Ask Dr Hedda: Do I Get Involved in a Divorce ?

Posted on Feb 22 2013 - 3:59am by Dr Hedda Mae

From: Sara
Dear Dr. Hedda,
My girlfriend Nicole called me this week to tell me that she was getting a divorce. She’s been married to Rick for 10 years but she found out that for 5 of those years, he was having an affair.
Nicole asked me to recommend a good divorce attorney and while I have some names I can suggest to her, I hesitate to do so.  My concern is that if she feels the attorney doesn’t do a good job for her, it will affect my friendship with her.
What advise can you give me on this?
Thanks in advance.

Dear Sara:
Trust your feelings.  Getting involved in any way in a friend’s divorce frequently leads to trouble between friends. 
There are so may possible outcomes: they reconcile and you’re the bad guy for sending her to lawyers and wasting her money, they divorce with years of heartache to follow because you sent her to the wrong attorney.  He could disappear, or she could disappear and you find out she was also having affairs. You find out she emptied all his bank accounts or you find out he really wasn’t having an affair and it’s all her horrible imagination.  I could go on and on with possible outcomes.  But they all lead down the same road, some how — it’s going to be you’re fault.
Good friends are hard to find.  Be supportive and reassuring be a good listener. Help her with her action plan but don’t be part of it. Friends don’t make decisions for each other. They support decisions their friends make.Be a good friend and keep your phonebook closed and your heart open.
Dr Hedda

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About the Author

Dr Hedda Mae is a psychotherapist based in Oregon. She has been in private practice in both the clinical and private sectors and has spent many years as a national lecturer on subjects such as family dynamics, childhood and adult personality disorders and multicultural psychiatry. She can be reached at -

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