In today’s social media world, news of your divorce can spread quickly. This can include your workplace, community, church, friends, and family. You may be asked invasive, private, upsetting, and even offensive questions. These inquiries may come from friends and family or well-meaning colleagues at work or church. People may ask questions just because they feel they have a common experience and want to offer advice or help.
Some people also love juicy gossip, so you may be quizzed by folks who have no business asking, and that don’t have a need to know. Because you may be feeling overwhelmed with all types of difficult emotions, it can be very tempting to spill your guts and tell every scandalous tidbit. Don’t do it! This may not be in your best interests!
You have a responsibility to protect your reputation and you are entitled to a right to privacy. There is no reason to make yourself look bad (and needy) by disparaging your ex and telling everyone all about everything they have done wrong. There’s no reason to discuss what horrible thing they did yesterday, how they are treating the children, withholding money, or manipulating the situation. These issues are your business.
However, it is also important to recognize the emotional impact of divorce. This is a significant part of your divorce that needs to be addressed. It isn’t healthy to just keep all those negative emotions bottled up. A qualified therapist, trusted family member, support group, trusted friend or some other safe port is needed to let you express the way you feel and move through the emotional minefield that can be associated with a divorce. You may consider a combination of these outlets. (Even the best intentioned may become weary.)
Crafting a stock answer to offer those who don’t need to know everything is the best way to stop any unwanted inquiries. This will help you maintain your sanity and keeping your stress levels in check. An example of a stock answer can be:
“It has been difficult, however we are moving through it and things are improving. Thank you for asking.”
Follow your stock answer by changing the subject and focusing on them. People love to talk about themselves. A follow up question such as, “How are you doing?” or “What happened on your vacation?” etc.
Keep it simple and be ready for unwanted inquiries. Find a safe place to express your negative emotions in a productive way that won’t make them worse or cause anyone harm. Staying negative and talking to everyone about your ex can cause you to look worse than the person you want to disparage.