If one of your friends is going through a divorce, your instinct may be to run and hide until they get things back together. However, that’s hardly the best way to show that you care. Even though men have a reputation for stoicism, they feel things every bit as strong as the opposite sex. Traumatic experiences impact them, and you can help ease the blow.
Follow these tips to boost your pal power through this challenging time.
Keep Offering Invitations
Your formerly gregarious office best friend no longer bothers to make so much as a token appearance at happy hour. When you invite them to hang out, they vaguely mutter that they’re busy. They must want alone time, so leave them in peace — right?
Now is the ideal time to keep those invitations flowing. Depression can trap your friend in a downward spiral of rumination and negative thinking. They may begin to believe, however mistakenly, that you no longer care or want them around. Even if you think they’ll say no, extend the offer anyway.
Listen to Their Worries
Your friend may sometimes spew the most outrageous statements. Consider this the ideal opportunity to work on your active listening skills. After all, most people only remember 20% of what people say when they’re listening.
That said, try not to trauma-bond, especially if you have recently experienced a split. The next time you find yourself kvetching with your friend over brewskis, honestly examine how you feel afterward. Chances are, you don’t feel any better — you might even have a raging hangover. Offer a comforting shoulder, but don’t let yourself get caught up in a negative gripe cycle.
Help With Necessary Chores
Does your friend have little ones? If he and his soon-to-be-ex are splitting childcare responsibilities, he may need a night out but lack a babysitter. Offer to watch the children so that he can have some me-time.
Also, remember that your friend might not do their best at taking care of their physical health. Nothing is wrong with one guy fixing another a healthy keto-friendly casserole or two.
Pass On the Overindulgences
Hey, it’s understandable — your friend may hit the bottle harder than usual during this time. However, do your best not to cater to their urge to binge-drink. This behavior costs society $191 billion per year in productivity and health costs — and could land your buddy with a life-altering DUI.
If they live in a legal cannabis state, they may turn to this means for relief, but driving while impaired can have costly, even deadly, consequences. Play designated driver when you have to — or order them an Uber.
Respect Their Confidence
Your friend may confess things to you when they’re vulnerable that they would never tell another soul. Maybe they did commit infidelity with the office hottie. However, if you whisper down the alley, your gossiping could create severe career consequences for your friend at a time when he’s already reeling emotionally. Assume you must hold anything your friend tells you in confidence unless they specify otherwise.
Check-In With Them Regularly
Nearly everyone leads life at a frenetic pace these days, struggling to keep up with inflation and raise families in an increasingly chaotic world. Weeks could pass before you think to reach out to your friend — a time during which they might sink into a downward spiral of despair.
Make an effort to check in with them regularly, even if it’s only a quick text once or twice per week to say, “Hey buddy, how are you feeling?” Those six words on a cellphone screen can be a lifeline to someone drowning in a sea of melancholy.
Help a Friend Through a Challenging Time
Guys often maintain such stoicism that they struggle to be a good friend when someone they care about is suffering. If your buddy is going through a divorce, help them navigate the rough waters with these tips.