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Question
Posted by: N. | 2007/03/01

how to help a friend through divorce....

.... its so very difficult for her as she was still hoping that something could be done to save the marriage and she still loves her husband even after everything that's happened between them.

I need to help her stay strong for her sake as well as their son but i dont even know what to say to her...........

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Our expert says:
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Remember the difference bwteen being a friend and a therapist. IF the situation is complex and/or her ractions are extreme, too severe or long-lasting, professional help is needed. Short of that, a friend can be invaluable. There are no magic phrases you can utter to make her feel good --- being available to listen and hear when she wants to talk, is valuable --- its so often the listening rather than the response that helps most. So often, too, friends feel so inadequate because they can't think of something really profound to say, that they withdraw, or fail to do the simple listening that is so helpful.
Excellent responses from -|||- and RMC.

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Our users say:
Posted by: //"\\ | 2007/03/01

I fully agree with - | | | -

say nothing otherwise you may confuse her and her decisions and future decisions.

Reply to //"\\
Posted by: RMC | 2007/03/01

Don't try to comfort her - cry with her.

Reply to RMC
Posted by: -|||- | 2007/03/01

You need not say anything. She needs someone to sit with who doesn't validate or judge any of her thoughts and feelings. Knowing that you're a phone call away and that there's someone she can cry, rant and rave, grief or just quietly sit with is the best gift you can give her. Don't crowd her. She needs time alone to reflect on her own as well, but assure her that you're there if she wants you. Tough love is the worst thing you can apply now. "Pull yourself together" and "He wasn't worth it" are very wrong things to say !!!! It's a big job you're taking on here. Good luck.

Reply to -|||-

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