Is there anything harder than wanting to help a friend and not having a clue how to? There are times when we know a girlfriend needs us, and yet we’re so unsure of the situation, so worried about doing or saying the wrong thing, that we do nothing at all.
For some of us, helping a girlfriend going through a divorce can be one of those times. Guest blogger DIXIE SOMERS shares some great ideas about how we can be there for our friends. What are your ideas? If you’ve been through a separation or divorce, we’d love to hear about what helped you the most.
Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then. ~Katherine Hepburn
When a friend experiences a separation or divorce, it’s important to reach out and lend a helping hand during this stressful period in her life. While friends often don’t know what to say or do, it’s useful to take a proactive approach without being overbearing or intrusive. Here are five things you can do to help a friend through her divorce.
1. Fill Her Social Calendar
A divorcee’s social world often grinds to a halting stop as she severs ties with “couple friends” and avoids social activities that she used to enjoy with her husband. Gather up some girlfriends and head out for a “girl’s night out.” Enjoy gabbing together, but don’t mention your significant other or blossoming romances. Keep the conversation light and fun, and give your friend an outlet from her frustration with the divorce.
2. Encourage Her to Share Her Feelings
Best in a one-on-one situation, sit with her and offer a listening ear. Don’t offer judgment or even too much advice—just listen and allow her to process her feelings. Use active listening strategies so that she will know that she’s been heard. Encourage her to explore other outlets for sharing her feelings as well, such as seeing a professional counselor, opening up to close friends and family, or writing in a journal.
3. Offer Household Help
Her house is likely in disarray following a divorce, with assets divided and moving boxes strewn about. Offer to help her unpack and organize, clean, shop for new furnishings and accessories, and redecorate. A fresh look in her home will help her take a step forward into her new single life.
4. Help Her Get Her Finances in Order
A divorce can wreak financial havoc, and your friend may be feeling discouraged about her new financial state. While you may not be in a place to directly give her financial assistance, you can help her navigate these choppy waters. Give her shopping, couponing, or cooking tips that will help her reduce her food budget. Help her host a garage sale to earn some extra cash. Offer to babysit her children if she needs to take on extra hours at work.
5. Steer Her Toward New Interests
Instead of focusing the conversation around the ill merits of her ex, steer your friend toward new and exciting pursuits. While you don’t want to encourage dating too soon after a divorce, you can urge her to pursue other activities such as book clubs or fitness classes. Such pursuits will help her regain self-confidence while meeting new friends in the process.
DIXIE SOMERS is a guest blogger for Girlfriendology.com. If your friend is looking for outlets to express her feelings and frustrations with divorce, encourage her to get a journal at http://www.rusticoleather.com/hand-sewn-journals.html.
More Girlfriend Advice on Divorce:
- 5 questions for a girlfriend who’s considering divorce
- Going Through a Divorce? Three Money Tips
- Five Friends Who Will Get You Through Your Divorce
- How to Support a Friend Who Has Lost a Spouse
- 10 Things to do when the World Makes No Sense
- Putting Children First: Proven Parenting Strategies for Helping Children Thrive Through Divorce
- Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You
- Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship
- DIVORCE: Think Financially, Not Emotionally® Volume I: What Women Need To Know About Securing Their Financial Future Before, During, and After Divorce
- Happily Ever After: Walking with Peace and Courage Through a Year of Divorce
25 Texts to Cheer Up a Friend
How to be a better friend to a girlfriend dealing with divorce
That’s why we’re here – to inspire you to BE A BETTER FRIEND – even, and especially, when life hands you or a girlfriend tough situations.
COMFORTING GIFTS FOR FRIENDS: HEALING BASKETS provides gifts to comfort and support the broken hearted. From sympathy, and loss to cancer, get well, divorce and caregiving. These gifts encourage, comfort and inspire.
What other tough situations would you like us to cover on Girlfriendology? PLEASE SHARE below!
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