I won't go into the dirty details, but trust me when I say that my divorce was the saddest and most painful thing that's ever happened to me. What made it worse? The really dumb things that people would say when I told them my husband and I were no longer together. I'd like to think that their hearts were in the right place, but it's difficult to know for sure when their mouths were spewing such insensitive nonsense.
Check out the 10 things you should never, ever say to a divorcee.
1. “Didn’t you see this coming from the beginning?” Busted! I glimpsed into the future and saw disaster and ruination but planned an entire life with him anyway because I enjoy a good crushing life-blow. Next time around, a little heads-up?
2. “I always hated [insert scorned spouse’s name here].” Do you mean you always hated the man who I thought I would love forever and said so in front of everyone I knew on the best day of my life? Gee, thanks. (If you chose to procreate with scorned spouse, this statement is 168 times more offensive.)
3. “OMG. Do you think I’ll get divorced, too?” The good news for you is that divorce is not contagious. The bad news is you may get divorced for being so damn insensitive and self-centered.
4. “How do you find the strength to get out of bed in the morning?” It’s divorce -- not the zombie apocalypse!
5. “My husband and I had problems -- but we decided to try harder and work it out.” Don’t assume that just because my name is Kim, I Kardashianed my way out of my marriage. Sometimes the best intentions, dogged determination, and all the counseling in the world just isn’t enough to fix what’s broke. That’s a scary thing to accept -- which I suppose is why many people haven’t.
6. "My husband and I have problems – just the other day we got in a big fight about whose turn it was to unload the dishwasher!” Can I please join you in your alternate reality?
7. “What a bummer! … Hey, do you want to come to my heart-themed couples-only baby shower?” Not unless the baby shower has a game that involves watching a divorced woman drink herself into a coma.
8. “When are you going to start dating again?” Immediately. Once those men see this tear-streaked basket case, I'm sure I'll be married again in no time.
9. “Oh no! Does this mean you can only date divorced men now? Ick!” Yes. And we’ll live in a divorced house and drive a divorced car and have a divorced dog and divorced children because we're only one step up from ax murderers and that's all we defective people deserve. (For the record, all the divorced men I’ve met are lovely.)
10. But the worst thing to say to a divorcee is … nothing at all. Call me dramatic, but many people will tell you that dealing with divorce is just as painful, stressful, and life-altering as dealing with a death of a loved one. If a friend had a close family member or friend pass away, would you avoid the topic and pretend everything was business as usual? No, you would say things like, “I’m here for you. You’ll get through this. I care about you.” Guess what? Same thing goes for divorce. Just because it’s awkward doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.
Image via Cocteau Boy/Flickr