Divorce can be both devastating and freeing at the same time, depend on who you ask. For some, it’s a new chance to live a better life, a new chapter. For others, it can feel like the end of the world, especially for the one that didn’t want it in the first place. However, I think most people can agree that divorce is indeed an excruciatingly painful time, whether you wanted or not.
Therefore, if a friend or an acquaintance just went through a divorce you need to choose your words very wisely because they’re going through a very sensitive time. Also, you need to understand that even the most inoffensive questions and well-meaning comments can be very hurtful for newly divorced people.
However, according to relationship experts, the worst thing you could ever say to a newly divorced is something like: “I never liked them for you anyway.”
I’m sure that you’ve meant it in the nicest way possible, but chances are the other person won’t take it as a compliment, but they will rather find it insulting and hurtful for many reasons.
According to relationships and dating coach Connell Barrett, founder of Dating Transformation, “This sounds like you’re taking their side, but it’s an inadvertent insult, indicting their judgment in choosing a partner.”
Additionally, dating and relationships coach Carla Romo, this statement might feel a fragile individual going through a vulnerable phase even worse. She added that remarks like “I’ve never liked them anyway” or “You can find someone better” can make them question their own instincts. Moreover, it’s very hurtful, Romo adds.
However, there are many things you should try not to say around newly divorced people unless you’d want to do more harm than good. Read on to find the top 4 worst things you could possibly say to someone who just got divorced!
Additionally, make sure to also check the 12 Common Reasons Why People Get a Divorce.
“What happened” or “Why did you get a divorce?”
This might sound like an innocent, inoffensive question but in fact, it is an inappropriate question to ask, because it makes people believe you’re interested more in finding the scandalous details, rather than offering your genuine empathy.
According to Barrett, this question often translates as a sign of curiosity, rather than the desire to help them go through this hard time. “You don’t want to make them rehash the blow-by-blow of the breakup. They’ve likely been doing that already,” he added.
“You’re so going to like my new colleagues. You should go on a date with him.”
I get that people want to help and they have your best interest at heart, but not everyone can fully understand how devastating a divorce can be. For newly divorced people dating is probably the last thing on their mind, especially if the divorce was ugly and children are involved.
Of course, there are newly divorced individuals that are ready to date as soon as the divorce papers are finished, and that’s ok. Good for them. However, there are also those people that can’t even imagine dating other people, so it will take some time for them to adjust to the new situation.
According to Barrett, “There will be a time for you to play matchmaker, but wait until the ink dries on the divorce papers.” “If they’ve just divorced, this is the right idea but the wrong time to suggest it,” he added.
If you like this topic, you can also check Top 5 Worst Things You Could Possibly Say to Your Ex.
“It’s better for you that it’s all in the past now.”
Even though you know getting a divorce war the right choice for both you and your spouse, it still hurts like hell. And it’s not like you can instantly erase all the good and the bad memories from your head. Nor you want to.
After all, you’ve probably loved this person very much and shared years and years by their side, you probably have kids together, a house, and plenty of joy along the way. So forgetting them is not that easy and it surely doesn’t come overnight.
According to Romo, getting a divorce is probably one of the hardest moments in a person’s life, because you promised to live your whole life with this individual, and now they’re slowly becoming a stranger and your dreams have shattered. While you might want to move on, it’s definitely not that easy and it takes a lot of time and grief.
If you want to read more about the experience of 5 divorcées that reveal the signs that made them realize their marriage wasn’t going to work anymore, make sure to also check: 5 Divorcées Share What Made Them Realize That Their Marriage Was Over.
“Take all the time you need to stay at home and heal.”
As I’ve previously mentioned, getting a divorce can be very painful, and newly divorced people need some time to adjust to the situation and heal. However, when those grieving phases last too long, it isn’t very healthy and your friend might go through depression.
If you want to support your newly divorced friend, you can encourage them to participate in meaningful interactions. You can start by visiting them frequently, offering to bring a home-cooked meal, and making sure they’re doing ok. Or, you could be a good friend and listen to them, even when they tell you the same story over and over again.
According to Barrett, “We all need human connection to be happy and fulfilled, and losing the love of your life is a big loss of connection.” Therefore, it’s understandable that a divorced person will want to replace the connection they’ve lost, so they will really need you to be there for them.