Eight Things You Should Never Say to Someone Who's Getting Divorced
Chances are you know someone who's divorced, in the middle of a divorce, or might GET a divorce. If so, chances are you don't know what to say to them about it. Here's a list of eight things from Yahoo you SHOULDN'T say to someone getting divorced.
1. I'm Sorry. It's almost a reflex. But you never know how a person feels about their divorce. They might be really happy which would make you sound stupid. Or they might be angry or bitter, in which case they won't want your pity.
2. Why? Especially if the divorce is a surprise, you'll REALLY want to know what happened. But asking why can come off as insensitive, like you're implying that the person did something wrong to cause the situation.
Instead, stick to open-ended questions like, "Do you want to talk about it?" You won't make anyone feel guilty, and you might even get a better explanation that way.
3. I Saw It Coming. You might say this and THINK you're sympathizing. But your friend will only be thinking about how much you DON'T know about the situation. And it'll sound like you're rubbing it in that their marriage just failed.
4. I Don't Know Why You Two Were Together Anyway. They might be divorced now, but once they were in love. And they won't like hearing that people were looking on from the outside and thinking that their relationship was totally wrong.
5. You Gave Them the Best Years of Your Life. Obviously, this would mean it's all downhill from now on. And part of healing after a divorce is finding a way to believe that the best years are all still ahead.
6. But They Were So Nice! Obviously this is a terrible idea, since they got divorced because something was really wrong. If the other person really WAS that nice, then you're basically saying that the divorce is all your friend's fault.
7. You'll Find Someone New. That's the LAST thing anyone wants to think about when they're going through a divorce, or getting over one. If it was a bad relationship, the thought of starting another one might sound like a complete nightmare.
8. Couldn't You Just Put Up With It? Either for the kids' sake, or because of the money, or something else. But divorce is always the last resort obviously if a divorce happens, both people have already TRIED to put up with it.
So a question like that makes someone feel like they're being selfish, and their feelings don't matter like the suffering they went through in a bad relationship was no big deal.
In the end, it's not surprising that we usually don't know what to say when someone gets divorced. There aren't a whole lot of good things you CAN say. Most of the time, the best thing you can do is probably just to shut up and listen.