What can I do to help a friend going through a messy divorce?
It’s the question nearly everyone asks when they find out you’re in the midst of a difficult life situation. When I was going through my messy divorce, many family and friends asked me that question. I took great (and foolish) pride in my stiff upper lip upbringing and couldn’t bring myself to ask for anything more than a sympathetic ear.
However, the truth was that my finances were in dismal shape. It didn’t help when my married, misogynist boss who strongly disapproved of divorce (yet strangely, had an insatiable affinity for sugar daddy dating sites) fired me not long after I rebuked his physical advances. But I digress. Anyway, I was broke and hustling to support myself and the two kids I had still living at home. Divorce registries had yet to be invented, but if they had been, I know exactly which friend would have started a cash fund for me and which registry items my mom would have insisted on getting me. You live and learn and now, the subject of gift ideas for friends facing a messy divorce is one I can write about in my sleep. I know now that your friends and family want to help. Let them. And if you’re one of the friends and family, thank you for reading this. Here are some of our top suggestions for gifts to give a friend going through divorce.
The gift of your time is lifesaver for a friend facing a messy divorce
The most important thing that you can give to anyone going through a rough patch is your time. Even if she appears to be doing just fine, there’s a good chance that your friend and loved one is not. Small gestures, such as a quick text message or an encouraging social media post, can go a long way. Even better, taking your friend for lunch or cocktails and just letting her vent will probably make more of a difference than you will ever know. I spent hours venting via messenger and text to a small group of close friends. Their patience meant the world and without a doubt carried me through a dark period – and likely saved me thousands in therapy.
So, back to our question, “What can I do to help my friend who is getting a divorce?” Sympathetic listening aside, at best, your friend probably needs stuff for her new single life. At worst, they need financial assistance to help them on their way. If they too proud to ask for help, setting up a gift registry for a newly divorced friend is an easy way to show support and help her get back on her feet. Even better, it’s something friends and family far and wide can be a part of. Cash may be king, but it might not be as personal as you’d like it to be. So here are our top gift ideas for friends facing a messy divorce.
For the person who is starting from scratch
For some, going through a messy divorce is the least of their problems. Sadly, women (and yes, it happens to men, too) escaping an abusive relationship often leave with little more than a hastily packed suitcase. Cash and gift cards will help her meet immediate needs and a gift registry will ensure she has the basis for her new life. Gift ideas we recommend include:
Practicality aside, your loved one probably also needs to work out some pent up frustration and regain her power. Help empower her with any of the following:
introductory kickboxing or karate classes
a heavy bag for the basement
a session in a rage room
She also could probably use something practical that makes her smile, like our favorite tote.
For the person who is heartbroken (and broke)
In my situation, I was able to grab the essentials from my former home, but that’s about it. After a very messy divorce, I craved comfort. If the Divorcist registry had been around back then, I would have signed up for items such as scented candles, fuzzy sheets, and cozy loungewear. A dear friend gifted me a beautiful book of poetry that I kept by my bedside for two years post-divorce. Practical, personal divorce gifts can make a person truly feel loved and supported, such as:
farm fresh eggs
lasagne; lots and lots of lasagne
But I also would have enjoyed smaller gifts that made me smile, like the ones at the Divorcist gift shop. I don’t wish divorce on anyone, but if it happens to someone I care about, it’s always my first stop. Then, I start a cash fund for her and share it with our circle of friends.
For the person who has everything
Even if your friend is fortunate enough to be financially secure after her messy divorce, she still needs your support! A divorce gift registry gives her an opportunity to splurge – and celebrate – her newly single status. And it gives you the perfect opportunity to throw her a divorce party. Out-of-the-box gift ideas for the divorcee’s next pha
Be sure to include a few small, but empowering surprise gifts, like this shirt that helps a person put the right foot forward on their journey.
Have you shopped recently for a newly divorced friend? Or, are you newly divorced and have suggestions for divorce gift ideas? We’d love to hear from you – tell us about your divorce party gift suggestions!