There’s little disagreement that ending your marriage is one of the most difficult experiences and transitions in life so it’s important to find the right divorce support for you.
That’s not easy because divorce can also be one of life’s most isolating experiences. In the months leading up to going public about the decision, people often hide the truth about what is going on from family and friends because, if you can work it out, you don’t want people to know all the problems.
Once the decision is public, people are still quiet about what is going on. That comes from a mixture of wanting some privacy, fear of being judged, feeling embarrassed and simply not wanting to talk about it.
And yet, it is precisely at these times that we need the support of others.
So how do you reach out for support? Where are the safe places to find support and what makes them safe? How much to you share about what is going on? How do you protect yourself?
Joining me for this Conversation is Judy Herbst, director of PR and Partnerships at Worthy.com, the online auction site for wedding rings, estate jewelry, watches and more. Worthy.com is also the organizer of the closed Facebook group, Worthy Women And Divorce which has over 60,000 members so clearly, Worthy.com knows and understands divorce support.
Listen in to the Conversation below or keep reading …
Who’s Running The Group?
One question to ask early on is who is running the support group and what’s their motivation. Personally, I don’t want to be in a support group where I’m constantly getting bombarded with plugs for different products to buy or different people to work with. While Worthy hopes the group members would use them to sell their wedding jewelry, the posts and comments are very rarely about that and there’s no sales push. Instead most threads are initiated by the members themselves and Worthy’s role is very much in the background.
“We’ve become this great network of women supporting each other to move forward,” said Herbst.
It may be hard to find this out before you’ve actually joined a group – that’s where a no-cost group or free initial trial is helpful. If you don’t like what you see, you can leave.
Support groups are not the same as divorce recovery programs which tend to be more structured. Once completed though, alumni of recovery program are often connected with other graduates.
Mixed Group Or Single Gender?
You have to decide for yourself whether you’re looking for a single gender group or mixed group but remember, this is about support not dating. There are pros and cons to both. One criticism of single gender groups is that the perspectives may be lopsided. Based on what I’ve seen, this isn’t true for the Worthy group where members do talk about being cheated on and cheating, for example. That variety of perspectives may come with the size of the group.
Again, this is where it’s helpful to try the group and see if it works for you before you make any financial commitment.
If It’s Online, Choose A Closed Group
As with any online forum or group you have to be aware of your privacy. If the group’s on Facebook, your best bet is a closed group because it means whatever you’re posting is staying in the group and isn’t shared by Facebook to your friends. Other online forums may allow you to create a concealed profile so you’re not posting with your real name. That gives you some privacy too and that’s important.
“We found it very important that the women could have this comfortable space to chat almost anonymously,” said Herbst. “I think that’s the benefit of the closed Facebook group. It is a safe, digital community.”
Herbst says the closed Facebook group allows members to have a secure dialogue with people from all over the country and to gain a variety of perspectives and opinions on topics that members may not be comfortable discussing with family and friends in real life.
Moderation Is A Must
Any forum or group needs to be moderated, just as an in-person group would be moderated. That means you can be sure that if anyone does start an inappropriate post or responds in a way that is not respectful of the group rules, their posting is going to get deleted and they may even be barred from future participation. This is not just for offensive remarks but also for spam and junk such as those banal posts about spellcasters.
It might not be easy to see the work the moderators are doing because it happens behind the scenes. The best clue you have that this is going on is not being able to find a post you saw earlier that you thought inappropriate.
“If we see things that are going to a negative fashion, we’ll step in,” said Herbst. “We want to continue to be that community of positivity and uplifting conversation to help people move through their divorce.”
The task of moderation can also fall on group members. In the Worthy group, I’ve seen other members step and share when they think another member is being hyper-critical or judgmental. And that too adds to wealth of perspectives that are being shared on a topic.
Experts Are Helpful
In addition to moderators, Worthy has a team of experts covering a range of topics such as finances, and health and wellness. This is important especially when a member posts about self-harming.
“We want to be very thoughtful and help unhealthy people,” said Herbst. “We want to have to experts there to help guide them and share. I’ve also seen that the community rallies and offers very supportive advice which I think is phenomenal.”
Manage Your Time
With a group as active as Worthy Women and Divorce it’s easy to start scrolling through the posts, reading the comments and before you know it, you’ve spent 30 minutes, an hour, or longer on the site. That might be exactly what you need but you’ve got to be smart about this and do it on your own time. And while managing your own divorce can be all-consuming, for your own emotional health you want to make sure you’re participating in some activities where the talk isn’t all about divorce.
Worthy is dedicated to providing sellers and buyers with that ultimate win-win. Every day they bring together buyers and sellers with their luxury auction marketplace. Worthy is led by the very best in the luxury goods market and they work together to bring you the fairest market value for your valuable items while providing stellar service driven by transparency, integrity, privacy and convenience. If you’re curious about selling your wedding jewelry, do check out Worthy.
Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Worthy which means that if you make a purchase/use their service, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.