How do you stay neutral during your friend's divorce?
Friends are supposed to be there through thick and thin, but how helpful are you to your friend who is going through a divorce? Here are five not-so-friendly mistakes to avoid:
1. Don't take sides. Whether you met your friend during the marriage or you are old friends from back in the day, don't pick sides. You may think siding with your pal is what you're supposed to do, but in reality, it decreases the chances of reconciliation and it may hinder your friend from taking accountability for his/her role in the divorce. Avoid making judgments. Let's face it: No one knows what really goes on in a marriage aside from the two people in it. Communicate to your friend early in the divorce process that you plan to remain neutral during the divorce.
2. Don't trash talk. Even if you think it's what your pal wants to hear, don't bash the ex. Casting blame can have the adverse effect of cementing your friend's perspective that he or she is right and can potentially prolong divorce proceedings. Plus, if they reconcile, guess who gets the ax? You! Remember, you can't fairly judge something that you weren't involved in, so reserve making judgments and just be there to listen.
3. Don't play counselor. Of course you should be there for your friend, but set limits. Don't try to win the "Friend Of The Year Award" by answering calls at 3 a.m. Chances are you aren't a licensed therapist, so don't act like one. Encourage your pal to get real help by consulting with an independent, licensed professional who can provide guidance during this difficult time. Keep reading...
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