I sat across from him as he poured out his heart. My friend’s marriage was ending, against his wishes. Unfortunately this story repeats itself over and over.
You will probably face the same challenge I did. How do you support a friend facing an unwanted divorce? What do you say?
There are no guarantees the marriage can be healed but you still want to help. Here are three things you can to do help:
Be There. “But they are so needy … and they keep calling … and it is so depressing” Whoa, slow down. You’re right, a friend facing divorce IS very needy but you are their friend, you need to be there. Yes, have boundaries but make sure you put in the effort. This is what friendship is.
Pray. I’ve seen it work miracles. I know it works. We tend to pray like crazy for a few weeks, get tired, forget and stop. It often takes months. Don’t give up. Let your friend know that you are still praying.
Provide resources. Your friend needs tools, recommend books that really help. You can take it a step further by buying a copy of the book and giving it to him or her. Your friend has very little margin at a time like this, make it as simple as possible.
I recommend these two books: Before the Last Resort by George Kenworthy. Here’s the sales pitch: “Hundreds of marriages have been rescued when couples got the answers right to three simple questions.” I Don’t Want a Divorce by Dr. David Clarke. “You don’t have to stay miserable. You don’t have to get a divorce. It’s a proven, successful strategy. It has helped change the marriages of hundreds and hundreds of couples. My plan will work if this is your first, second, third, or fourth marriage.”
You are the friend and you need help to help others. Walk with them through this time by being there, praying and keeping them accountable as they use the resources. You can make a difference. Whether the marriage is ultimately salvageable or not, they’re going to need a good friend on the other side of this.