Splitcoaststampers.com - the world's #1 papercrafting community
You're currently viewing Splitcoaststampers as a GUEST. We pride ourselves on being great hosts, but guests have limited access to some of our incredible artwork, our lively forums and other super cool features of the site! You can join our incredible papercrafting community at NO COST. So what are you waiting for?
This may be an odd thread on this board, but I am really hoping to get some suggestions on how to help my friend. She found out last week that her husband has been having an affair. She has two kids -one is 3 1/2 and a 3 month old baby. She has already filed for divorce and even though she has made up her mind to leave him - he hasn't even so much as asked her to consider otherwise. She will have to work full-time, leaving her kids in daycare 40+ hours a week and may lose her home because of the financial situation. I have been on the phone with her every day, and today she came over to visit (she lives 30 minutes away). I am in such shock, along with her, and although I am trying to support her by listening, I just feel so helpless. How do I show her how much I care and help her through this nightmare? Have any of you been close to someone in this situation? She is my best friend and I hate to see her suffering. Thanks for reading such a long post...
What a tough situation. All you can do is be there for her and lift her up in prayer. Help her out where you can as far as listening, helping with the kids, etc but solving this is between the two of them IMO. What a difficult thing for you to watch-it is ALWAYS so difficult on the children. I will pray for you, your friend, her husband and their children.
I have a family member who went through this while pregnant with her second child. I was there almost everyday. I helped her by making dinner for her daughter who was three. I took her out with me a lot and gave her mom some space. (That was after working a full time job.)
That is what she seemed to need the most. Therapy helped her get through it. She was lucky and money wasn't a problem. She went back to school got her degree, has a great job and a new great husband.
The first husband has lost everything. He even went and got married to the person he had an affair with and had two more kids and divorced her too.
I wish I could help more. Everyone and every situation is different. Ask what you can do for her, that will probably mean everything. To know she has support no matter what the outcome.
What a terrible situation, I really am sorry to hear about that. Just be there for your friend, help her search out resources and look at all her options. Sometimes through a traumatic experience, people need that extra help when they can't think clearly! I am so sad for the children. It is unfortunate that her husband was unfaithful, but it sounds like you are a great friend to her and that you will help her through it. She is very lucky to have you as a friend! I wish you, your friend and her children strength through this time.
Just be her friend and listen when she needs to talk. Ask how you can help and more than likely, she needs to get some counseling. Unfortunately, I went through this twice myself, but I was stupid. I stuck around on both marriages for too many years hoping that things would change. They never did and finally I got up the courage to leave. I too, didn't have a job and two children to support so off to the working world I went where I have been ever since. I didn't really have anyone to talk to and I was ashamed and embarrased knowing I was the last to find out. Anyway, I have learned to pick up the pieces and after my second disastrous marriage, I decided that there would never be another one. Well, after being single for twelve years, somehow this wonderful man did come into my life and we have been married 7 years. So, just be the very best friend you can to her and offer any help you can.
I am sorry that she has to go through this. It is very devastating no matter who it happens to. Eventually, healing of the heart will take place.
I will put her in my prayers.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Sandy and I have a lot in common...But back to your question how to help your friend. Share some of our stories with her - if we made it, so can she.
I was 18 when I married the first time, delivered my son 2 weeks shy of 20, and left him the weekend I got out of the hospital after my c-section. Never looked back, really. We were too young. I raised my son alone and did a fine job without any child support or alimony. Back then they didn't have means to track down deadbeat dads and I put myself through school and learned to support us well enough. We were poor, but we did okay and he turned out just fine.
I just made a mistake with my 2nd. Never had a happy day in the marriage - we were too different and he sought comfort elsewhere. I didn't love him anymore, but the notion of a 2nd failed marriage while I was now over 40 and am empty nester hit me hard. I thought I'd lose my home and didn't know if I would ever love again. I couldn't sleep for days and lost 20 pounds in a month.
I had some good friends who took me out of town to their place for a few days. I applied for higher level jobs as soon as I got back. I insisted my husband take our home off the market. He would not be allowed to sell the house out from under me. I would find a way to pay for it.
I did. Men also came out of the woodwork to ask me out, even though I was middle aged. I got over the betrayal, even though it took about a year to feel okay. He did me a backhanded favor and gave me an excuse to kick him to the curb. He is bitter, I am not. Shortly after our breakup, a really nice engineer asked me out. I said it was too soon, he said he'd wait however long it would take. That sealed the deal. Several years later we were married and I am happier than I'd ever imagined. He is too, I am pleased to say!
So, please share our stories with your friend. It may not help her sleep tonight or tomorrow, but hope helps a lot!!
What a beautiful story ending! I'm sitting here boo hoo-ing. I'm a big crybaby in general, however, when you add PMS to the equation it’s even worse.
I too was in a long term relationship, for over 13 years. Llike a lot of us we started dating when were both very young. As I got older and more mature I started to realize that he was not the man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It took over a course of several and I mean several years for the BIG final breakup. I went through a period of mourning for like a year. Then I stated dating and entered another long-term relationship and it ended after 3 years. After doing some soul searching I realized that I had the all of the traits of a codependent person. After that being all said and done, I’ve been working on myself and doing things that I want to do and trying not to worry about solving the world’s problems, which is a challenge.
I look at it like this, I’m in my mid 30’s and I know that god will send me a good man one day so I have to be ready. We often become too comfortable with our daily lives so we just settle, no one person should ever settle!
So, tell your friend to stay strong and to take his butt to the cleaners!
She needs you to listen. Helping out with little things means alot, too. I have been in this situation embarrassingly enough two times. Night time was the hardest for me. It helped to know that a friend was willing for me to call any time of the day or night. I never called in the middle of the night but knowing that I could helped get me through many long nights.
As far as the finances, Financial Peace (Dave Ramsey's program) kept me from going under.
As a friend, don't bad mouth her husband in front of the kids or let anyone else do it either. They will learn far too soon for themselves what kind of man he is. Bad mouthing the other parent hurts the child because he/she is part of this person.
Wow this really is tough. All you can do is be there to listen. We are going something like this with our son now. He came home to find his wife with someone else. Thank God they don't have children yet. But my son is a wreck. He worships the ground she walks on. All we can do is cry with him and tell him how sorry we are this is happening to him. And in his case give him a place to sleep for a few days. He has gone home now and they put their house on the market and sold it in just a few days. Escrow will pay all debts so they each walk away free and clear except for his broken heart. And I must say ours too. We love our daughter in law and are very close to her. She was my chick flick buddy. We went out at least once a month together. We don't understand what happened and maybe never will because they don't want to talk to us about it. We need to just let them handle everything and be there when we can.
Immediately following the dissolution of my long-time marriage, I went to a clinical psychologist whom I trusted because I wanted to get through the event without becoming a bitter old woman. After the third session, his counsel was, "You can continue to come see me and pay me the big bucks, or you can rely on a few chosen good friends to Koffee Klatch with. Your friends will be more valuable to you than I will."
The best thing you can do for your friend is to walk beside her as she goes through this dark tunnel. You can't solve her issues, but you can listen to her hurts, affirm her strengths, and keep her aware that she is a person of value. She no doubt is feeling a strong sense of rejection now and needs all the positive reinforcement possible. Bless you for being there for her. A good friend is a jewel. Betty
You amazing women have brought me to tears - of gratitude. It truly makes my heart swell to read such considerate, encouraging words from people who don't even know me, or my friend for that matter. I thought I loved this site for the awesome stamping ideas - well, I now know the sisterhood is what really makes it special. I have felt such pains for my friend and wasn't sure who I could turn to for advice, without feeling like I was exploiting her situation. Thank you for reading and responding. I am sorry to hear of the sadness of your own personal experiences, yet grateful you were willing to share.
I'm glad to hear that several of you think that listening alone may help, of course I will continue to do that. I hope you really won't mind if I share your experiences with her as well. I guess in my own shock of the situation I haven't even considered suggesting counseling for her....that is a good idea. I also like the suggestion of helping out with day-to-day things, like a meal, watching the kids, etc. I hope and pray that she can heal from this horrible experience and discover a new and better life. Thank you so very much.
I went through a similar situation 7 years ago. My daughters were 5 and 3 when my ex-husband told me one morning that when he got home that night he was going to pack his things and leave. I told him that he wouldn't need to do that as I would have his things packed for him, and I did. Sitting on the front porch waiting for him to arrive home to pick them up. We didn't hear from him for about 5 days then he suddenly called Thanksgiving day to come back, I told him we definitely needed to talk things out and obviously had a lot of work to do to straighten things out and agreed to start the process. I found out the next day that he slept with an acquaintance of mine Thanksgiving night and all bets were off.
The most painful part of the situation was not knowing how I was going to raise two small children by myself, but I did it. I got a great job making over twice what I had ever made in my entire life. Yes, the girls were in daycare but unfortunately not everyone can be a stay at home mother and they are now 12 and 9 years old and wonderfully, intelligent well adjusted young ladies. They have not seen their father since April 20, 1998 (my oldest daughter's 6th birthday) and he owes us almost $40K in child support (think of the stamps I could buy) but my new husband is wonderful with them and they call him Dad and their biological father by his first name. Even if we did know where he was, they have no desire to see him.
I know this situation is different than your friends, but it just illustrates that it can be done. Women are a lot stronger than even we think sometimes and even if your friend works and has to put the children into daycare they can still turn out to be wonderful, well adjusted people.
Just listen to her, support her, encourage her in anyway you can!!! That helps more than anything!
Remember when things get bad.......Amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic.
My mother was in a similar situation, and though there were some lean, dark years to get through, we all came out okay on the other side. When my father left, I was a little over a year, my sister nearly 5. My mother had dropped out of college to work to support him while he finished his doctorate degree. Then, one year after he graduated and had his first "real" job, he decided that he didn't want to be married any more. Just like that.
To make the situation worse, she had followed him around with his schooling, so she now lived 1000 miles away from her parents. She now had two girls to support, with no family nearby, and no college degree. My father paid child support, but that waws as far as the financial support went. No help with school clothes, school supplies, it was all up to her.
My mother was faced with a difficult choice. Pack up and move back home to her parents to help her get back on her feet. Or stick it out here in Little Rock so that her children could maintain a relationship with their father. I'm happy to say that she chose the latter, even though it made things very difficult both emotionally and financially. It took a lot of scrimping and saving, but she kept the house. We tell stories now about how broke we were then, and we just laugh. She worked all day as a secretary in a doctor's office, and went back to school at night. She used my father's child visitation times to attend classes and do her homework. There wasn't much "down" time for her in those years, but she says now how it made her a much stronger woman. She got her degree in education and became a teacher, so that even though she would have to work 40 hours a week in the school year, she'd be able to be home with us in the summers.
I'm not going to give you the rosy story of how it was "all for the best", cause divorce is never easy and it's rough rough rough on the kids. But given a rotten situation, there were some positives that came out of it. If my father hadn't left, I don't know if my mother would have known how powerful she is, and my sister and I wouldn't have known how powerful a woman can be.
Sorry for the long post, but thought you might want to hear a "success story"...
Make sure she gets good financial advice - don't rely on her lawyer for this. My mother started divorce proceedings against my dad and the lawyer (who was considered very prominent in his field in an affluent area) didn't even know the current tax code on the sale of a house.
She should find a Certified Divorce Planner (she can google that term). These are people who have studied the financial implications of divorce.