If your friend is going through a divorce, you may feel like you need to help her and don’t know-how. There are grief situations that not all people can overcome alone. These are times when we must go to a professional.
Therapy is sometimes more helpful than that of our friends or family. If our friend is not willing to go to a psychologist, let’s help in any way you can.
Here are some tips on what to say to a friend going through a divorce and what not to.
The phrases not to say to a friend who decides to divorce
Regardless of what you think about your friend’s confession, there are some phrases that a person who is breaking up should never hear.
Here is a collection of the worst:
1. “Grit your teeth; try not to think about it; you’ll see it’s just a phase.”
Feeling belittled in such a delicate moment is really the last thing you need. Our paranoid mind is already thinking about belittling for days and days (and days) the reasons why a story cannot go on.
Giving little importance to the reasons that lead to a breakup, whether or not you can relate to your friend, is like assuming it is a whim.
2. “It’s not possible. You are a perfect match”!
Impossible, impossible, but in the meantime, it happened. Perfect couples don’t exist. Perfect marriages don’t exist. So even the most close-knit couples can break up, don’t take it for granted. But above all: you are not there, in the daily life of that couple.
So – although you are sure you have never seen a moment of friction between those two – you cannot know how imperfect they were together.
3. “But aren’t you afraid of being alone”?
This is the “shock therapy” moment that you really must avoid. Of course, your friend is afraid of being alone: she/he is afraid of being alone in front of friends, or family, or colleagues or with thoughts.
The separation phase is one of the moments in life in which we feel alone. With a thousand fears, we do not need to be reminded. So keep them to yourself instead of using them as a bugbear hoping for repentance.
4. “So drink it up, and let’s go have fun since you’re single again!”
Okay, it’s okay that you don’t have to use fears as a bugbear, but also the incitement to forced fun, maybe not. If you wait for them to ask you, in case you feel the need, it is much better.
Divorce is a time of mourning, life as a couple that falls apart and leaves a huge void, even when the breakup was an active choice. Give your friend time to recover as needed calmly.
5. But if you decided it, why are you crying?
The great cliché that those who leave must take all responsibility and do not even have the right to show their sadness. Too bad that the end of a relationship is rarely black and white to choose from.
Suffering exists for both parties involved, and no one has the right to decide that one should suffer more than the other. Again, if you are not part of the couple, listen and be present, don’t ask prying questions.
6. “I told you so.”
So you want a round of applause for your foresight? You may have realized that that couple had no future. But do you need to remind your friend right now that she or he made a mistake?
Your friend will need time to process the fact that her dream of eternal love is dead and badly. Better a more empathic phrase like “I’m with you,” which will make her feel less alone and less inadequate.
7. “Don’t you think about the harm you are doing to him?”
Generally, the questions starting with “but” are the wrong ones. Same speech as above.
8. “And don’t you think about the children?”
If the children already exist, the choice to separate is much, much harder. If the person in front of you has decided to do so, obviously he or she has their reasons. And yes, surely the first thing they thought about was their children. And they are terribly afraid of making them suffer.
9. “Unfortunately, I can’t be on your side.”
If you, too, dare to say a phrase like this to a friend who is separating, obviously, there is an imbalance in your friendship. She decides to confide in you, and you say, “thank you, but I don’t support you. ” Oh, better know, for heaven’s sake. But do you think all these concerns you personally? Do you think it is essential to take sides as if it were an abrogative referendum?
10. “I’m upset, but I’m close to you.”
If you are shocked by your friend’s choice, it is time to keep it to yourself again. S/he is more upset than you are. S/he is in the turmoil of emotions that you cannot imagine if you have not been through it personally. So any sentence that centres on how you feel is entirely out of place.
So, What to say to a friend going through a divorce?
One of the strongest situations for a person is when she/he is going through a divorce.
This is a stage in which the person feels more sensitive than usual and can become depressed. At this time, only the most loyal friends will be by their side, helping them through this difficult process.
Here are some phrases you can say:
“You may not realize it at this time, since sadness overshadows everything, but you are a very special and important being for many people. It is better to end a bad relationship than to continue suffering until the day you die. Sometimes we have to be brave to be happy”.
Everything that ends hurts; however, it also makes us stronger. You have to always keep in mind how wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, and loving woman you are. You are someone independent who does not need anyone by your side to emerge. I will never stop telling you”.
“Dear friend, I promise to always be here for you. I’ll help you get up to walk together again. Do not be afraid of this darkness that surrounds you. When you least expect it, it will turn into light. I will be the lantern that will guide you on the path to tranquillity. I love you so much”.
The most important thing is that you know that your friend is going through a depression, you are not her saviour. You can help her and be her support, but she will need professional help to get out of this disease.
If it is only momentary sadness or you see it well, then your company will do her a lot of good. Other than that, keep in mind what to say to a friend going through a divorce.