The end of a marriage is a difficult and tumultuous time, for everyone involved. It isn't always sad; when a bad marriage ends there can be a lot of relief and hope for the future. But even in the best scenarios, there are major changes and adjustments that happen when a marriage ends. And if you don't know the whole story behind your friend getting divorced, saying the wrong thing can be incredibly hurtful and unsupportive. When my marriage fell apart, lots of friends were there to carry me through the fire. And while the majority of them were amazing, there were a few who said things I didn't need/want to hear. If you have a friend getting divorced, try to avoid saying these 10 things; it's not that you're trying to be unhelpful, but when someone is in an emotionally fragile state, it can come off that way.
The image I put forth in public and on social media was starkly different than what was going on behind closed doors. We all fall victim to keeping up with the Joneses, especially when it comes to our spouses. People may seem happy, but happy marriages don't end.
Listen, we get it. You knew this would happen, and then it did, and the smugness is hard to resist. And while there may be a time and place for petty, during the actual divorce isn't it.
Again, the man or woman YOU knew isn't always the man or person THEY knew. People were shocked when I announced the end of my marriage, because my ex seemed so nice and so great! The truth was, he wasn't, and even if all I find is more cats and Netflix, it'll be better than what I had before.
We wonder this, too! All the time. It's incredibly stressful to face losing your security. But then we realize we can take care of our damn selves. Don't remind your friend that their security is gone; remind them that they don't need it.
"Moving on" is easier said than done. You wouldn't tell a friend who lost a child or family member that it was time to move on. The end of a marriage brings a period of loss and mourning, and how quickly or slowly a person comes out the other side of that is entirely up to them.
I would venture a guess that the majority of people leaving a bad marriage stayed for much longer than they would've liked, for the sake of their kids. It's not a decision we made lightly, and your friend is most likely dealing with massive amounts of guilt every day of their life. But staying in a bad marriage or having an unhappy parent is far more detrimental to kids than the end of their parents' marriage.
The last thing your friend getting divorced needs is a visit from Captain Obvious. No, marriage isn't easy. It's also not permanent or guaranteed to last. And honestly, when it's "right", it shouldn't be that hard.
Trust that your friend did everything in their power to save their marriage. Again, for the majority of people, this isn't a decision we made lightly. Sometimes the last option is the best option.
One day, down the road, this sentiment will be SUPER helpful. But in the beginning, not so much. Write it on a bottle of wine to bring over to celebrate a huge milestone once your friend is back on their feet.
When someone gets sick, friends bring food and medicine. If someone dies, friends bring tissues and booze (and more food). But when someone gets divorced, people tend to scatter like rats. Your friend needs support, in a million different ways. And it's fine if you don't know what to say! But you can just be there. When they need food or booze or company or help packing, whenever. Maybe they just need someone sitting in the empty spot on the couch for a few hours on a particularly rough night. Or a trusted friend to keep an eye on their kids while they sit in the shower or drive around and cry. Your presence means more to your friend than anything else, trust me.
(Image: Pixabay / Takmeomeo)