How to Get the Support You Need During a Divorce
Rachel Hollis and her husband are divorcing.
I’m not a huge fan or foe… don’t worry.
If you’re wondering who the heck she is… don’t worry about that either 😉
She’s a big enough celebrity that there are thousands of responses to this news on social media.
She recently announced on social media that she and her husband were splitting.
Here were some of the responses or typical responses when such an announcement is made:
“I really thought you two had it all together”😩
“You were my favorite couple”😶
“If you all can’t make it, there’s no hope for me” 😳
“Are you sure you can’t work it out” 🤬
“You seemed like you really loved each other” 🤦🏽♀️🤦🏽♀️🤦🏽♀️
You’re probably reading this thinking: OMG! This 👏 is 👏 not 👏 helpful‼
My thoughts exactly!
When someone announces their divorce, generally speaking, they are looking for support… again, that’s generally speaking…
This is probably not the kind of “support” Rachel Hollis was looking for!
Likely not what you’re looking for either‼‼
Unfortunately, a couple’s divorce often prompts us to respond with our hopes & aspirations for THEIR relationship.
We feel compelled to tell them how we feel, too!
Rachel didn’t do anything wrong, per se, (it’s her business and her prerogative to post about), but let’s discuss how to prevent non-supportive responses as much as possible.
How to get the right support during your divorce
The simplest way to get the support you need from your family and friends is to tell them how to support you AND how not to.
It sounds overly simplified but it’s an underutilized tool.
On the surface here’s what support sounds like:
“I wish you the best”
“Let me know if you need anything”
“I love you no matter what”
Because those responses don’t feel natural or normal to most of us, you may have to guide your inner circle in this direction.
Here’s a script you can use:
“Hey(friend/family member name). I wanted to let you know that (Spouse Name) and I have decided to end our marriage. This is a very difficult decision and we still have a deep amount of (love, respect, concern, etc) for each other.
I need your support in a major way right now and here’s what it looks like. I really need to know that you will be just as kind to him as you have always been. The best way you can help me and be there for me right now is by not asking questions about our process or questioning our decisions. I will share details as soon as I feel mentally ready, but right now I don’t have it in me. We both are doing the best we can for each other and the kids.
If you’re unable to support me in that way, I completely understand, but just know that I will likely need to take some space away from anyone that can’t give me that right now. My final request is that you don’t say “you’re sorry”, bash (spouse name) in front of me or the kids, or tell me that you’re disappointed because I just can’t handle hearing that right now.”
I’m aware that this script assumes that your decision to end your marriage is mutual (eventually it will be) and also that your relationship is not overly hostile.
This doesn’t have to be the EXACT script you use, but I promise something similar can work with people that truly care about you.
This is what a modern mature divorce experience can look like.
You’re being specific and kind in your request while disarming some of their gut reactions. You’re also setting expectations and boundaries.
Your family may still talk crap about you when you end the phone call but you can’t control that anyway, so who cares! 😂
If the person responds in a way that dishonors your request, then they may have to be cut out of your communication circle, at least for a little while.
As the saying goes, when people show you who they are, believe them.
Protect yourself during a divorce
While sharing your love during the good times is normal and feels amazing, be cautious about sharing your pain, anger, and disappointment as openly.
As mentioned above, people feel inclined to tell you how they REALLY feel about your relationship & your soon-to-be-ex once you give them the space to do so.
The fastest way to open that door is by telling THEM (verbally or on social media) all the things you dislike about HIM.
While sharing your process and heartbreak on social media can be extremely cathartic, it can also be equally damaging. (For a safe way to share and receive support, see my “3’s company” comment below — keep reading!)
Not only does it invite a larger audience to give their perspective on YOUR divorce, but it can also be used against you in court.
Any decent divorce attorney will tell you that’s in your best interest NOT to share intimate details about your divorce on social media or extended family/friends until it’s over.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a DM, private message, text, or a closed private Facebook group — a simple screen capture can cause your case a lot of harm.
We all need someone we can trust and confide in during such a difficult process.
Here’s a tip:
3 is more than enough company when you’re going through a divorce.
Find 2 true friends and 1 therapist.
Divorce can be hard enough without worrying about judgment, disappointing others, and betrayal — keep that circle as tight as possible to protect your heart (and your case!). 🧡🧡
Rachel Hollis’s divorce announcement was open, encouraging, and balanced however unless you feel compelled, you may never need to make a similar PSA.
If you do feel the need to do so, make sure you’re ready for a couple of chinks in your armor.
If you choose to share details about your divorce process along the way on social medial, just be very very careful.
Now you can share THIS post with someone that may need it whenever you want 😉😉!
Founder & Managing Director
Nikki is a 16-year financial services professional, a certified divorce financial analyst, and the primary divorce financial strategist for The FIIRM Approach. She helps female breadwinners prepare for divorce to avoid common financial mistakes and confidently maintain their financial security. She uses proven strategies within the FIIRM Approach methodology so her clients can manage their money, debt, and credit in their new financial life. TAKE ACTION & LEARN about the tools that can help make your new money life easier. Grab your FREE Ultimate Resource Guide HERE.