If you have a friend who is considering divorcing their spouse, you may be unsure of how to help them. Do you encourage them to pursue a divorce and leave their spouse, or do you urge them to give the relationship another chance? Unless there has been abuse involved (in which case, you should absolutely encourage them to leave), your best bet is probably to do neither. Rather, you should aim to provide them with the support they need to come to the right decision on their own. Here are three ways to do that.
Encourage them to see a lawyer.
Sometimes, the reason why someone has a hard time deciding whether or not divorce is the right move is that they just can't visualize what it would involve in a legal sense. Encourage your friend to meet with a lawyer, such as Diane Dramko, Attorney At Law, and discuss what would happen if they were actually to file divorce. You may try recommending a few lawyers that other friends of yours have used successfully. They should know that this meeting is not a first step towards divorce necessarily -- but rather a pre-step to help them decide on the right move. Most divorce lawyers have had many consultations of this kind and will be able to analyze your friend's financial and family situation to tell them how difficult or easy divorce might be.
Listen without judgement.
Sometimes, all your friend may need is a sounding board as they talk through their problems. Let your friend know that you're willing to listen if they need to talk. Meet them at the bar for a cocktail or at a coffee shop for a latte, and then just listen to what they need to say. Offer gentle encouragement, try not to judge, and do not repeat anything they say to others. These are all qualities of a good listener.
Give them a place to crash, childcare help, and any other "physical" help they need.
You don't want little things, like not having a place to stay or someone to watch the kids while they go to the lawyer, to get in the way of your friend making the right decision. So, make sure they know you are happy to help with these little issues, and do what you can to make yourself available. If you are not available for babysitting or other help at a certain time, see if you have any other friends who are and who can help your friend out in your place.