Need advice or help in supporting a friend
My friend, M, is going through a divorce to his long term partner of over 10 years.
As all things are, this is a complicated situation and myself, my partner and my other close friends are trying to support him as best we can but we are struggling to find ways to help/support.
M is still very much in love with his ex, which we understand, but he acknowledges that the relationship was not a healthy one and that moving on was the right decision. He has admitted that for at least the last 3 years there had been no emotional or physical connection between one another.
With that all said, he is struggling with his emotions and how to deal with them. We have and will continue to encourage him to seek professional mental health support but he deflects and says things like "I tried it and it didn't work or I know what I have to do or it is too expensive"
He is very much of the mind set that men should not share their feelings, which myself and my friends group have slowly encouraged him to lower those walls over the last year but I feel he really needs some professional intervention. He is on anti-depressants (not sure those dose) and is also 'self-medicating' with alcohol on and off, which is a great concern.
Last night he admitted to self-harm in the form of punching and also head butting his (brick) wall, I do not know how long this has been going on for or if this is a new development. He is also saying things like "you should hate me" and then proceeds to tell us that he has made unwanted advances on his ex-wife while in their relationship and when he has been drunk in the past has groped one of our other female friends. We aren't really sure how to handle this and are at a bit of a loss where to go from here.
Myself, my partner and my friends talk to him as often as we can, we play video games with him whenever we are available and we also catch up in person, though less frequently.
If there is any additional info needed I'm happy to provide it, but at this stage any help or advice would be greatly appreciated,
I'm so sorry to hear that your friend M is going through such a difficult time. It can be hard to get friends to seek help. 😞 So it's understandable that you and your friends are struggling to find ways to support him, especially given his reluctance. Also, remember that M is going through a grieving process right now with the loss of his marriage, which can be a rollercoaster of emotions. The loss of a partner creates a hole within a person.
It's good that you and your friends have been encouraging him to open up and share his feelings. However, it sounds like he may need more support than you are equipped to provide given that self-harm and unwanted advances are serious red flags that should not be ignored.
You could offer to help him research affordable options or even offer to go with him to his appointments. Additionally, if you ever feel that M or others may be in danger, it's important to involve professionals or authorities.
Lastly, please continue to be there for M as much as possible. Even just having someone to talk to and confide in can make a big difference. I can see that you are doing a great job supporting him already, and I'm sure he appreciates it more than he can express right now.