Thursday, September 4, 2008

Telling Your Divorce Story

As a recent divorcee, I am searching for the best, most polite way to address inquiries regarding my marriage and/or former spouse. Only close friends and immediate family are privy, and it seems rather brusque simply to say, "Oh, we're divorced," and then change the subject. It wasn't a messy or scandalous divorce, simply a parting of ways. Is there an appropriate way to address this that avoids awkward moments?

People need stories to make sense of unexpected events in their social world. If they don't get them, they're disconcerted and distressed - and they'll make up a story of their own to explain what's happened, which presumably is the last thing you want. So take charge and decide what story you want to get out there. When your name comes up in casual conversation and someone says, "Hey, I hear A.A. and B.B. got a divorce. What happened?" what would you like the other person to say? (The friend is not going to say, "I think it's none of our business and we shouldn't discuss A.A.'s personal life" - people aren't built that way.) That's the story that you should be telling people...

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1 comment:

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