In the last blog post, I unpacked the first 2 of 5 hurtful responses that those going through the trauma of a divorce do NOT need from us. These are based on the writings from those who shared their very personal stories with me in response to my January 17, 2020 blog post “Are Divorcees Disqualified from Ministry?”
Today, I continue the conversation with more hurtful responses we want to avoid, and soon I’ll share several HELPFUL responses we can rely on to help ease their pain…
3. “What could possibly be so bad that you’d divorce over it?”
Sometimes we need to be content with certain things falling under the category of “None of Our Business.” Chances are, when they tell you they are going through a divorce, they’re simply looking for a friend, not a counselor. They’ve most likely been there, done that, and finally found the courage and strength to move on, so they don’t need to be challenged by loved ones who aren’t trained counselors and could traumatize them even more with carelessly chosen words.
One of the BEST words of wisdom given to me personally was at a counseling conference. I was trying to explain my situation to someone I really respected and wanted to maintain his admiration of me, both personally and professionally. However, after a few minutes, he asked if he could interrupt and offer some unsolicited advice. He sweetly said, “Shannon, remember that you don’t have to be a J.E.D.I. Knight — You don’t have to Justify… Explain… Defend… or Interpret what others are thinking of you. Because the reality is that your true friends don’t need an explanation… and your enemies aren’t going to believe you, anyway.” This was a huge turning point in my healing process, for which I’m so thankful. I stopped wasting so much energy trying to save face, and simply focused on taking care of my own broken heart.
4. “My partner is 10 times worse than yours, and I’M still in MY marriage!”
Understand that this is THEIR journey, not ours. Yes, WE may have made a difference choice under the same circumstances, but you can never know that for sure, can you? Then again, we may only know a tiny fraction of what that person has actually experienced in their marital dynamic, and we may have caved under that kind of pressure long before they did! But even if our marriage IS just as miserable or worse than theirs, that’s our problem to sift through, not their anchor to keep them stranded in troubled waters.
To be continued…
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