I want to make this kind of an information/learning experience for those listening who can either relate to being a part of divorce or who need to learn how to help a friend going through divorce.
“Divorce, whether you are a part of one or close to someone going through one, is a big deal. The average length of a marriage that ends in divorce is 8 years according to one source.That is 8 birthdays, 8 Thanksgivings, 8 New years kisses. That is around 2,920 dinners together. That’s secrets, memories, sharing. But those two are not the only ones involved.
Half of all American children will witness the breakup of a parent’s marriage (mckinley irving family law). To kids, divorce is stressful, and clearly increases the risk that children will suffer from psychological and behavioral problems. Even if children are resilient, they still report painful memories and ongoing worries about divorce, their relationships with their parents, and their parents’ relationship with each other (how divorce effects children).
On a personal level, my parents divorced this summer. I am 19 and my sister is 17. Although we are older and can understand it more than a kid in middle childhood, I still find myself questioning love and becoming more insecure in my own 13 month relationship than I ever had been. I swore up and down this would not effect me, that I am stronger than this, but it is. How I, and others going through this situation, can be helped or hindered by the people around us is huge. Today I hope to offer some insight on this possibly uncomfortable subject, in hopes that you can either relate to or understand how to go about divorce from now on.
We all have those times that someone says something to us and we think: really? Did you even hear what you just said? These moments can come a lot more often in times of sadness and grief. To reduce causing those moments in terms of divorce, here are some examples of things people wish they had never been told:
Ways to help someone going through divorce:
- Invite them to coffee – they are lonely
- Letter of encouragement
- Let them know they can confide in you
- Respect their privacy
- Make sure they know you are not judging them
- Say they are a great person with a lot to offer
- Ask them to join on social events
Do not do these things: I will have my friends record themselves saying these things.
- Bad mouth their ex/parent to try to build them up
- Do not try to give advice
- Say get over it
- Say I always knew he was cheating on you
- “I knew it wasn’t meant for you”
- Compare a break up to a divorce
- Gossip about it with other friends
- Say 50% of people divorce so you’re not alone
- Say you need to get drunk