Friends Family This Is Not Your Divorce!
Attention Friends Family. It is completely natural for friends and family to want to protect and defend their loved ones in a divorce scenario. And alternatively, the party getting divorced depends on these very people to make it through the process. They seek them out for advice even before starting the divorce process. Make no mistake these relationships are essential for everybody.
But there is a fine line between being a supportive friend or family member and trying to drive the entire process to the detriment of your friend. Supportive friends almost instinctively will talk negatively about their loved one’s spouse because they feel this is how to protect their friend. They may urge their friend to seek a “shark” attorney and to go all out and punish their spouse for his/her wrongdoing. Somehow we think this will make our friends feel better by witnessing our undying devotion to them.
I wish I could explain to these well-meaning friends and family that by doing this they are only reinforcing negative emotions that get in the way of an eventual compromise between the parties. It can also bring up feelings of shame and embarrassment for even being with this person in the first place. These are some of the reasons loved ones are advised to not be in the mediation of their loved ones. Their presence can contribute to hostile feelings and act as an impediment to a settlement.
Instead, the divorcing party needs their loved ones to act like a calm, centered presence in their lives that they can depend on to feel in control and loved. They can do this by helping their friends to think clearly and assisting them in finding the right professionals from mediators to therapists. Helping with day to day like dinner or babysitting are wonderful ways to contribute as well. Empathize with all of the emotions they are going through but try not to add fuel to the fire because that will only hurt your friend in the long run.
Contact divorceharmony.com for more information.