11 Things Divorced People Want To Say To Their Married Friends

divorced people

By Jackie Pilossoph, Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling, Love Essentially columnist and author

Before I got divorced (13 years ago), I had no idea what I would experience, and what life after divorce would look like. So, that being said, every divorced person should remember that all of our married friends have no clue about what it’s like going through a divorce or being divorced.

Let’s help them out!

Here are 11 things divorced people want to say to their married friends and family.

1. Don’t judge us.

It’s so easy for people to judge divorced people when they don’t have all the facts. Every divorce is beyond complicated, with countless factors that the couple must consider when making decisions. When I was first getting divorced, a woman in my community said to a friend of mine (who told me, of course), “Why would she ever divorce that guy? He’s such a great guy and a good dad!”

While I agree wholeheartedly with the woman about my ex-husband, we had our reasons. This judgmental woman was not living in our house and had no clue what our issues were. So, butt out! Also, people say things like, “I can’t believe she’s not going for sole custody!” or “How could she stay with him when he cheats all the time and she knows it?”

I can answer these questions to these judgmental people: Men and women take ALL the factors into account when making decisions. We don’t take it lightly, so if you don’t have all the facts (which you don’t) we don’t want your opinion.


Katz and Stefani Family Law Attorneys


2. Do you really think we wanted to be divorced?

I recently had a heart to heart talk with an old friend about my divorce. I hadn’t seen her in many years and she never really knew why I got divorced. Until a few weeks ago, I think she was judging me. When we really talked, and I gave her the story, I think she understood. It’s easy to think someone jumped ship too easily, but honestly, when people get married, they do not want to be divorced, so whatever the reason is, (whether you know specifics or not), you should believe it was a pretty good one.

3. Don’t pity us.

No divorced person wants others to give them that look. Let me tell you about “that look.” It’s when you are first separated and everyone is finding out, and you run into someone and they give you this look like you just found out you are terminally ill. And then they say, “How are you?” with a sad smile. What you want to say is, “Well, things suck right now, but I’m on my way to a much better place! So, really, I’m excited for a wonderful future! How are YOU doing??”

4. Set us up!

I know your divorced friends love lives are not in the forefront of your mind every minute, but if you meet anyone single, set us up! Divorced people can lack self-confidence, so if you set someone up, that shows them that they are still attractive and wanted, and have the chance for love again. Also, divorced people can be lonely. So, even if you set someone up and the two people end up becoming friends, you’ve done something great!




5. Please don’t call us pretending to be concerned when all you really want is the scoop.

When I was first getting divorced, I will never forget, I got two calls the same day. The first one was an old friend, who said, “OMG, I heard so and so moved out. What happened??” After that phone call, she never called me again, and I have never spoken to her since. The other call I got was from an old friend who left a message that said, “I’m just calling to make sure you are Okay. You don’t have to tell me anything or go into details, I just want to let you know I’m thinking about you and if you want to talk or get together, I’m here for you.” BIG difference. Love this girl!

6. Invite us out.

When I got divorced, many couples stopped inviting me out for dinner with them. I guess it was just too uncomfortable. I know it probably wasn’t personal, but it really hurt. A lot.

7. Don’t ask us about our divorce every time we get together.

There is a woman in my community who STILL asks me how things are with my divorce. It’s been 13 years! I am almost to the point where I cringe when I see her, even though she isn’t a bad person, just because I don’t want to talk about my divorce any more!! Now, I will say, when someone is getting divorced, many times, that’s all they want to talk about. But if they don’t bring it up, you shouldn’t either.

8. Don’t tell us about what our ex’s are up to.

“I saw your ex out on a date the other night. The girl was really pretty.” Someone actually said that to me in month 2 of my separation. Seriously? Why the fuck would I want to know that?

9. Don’t feel like you have to badmouth my ex.

Divorced people are funny this way. We can get offended if someone badmouths our ex, but if WE want to badmouth him or her, then we want the person to fully agree and chime in. It’s a hard time. Just appease us.

10. Don’t tell us when we should start dating.

“I’m sure you must want to be by yourself for awhile and not rush into dating.” That came from a married person, which makes sense because anyone who is even remotely happily married cannot understand that by the time you decide to get divorced, you have been so unhappy and lonely for so long, that you might want to date the minute the two of you decide to get divorced. So, the only person who can decide when they are ready to date, is the one going through it.


Divorce And Your House: 3 Real Estate Tips


11. Remember that there is only one of us and there are two of you.

This is particularly applicable to carpooling. I have been in carpools with parents who were all about being even-Steven. What that means is, the divorced mom has to drive one way and then one of the two married people can share the other way. To me that seems unfair. I have also been in carpools with people who were so over the top trying to help me out, that it made me cry (in a good way.)

In closing, I don’t want to slam any married people because for the most part, I remember how much most of them tried to help, in their own way. But honestly, I think they are clueless when it comes to many aspects of divorce.

So, my advice is, if a married person pisses you off in any way, by something he or she says or does, just be honest with them and explain in a nice way how you feel. Remember that they aren’t in your shoes so nothing was meant to hurt you.

Lastly, in the midst of a divorce, it’s so easy to talk about your own life and forget that your married friends have problems they want to talk about, too. Ask how they are, listen to them and don’t minimize their problems. Divorce or no divorce, you will find that most of them will still be the same friend you’ve always had.

Like this blog post? Check out, “Loneliness: It Might Be The Worst Pain Someone Can Feel”



Buy novels by Jackie Pilossoph



Featured Expert Articles

Jackie Pilossoph Jackie Pilossoph
Creator, Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling
20 Things I Wish I Could Have Told My Newly Separated Self

20 Things I Wish I Could Have Told My Newly Separated Self

Elaine Koby Mossr Elaine Koby Moss
Vice-president and Senior Advisor, Vestor Capital
Want Financial Security After Divorce? Here’s Your Checklist

Want Financial Security After Divorce? Here’s Your Checklist

Dan Stefani Dan Stefani
Divorce Attorney, Principal, Katz & Stefani
Thinking About Divorce? Here Is Your Legal Consultation

Thinking About Divorce? Here Is Your Legal Consultation

Jeremy Woods Jeremy Woods
Senior Residential Mortgage Banker, CIBC
Your Mortgage And Divorce: 4 Reasons To Refinance ASAP

Your Mortgage And Divorce: 4 Reasons To Refinance ASAP

Leslie Glazier Leslie Glazier
Real Estate Agent, @properties, Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist
Do I Have To Sell My House In a Divorce? Here’s What You Need To Know

Do I Have To Sell My House In a Divorce? Here’s What You Need To Know

Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorce is a journey. Live it with grace, courage and gratitude. Peace and joy are on the way! Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

5 Responses to “11 Things Divorced People Want To Say To Their Married Friends”

  1. Sara Woodard

    I LOVE this list. I lol’ed at #9. I also got people who told me “I never did like him.” Oh, right, that makes me feel a lot better. And #10 is spot on. A friend was going through a divorce the same time I was and a co-worker told her she should start dating even before they separated. Too much pressure. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Jeff Cone

    I’ve been going through a separation for 5 years. Only recently, turning the corner towards divorce. Your web-site (I’m a guy) has kept me laughing,opened my eyes, and helped me understand the so,so many complicated feelings and issues surrounding “the things” we are going through. From of course a womens perspetive. Which,is kinda’ eye opening and an excellent, enlightening perspective. You and your web- site Rock. Thanks

  3. Tim McClain

    Wow! Thank you for writing all of this. it is so spot on. Since becoming divorced, I have a greater affinity for divorced people because they understand what it is like and “get me” because they’ve been there. Relationships really change after a divorce and it can be baffling. Some friends who I thought would be more understandable didn’t stick around while others who I thought might be more judgmental stayed and even said some nice things and were supportive. Go figure. Humans are just weird. I’m not advocating divorce or saying it is great at all. Please try to stay married. But I think married people should look around and see just how common it is and not be so shocked when it happens. We’re ALL human. It really can happen to the best of us. Thanks again, Jackie.

    • Jackie Pilossoph

      You are so welcome. You are right! People are just weird. LOL. I can’t believe I’m in my 50s and people can still surprise me. –in both good and bad ways. Hang in there. Some of your divorced friends will end up being your best friends for life.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *