What Not to Say to a Divorced Mom

One mother weighs in on what she never wants to hear ... again

Photograph by Veer

After two years of lawyers and court dates, custody hearings and therapy sessions, my divorce was finalized. It was a bittersweet moment at best; the end of a heart-wrenching time period and the beginning of the unknown. I was sad to see my marriage end, and yet I was relieved the process of ending it was over. I knew better than to walk away from that courthouse and think all was said and done, but at the same time, I never expected it to be my own friends who would be grilling me with so many questions I wasn't ready to answer. Sure, people are genuinely just curious about what it's like to get divorced and what life is like after, but sometimes curiosity crosses the line from "what does it hurt to ask?" to, well, hurtful because they did.

Now a single mom, I've been asked it all. It seems friends and strangers alike have no boundaries when it comes to feeding their curiosity. Unfortunately, the questions coming at me faster than I can answer them are invasive at best, and my answers are usually disappointing for an audience that seems to have a skewed reality of life after divorce as a mom. From the uncomfortable "How much alimony did you get?" followed immediately by "I hope you cleaned him out!" (uh, not what you're thinking and that's my children's father you're talking about) to the nosy "So ... what's your sex life like now? How fun is it to play the field and not have to commit?" (not even close, but thanks for prying)—there seem to be no boundaries for some people on what they'll ask me. But it was when a coworker actually had the gall to ask me if my boys were "all from the same dad" that I had to stop and finally say something. Because really? How was that—or any of these thousand other questions people had been casually asking me with little regard to how I might feel—any of her business?

Take it from me, if you want to be a real friend to someone who has been divorced, there are certain questions that are better left unasked.

12 Things Never to Ask a Divorced Mom:

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