Not all relationships are built to last. While some couples stay together for a lifetime, have kids, and grow old happily, others are not so lucky. People break up for all kinds of reasons: infidelity, irreconcilable differences, conflicting lifestyles, or even just falling out of love.
But these pairings don’t always end in a split. Sometimes people stay in relationships for longer than they should. Perhaps because they have become accustomed to the status quo, or they feel that things will turn around eventually. In some cases, they may be sticking with their partner for the sake of their children, or are even scared of what will happen when they leave them.
If you have a friend going through a difficult time in their relationship, you are in a good position to help them. As a close ally, you can offer them support and guidance when they most need it. But what can you do to make their lives better? Here are some tips for helping a friend with relationship troubles.
The best thing you can do to help your friend is to listen. You can’t truly know what they are going through until you talk to them. If you’ve noticed something is up, ask them how things are and see if they are willing to open up. By letting your buddy know you are concerned for them, they will be more likely to share their problems with you. It may be that everything is fine and you’ve got the wrong end of the stick, but if there is something going on, you want them to feel they can share it. After all, talking about an issue is a great way to make yourself better and figure out what needs changing.
Share Your Own Experiences
Being a good friend is all about listening, so you need to be careful not to talk too much. But it can sometimes be helpful to share your own relevant experiences. If you have been through a similar relationship problem, you are in a great position to provide your own first-hand advice of what worked and what didn’t. This information may be enough to get your friend out of their rut and find a path to a potential solution.
Be There for Them
If your friend is feeling down as a result of their love life, just being there for them is often enough. They may not feel comfortable talking about things just yet, but knowing they have friends who care about them will make them better about their lives. They’ll know that whatever happens with their relationship, they will always have people who love them. Be there for your friend by giving them a hug, helping them with an errand, or taking them to do a fun activity that takes their mind off things for a while.
Check They are Safe
Some bad relationships are really bad. And if you are concerned that your friend is in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship, you should speak up. Signs may include becoming more reclusive, overhearing violent arguments, or seeing signs of physical abuse. Talk to your friend and let them know you are worried. Avoid being overly confrontational and try not to overstep your boundaries or they pull back. Let them know you will support them whatever happens and that they have people who love and care for them. Be honest and let them know they deserve better and have other options. If you are genuinely concerned for their safety, you should call the police as soon as possible. Domestic abuse is a serious issue, and it may be a good idea to get the authorities or a domestic violence lawyer involved.
Whatever your friend decides, you need to be supportive. Perhaps they are choosing to stay in a loveless marriage, or break up with someone who you feel is perfect for them. You are welcome to offer advice but ultimately it is their choice. Once they have made their final decision you should be a source of support and love. If you come across as overly judgemental then you risk compromising your friendship, which is the last thing anyone wants to happen.
In conclusion, the best way to help a friend who is going through a bad time is to be there for them. Providing a solid foundation of support and guidance will help them get through whatever difficulties they are having. As long as they are safe from harm, you should avoid getting too involved and let them come to their own decision.