by Carley Moore
Listen, just because the divorce papers have been filed does not give you carte blanche to spew bad advice/inappropriate "condolences"/unwanted sympathy. Before you're tempted to do so, brush up on what NOT to say to someone getting a divorce.
1. But what about (insert name of child, children, pet, or pets)? For example, What about little Asher? Have you thought about what this will do to him?
Wow, I never even thought about our kid. Good thing you asked or I might have made this gut-wrenching, house-ruining decision without even considering him.
Related: What about Mr. Quimby?
I know, it's so hard on a cat, but we decided to put our own happiness before an animal's. It's selfish, but that's the kind of people we are.
2. Who will take care of you now?
Um, I guess just me, as was always the case.
3. You are so brave (said while staring out the window at the sunset and sipping a glass of rosé).
Thanks, er, I guess. That's usually what you say to firefighters, soldiers, and people who you think are idiots, but yes, I'm stupid, I mean brave.
4. I'm sorry for your loss.
Did somebody die? Oh wait, you mean the marriage. Yeah, that's been dead for a while.
5. Have you tried couples' therapy?
Such a good idea! Why didn't we think of that? Oh, right, we did that for two excruciating, savings-account-destroying years.
6. What about having another kid?
Because nothing makes an already rocky marriage more stable than the unrelenting chaos and generalized shit-storm brought on by the presence of a newborn baby.
7. But you guys have one of the good marriages! Who will be my role model now?
You're so right. We didn't even consider the effect our divorce would have on you. It is indeed a great tragedy (perhaps outweighing the end of our union itself) that we can no longer hold up your ideal of what constitutes a happy and healthy relationship.
8. Is he/she having an affair?
Why yes, she is, and I'd love to tell you all about it right here on the street in front of the food coop while everyone is listening.
9. I never liked him/her.
Wait, really? Do you think you might have said something about this sooner? Like maybe when you were my maid of honor or when we went on all those couples' vacations together?
10. Do you think we need a divorce?
Yes, my divorce should throw all marriages into question and rock the foundations of even the most stable and healthy relationships. And yes, my pain, loss, and new-found freedom from the tired roles I used to play are all about you.