Skip links


Respond-Ability: What to Say & What NOT to Say to a Friend Going Through Divorce

If you’re like most people, you aren’t sure of the best response when confronted with a divorce revelation from a friend. If you’ve gone through your own divorce, you’re probably painfully aware of just how unhelpful, or downright hurtful, the wrong response can be however well meaning. Here’s a quick primer to help you respond with support.

Do NOT Say This:

This is terrible, you poor thing. A variation of this sentiment is the standard response to divorce, which is unfortunate because pity and catastrophizing don’t help and can add to the despair the person is probably already feeling.

Couldn’t you have worked it out? or Did you try counseling? Listen, if they could have worked it out, they would have. These questions put your friend on the defensive and, frankly, are none of your bee’s wax.

What will you do about . . . the kids, the house, the stuff? Asking logistical questions is not helpful and adds to overwhelm. Unless this person expressly asks for your help in making a “to do” list, refrain from asking about logistics.

Your Ex is a world-class A$$H*#@! Initiating or joining in on Ex bashing is also counterproductive. It contributes to keeping a person stuck in toxic victim energy and discourages self-reflection in favor of blame and deflection.

This will make you stronger. While ultimately true, the person you’re talking to may not be ready to hear it. If not, it just makes them feel like you don’t get it which can make them feel more alone.

DO Say This:

I’m here for you. Being someone who can be relied on to listen, provide hands-on logistical help and/or join an outing to the movies for an emotional break is a huge gift you can give.

I wish I knew the perfect thing to say. It’s OK to admit that there isn’t much you can really say but that you care.

It looks like you’re having a tough time. If your friend is struggling, sharing a simple observation and quietly listening to what he or she chooses to share is very supportive.

I know this is difficult and I know you will get to the other side of this. You can acknowledge what a wrenching experience their divorce is and that there is an end to it without offering empty platitudes.

Nothing. Less is more. This is a time to listen more than talk. Simply be present without rendering an opinion or judgment.

Deb Purdy, is a transformation coach, speaker, workshop leader and author of
Something Gained: 7 Shifts to Be Stronger, Smarter and Happier After Divorce.

Visit for more information.

Join the conversation on social media:

Instagram: @lovedebpurdy

Twitter: @lovedebpurdy

Facebook: debpurdyofficial

Leave a comment

  1. My partner and I have been together for 12 years but we broke up 3 years ago after our fight over his cheating habits which they all say it’s not their fault but I was the one getting hurt. I was upset over the whole issue that I had to call for the separation but I felt really bad. The separation really had effects on my daughter who had to live away from her father. I had to think of a way to settle things out and find a solution to my husband’s behavior. I found out about a spell caster Doctor Odunga who helped me with the problem to make my spouse come back to me and make him stop cheating. Soon, Richard came back to me begging at Sicily where I stayed after our divorce and I told him he has to show me he has changed for me to believe him. He came back twice after that day to Sicily begging me to have him back. It’s been 8 months now since my husband came back to me and we have been living together since that day. I believe this man can also help with your problem. His email address is or WhatsApp him at +2348167159012

  2. Hello my name is Vivian Marcus from the United State, i’m so exciting writing this article to let people seek for help in any Break up Marriage and Relationship, Dr Kachi brought my Ex Boyfriend back to me, Thank you Sir Kachi for helped so many Relationship situation like mine to be restored, i was in pain until the day my aunt introduce me to Dr Kachi that she got her husband back with powerful love spell with help of Dr Kachi So i sent him an email telling him about my problem how my Boyfriend left me and cheating on me because of her boss lady at work i cry all day and night, but Dr Kachi told me my Boyfriend shall return back to me within 24hrs and to me everything he asked me to do the next day it was all like a dream when he text me and said please forgive me and accept me back exactly what i wanted, i am so happy now as we are back together again. because I never thought my Ex Boyfriend would be back to me so quickly with your spell. You are the best and the world greatest Dr Kachi. if you’re having broke up Ex Lover or your husband left you and moved to another woman, You do want to get Pregnant do not feel sad anymore contact:: drkachispellcast@gmail. com his Text Number Call: +1 (209) 893-8075 You can reach him Website:

  3. I just want the whole world to know about this spell caster I met two weeks ago,I cannot say everything he has done for me and my family I was going through online when I meant this wonderful man’s testimony online how he won a lottery through the help of dr Ose I decided to just give it a try and my life is back to me now after i lost my job due to covid  he gave me a winning numbers to play lottery and i won 5000usd for my first play since then i have been working with him and he has been giving me numbers to play my lottery i can not write everything he has done for me if you need a lottery spell today contact him on
    whatsapp +2348136482342