The British espouse stiff upper lips and a ‘keep calm and carry on’ attitude. This propensity towards rugged individualism and bottling up negative emotion can actually serve people well on occasions, helping them to perform under pressure and shrug off minor irritations. When faced with divorce, though, even the steeliest of psyches will soon be flooded by a plethora of negative emotion that must be openly discussed and purged.
In some instances, an individual can be left so traumatised by their divorce that professional help will be needed. Fortunately, this is rare and the support that the majority of individuals will require during a divorce is close to hand: their friends and family.
Those that are close to us are an obvious source of comfort during testing times, but just as it is important to ensure that an individual possesses the required skills before employing them to perform a specific role, it is important that a person consider whether or not a particular friend or relative is capable of providing them with what they need during or following their divorce. I am not suggesting that some people will have nothing to offer, just that they can offer different things.
Consider for instance how we are more likely to contact a particular friend if we are frustrated at work, another if we just fancy a chat. Some of our friends are good listeners, others are jovial and great company, some are stern yet supportive. They all have something to offer, but the divorcee will need to identify when these offerings are required. Good listeners, for example, are more likely to be needed at the first stages of the divorce, whilst good company is more likely to be needed when the individual needs to forget about their problems for a few hours.
Some will be tempted to seek support from their families alone and whilst relatives can provide a great deal of support during a divorce, it is not advisable to discount the support of others. A person’s relatives are unlikely to be objective enough to just listen to the divorcee, instead finding it necessary to voice their opinions. Not only is this not what a person going through a divorce will necessarily need, but, should they take these opinions into account, could delay the production of an adequate settlement. Friends, on the other hand, are more likely to be able to remove themselves from the situation and refrain from passing judgement.
On occasions, the divorcee may be tempted to seek support from their children: this must be avoided at all costs. Children suffer the most during a divorce and parents should protect their children from its effects as a result.
Above all else, I would advise anyone that is going through a divorce to constantly remind themselves that it will get better. It will take time, but with support, you will find happiness again.