Asking for help is not always easy…
Getting help sounds simple enough. However, when going through a separation or divorce, many people struggle with asking their family or friends for help as they fear of being judged, criticized or blamed. Confiding to your close ones about what went on behind closed doors takes a lot of courage and trust. Many are too ashamed and paralyzed to ask for help or companionship.
Knowing how to help someone going through a separation or divorce can also be very challenging. Most people don’t know what to say and don’t want to take sides. If you know someone who is going through a separation/divorce that would benefit from your help, here are a few tips you may wish to consider before reaching out:
- Listening is the greatest gift: A separation/divorce can be compared to a death as it represents the end of a dream and a relationship. Most people need to talk and talk about what happened, what was said and their fears. Often talking allows people to make decisions and start their grievance process.
- Avoid suggestions of revenge: Separation/divorce may not always seem fair but revenge is not the answer. More often than not, children are also involved in the process and the family benefits when mom and dad can still cooperate and talk for many years to come. Separation/divorce does not put an end to the children’s birthdays, school activities, graduations and weddings!
- Separation/Divorce is not about taking the ex “to the cleaners”: Separation/Divorce is about splitting the family assets, debts, and valuable time with the children. Conflicts only drive up the lawyer’s bill and deprive the family of precious money required to rebuild two separate homes. There are many ways to separate/divorce and exploring alternative processes such as mediation and collaborative justice can benefit the entire family.
- Having fun with adults is a must: Being alone every night, weekend and during holidays without the children if often one of the most painful realities of divorce. Planning fun activities with friends and family members can truly energize the mind and body. Even a simple telephone call or a text can make a huge difference.
- Separation/Divorce is not contagious like chicken pox: Often people refuse to get involved because “ it’s not their business”. However, seeing friends and family members go through this painful process can be a true eye opener. Some have realised that their own relationship was in jeopardy and sought professional help to improve their communication, rekindle their love and commitment.