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The Worst Words of Comfort You Can Give Divorced PeopleWhen a friend decides to file for divorce or ends up having the papers filed on them, it can be very tempting to impart words of advice in an effort to help them make it through the experience. No one can blame you. In many ways, suffering a divorce is like suffering through the death of a loved one.

But in one’s haste to comfort a divorced friend, some not-so-helpful things can be said. Things, as Huffington Post contributor Jessica Ciencin Henriquez points out, such as:

  • I bet you’ll be in love and married again sooner than you think;
  • You just have to have sex with someone else; and
  • I have just the guy (or girl) for you.

Each of these statements imply that the person needs someone else to feel complete. While well-meaning, the advice is misguided. Still, none of these are quite so bad as this doozy:

You’re better off / He was never good enough for you / I never liked him

I got this one a lot after filing divorce papers, and have to agree with Henriquez that it’s among the worst words of comfort I could have possibly received. Why? For the following reasons:

1. It caused me to question every bit of interaction I ever had with my friends.

They seemed to like her at the time and then suddenly, they didn’t. It left me asking, just how annoying was it to be around me when I was with her?

2. It made me far too nervous to seek my friend’s input when I started dating again.

If they hated the last one and I didn’t know it, how do I know they’re being honest with me about this one? Since my friends helped me out in so many other ways after the divorce forms were final, I valued their input, but not being able to trust it, led to a lot of apprehension when I finally started dating again, and that caused problems in my relationships.

It’s far better to take Henriquez’ advice if you plan on being helpful and offering words of comfort. According to her, you should try this line instead:

You are going to be okay.

What words of comfort have you tried out on your divorced friends? Share your suggestions in our comments section.

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