8 Things To Never Say To Someone Who’s Divorced
It's been two years since my husband of 15 years packed up his stuff and left this house and a year and a half since I got the papers in the mail saying all those hopes and dreams were over and I officially became a single person. Here are 8 things you probably shouldn't say if you encounter someone who is newly divorced.
Truth be told, unless someone is abusive, there are almost always two sides to the story and a laundry list of what lead to the demise of the relationship. Even when cheating is involved (and you may hate me for saying this, there is usually something more, some neglect on the other parties part, or some other underlying issue.) Cheating is usually a symptom of a much bigger problem, in my humble opinion. Bottom line, it does no good to play the blame game, especially in public.
Do you think I ever imagined in a million years that I would be raising my kids apart from their Dad? Nope, never. I don't think anyone gets married anticipating that they will get divorced. No one wants that back and forth life for their kids, but divorce happens for a million valid reasons and the best thing you can do in the end is be there for those children despite less than ideal circumstances. I would rather my kids live in a "broken" home with a Mother who is present than the one who was a ghost in the midst of an unhappy marriage.
I can honestly say that getting divorced was one of the least selfish things I have ever done in my life. The biggest factor that made me move forward with my divorce was that I wanted him to be happy and I knew that after exhausting everything I could no longer make him happy. I divorced my husband out of pure love, not hate.
Ask anyone who really truly knows me and they will tell you that I love hard. Loyalty is one of the qualities that I hold dearest and I'm absolutely one to keep a promise. When I make a commitment I am in 100%, so how could I go through a divorce? Over the years the feelings my husband and I had for each other romantically changed, my loyalty to him and to my family never has. Through birthday parties, weddings, the birth of our grandchildren these someday, he is stuck with me for life. There are many aspects of our vows that I still honor. We come together for our family for better or worse, for richer or poor, in sickness and in health. We just don't have a romantic relationship. I take our family very seriously.
Dating after a divorce, especially after a long-term marriage is tricky and difficult at best. All of a sudden you are thrown into a world that most of us hoped to leave behind in our teenage years. I don't want questions about online dating, or when was the last time I went on a date? When I find someone worth sharing with the world, I'll let you know, otherwise don't push me or constantly question me about my romantic life. I'm ok by myself.
I've been down this road and there is nothing wrong with setting up your single friend. In fact, I'd rather go down this road than do the whole online dating thing, but don't push this on a new divorcee too soon. It's in the person's best interest to fully grieve the divorce. Let him or her know when they are ready to start dating.
I have a therapist and years ago my then husband and I went to marital counseling, but I'll be the first to say it didn't work for us. We always walked away more angry at each other after hashing out our problems in front of a stranger. Counseling can work miracles for some couples but it's not for everyone and you have to respect that counseling is not always the answer to a happy ending. Plus, it's really not your business anyway.
Divorce puts a huge financial strain on people in most cases. You may want to make sure your divorcing friend is financially ok, but leave that to discussions between the former couple unless they reach out to you. Also, never make the person going through the divorce feel bad about suddenly being in a tougher financial situation or suggest that you would have stayed because it's so much easier financially. Deciding to divorce is so much more complicated than dollars and cents and in my opinion, you shouldn't stay in a loveless relationship just because it's easier financially.