Your friend thinks her husband is having an affair.
A family has just lost a loved one to addiction or death.
A co-worker is continually late and unfocused at work due to family problems.
What can you do to support them?
5 Things to Support Your Brokenhearted Friend:
- You don’t have to say anything. Listen, empathize, and be available. She needs your support. If you haven’t had a similar experience, it is hard to know what to say. Reassure her that you’ll be alongside. There’s great comfort in facing life’s difficulties with trustworthy support, even if you don’t know what to say. Be there for her.
- Take care of her. Treat her to coffee, go for a walk, or give her a journal to write out her feelings and thoughts. Encourage her to exercise, eat healthy, and sleep. Offer to keep her kids so she can nap. Feeling unlovable may obstruct her ability to experience love from others, including God. Practical support speaks volumes.
- Check-in regularly. A text message, email, or phone call will brighten your friend’s day. Let her know you’re thinking of her. If you read or hear something that would lift her spirits, send it to her. An old-fashioned note sent in via snail mail is always welcome.
- Don’t downplay her pain. Leave Christian platitudes out of the conversations. Too many women are told they must put everyone above themselves. Validate her pain. Cry with her when she’s sad and laugh with her to relieve stress. Just be real.
- Help her find additional support. When in crisis, it’s difficult to think clearly. She will appreciate your support in finding a counselor or legal advice if she’s considering filing for separation or divorce. Your friend cannot do this alone. She needs you. She needs others. She needs safe people to walk with her. Help her find a support group dealing with her specific issue: grief, addiction (hers or a loved one’s), or marital problems.
Finally, remind yourself and your friend that you don’t have all the answers. But, God does. He knows us and loves us more deeply than anyone. He will sustain you both as you walk toward brighter days and she will appreciate your support.