top of page

Finding Your Tribe - Building a Divorce Support Network

Divorce can be an emotionally challenging and isolating experience. Having a strong support network can make a world of difference in helping you navigate the ups and downs of the divorce process.

Support networks really matter, you’ve heard the saying “it takes a village……”, well this is never truer than when getting divorced. You may feel tempted to hide away, sometimes big emotions like fear and shame can make us withdraw from our family and community but in my experience this will only make things harder in the long run. Asking for help doesn’t come easy to many and the superhuman feeling of wanting to overcome challenge alone can be compelling, but having the right sort of people in your life will be an enormous source of strength when things feel very hard.

As part of your support network you will need divorce professionals such as lawyers and financial advisors. Seeking the right ones for your needs and desired outcomes is important and they will play a vital role in your divorce journey. Outside of these professionals however it really pays to find the right tribe of friends and family to lean on. It’s worth being picky and really identifying what you need and who best to get it from.

Divorce can bring a range of emotions from sadness and anger to confusion and fear and everything in between. Having an outlet for your emotions will help you process them rather than keeping them trapped inside. Expressing emotions, receiving empathy, gaining a different perspective and practicing what you are preaching to your children is a muscle that needs exercising. Emotionally supportive friends will also help reduce the feeling of isolation and can encourage you as you get comfortable with transitioning to turning up to events alone or as a single parent family.

It may be that you are in serious need of some practical support. Help with childcare, school pick ups, reminders about school events or running errands can be invaluable when you feel like you are just about managing to scrape through the day and feel like you are running on empty. Building up connections within your local school community is a great source of support if you have young kids and are juggling work, school and divorce. In my experience people want to help and it can be easier for them to offer practical help as opposed to emotional, let them, it garners a great cycle of positivity, which in itself is mood enhancing.

Surrounding yourself with the right type of supportive people can boost your confidence and provide a sense of empowerment. They can remind you of your strengths, offer encouragement and help you stay focused on your goals.

It can also be useful to find an exercise buddy. Exercise is brilliant self care for both your mind and body and changing your physical state by going for a walk or whatever exercise you’re drawn to, is the quickest way to change your emotional state. Having someone to work out with can keep you on track and accountable, especially on the days when it’s the last thing on earth you feel like doing (Top Tip: these are they days you should absolutely get out and do the exercise!).

It is just as important to consider who might not be the right people to surround yourself with.

Friends who are still close to your ex might not be a good fit in the early days of your divorce, while emotions are running high and when you’re working out who you can trust and be open with.

People in your life whom you spend time with but come away from feeling exhausted. These individuals are drains, really we’re looking for radiators instead. Drains will sap your energy, can make you question your sanity and keep the spotlight returning to them. Radiators will help your light shine brighter, will energise you and make you feel heard, safe and connected.

Avoid the friends who want endless updates on your situation and keep you locked in your sad story, getting off on the drama of your divorce is a friendship red flag for sure. You’re life is not a soap opera and for others entertainment.

Busy bodies who think they know best and are offering endless advice. Great, on the one hand it’s useful to hear different opinions, sometimes you might end up seeing something differently and that can be super helpful, but there is a balance between that, and those who are basically telling you want to do, despite not having any experience or knowledge. It can be exhausting trying to justify why you aren’t doing what they tell you to do or didn’t take the action they suggested.

Being able to set out boundaries will be a big help in managing who you let in and who you keep at a distance while you juggle the complexities of divorce. Remember that just because you are keeping your distance from certain people now, it doesn’t mean you will forever.

Online communities can be a safe space to share experiences, gain insights and receive support from others who understand what you’re going through. A word of warning however, they can end up being a bit toxic and can keep you locked in a cycle of anger, frustration and stuck in your sad story.

Divorce can also be a great opportunity to making new connections. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is a direct pathway to personal growth. If you can gently expand your circle, being open to new connections and friendships you will give yourself the chance to redefine your future and start friendships fresh, without the baggage of your divorce.

Remember, building a support network takes time, so be patient with yourself and the process. Surround yourself with individuals who uplift and support you and reciprocate by offering your support to others when you can. As you move forwards and navigate the complexities of your divorce you will emerge stronger and more resilient.

If you need further guidance or support, don't hesitate to reach out. I'm here to help you every step of the way.


bottom of page