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5 ways to help friends after a divorce

Divorce brings change. The process can be emotionally draining, and people often rely on the support of family and friends afterwards. Women in Texas and all around the country often find comfort in "talking it out" with friends.

There are several ways to help out a friend after a divorce. Here are a few of the things you can do to make a difference.

• Be there to listen. It sounds simple, but just letting a friend talk about how they are feeling, or even crying it out, can help them the most. Reserving judgment and also offering encouraging words are also good ideas. However, making statements such as, "Aren't you glad to be rid of him?" are not always helpful.

• Help out at the holidays. It can be a lonely time for a newly single person, particularly when they are used to traditions with a spouse. It couldn't hurt to invite them to your own family gathering. If they are feeling lonely, it can be a comfort to them, particularly if their own children are with their ex-spouse.

• Offer resources when it's appropriate. If you know a good therapist, a reliable realtor or a good career counselor, by all means make a recommendation.

• Offer to help with relaxation time. In a busy transition, when people may be worrying about selling their house or looking for a job, they often forget to do fun things just for themselves. Initiating a fun outing might persuade them to relax a little.

• Help out with everyday things. Volunteering to run an errand, cook dinner or babysit for a couple of hours can be more helpful than you know.

Source: Huffington Post, "What do divorcing women want and need?" Paula H. Noe and Betsy Ross, May 9, 2012

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