What 12 Women Facing Divorce Needed Most From Their Friends

Wendy Robinson | Apr 22, 2016 Love & Sex

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When it comes to traumatic life events, divorce is second only to the death of a spouse in terms of the amount of stress it causes. Divorce is hard emotionally and financially, especially when there are kids involved. So it is no surprise that when facing a divorce, women need their friends more than ever.

Sometimes it can be hard to know exactly how to help a friend in need, which is why we are so grateful that some women who've gone through a divorce were willing to share what helped them most when they were in the thick of making this major life change.

Read on for some practical, helpful, and maybe even a little surprising suggestions of how to support someone going through a divorce.


Image via iStock.com/BernardaSv

  • Let Me Vent


    iStock.com/ kupicoo

    "The biggest thing I needed was a safe place to vent and cry and grieve. Divorce is really hard and I was having to be so strong for my kids. My friend Emily let me fall apart and not be strong whenever I needed to, and that was super helpful." -- Claire R.

  • Babysitting


    iStock.com/ Christopher Futcher

    "When my husband and I separated, we wanted to do marriage counseling to see if it would help. The most supportive thing anyone did was my friend who volunteered to watch our daughter every week so we could go to counseling. It was one less thing to have to worry about and spend money on. Our marriage didn't make it, but I feel like my friendship got stronger." -- Judith G.

  • Distraction


    iStock.com/ andresr

    "In hindsight, I'm really thankful for my friend Mary who invited me to silly movies and to do things to distract me on the nights I didn't have my kids with me. She let me take a break from being a sad divorced lady and reminded me to have some fun." -- Helena W.

    More from The Stir: 11 Texts That Reveal the Messy Truth About Life After Divorce (PHOTOS)

  • No 'I Told You So'


    iStock.com/ Martin Dimitrov

    "Maya was my maid of honor and has been my friend forever. When I was dating my now ex-husband, he cheated on me all the time. I thought he'd change after we were married. Before the wedding, Maya told me that she totally supported me but that she didn't think my ex was good enough for me.

    To her credit, when I found out -- big surprise! -- that he was cheating on me when I was pregnant with our baby, she never said 'I told you so.' She just took care of me and had my back, no judgment." -- Name withheld by request

  • Acceptance


    iStock.com/ Wavebreakmedia

    "I live in a very conservative Mormon community where divorce is uncommon and frowned upon. When I announced that my husband and I were splitting up, I had a lot of people turn their backs on me. The friends who accepted me were such a Godsend. I felt so alone." -- August S.

  • A Place to Stay


    iStock.com/ Xavier Arnau

    "Divorce is EXPENSIVE. I was totally freaking out about how I would pay for an apartment for myself and my daughter when my friend told me that I was moving into her basement for at least six months so I could save money. I ended up staying for a year, and I think it is what saved me from going bankrupt." -- Molly J.

  • A Plan


    iStock.com/ monkeybusinessimages

    "When my husband left me, I was blindsided. I didn't know he was unhappy and I just didn't see it coming. At first I was just too stunned and sad and hurt to make sense of things. I was a stay-at-home mom and had basically no money in my own name. I was floundering. My cousin is one of those people who is excellent in a crisis and she sat me down and helped me make a plan for finding a job and getting on my feet financially. I was too broken to see the big picture on my own, but she walked me through step-by-step. I'm still grateful." -- Sara W.

  • Kindness


    iStock.com/ efenzi

    "My divorce was my fault. I cheated. My husband found out and told everyone. I felt like an outcast and a slut. The friends that stuck with me were amazing. I just needed kindness. I knew I had screwed up." -- Name withheld

    More from The Stir: 15 Real Reasons Women Gave for Cheating on Their Husbands

  • Lend Me a Husband


    iStock.com/ Yuri_Arcurs

    "I had to sell our house after we split. My bestie sent her husband over and he spent a whole weekend fixing things around the house so I could get the best price on the house. He is super handy, and it was just nice to have tangible support, you know?" -- Janie S.

  • Meal Service


    Stock.com/ Leslie Bank

    "My neighbor/friend started a meal train for me. I always thought those were for new moms only, but it was really nice to not have to worry about what to feed the kids for a couple of weeks. Plus, the people who signed up to bring me meals also gave me hugs and cards and helped me not feel so lonely. It was lovely." -- Kellie L.

  • Quiet Time


    iStock.com/ Mixmike

    "My divorce was big drama -- cheating and a pregnant 'other woman' and a fair bit of money at stake. A lot of my friends were there for me, but after a while, it got to be exhausting to constantly be rehashing everything. My friend K. was great because she'd come over and we'd just hang out and read or watch TV. No talking required." -- Josey P.

  • Alone Time


    iStock.com/ DejanKolar

    "The most helpful thing my friends did was to rent me a house on a beach for a long weekend so I could stay by myself and sleep and cry. They arranged it all: watching my kids, packing my bags, buying me groceries. They knew me well enough to know I needed some space to breathe." -- Carla B.

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