During and after my divorce I knew that there were many friends who didn’t really know what to do with me. They had a hard time finding the right words or knowing how to support me. And I get it because divorce is this weird, messy, awkward thing. Plus, from my end, I felt so broken that I avoided many people just to get a reprieve from hearing “I’m so sorry” and looks of pity. While I knew my divorce was the right decision and never questioned or regretted it, that doesn’t mean I didn’t get hit with a good dose of pain and grieving over my previous life.

Now, on the other side, a decade later, happily remarried with a blended family, I can see in retrospect the things that were helpful to me as I was in the thick of it. So here are five things you can do to help a friend going through a divorce.