Maybe you’re thinking about getting a divorce, or maybe you’re already right in the thick of things. Either way, your mind is racing and your world is spinning. You’re looking for good advice for how to get through this situation with your head held high – and maybe you’re also looking for a sympathetic ear that you can vent to.
There are plenty of things that friends and family feel equipped to share their wisdom and advice for. From rearranging your patio furniture to whether or not you should get a dog, the people you are closest to can be trusted to throw in their two cents.
However, when it comes to divorce, here are some excellent reasons why the people you know best might not have the best advice for you:
Reinforcing your negativity
Your friends are usually quick to offer support – and they do this by helping you bad-mouth your ex. While it may feel temporarily refreshing to drop some hateful words about your partner, this kind of negativity is more likely to escalate the tension and make you less likely to want to accept an otherwise fair compromise. Ramping up the negative emotion only serves to draw out the divorce process – and to slow down your ability to move past this stage of your life.
A second way your friends or family might get involved is by freely sharing their judgments about both you and your ex. When you are looking for support, snide comments that question past behaviour and circumstances won’t do much to help your situation. It might instead leave you feeling embarrassed or isolated. Gossip and judgment come to us so naturally that your family might not even realize that their “helpful words” are actually a huge hindrance.
A calm and reassuring voice
The best thing family and friends can do to support someone who is getting a divorce is to be a calming presence. This may mean offering to help out with various tasks, or it may mean offering a supportive ear. Empathy plays an important role in the healing process.
Let your friends and family know if you need some space, so that their efforts to “help” don’t magnify the problem.
A lawyer who works on your behalf
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to enlist the support of a lawyer and law firm that focus on family law. They can help you by looking at your situation from an objective point of view, gives you a much needed dose of perspective. Your legal representative is able to point out what you can realistically expect considering your position, saying what you need to hear instead of just what you want to hear.
Epstein & Associates
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