Responding to, “I’m getting divorced”

I’m going through a divorce. It is a process and not a fun process. It is stressful and costly. When I tell people I’m going through a divorce, inevitably the tell me a variation of: “I’m so sorry that you’re getting divorced.” This automatic response puzzles me. Don’t they understand that divorce isn’t the problem! Divorce is the solution to the problem! Lets see other automatic responses in some hypothetical situations. You’ve been unemployed for a while and you just got a new job: Response: “Congratulations!” You just got back from the dentist and got a cavity filled: Response: “Ouch! Are you okay?” You just had some surgery: Response: “Are you okay? Is there anything I can do to help?” A tree fell on your house and you’re getting your house repaired. Response: “Oh my god! Was anyone hurt? Do you need a place to stay?” Notice in all these instances, the focus is where it should be–on the person suffering the trauma. There isn’t judgment and there is generally a willingness to offer help. What People are Really Saying Of course, when people give their version of the automatic “I’m so sad” reply, they are sending several messages. Some of these might include: The “I didn’t really know you very well” message: “It is very sad that my vision of your happy marriage is over and now I’m forced to deal with the reality that your marriage was bad enough that you wanted to get out of it.” The… Read moreResponding to, “I’m getting divorced”