Well-meaning friends and family often don’t know what to say when someone they care about is going through a divorce. That’s how you end up hearing, “Well, it’s for the best,” “You’re better off without him (or her),” or “I know how you feel,” so many times during the course of your split-up.
No matter how similar circumstances may seem, nobody can understand precisely the way you feel; every relationship is based on its own dynamics, and your feelings are your own after a break-up. You are also dealing with a unique child custody arrangement and navigating new waters when it comes to spousal support. Often, it seems as if there’s only one person who will tell it like it is during your divorce: your Mississauga divorce lawyer.
What People Going Through Divorce Really Want to Hear
Everyone has different needs when it comes to feeling better about a divorce. You may be the type of person who would prefer brutal honesty to gentle, soothing responses. You might want someone to just nod and listen, or you may feel better if the person you’re talking to rails against your ex and tells you that they never liked him or her in the first place.
So how should you respond when your friends and family don’t really know what to say?
How to Respond Appropriately to Tired Divorce Clichés
Many people report feeling robbed of something when someone says, “I know how you feel” or uses another divorce cliché. Even though the person saying it means no harm, and in most cases is only trying to sympathize, the words might negate the unique feelings you are experiencing.
If someone says something that makes you uncomfortable, you don’t need to launch into a tirade about why they’re wrong; instead, psychologists suggest thanking them for their concern and moving past what they have said. Asking them to listen to you vent or to provide emotional support is also a good idea—in fact, many people will be relieved that you’re letting them know exactly how to help you.