When a couple decides to get a divorce, there is a rippling effect. It does not just hurt the household, but there are also friends and family members who are involved in the relationship. According to a recent Chicago Tribune report, the support system of the divorcees can greatly affect how the divorce is handled by each individual.
One of the things that can cause the biggest problems is that many friends of the couple are mutual friends. Each partner may have individual friends, but in the case of a long marriage, a couple may have become good friends with each others friends. The first thing to remember as a friend of a divorcing couple is to never take sides. This can be especially hard if in your heart you truly believe that one spouse was in the wrong and the ultimate fault of the divorce is theirs. Going through a divorce is hard enough; you do not want to make the situation even worse by making one or the other feel that they have been betrayed by a friend.
Another common mistake that friends and family often make is trying to be a counselor. Unless you have some kind of professional certification, stay in your lane. If your friend expresses some concerns over marital issues, it is okay to give your opinion if asked but encourage them to seek out a professional. If they have legal questions, advise them to consult with an Illinois family law attorney. Even if you have been through a divorce yourself, every situation is different.
There is nothing wrong with being the confidant for your friend or family member. They will need the ear to vent to and the shoulder to cry on for a long time. However, you want to offer the right kind of support that will help them and not hurt them.