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How to Help Your Daughter Survive Divorce

If your daughter is going through a divorce, it is a harrowing experience for her and it is also difficult for you to see someone you love suffering and doubting their choices about their relationship, as well as potentially losing their faith in their self-esteem and ability to cope. Being there for your daughter is an important part of parenting. This article is suitable for a mother, father, or both parents, who seek to help their daughter survive this challenging time.

Let her know that you are there for her

Let her know that you are there for her. Make it clear that no matter what the time of day or night, she has a place to come to if she needs respite, or an ear to talk to if she is in need. When you live far away from her, the phone connection is even more crucial.

Consider the ways in which you might be able to help her tangibly

Consider the ways in which you might be able to help her tangibly. Think about the sorts of things that might help her through this hard time. Does she need personal space and time to sort through her feelings/papers/household effects, etc. but the kids are underfoot and upset by all the changes? Can you offer to take the kids in for a bit, or at least care for them during periods of time to give your daughter the needed break? Maybe she needs a place to stay, and you can offer that respite. Does she need a loan of money/car/items to get back on her feet or to get out of a difficult situation? Can you offer such a loan? All these practical helps make an enormous difference.

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Practice active listening

Practice active listening. She will be upset, angry, sad, depressed, irritable, relieved, forgiving, and many other emotions at varied times. Be available for her with a compassionate ear and a supportive love that she can rely upon at all times. Even if you’re not in a position to physically help her out, you can be there for her emotionally.

Leave out the “I told you so’s”

Leave out the “I told you so’s”. Nobody needs a relationship choice thrown back in their face; we love whom we love when do for reasons that are much broader than common sense will ever justify. We make mistakes to learn from them. Your daughter will be experiencing a range of self-talk that will be, for the most part, very negative, such as feeling victimized, angry with herself and at her husband, deeply saddened at the loss, grieving, terrified, feeling stupid and unlovable, etc. None of these are good feelings but with loving support, they will remain temporary. The last thing she ever needs is confirmation of poor choices with the “I told you so’s”.

Suggest other sources of support without feeling any sense of depletion of your own worth

Suggest other sources of support without feeling any sense of depletion of your own worth. Being her parent, you are a very important person in her life (or two persons!). All the same, she will need sounding boards beyond you to help her form fully rounded conclusions as to her future movements and needs. If you believe that a counselor or psychologist might be a suitable outlet for her, suggest it. Offer to make arrangements and even pay for it (if you can), just to help her get started. Consider other helpful services too, such as financial consultants, lawyers (for the divorce proceedings/property division), career consultant (if she plans on returning to the workforce), priest or other faith healer, real estate agents, etc. Offer to help with any arrangements and interaction where possible, especially if she seems to lack confidence or is becoming increasingly disorganized as a result of the stress.

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Feed her well

Feed her well. She may be neglecting eating and drinking properly. Check on her eating and help out by making meals, or arranging them to be delivered during the first weeks of her divorce. This is also especially important where children are involved, even more so if she is depressed and finds it hard, if not impossible, to take care of them in her usual way.

Be a voice of positivity

Be a voice of positivity. Although she is going through a terrible time, keep telling her that things will be better and that she has many wonderful opportunities ahead of her. Remind her of her beautiful children, her own incredible skills, her friendliness, her loving heart, etc. Simply because this relationship hasn’t worked out does not mean that her future relationships will end the same; remind her that she has learned lessons that will guide her well in the future. Be gentle, always.

Conclusion

Helping your daughter through a divorce is challenging, but being there to support her emotionally and practically can make a huge difference. Focus on listening without judgement, offering tangible help where possible, connecting her with additional support systems, meeting her basic needs, and speaking words of encouragement. With time, patience and unconditional love, you can help guide her towards healing and a brighter future.

FAQs

  1. Should I offer my daughter money during her divorce?Offering a loan to help cover basic living expenses or legal fees can provide vital stability during this transition. Just be clear on repayment terms to avoid misunderstandings.
  2. How can I help if I live far away from my daughter?Frequent phone calls to listen and offer emotional support can still be very valuable, even from a distance. You can also offer to travel to see her or help arrange local services she may need.
  3. What if I don’t approve of her divorce?You may not agree with her decision, but right now she needs support more than judgement. Focus on listening and emphasizing your care for her well-being.
  4. Should I offer advice about future relationships?It’s usually best to avoid giving direct advice unless specifically asked. Simply reassure her that with time and lessons learned, she can eventually rebuild trust.
  5. How do I balance helping my daughter and taking care of myself?Supporting your daughter shouldn’t come at the cost of your own health and self-care. Set boundaries, tap your own support system, and monitor against emotional exhaustion.
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