What Not to Say to Someone Going Through a Divorce

It's no secret that I'm currently going through a divorce. I've blogged about this topic before, and I'll continue to do so, as it's a big part of my life now. In going through this, I've been on the receiving end of some pretty sound advice. But along with that advice comes the words that might have good intentions behind them, but they're just 100% unnecessary and downright mean to say. So, I give you....

divorce emotions separation marriage

You're going to find someone better
While this is hopefully true, it's completely out of place to say. Going through a divorce is completely different and much more painful than a typical breakup. I chose forever with this person. I made the biggest commitment of my entire life and did all that I could to make this person happy. I loved this person to the depths of my core and saw my forever with him. Thank you for pointing out that he apparently wasn't 'good enough' for me. Like I didn't know that, seeing as I'm being divorced. And thanks for pointing out that obviously my choice in a husband wasn't good enough and that I should find someone better. It's just not helpful. 

You're better off without him.
See above. I chose to be with him, and it failed. Miserably. Thanks again for pointing that out. It's also a very dismissive statement. So, when I'm feeling hurt and emotional about everything, you're dismissing those feelings, which is even more hurtful. 

It just wasn't meant to be. 
Umm, just no. Does this really need further explanation?! It's rude. 

Just be thankful y'all didn't have kids!
While I have thanked God time and time again for this, it hurts hearing it from other people. It reminds me that I used to picture having kids with him -- a family. I pictured him as a father to our children, and the loss of that future hurts. And although we won't be 'stuck' with each other forever, it doesn't make getting divorced any easier or less painful than those who go through a divorce and have kids. It's just different circumstances. 

What did you do for him to leave you? 
Even if I had done something for my husband to leave me, it's certainly something very painful and raw, and you can 99.9% guarantee that it's none of your business. But, if I hadn't done anything (which I didn't), then you're blaming me and making me feel 100 times worse about the entire situation. Please, just don't go there.

Are you sad?
You'd be surprised how many times I've been asked this question, and by quite intelligent individuals at that! Of course I'm sad. My marriage has fallen apart and it's over. It's past the point of no return - there's no 'working on things' or fixing it. It's over, and it's sad. No matter how good things may turn out or what the future holds for me, going through it, it's sad.

And my personal favorite at this point in the process for me... *rolls eyes*

You're over him already? Did you even love him? 
Seriously? You've got to be kidding me (this is my immediate reaction when these questions come up). Yes, I'm over him already. Should I dwell on the loss forever and never move on? It's been months! Why would I allow him that much power over my life by not moving on? And YES, of course I loved him! I married the man and did everything in my power to strive for a strong, happy, healthy marriage. These questions make me feel guilty for trying to pick up the pieces of my broken heart and move on, which I actually feel I'm doing quite well. But thanks for the guilt and making me question my entire being and worth...again.


There are many more statements that were more hurtful and rude (in my opinion) at the beginning of the divorce process that I've found to be actually helpful to me now, so I didn't include those. Also, as a disclaimer, this information is only from my experience. Everyone that's been divorced has found different things to be helpful, and these are just particular remarks and questions that weren't to me -- at all. Also, different things are more helpful/hurtful at different stages in the divorce process, so it's important to be somewhat aware of where the particular person is. It all comes down to "it just depends". I know, helpful right? :)


4 comments

Haley said...

I may have said that it wasn't meant to be. I know that when my boyfriend broke up with me- the only thing that got me out of bed that first day, was my Grannie. She came in my room and said, "If it's meant to be, it will be." It lifted me because I thought.. Yeah! If we're meant to be together, then it will happen and if not, I'll be stronger for it. I may have given you THAT advise but I hope it didn't offend you.

SuperLux said...

Hi, Brianna. I just stumbled upon your blog and I love the way you write. Very honest, the emotions are so raw I can feel what you're going through (though I've never been married yet).

Though we don't have divorce here in our country and most of my friends are still single, I think these wise advice are also applicable to those who are separated or is going through a strain in their relationships.

We really need to be more sensitive to other people's feelings.

Thanks!

Samantha Curtis said...

I'm so sorry you're going through that and then have to deal with ignorant comments. People are probably trying to help but saying all the wrong things in the process, making it the opposite effect. Keep your head up pretty; I commend you for your real ness! Here if you need an ear ;) xo

Allison @ Texas Mrs. said...

So glad you wrote something like this. And hopefully it helps people to be more sensitive. Some people just belt things out, without even thinking... but they can be really hurtful comments!!! You are one heck of a strong lady, my sweet friend

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