I recently ran into an acquaintance at a neighborhood get-together. This is a father I’ve known in passing, but I’ve never really known him. His son is younger than my kid, so we’ve never hung out.
Come to think of it, I hadn’t really seen him out with his wife recently. Whenever I’ve seen her — say, at the grocery store — we’ve waved and said “hi.” They’ve always just been one of those couples in the neighborhood.
Anyway, this dad and I chatting were over cheese and crackers the other night. Something seemed a bit off — maybe it was the bags under his eyes, or his 10 ‘clock shadow. That’s when he looked straight at me and whispered: “My wife and I are getting a divorce.”
I reached for my glass of water. “I’m sorry,” I said.
He shrugged. Maybe he wanted to talk about it at that moment. I wasn’t sure what to say. But this didn’t really seem like the best time and place, if you know what I mean.
Still, this got me thinking: What do you say to someone when he/she tells you, “I’m getting divorced”?
Maybe I can offer to babysit? Or, I can suggest a book that might help? Should I offer to go out for coffee with him? That might be awkward.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that someone has said these words to me. (I’ve even had to tell friends and family that I was getting divorced.). So, what have you said to a friend?
Or, maybe another way to ask this question:
When you told someone that you were getting divorced, what would you have wanted to hear in that moment?
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