly common occurrence these days, divorces and/or separation are never easy. Even if the divorce takes place on mutual terms for the best of both parties involved, it’s still involves the death of a dream and a major life change. That apart, if the divorce or separation involves monetary issues and children’s custody etc, then things get uglier and more painful.
Also read: Things to consider before filing for divorce
For a person who is going through a difficult phase like that of a divorce or separation, everything they held true comes crashing down in front of their eyes and without the help of family and friends, they may find themselves in a devastating rut.
Helping out a close family member or friend deal with the trauma of divorce is crucial. Here’s how you can make things easier for them:
Let them know you are here to help and support them. Being part of a couple becomes a way of life and learning to be alone for the first time in a long time, adjusting to the newness of being single again, learning to do things alone can all be really trying and absolutely devastating especially in the early stages of divorce. Let them know they aren’t alone and they have someone to count on.
As much as you can… listen! It’s the greatest gift you can give to someone going through any kind of trauma. Think of divorce as if a person is newly widowed and show the same empathy. They may need to tell and retell all the stories, patiently listen and listen again. Realize that it’s the first step to recovery and will help them come out of the emotional state.
Support your friend come what may. Often at such times, one needs to ponder a lot before making a decision regarding separation. If your friend is still confused which road to take just tell them you’ll be right behind them whichever way they choose. For instance; you can say something like, “If you hate her, we hate her; if you love her, we love her” This type of an attitude may give them comfort to know that they have the freedom to explore both separation and reconciliation; and they would still not jeopardize your friendship and support.
Take initiatives on their behalf. Although your family or friend needs you, at times they may not voice it out. They may be too paralyzed to reach out for help and seek consolation. So rather than waiting for them to call you, go over and take them out for some fresh air. Even if your friend or family member sits and sobs all the while, get them out and let them express their emotions till they feel lighter.
This may sound bizarre, but remember that divorce isn’t contagious. Don’t think that being in the company of a grief-stricken family or friend will have negative effects on your life. Look at the brighter side and realize that if you experience what your friend or family member is going through, it might help make your bond with your partner much better.
So the next time you find yourself with someone caught in such trauma, give them a much needed hug.