Here’s the “CONTEXT”
Separation is one of the hardest events that one could potentially go through, and depending on the circumstances one could be given a HUGE blow that is challenging to get through.
What does this mean? Some come to a mutual agreement to separate, which usually is a little less of an emotional roller coaster while still very sad! Others experience cheating, Domestic Violence and many other scenarios that are on the other end of the spectrum in terms of the roller coaster highs and lows!
Some people are lucky enough to have support from people who have already travelled down the separation or divorce path (if you don’t then come and meet our TRIBE of people going through separation now). Some have support from family and friends that are there for them, however they may not necessarily understand the emotions or scenarios that maybe going on in YOUR separation journey.
From experience, and now having many friends who have also gone through the process, the journey is about many things! However, no matter how I look at it, for me it was mourning the loss of someone I thought I knew, someone I thought was part of a team we committed to. Being betrayed by someone in a cruel way takes a LOT to get through or to get over. Having the “right” support (this is subjective and different for everyone), can be crucial in getting through the process and potentially diffuse/soften the impact emotionally.
“Listening is often the only thing needed to help someone” - Unknown
1. Be AVAILABLE!
Answering S.O.S calls from a friend or family member that is going through a separation ESPECIALLY in the early days is NEEDED! So please ANSWER that phone call!
2. Be Patient
No words required, this is pretty self explanatory!
3. Be a good LISTENER!
Be ready to have the same conversations over and over again! For the person going through it, this is a time for “processing” things for themselves!
4. Attempt not to REACT to what is said right away!
There are times your friend going through separation may need you to make their ex the villain, in order to process their separation. Try balancing agreeing with them at times with a more realistic perspective, because lets face it…isn’t that why you are friends? You set things straight!?
5. Do your best if BOTH parties confide in you!
If you are friends with both parties: this can be challenging and feel like you have to choose sides, and in reality, that maybe where you end up if you have an allegiance with one over the other.
FREE SEPARATION CHECKLIST of MUST know links! Fill in your details for access!
6. Try not to JUDGE
Well not all the time anyway!
7. Offer Practical Help
Consider offering to look after the kids (if there are any) while your friend gets some time for themselves. Perhaps make a meal and drop it over or offer mowing the lawn!? Offer Introductions to Single friends. This will help them create a new circle of friends to go out with or try new things with when their married/partnered friends are less available. If they are ready to date, perhaps introduce a “potential”!
8. Don’t take it personal (as “Maya” said it!)
If your friend is going through separation (especially in the early days) and doesn’t make the effort to connect with you, DO NOT take it personal! They would be trying to cope with just getting out of bed on some days so, calling and keeping in touch with you may not be the highest priority even though it is very possible that this period in anyone’s’ life is when one needs their “people”.
9. Be attentive to the UNSAID messages
I was lucky enough to have had a sister-friend (Ms M) that would turn up at even mid-night on a work night! (knowing that I could not move because my young kids were asleep and no-one else was home). Ms M came over in PJ’s and Ugg’s just before midnight with hot apple pies and ice cream to cheer me up because it was a BAD night on the separation roller coaster! These acts of kindness provided support and love during a time which was EXCRUCIATING!
10. YOU may also learn
Supporting your friend may teach you things unexpectedly and help your own relationship!
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is general information only and is not provided as a substitute for legal/professional advice. If you have a legal/financial/ any other issue, you should contact a lawyer and/or professional before making a decision about your options or personal situation. TheSeparationExchange.com cannot provide legal/professional advice.
My name is Anju, after going through a “surprise” separation and divorce was a rebirth which awakened me!
After a period of sadness and struggle, revealed a person who was forced to sort her shi# out and find the strength needed to raise 2 young kids without a partner!
And so, a new journey began with new dreams: www.TheSeparationExchange.com
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