Post # 1
My good friend has been married two months, and in the last month, her new marriage has gone from being on the rocks to basically looking like a divorce is imminent. Sadly, she is on the other side of the country from me. What’s worse is that she doesn’t have a whole lot of friends where she lives now (moved there to be with her asshole soon-to-be-ex). I want so much to be able to take her out to dinner, have wine-and-ice cream movie marathons, let her cry on my shoulder, etc. but of course logistically, I cannot. I’ve made it clear that I am here for her and called her a few times to check in on her (she’s always grateful that I called). But I would love any suggestions you ladies have (esp the ones who’ve been through divorce) on what I might be able to do to be as supportive as possible to my friend.
Post # 3
I think just being there as a long-distance shoulder to cry on, etc. is probably the most you can do, short of travelling across the country to visit (which isn’t always practical).
If you want to do more, though, maybe try sending her a parcel with some items that might brighten her day a little – a movie you guys watched together, some photos, a letter with a few of your happy memories with her, a CD with songs you guys liked. Given that she doesn’t seem to be getting much love over there, perhaps she’ll appreciate a little love from you 🙂
Edit: I haven’t been through divorce, but I’m just trying to guess what I might like in that situation if I were so far from my friends and family.
Post # 4
Is she still living with the soon-to-be ex? If not, maybe a care package is in order? Chocolate she likes, good funny books, movies, whatever she’d be into. Maybe even some wine if you can figure out how to ship it? And definitely a stuffed animal, the bigger the better. Something to hug.
Can you make arrangements to go see her soon? I know that’s tough when there’s a country in between you, but something to think about.
Other than that, just listen to her. She’s probably going to hire a very expensive lawyer pretty soon; remind her that her lawyer is not her therapist, and tell her when she has a legal question, call the lawyer, when she just wants to call her ex an asshole, call you. Seriously, in my few months as a divorce attorney, I can’t tell you how many hours I billed listening to clients call their exes assholes, all wasted money for them.
Post # 6
- Wedding: March 2014 - Brazil Room
Jeez I wish you were MY friend when I was going through my divorce! My marriage did the same thing, got married.. then BAM! what the hell? … we ended up sticking it out about a year and half but it started going downhill very fast after we got married.
Hmm. So be prepared that this might be a drawn out… back and forth, stay or go situation. Can you deal with her if she decides to stay with this a-hole guy? She’s going to be humiliated by divorce. People are very judgmental about divorced people and it’s something you can never seem to get rid of.
Probably if she does get divorced, she’ll go a little crazy … which may include sleeping with a lot of guys or making otherwise rash and risky decisions. She may need to move back where she DOES have her friends including you when that happens to help her stay on track and that may mean some couch surfing if she needs it.
I had friends nearby and my life was a ghost town when I got divorced. I spent a lot of time by myself wishing I had someone to talk to for sure. But if it gets too much, you might want to tell her to get some real therapy. That certainly helped for me. And made me not blame myself so much for the failure of the relationship.
Post # 7
Are you in a position to offer her a plane ticket, and/or a spare room if she flies over? A friend did this for my mother, (I forget whether it was before or after my father walked out on her) and I know she appreciated the time away very much.
Post # 8
Thank you all for your amazing advice!
@LadyElva: LOVE the idea of sending a care package.
@pinkfrog: Thank you for your input! She is still living with him, but not for long. re: the lawyer situation, is hiring a lawyer necessary? Neither of them have much money at all nor do they have assets to my knowledge (he’s a grad student, she’s a part-time teacher). They’re both pretty non-materialistic hippy types, and I don’t get the impression that either of them will be vindictive during the divorce (though I wouldn’t have guessed that he would do a 180 as soon as they got married, so…I guess there’s no telling). Maybe I can be additionally helpful by looking into the practicals of getting a divorce so she can focus on processing the emotions. Do you have any resources to suggest for someone in her situation?
@NovaGrey: Aaw, thank you. I wish I could do more for her! I totally support her 100% whatever happens, though of course it will be difficult to see her go back to him if that’s what it comes to. But I don’t know the situation like she does and I respect her to make the decision that she needs to for herself right now, whatever that may be. I hear you about the humiliation. It breaks my heart to see the amount of shame that she feels surrounding this situation, especially when she has been doing everything she possibly can to hold things together.
@paula1248: I’m definitely in a position to offer her a comfy air mattress and she may actually be able to visit over the holidays (she had tickets to spend xmas in Mexico with her husband, but that doesn’t look like it’s happening).
Post # 9
@pookiesmom: Maybe I can be additionally helpful by looking into the practicals of getting a divorce so she can focus on processing the emotions.
That’s such a great idea. When my marriage ended, it was just too emotional a time for me to be able to do earnest research on what I needed to do. The very word DIVORCE staring up at me on the computer screen was enough to make me go back to bed in tears.
From here on out, try not to badmouth the husband. Let her do all of the venting and raging, and just nod your head and pat her back (so to speak). In the event that they decide to stick it out, it will make her feel very awkward talking to you regardless of how much she needs to.
Don’t be a sunshine pumper. I’m not saying you are, but sometimes in a desperate attempt to comfort me, one of my close friends would try the “it’s all going to be better now!” route.
I’m so sorry that your friend is going through this. You are an awesome friend, and she’s lucky to have you.
Post # 10
Can i recomend Skype to you and your friend.
Skpye was a life saver for friends of mine when one of them was going though a hard time. It ment they could have a good face to chat for free over the internet, they both just turned it on of an evening and had a down load chat to clear there heads.
I have sat there some nights just with a movie and box of chocolates and the skype on chating or laughing about the movie with friends that live to far off to visit. I find it a great way chat, far better then a phone until you can meet up face to face and give her a big hug.
Post # 11
- Wedding: October 2014 - UK
You could set up your laptops, both stick the same movie on the TV, and then have a wine-and-icecream movie marathon over Skype!
Otherwise I agree with everyone else – keep calling her, try and give practical advice where you can, and care packages are always good – post can brighten anyone’s day!
Post # 12
Skype dates filled with movie watching and wine drinking together? It’s not quite the same as in person, but it will keep her entertained, she’ll really appreciate the effort, and she’ll know she’s not alone.
ETA: If only I had read the comment directly above my post first…
Post # 13
Oooh, Skype is a great idea! Thanks ladies!
Post # 14
They can go through a mediator and have a more of a civil divorce and one can file pro se and keep lawyers out of it. Thats how me and my ex got divorced, and there were 2 kids, cars and houses involved. It was completely civil.
Just be there for her. When one goes through a divorce, no matter how long they’ve been married, you find out who your true friends (and family) are. Don’t judge either of them. Divorce is tough. Just remember. There are always 3 sides to every divorce. His side, Her side, and the truth 🙂 But – just be there. Pick the phone up when she calls, call her, text her…etc.
Post # 15
@jmaze: Fantastic advice. Thank you.