Have you recently found yourself at a loss for words when faced with the news that a friend or relative is getting a divorce?
You aren’t alone. Despite the fact that divorce is very common, it’s still difficult to know what to say when you hear the news from someone you know.
Well, there are right things and wrong things to say. We’re going to guide you to the right things to say in order to be as supportive as possible under the circumstances:
“What made you decide it was time?”
No matter what your personal feelings are about the situation, you want to avoid saying anything that will sound judgmental. Your friend or relative may already be having a hard enough time dealing with the negative emotions surrounding his or her decision. This is a neutral statement that gives the other person room to talk about their feelings.
“I understand why you’re so hurt.”
When your friend or relative is ranting about their soon-to-be ex, it can be very tempting to join in — especially if you never particularly cared for the soon-to-be ex-spouse. However, you need to remember that sometimes divorcing couples mend their relationship after all — and you don’t want to be remembered a lot of spiteful sentiments.
“What can I do to help you out?”
You don’t have to fix things for your friend or relative who is getting a divorce — and you can’t. You also don’t want to assume that you know what it will take to make them feel better. Instead, offer your friend your services in a general way and make some suggestions that seem obvious or timely (like, “Do you need help moving?”).
There are a hundred difficult things about a divorce — so just do your best to be a friend, and it will all be fine. Your support will be remembered long after the struggle of the time is forgotten.