"Hard times will always reveal your true friends". (Unknown)
I am so grateful for the friends I have. They were amazing when I needed them the most and so supportive throughout my divorce. Especially two of them.
One of them would invite me to just about every event and brought me into her group of friends. Women that were absolutely uplifting during a time that I needed inspiration the most.
The other one would simply call me to listen to me for at least an hour at a time, and checked on me constantly. She was so loyal and her friendship was a stable pillar during those emotional times.
Unknowingly these two women that were so uplifting also taught me that no one truly understands a divorce until you go through it yourself. It's hard to know what to say to your friend during such a difficult time.
Now I have to preface the following by saying that during this time, we are especially sensitive but here's what I experienced:
One of these two friends had just started dating her now-husband, and at the time said that she wouldn't tell her boyfriend too much about me, including that I was divorced (and dating again) because she didn't want it to be a bad reflection on herself.
Lesson 1: Only because others around you are getting divorced, does not mean that you will.
My other friend was engaged at the time and openly shared with me that I hadn't been a part of her wedding party because I wasn't really a Matron of Honor anymore, nor was I technically a Maid of Honor because I was divorced so she didn't know what to consider me and felt it was all too recent for me to be a part of the wedding.
Lesson 2: Your recently divorced friend is still the person you've always known. Most importantly, they can still make decisions for themselves. So include them in decisions vs. deciding for them.
Your friend doesn't want a pity party and will need their own space and "alone time" every now and then. That does not mean that if they turn down a few invites, you stop inviting them.
You will inevitably choose sides, unfortunately it's impossible not to. And if you don't right away, you will over time. It's not every day that couples "consciously uncouple" -- I wish that was the case.
The worst things you can say are: "I'm sorry" and "You'll be okay, this time will pass". Just know that this time in your friend's life feels endless and the last thing they want to hear is that it may take even longer. Add "light" to the situation and point out how much better the future will be (adapt accordingly).
Only they can allow themselves to heal so know that they will rise again.
Aren't they already one of the bravest people you know?
And I know you're probably curious to know what happened but your friend probably doesn't want to tell you because they just don't want to know what you think. It's all hard enough.
Don't judge their rebound relationships. It's how they are actually learning what's most important to them. They may not know that yet, but they will. Just stand quietly but their side.
Your friend will be wiser and have the ability to understand relationships and themselves (especially over time) like never before so know that you can count on great advice when you need it the most.
But most importantly, your friend will be much stronger than ever before.
Life is too precious to live with regrets.