When one of your friends is going through a divorce, you need to step up and offer support, but avoid asking questions or making statements that just make things worse.
Discover the worst things to say to a divorced friend. If you want to be sensitive about this big issue, you’ll avoid these mistakes and implications. Find out how to offer your support without being insulting or saying something that can make your friend feel even worse.
1. I Always Hated Him/Her
It doesn’t matter if you never liked your friend’s spouse. They did and they shared important moments together. You’re not really being supportive when you diss the ex, you’re just making things worse. This isn’t the time to dig up info about why they were never really compatible in your opinion. Be there for your friend without adding negativity.
2. I Saw It Coming
Even if you think you saw big red flags, this can be one of the worst things to say to a divorced friend. You don’t really know what went on, even if your friend confided in you occasionally about trouble in the marriage. It’s just the wrong thing to say, and you’ll make your friend feel even worse about the whole thing.
3. I’m Sorry
It’s the most normal reaction to hearing about trouble in your friend’s life, but “I’m sorry” isn’t always the right thing to say when you learn they’re getting a divorce. Maybe they’re relieved that the marriage is over, and you’re forcing them to give you more details. Instead of sorry, ask your friend how she or he feels about the whole thing before trying to offer comforting words.
4. What About the Kids?
Definitely one of the worst things to say to a divorced friend, asking about the kids is can come across as both insensitive and offensive. They’re thought about the kids more than you could imagine, and this is probably the right decision for everyone involved. Multiple studies have shown that kids are much happier with happy divorced parents than with miserable married ones.
See also: 10 Dating Mistakes After Divorce
5. That’s So Brave
Another inappropriate thing to say, complimenting someone who’s divorcing on their bravery is insulting in more than one way. Even if it doesn’t have the connotation of “you’re old” it will definitely register as “you really think you can find someone else, huh?”. Whether it was a brave decision, that puts your friend in a bad financial situation, or not, keep this to yourself.
6. We’re Gonna Have So Much Fun
Divorce can be a very traumatic experience even when both spouses agree that it’s the best thing for everyone involved. The last thing on your friend’s mind is probably going out and having fun, and that’s why this is one of the worst things to say to a divorced friend. Don’t get too excited because you have a new single friend, let him or her come to you.
7. Let Me Set You Up
Your friend might be need quite a long time to bounce back and get ready to date again. Pushing them to go out with your other single friends can be inappropriate right after the divorce. Even if they’re really compatible, don’t push it.
8. Did You Try to Work It Out?
This is one of the worst things to say to a divorced friend because it implies that your friend wasn’t up to all the hard work that sustains a marriage in the long run. You might have the best intentions, but this is something you should say. Ask your friend how they’re feeling and let them open up.
9. All the Good Ones Are Taken
The best way to support your friend who’s going though a divorce is to offer hope. Even if you only mean well, skip the disparaging comments that make your friend feel even worse about the chances of finding love again. It’s hard to find love at any age, so there’s no need to get into that.
10. Saying Nothing
Even if you avoid the worst things to say to a divorced friend, you can still make a big mistake by quickly changing the subject and not acknowledging the situation. You can’t always tell if your friend needs a good talk about it, so don’t try to change the subject quickly and just pretend that everything is fine. Things can get awkward, but it’s important to mention that your friend can count on you.