What To Say To Your Friend Who Got Dumped

What To Say To Your Friend Who Got Dumped
Carly Jacobs

92HOne of my mates is having a bit of a rough time at the moment because her and her husband have separated. She’s totally fine, obviously sad and is experiencing a weird roller-coaster of fluctuating emotions but she’s pretty solid. Her life is sorted and although it’s a bit shit, it’s not the end of the world. She’s got a roof over her head, a great career and she can afford groceries and wine that comes in a bottle. Not all people are so lucky in break ups and for some people, ending a marriage means a lot more than simply consciously uncoupling from another person. So we came up with a list of things that you should ask your friend who’s just been broken up with or is in the middle of a break up. Even if you think your friend is fine, there may be something that they aren’t telling you.

Here are some questions you should be asking them.

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1. Are you safe?

Perhaps the most important of all questions is to ask if your friend is safe. Not all break ups are amicable and if they’ve left behind an unstable and seething spouse, then your friend is going to need lots of support, particularly if they have children. Contact the police and ask about what steps you can take to make sure that your friend is protected. This goes for both men and women. Don’t assume that your male friend is going to be fine because he might not be. Ask the question and be prepared to help if the answer is ‘no’.

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2. Do you have somewhere to live?

Make sure that your mate has a roof over their head until they get themselves sorted. There’s nothing worse than breaking up with someone and worrying about having somewhere to sleep that night. If you don’t have a spare room or can’t offer accommodation then help your friend to organise to couch surf amongst your friendship group or find them a spare room ASAP. Break ups are made so much harder by uncertainty and the sooner you can help your friend find a semi-stable home base the better.

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3. Do you have enough money?

You may not be in a position to lend your friend money but you can certainly help out if you know that your mate is struggling financially. That might mean making some re-heatable dinners so they don’t have to buy groceries that week, helping them put their car up for sale on a website or proof reading their CV. If his/her ex is being awful about money you could also help them seek legal advice.

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4. Do you have enough support?

Realistically, you can’t be there for your friend all the time so it’s important to make sure that she/he has a support network of people that they can turn to if shit gets serious. Just make sure that your mutual friendship group are aware of the situation and can be available for the odd dinner, walk or phone call. Your mate may not even need that much support but knowing it’s there will be a huge help.

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5. What I can I do to help you right now?

If your friend has all of these areas covered, he or she is very lucky. Now that you know that your mate is safe and has a roof over their head you can get down to the business of helping them heal. It can be really tempting to run over to their house and start shoving wine and chocolate down their throat but be careful with behaviour like this. It’s totally cool/necessary to do this on the first day/weekend but you need to be there for other healing activities too. Helping your friend to buy a couch, load their stuff on to a truck or spend a Saturday with them looking for a new flat will be the best thing you can do for them… followed by a few sensible drinks of course!

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Have you ever gone through a bad break up? What would you have liked your friends to say?

10 Comments

  1. Kate - DDGDaily.com 3 years ago

    So important, you just never know! x

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 3 years ago

      Totally agree! You’ve just to ask the questions!

  2. Careeragogo 3 years ago

    Once again – thank you for this post. The suggestion to ask “Are you safe?” for both men and women is such a good point. I know someone who was attacked by his partner quite regularly. When he went to have a chat to his Doctor,they laughed and said “What, your Mrs. beating you up?”. He was terrified that in defending himself he might hurt her and then have the tables turned on him. Relationships Australia and the Police were a lot more supportive thankfully.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 3 years ago

      I think it’s so important to always make sure that men are okay. People just assume because they’re guys that they’ll be fine. Relationships Australia sounds great, I’ll have to look into them for my friend.

  3. These are simply brilliant questions to ask. A close friend of mine broke up with her husband a couple of years ago and it wasn’t (and still isn’t) straightforward, so I check in regularly when we’re having a one-on-one catchup to make sure she’s truly OK.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 3 years ago

      The reason why this list came to be is because no one (including me!) asked my friend these questions and they should be asked. Break ups can be horrendous and that’s just the emotional part of it. It’s so important to make sure that they’re physically, financially and basically okay!

  4. countrygypsies 3 years ago

    Some great advice here. My ex husband and I seperated some time ago and I really wish someone asked me some of these questions. Fortunately, after quite a few hard times, we are now friends which certainly helps with our kids. We even have Christmas together still!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 3 years ago

      Oh that’s brilliant! I have a close friend who’s parents divorced when he was a teenager and he’s a grown up now and his mum and dad and his siblings have Christmas together every year. It’s just so lovely. They even take care of each other’s dogs when the other one is out of town. I love friendly break ups. x

  5. merilyn 3 years ago

    a very good post carly … they are very good questions to ask.
    I’ve been there … not in a dangerous way, but one feels extremely vulnerable in that situation!
    it’s a time thing too! … also I’ve done a basic counceling course and the main difference is that a professional is objective and a friend is subjective ie being emotionally connected and the story goes round and round!
    I’ve read your post on relationships and you are very good at this … I thought you might actually be a councellor … my spelling is ……. lol m:)

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 3 years ago

      Oh that’s lovely of you to say, I’m actually a full time writer and blogger but I’m a trained special ed teacher (still do a little bit of teaching here and there but not much these days!). I totally agree that counselling is an excellent idea during times like this. As supportive as I can be for a friend during a break up, being too close to the situtation can be a bit detrimental because you aren’t exactly a neautral third party!

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