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How to be supportive through a Divorce

Philly wrote:

I have recently begun dating, when we started dating I knew he was separated. We met online and have been chatting very intimately over the past few months.

I am really crazy about him and my heart just goes out to him so much, he's just received his divorce papers and he's really cut up about it. As I a cannot be there physically, is there away I can help him through this, he's a really wonderful guy and it just breaks my heart that I cannot do much being so far away from him right now.

How do you deal with a situation like this without pushing the other person away or knowing when to just give them space.

Please help

Dear Philly,

I think you know more than you think you do.

Divorce is a terrible time for both parties, regardless of fault or any other circumstance. For men, it often threatens their feelings of masculinity in a big way. Of course, it doesn't hit all people the same.

You are right, that giving him space is essential - he doesn't need pressure from any other direction at this time, and may not cope well with it.

The only way you are certain to 'push him away', is by making him face your insecurities. Yes, you are quite entitled to feel insecure. He will be sending mixed messages as his own feelings change by the minute. So if your relationship is to help him, it's as a friend, not as a date or as a lover - certainly not for one second as a possible next wife!

Be there as a friend; don't harrass or harangue him, don't badger him for information. Chat about mre genral issues, unless he shows that he wants to discuss bigger issues. Let him decide on that.

I'm wary of giving any specific advice, as I don't know enough about either of you to do that. But so long as you are a true friend, you'll be as OK as it's possible to be.

And I'd be giving pretty similar advice if you were the man, and it was the divorcing wife you were asking about. Those going through the experience need to set the pace. We outside can make things worse so easily.

Good Luck!

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