How Good is Saying ‘I am Sorry’ After Hearing About Divorce?

Rethink Before Saying Sorry After Hearing About Divorce as the forced sympathy is not needed

Recall the last time you had heard of someone’s divorce. What was your immediate reaction? Were you feeling sorry for them? Did you feel sad for them and did the thought that they are unmarried now ring your mind? If yes, then this is something that you need to read.

Saying ‘I am sorry’ after hearing about divorce reflects forced sympathy

Saying ‘I am sorry’ after hearing about divorce can rather leave an impression of showing sympathy to the person who has braved to come out of a toxic relationship. Of course, there can be multiple reasons for a person to choose divorce, but making a choice of divorcing (talking about the general cases of getting out of a toxic relationship) is a hard choice. A person who has chosen to get out of it doesn’t need to hear words filled with sympathy for their decision. Divorce is not a mistake for which one should be sorry.

The societal stigmas around the idea of divorce

The institution of marriage is, in every religion, custom and society is considered sacred. The idea of moralizing ‘rishte ko nibhana’ is what asks the couples to adjust and work out a relationship. And if the couple doesn’t end up working out the relationship, if the relationship becomes toxic, abusive or just not perfect for any reason, the lack of acceptance of society for the idea of getting separated or divorce is what is enforcing the social stigmas. Since living in a marriage is what is idealized by society, divorce is seen as something that’s not so good.

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When you say sorry to a divorcee, ask yourself what are you are saying sorry for

Are you saying sorry to them because they are not married now? Are you feeling sorry because they don’t have a partner to hold on to now? Do you feel sorry because you feel that the divorcee must have had some traumatic experience that led to divorce? Do you say it because you feel the divorcee is in trauma because they are unmarried now, and single now, and must have been traumatised now?

The idea of divorce particularly is ingrained that we see it as an extreme step as a result of a traumatic experience. Divorce is simply not normalized. The connotation that gets added with the idea of divorce is that something extremely bad must have happened.


Divorcees are not necessarily sad? Saying ‘I am sorry’ may make them question their happiness

A person who has made a choice of divorcing have not done a mistake. Have they? Do they have a reason to feel sorry? Can they be happy and move on? Yes, right. So, when every person around them says sorry to them, they are likely to start questioning if they should necessarily be feeling bad about the fact that they are divorced? That there’s something that they should be regretting as they have divorced.

So, what to say when you hear about someone’s divorce?

Firstly and foremostly, ask yourself if you need to say anything at all. Divorce should be normalized instead of seeing it as something to be sorry about. And if you feel like saying anything, know the story behind the divorce. Know the state of mind of the person. And if there’s any room for encouraging and congratulating a person for choosing divorce, then do that instead of sympathising with them. The bottom line is that divorces should be normalised as a choice.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.
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