What is it with all the questions about a dead relationship? In my experience, they're really just judgement masked with curiosity or genuine concern. I get that when you're rooting for a couple to work things out and they don't, you might feel a little disappointed or duped. This was never more true than when I went through a major split with my first husband at 22. However, some of the infuriating questions people will ask you after you get a divorce are just uncalled for. Like, it's already hard enough, so do you really have to?
Having married out of high school at barely 18, my relationship was mostly cemented in faraway dreams and future uncertainty. Yes, we loved one another, but now that I'm re-married with the father of my two children, I see it wasn't the same kind of love. We tried for years to make it work but when it came down to it, we didn't want to be — and shouldn't have been — married.
We separated a couple different times before I finally left for good. The divorce itself took longer than expected, which only fueled all the seemingly endless questions from friends and loved ones. In everyone else's opinion, depending on who you asked, we either did't fight hard enough or we were bound to fail at some point. It seemed like no matter what we did, we couldn't win. Regardless, some of the questions were infuriating and even if well-intentioned, they didn't help. So if you're thinking of asking any of the below to someone recently divorced, don't.
"Don't You Love Each Other?"
Of course we do. This is why we're getting a divorce — because we care about and respect each other enough to want a better life than this. Loving someone and being in love, though, are two different concepts. My husband and I hadn't been in love for some time. We had no children together and, honestly and once we neared our end, we didn't know why we ever got married in the first place. No hard feelings. Just love.
"Have You Gone To Counseling?"
We tried everything, honey. No matter what we did, it all came down to us not being compatible, wanting different experiences, and being too young and immature to know what we got ourselves into.
"Have You Considered What Divorce Means?"
Duh. No one gets married expecting a divorce. You go in with your whole heart, do the work, hold on tight, and hope for the best. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it just doesn't. That doesn't mean we've taken the meaning of "divorce" lightly or that we didn't spend enough time in consideration first. We knew, for a long-ass time, we'd try our best to push through and make it last. In the end, we couldn't. It happens.
"What About Your Friends?"
My husband (at the time) and I had a set of friends that mostly stuck with him. It's cool because I moved out of state and made new friends. Because I'm ultimately the one who left everything behind, I wasn't going to fight for much more than mutual understanding. We really just wanted to move forward, whatever that meant.
"How Will You Get By Financially?"
Oh, I don't know. Um, get a job? Technically I had a great job when we parted ways, but I planned to move out of state so I had to start the search over. It was tough getting by those first few months, and I know it was for him, too. However, when you're in an unhappy, unfulfilling marriage, you do what you have to do.
"Did One Of You Cheat?"
Does it literally even matter? We had issues before we said "I do," because we were 18 and 19 and looking for security and comfort. If my partner had been unfaithful, I understand why. Then? No way. But looking back, I see how miserable we made each other. And actually, anyone who'd asked this usually just got an eye roll anyway because it's no one's business.
"Why Didn't You Listen When I Told You Not To Get Married?"
As stated above, I just graduated high school. You couldn't have told me to do a damn thing I didn't want to and I'd have done the opposite just to prove a point. Which, you know, I did.
"Who's Moving Out?"
Another item on my "none of your business" list, but I got asked this one a lot. He and I didn't have to decide because I'd planned on going anyway so he got the house. Does this question seriously make anyone feel better though? It doesn't matter who's moving out. A marriage has ended so let's be a little more sensitive, shall we?
"Why Didn't You Just Work Through It?"
Oh. My. God. Here's the thing: we tried to work through our problems and we just weren't meant to be together. The end. If that answer isn't sufficient, buh-bye.
Divorce isn't an easy thing to do. If anything, it takes courage to realize one, or both, of you aren't happy and you deserve more. Even if you've fallen out of love, it doesn't mean there weren't some kind of feelings that would always be there. You did shares lives, after all. If everyone could stop with these questions, it'd be a hell of a lot easier for two parties involved to move on with their lives.