Information Centre

Helping a friend whose parents are splitting up

Friends Support from family and friends Young People

Separation can be difficult for the whole family. If this is going on for your friend, they will be experiencing lots of changes.

Supporting your friend

Let them know you’re there for them if they need someone to talk to. They may feel lonely, especially if their parents are distracted with handling the separation.Remind them it won’t change your friendship.Check with them about whether they’re OK with you telling anyone. Let them break the news when they’re ready.

Keep in touch

Stay in contact by calls or texts if your friend has to move because of the divorce.Maybe try to visit them at their new home.Let them know they aren’t losing you as a friend just because they’re in a new location or school.

Give them space

People deal with things differently and your friend might not want to talk about the divorce at all. Give them space and let them know you are there if they do want to talk. 

Don’t walk on eggshells

Try to keep things normal, so if something is bothering you that you would normally tell your friend, then tell them. If they feel friends are hiding things, it may make them feel more alone. 

Be patient and set boundaries

It may take your friend a while to adjust to this change in their life, so try to be patient as they may be moody. Try not to tell them to stop being cranky or to “get over it.” However, you don’t need to take on their anger and if they are being mean, call them out on it. 

Finding help

Your friend may benefit from talking to a family and friends or getting some professional support. If they were comfortable with it, your friend might appreciate help with finding the right person to talk to.

Take care of yourself

You may worry about the same thing happening to your parents.Try talking to your parents about these worries. Ask them about their marriage and what they do when they have tough times.Make sure to take care of yourself too. Do something special that helps you relax and makes you happy.

If you would like professional support with anything you are going through turn2me provides free, confidential online supports for young people and adults in the Republic of Ireland.

  • Peer support – A free and safe space where you can find and give support by connecting with other people who have been through similar experiences.
  • Group support -Facilitated by a mental health professional, support groups are a safe space to connect with others and share solutions and coping strategies on a variety of mental health topics.
  • Counselling – Support for whatever you are going through, this is a safe space to talk with a professional counsellor to help you understand your feelings and work together to develop the tools you need to get through tough times.