Opinions are like belly buttons -- everyone has one. Especially when they are trying to “help” someone that they feel is making a very bad decision. You know, like getting divorced.
In the five months since I left my husband, I’ve received more than a few pieces of advice on how to save my marriage. Most of it is well intentioned, I’m sure, and since I’m not really getting into the dirty details of what went on behind closed doors, I don’t blame people for hoping that reconciliation is possible.
That being said, some people are really pushy when it comes to the “magic formula” for fixing any marriage. Something I didn’t understand before this process is that by the time someone up and files for divorce and moves out, the marriage is usually DOA.
If you find yourself being bombarded with unwanted relationship advice when you’re trying to move on from a very broken marriage, here are some responses you might use to get people to mind their own business. And if you’re one of those happily married people, good for you. All you need to say is, “I’m so sorry to hear ... here’s a gift card to Chipotle.”
- Just stay married -- it will get better. Tell you what. You marry him, live with him for 11 years, bear two of his children, then get back to me about how long a person is supposed to wait for “things to get better.” What’s the definition of insanity again? Oh yeah, doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result.
- You guys need a date night. Right. Because if you don’t enjoy spending time with each other at home, everything will change once move into a public setting and pay for the privilege. Especially when your hubby is a self-proclaimed agoraphobic. Dates aren’t a recipe for stress at all! Or something.
- As a woman, you can’t expect that he’ll ever appreciate you enough. I’m sorry, but did you just insinuate that the demise of my marriage was my fault because I have impossible expectations about gratitude? That must be why I chose to become a mother.
- Don’t you want to honor your commitment? Sometimes the marriage contract is broken before someone files for divorce.
- You need to stay together for the kids. Actually the children are very well settled. They are happier, healthier, getting better grades, and generally loving the routine that can’t exist in a home filled with chaos and tension.
- Have you seen Fireproof? Yes. I loved that the fictional characters were able to work it out in the end.
- I have the perfect book/conference/counselor that can help you guys! Really? Is it on how to transition from marriage into an amicable co-parenting relationship? Because this is all new to me, and that advice might be helpful.
If all else fails, just stare blankly at Melly Meddlesome and say, “I can’t believe you really just said that.” Remember, this is your business and no one else’s, and no one has to live your life but you.
What's the worst advice for couples going through a divorce you've heard?
Image via Courtney Carmody/Flickr