There is a lot you can do for a friend facing divorce. Asking questions and giving advice are NOT required. They aren’t wanted at all. Even is she asks your opinion she doesn’t want the truth.
Things not to say (and when someone does I want to punch them in the throat) to a friend facing divorce:
Do you think he’s having an affair?
Well of course I think that! What are you stupid or do you think I am? Part of me hopes he is so that he’s not leaving for the plain ol’ reason that he just can’t stand me anymore! So really, whether he is or isn’t won’t make me feel any better. Go ask him for F–k sake!
Well surely you saw the signs.
Are you f-ing kidding me? Again you must think I’m pretty stupid. I have kids, job, messy house, pets among a million other things taking my attention elsewhere (yes that is part of the problem but just shut your damn mouth). But truly…this is one statement that really just says “gosh friend you must be really, really stupid”. So just don’t say it because you sound like a huge bitch when you do.
You need a girls night.
You think? But do you see these bags under my eyes from crying myself to sleep every night? I’m going to have to pay extra luggage fees for this babies. The last thing I want to do is go out and see other people. Especially happy people. Specifically happy couples. I will want to warn the girl of what’s to come.
OMG my friend went through a horrible divorce!
Oh that’s interesting. Please tell me every juicy detail so that I can add that to my pile of panic and shit to worry about. Because the fact that it’s more than I can bear right now is insignificant to the excitement you feel sharing your great story. SHUT UP!
What should you do?
Be there. Listen without opinion, judgement or blame. Go visit her with a bottle of wine and her fave candy. When she opens the door say nothing, just hug her. Tightly. Don’t let go until she does. Don’t wear your favorite top because it might get a lot of snot and tears on it. Just hold her. Because right now her body is aching for someone to squeeze it tight and not let go for a while.
Do you have one to add to the list? What stupid question or comment did you hear?