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How to Deal With a Friend's or Family Member's Divorce

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  • A good friend just told you that she's getting a divorce, and you don't know the right way to respond.

    The best thing you can say in this situation is simply, "I'm here for you." In a way, supporting a divorcing friend is not unlike supporting a grieving friend, because divorce—even if she wanted it, and even if it's relatively amicable—evokes similar feelings of loss. "She needs your support and friendship more than anything else," says Swann.

    The easiest way to provide support is to take your cues from her: If she wants to just spend time with you without talking about her ex, then do that. If she needs a few late-night sessions to vent and work through her grief, then be there for her. If she just wants a little company, then offer to take her along on your morning walks or to the gym; come by with coffee (or a bottle of wine!) if she can't get a sitter. Don't forget she may need practical help, too: Offer to drive her kids places, or ask your husband to help out with chores like mowing the lawn or getting the oil changed in her car, suggests Swann.

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How to Deal With a Friend's or Family Member's Divorce
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