If you have a friend who is in a problematic marriage, here’s what you need to know.
It’s not always so easy to just file for divorce and leave.
It’s complicated.
It’s a big deal to uproot your life and your kids’ lives.
Navigating finances, custody and coparenting can be daunting and messy.
It’s so much more than just signing a legal document to dissolve a marriage.
As friends we are protective and it’s easy, from the outside, to say things like, “you need to get out” or “you need to get divorced.”
But the truth is, only the person involved in the marriage can make that decision and it has to come when and if THEY are ready.
And before people start @‘ing me in the comments, I realize sometimes there are dire and unsafe situations that may warrant you intervening. This is not about those situations.
This is about meeting a friend where they are instead of pushing them. You are not the one who has to move or explain this to your kids and start over. It’s much easier for an outsider to tell others they need to leave a marriage when they still get to go home, get into bed with their partner, kiss their kids goodnight and not have to face disrupting their whole family dynamic.
So, if your friend is struggling, don’t push them toward divorce. Instead, ask them how you can support them. Tell them you are in their corner and you’ll get through this together, whatever direction it goes. Be their strength. Have their back.
Don’t push them to do something they are not ready for even if you adamantly disagree. When they are ready to take that next step they’ll need you.
Just meet them where they are and listen. Be their safe space