• Cover: September 29, 2014
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Split Happens

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

Page: 3 of 10
  • Your sister is getting a divorce, but you think she's making a mistake.

    In truth, you don't know—and never will know—if her divorce is truly a mistake, because none of us really understands what goes on behind closed doors. Even if you are aware that she had an affair, for example, you still don't know what caused her to stray. Keep in mind, too, that just because the news comes as a shock to you, the same might not apply for her; she may have been thinking about it, and discussing it with her spouse, for years before the announcement.

    One thing that is certain: Berating her for making a mistake won't help, says Swann. However, you might want to ask if she's tried couple's counseling, says Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT, a former attorney who's now a licensed marriage and family therapist. "Even if they don't ultimately reconcile, counseling can help the couple work through their divorce." The bottom line: "Steer clear of offering advice that's not asked for. Stick to support," says Lancer.

    ON WOMAN'S DAY: Marriage Lessons from Surprising Sources

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