We all know the statistic that more than 50% of marriages end in divorce.
But when it happens to someone we know, we are often at a loss for words.
What do you say in that kind of situation?
You want to be supportive and encouraging but don't want to overstep or make things worse.
It’s difficult to know what to say when someone is going through a challenging or overwhelming time, regardless of the challenge.
Having the courage to offer some kind words can make a difference to someone you care about when they are struggling.
What Do You Say to Someone Going Through a Divorce?
Divorce is usually a crushing and painful episode in someone's life.
It might mean that everything they care about is slipping through their fingers and that life as they have always known it is ending.
However, they also might not feel like that.
In fact, some part of them might be relieved, even while they are suffering and mourning the loss of the relationship.
You don’t arrive at divorce overnight. It’s not a natural disaster that suddenly appears on the horizon.
When a couple decides to divorce, it is usually a sign that one or both of them have been unhappy for some time. Divorce can involve mixed emotions, including grief, confusion, despair, happiness, and hope.
Don't assume that you know what someone is going through when they tell you they are getting divorced. The experience is very different for different people.
We’ll share some ideas of things to say that are comforting, but don't forget to listen. Every divorce, like every marriage, is different.
You need to be open and pay attention to understand and empathize with what someone is going through, so you can offer appropriate support.
How to Best Express Words of Encouragement for Divorce
When someone shares that they are going through a divorce, the best way to react is to listen with concern to what they have to say and express your support.
You want this person to understand that they are welcome to talk about these kinds of issues with you and that they can feel safe with you expressing emotions.
- You might have opinions about the relationship or this person's spouse.
- You might have your own very ingrained ideas about marriage and divorce.
- You must keep all of this to yourself, especially at first.
When a friend goes through a divorce, it's not about you and your feelings. It is about your friend and what they are going through.
Start by listening and expressing support for your friend's mental and psychological well-being.
At this stage, they need someone they can share honestly with and receive support from, not solutions or discussions.
Your role is to listen and support.
57 Compassionate And Empowering Words For Someone Going Through A Divorce
1. I'm sorry that this is ending.
2. Do you want to talk about this?
3. How can I best support you during this difficult time in your life?
4. What is the best way I can help?
5. Do you need a place to stay for a while?
6. I know how meaningful this relationship was to you, and I am so sorry that it is ending.
7. Divorce is a risk that everyone takes when they get married. You were brave to take that risk, and getting divorced doesn't mean that you failed.
8. How are you feeling right now?
9. Are you able to take care of your basic needs? Are you getting enough sleep and drinking enough water?
10. If you would like me to recommend a therapist, I know someone who might help you get through this a little bit easier.
11. I care about you, and I don't want you to feel like you are alone right now or going through this alone.
12. You are a wonderful person, and I want you to know that you are surrounded by people who care about you and value you.
13. This must be a really hard time for you to go through.
14. I want to empathize, but I know I don't understand how you are feeling right now.
15. If you want to vent and yell and scream, I'll always listen without judgment.
16. That sounds so painful.
17. That must be so difficult for you to deal with.
18. I am so impressed by your resilience. I know you are struggling right now, but you're showing up, and that counts.
19. Sometimes, a bone needs to break to heal, and it might be hard to hear this right now, but I'm sure this is all going to work out in the end.
20. You deserve the best in life, and I'm sure this is just a setback before you find a situation that makes you really happy.
21. Divorce isn't the end of life; it's just the beginning of a new one.
22. That must have been really stressful and overwhelming.
23. Thank you for sharing all of this with me. I'm honored that you trust me with this.
24. You are really brave to talk about all of this.
25. I know I'm seeing this from the outside, but it looks like you are handling everything really well.
26. There are going to be good days and bad days, and you can give me a call anytime.
27. I know that every divorce is different, and you will get through this in your own way. I want to help however I can.
28. You can do anything, including getting through this chapter of your life.
29. This will make you stronger, not weaker, even if it feels hard right now.
30. A lot of people have been through divorce and come out of the other end with better lives.
31. Sometimes, one chapter in our lives has to end before the next can begin.
32. You have all the tools you need to get through this. You're smart, tough, and resilient.
33. It's hard to let things go, but sometimes it's even harder to be in the in-between space. It's not going to be like this forever.
34. It's normal to grieve things you're losing, even if you're ready to let them go. It's okay to feel a mix of emotions.
35. You don't need to forget all the good times you've had; you just need to remember there are good times ahead.
36. Remember to have compassion for yourself. This is so hard for you. You deserve a break.
37. As difficult as I know this is, I know you can get through it and grow as a result.
38. I'm so proud of you and how you are handling this.
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39. Can I bring you any groceries or help you with the laundry? You must feel overwhelmed right now.
40. How are the kids managing? Do you need someone to babysit?
41. I'm here to listen if you want to talk more about this.
42. When was the last time you did something for yourself? Something fun? Could you treat yourself?
43. I know we always liked [shared activity]. Do you want to do that again sometime?
44. When was the last time we hung out with everyone altogether? Maybe we should go out as a group.
45. Sometimes, a walk in nature helps to clear my head. Do you want to walk with me?
46. I hope tomorrow is a better day than today. I think it will be.
47. Every beautiful garden needs some manure. Our most challenging experiences make us who we are.
48. Sometimes, change is painful, but it's exactly what we need.
49. One day, you're going to wake up, and this will be behind you, and you will be surrounded by love.
50. I know how big a heart you have, and I can't imagine how difficult this must be for you.
51. The world is so much bigger than it probably feels right now. Anything is possible.
52. I'll be thinking about you and sending love and good thoughts.
53. Everyone goes through a divorce differently and grieves a relationship differently. There's no wrong way to do this, and you're doing it the right way for you.
54. Even small actions such as thinking positive thoughts or getting out of bed on a hard day can make a big difference.
55. In every crisis, there is an opportunity, even if it is just the opportunity to learn and feel.
56. If there are any questions I can answer or information I can find for you, please feel free to ask me anything.
57. Sometimes, we experience darkness so we can recognize the light. I know things have been dark for you for a while, and I believe a new day is coming.
What Not to Say to Someone Who Is Going Through a Divorce
You definitely shouldn't say some things because they will only cause more suffering.
Arguing over whether divorce is the right choice, badmouthing the person's ex, or minimizing the pain and significance of the divorce will only distance you from the person getting divorced and ensure that they never seek your support again.
Here are some things NOT to say:
- Half of marriages end in divorce, so it was you or me.
- Some people get married and divorced ten times.
- There are plenty of fish in the sea.
- At least you have your health.
- You can do better, anyway.
- I always knew this would happen; you were never a good match.
- You know, divorce is a sin.
- Did you go to counseling, though? Did you really try to make it work?
- Did you think about how this would affect the kids?
- Are you really going to throw it all away?
- Do you think you'll ever find someone better?
- Well, you know, in my marriage…
- This will all blow over. Divorce isn't a big deal these days.
- Aren't you happy to be single?
Supporting A Friend Through Divorce
During a divorce, words of encouragement can make a big difference and help reduce loneliness and grief by reminding someone they are still a part of a community that cares about them.
It's hard to know what to say to someone getting divorced, but you don't have to get all of your words right every time.
The important thing is to listen carefully, offer your support without judgment, and stay open to whatever they say.
Divorce is hard for everyone, but it's a lot easier when people who care about you know how to tell you that.
If someone you know is cutting the knot, don't be afraid to share some words of support and encouragement. It could make a huge difference to them.