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Against all odds, the current divorce rate in the United States has significantly dropped for the third subsequent year. Actually, the percentage of couples dissolving a marriage has reached its lowest point in nearly 40 years but the news certainly does not lessen the stinging emotions of wanting to help a friend in need whose marriage is on the downswing. For those beginning the journey through the divorce process, they often find themselves riddled with guilt, emotional pain and very overwhelmed. They confront safeguarding their children, their families, their self-esteem, their financial future and navigating the legalities of dissolving a marriage. Needless to say, the overall process can be daunting but if you consider yourself a true friend there are ways to help.
The Art of Listening
Even though you may believe you are truly listening, chances are you are not totally in tune with your friend’s emotions. Divorce can be compared to a death and at this time do not simply agree with your friend’s feelings and observations of the marriage gone wrong but just lend a shoulder, listen and acknowledge their emotions but most importantly, stop talking.
Offer Solid Support
If you are going to talk the talk, walking side by side with your friend is important. Avoid agreeing with certain decisions made on certain days since the decisions may change throughout the process. It is important that your friend knows you are in for the long haul by supporting them and valuing their friendship. Take the time to focus on the positive attributions of your friend and be careful not to turn into the “yes” person when your friend is having conflict with his or her soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Celebrate the Moments
For anyone going through the divorce process, certain days are going to prove harder than others. Reach out to your friend on an anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and especially over the holidays. Try not to dwell on the significance of the special day that may be causing an increase in emotions but call or plan a “date” to show your support and to perhaps touch on a lighter, happier memory of the day.
This may often be the opportune time to touch on memories built between the two of you. Remind your friend through past experiences that his or her marriage is not the only defining moment of their personality and life.
Reach Out with Resources
Throughout this difficult time, your friend may be dealing more with the emotional over the educational aspects of life after divorce. Do the research for them by collecting information that may benefit them. Send encouraging articles, offer the name of a trusted divorce attorney or jot down the date and time of relevant support groups but resist the urge to overdo it.
Staying in the Loop
Even if your friend is feeling down do not stop trying to keep her or him out of the loop. By making the effort to include your friend in activities offers your friend to leave the worries away for a brief period of time. This lays the groundwork for your friend finding their independent path post-divorce but it is also helpful to include your newly single friend in activities that were once deemed “couples only."
Although the divorce rate is experiencing a decline, divorce remains a reality for many. If you, as a friend have been assisting a close friend throughout this emotional journey, the experienced Hinsdale divorce attorneys of the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio would like to join the team. Not only are we compassionate listeners, we are skilled negotiators and litigators who strongly advocate for the rights and interests or our clients. To reach out to our Hinsdale office, call 630-920-8855 to learn more about our legal services.