An essential principle in the Welfare Program is that people need first to reach personal material and emotional autonomy, THEN extend help to others to reach the same type of autonomy. Your priority is your own mental and emotional well-being and your peace of mind as well as that of your husband. Considering what you have been through in your own marriage, the priority for you is to protect it and not to allow other people's problems contaminate it. There are professionally-trained Counselors to help out...
May I lend a thought. When I needed a friend to listen, it was like was described in this article: it was for the long haul. We men don't trust others easily, and this was a friend I hoped I could trust. The friend I was trusting was upfront with me: he told me he couldn't carry the load of what I needed to talk about, but he said that when I needed to cry or just needed a hug, he was my man. True to his word, he hugged and gave me a strong shoulder to lean on and cry on. Then I found myself able to face counceling. Thank God for those kinds of friends.
I can relate to your situation. I have been involved with an LDS spouse support group for 4 years, both as someone seeking help for my family's problems and as a facilitator to provide support for others. Even being in a good place in my marriage now, I still get emotionally triggered, but having my own support has been a blessing that allows me to serve without being overcome.
As beneficial as your friendship is to your friends, you didn't mention whether or not you or they have additional support through this difficult time. There are so many wonderful tools available now, such as a free 12-step support guide from healingthroughchrist.org and the lds family support guide, as well as live and phone support meetings that can help both you and your friends distribute the emotional burden so it is easier to bear. I have seen many women find hope and healing just by being part of a group that understands their pain. In many cases, they simply want to listen for the first several weeks, instead of talking about their pain. In the process, the spirit starts to give hope and they can draw on the combined support and experiences of many amazing women. The dynamic is different than a one-on-one conversation.
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