When you get divorced, it feels like there are reminders of your spouse and marriage everywhere. Think of the glossy wedding photos in your living room, the sparkling engagement ring on your hand that no longer seems to shine as brightly and the souvenirs from your honeymoon in an exotic locale.
It’s hard to put the past behind you right now. So when well-meaning friends, family members and co-workers ask questions about what went wrong that make you squirm, it just serves to reopen that wound. If their questions are barbed, accusatory or unkind, that is even tougher to take.
You don’t want to snap at people, but giving them personal information is not something you want to do. How can you fend off unwanted questions graciously yet firmly?
Strategies you can put into practice
Take a few tips from an expert about navigating this situation deftly:
- Let people know that you want to remain dignified throughout your divorce proceeding. If they try to engage you in mud-slinging against your ex, his family or anyone else, don’t take the bait.
- Be honest about how you feel. Tell others that you wish to keep all the details of the divorce strictly between you and your ex. With any luck, they will take the hint.
- Resist the urge to bad-mouth your former spouse. That just leads to unnecessary conflicts and more questions you want to avoid.
- Have some responses at your fingertips so you won’t be caught off guard. Quickly shift gears and talk about another topic.
Just remember that there are always polite ways around even the most insistent questions without disclosing too much.
Don’t get flustered
It’s easy to become rattled when people come at you with questions that evoke sad memories or that probe too deeply for comfort. Sidestep those kinds of questions. Use your initiative to close the door on the past and get ready for the future.