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  1. #1
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    What to do for a friend in need?

    I've never been divorced and never been super close to someone who was going through one until now. Without alot of details, one of my closest friends just found out that her husband cheated on her with her best friend. I really didn't see it coming at all. He seemed very dedicated to her and their little girl but anyway...She has left him and is pretty much in shock. The angriness and tears have not happened yet.

    Are there any of you who have been through similar situations and can give me advice on how to care for my friend during this time? I want to be there for her but I am so angry with her soon to be ex that it's hard for me not to just play the "to hell with the bastard" card. That's just too easy and it seems..I don't know. Shallow. If anyone could shed some light that would be great!

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  3. #2
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    the best piece of advice that i can give you is to just be her friend. listen when she needs to talk. don't try to feed her emotions - she may be in shock but it sounds like you are angry and she isn't there yet. don't tell her how to feel, just listen and be her friend.

  4. #3
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    As one who's been there: people who are going through what your friend is experiencing right now are going through a form of grieving. They have to travel through their emotions to get to the end of them and regain their lives. There is no shortcut, and by denying these emotions they may get frozen in them, which is a bigger tragedy than the break-up, believe me.

    What you can do for your friend is Listen. Remind her good riddance to bad rubbish and don't throw herself out with the trash. Make sure she's eating a balanced diet, make sure she's getting out of the house for some exercise every day, even if just for a walk. This will help her avoid serious depression by keeping her nutrionally stable and the blood pumping to her brain. If she starts talking about ANYthing even close to suicide or destruction get her to her doctor for a recommendation of psychological help &/or antidepressives. Help her find a lawyer when she decides she needs one.

    I had a pair of friends who babysat me for couple of months after my marriage melt-down, and I thank them in my heart every day for that, 12 years later.

  5. #4
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    First things first. Practical help is always good in these situations, the shock may have left her feeling like it is hard to cope with the basics. You could make her dinner (or food to freeze), offer to babysit, help with chores and anything else practical you think would be useful.

    Secondly be there for her - you sound like a great friend and just being there for her will be very important. Listening is probably the best thing you can do, just let her get it all off her chest.

    Finally, don't be too quick to judge. I know her husband has done a terrible thing and he has betrayed her - but you never know what will happen. Whilst it's very tempting (and satisfying) to tell her what a complete idiot he is and how she's better off without him, you don't know what's on the cards. I wouldn't give her any advice on what decisions to make or offer your personal views of him, as it may come back to haunt you. I did exactly that with one of my friends during a terrible time in her relationship and I couldn't take my words back. When they got back together, she found it very hard to see me or speak to me after what I had said, and I haven't seen her for years. So think carefully before you judge.

  6. #5
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    Thanks, ladies. All of this is great advice. I especially like the idea of being there in a "practical" way. I'm planning to have her over for dinner and let her do some laundry as she is in a bare-bones apartment right now and really doesn't know what her financial situation is going to look like a month from now. Great advice too about not bashing the husband. If for some reason they did get back together, it would be extremely awkward.

    Thanks again and any other thoughts would be appreciated!

  7. #6
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    Was she a SAHM? Is she going to need to find a job? A new job? She might need some help with her resume - maybe you could get some resume books out of the library and help her revise her resume and then offer to babysit when she goes to interviews?

    Maybe you could make her something for her new apartment to liven it up and make it feel more like home? Something simple but big would make that "bare bones" look more like "zen simplicity," like a large print made out of art paper or pretty fabric? Plus, that way it would be something new instead of feeling like a "Hand-me-down."

  8. #7
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    No, she actually works with me. That's how we met. So thankfully, she does have an income. It's just not enough to pay for childcare, etc and her husband says he's not willing to chip in. Sooo. she has to wait for some sort of court order, I think before she can get financial assistance from him.

    Making her something is a great idea. I could do a print or maybe some curtains for her new place....

  9. #8
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    Remind her: "Living well is the best revenge."

    It pulled me through some dark times, I tell you what.

  10. #9
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    Phoenix, AZ
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    I think you're doing all a friend can do right now as it is. But encourage your friend to get an order for temporary child support--she can do that now, even while the divorce is proceeding. Laws vary from state to state, I know, but there should be something available. That will at least help with the child-care expenses.
    I agree with those who encouraged taking the high road as far as bashing the ex goes. I did that during my divorce (my ex didn't) and it is paying dividends now.

  11. #10
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    Vancouver
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    Unfortunately I have a friend who has just been abandoned by her husband after five years of marriage... I can't believe it and neither can she!! They are maintaining two homes...for the first few months of his new job..and now he doesn't want her to join him!!! Unbelievable!! I like what people are saying about living well..that was my advice to her. Luckily they are both rather high income people...they own their apartment etc...My advice to her was to get away...she is thinking Italy!!! Isn't that the universal country to get over a broken heart?? She is of Italian descent..born here... My advice was not to try to figure out too many scenarios....just to breathe..and try to live a bit for herself...It is so unfair what she is being put through!!!


 
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