What can I do to help? Supporting somebody you care about through their breakup (Part-1)
Friends and family can be a great assistance to a person exiting a relationship.
Whether they’ve instigated the separation or not, your friend or family member may be feeling grief, sadness, loss, guilt, fear, confusion, frustration, anger, anxiety, depression, hopelessness and worthlessness. Your friend one is going through a life changing event and having someone to trust and lean on when their ‘usual’ world has just collapsed can save a life.
- Your friend may be silently experiencing grief, sadness, loss, guilt, fear, confusion, frustration, anger, anxiety, depression, hopelessness and worthlessness. Learn to actively listen;
- Know your limitations and refer your friend for professional help if necessary, be this legal, financial and/or psychological;
- Protect children from conversations about the other parent and their parent’s relationship;
- Safety is a priority, call 000; do not hesitate if you need to make that call;
- Manage your social media settings so your friend cannot be traced and, if you wish to publicly comment on your friend’s relationship break up – don’t. Keep your opinions to yourself;
- Offer a hand when you can – this could be a meal, transport, child minding, or even a temporary roof;
- Don’t compare your friend’s expectations for a legal outcome with yours or that of another;
- Do not act as a Mediator or Negotiator between your friends. A mediator must be neutral and independent from the parties, not be a friend of one or both parties.
Your friend did not envisage the relationship would end as it has, at the start of the union. Amongst the bitterness and broken promises there can be conflicting memories of happier times. When things are tough for your friend and the stress is getting them down, remind them that as tough as the journey is at this present time, there will also come a time when your friend can walk tall with head held high, as a strong and independent person and be proud of all they have accomplished.
To really get good advice and to lower their anxiety levels, tell them to call Advance Family Law for 15 Minutes of Free Legal Advice with one of our Gold Coast or Logan Family Lawyers, which will help reduce their anxiety and provide guidance for the future.