What do you say when someone asks you about your divorce or your former spouse? Is it an awkward moment?
Miss Conduct, who is Robin Abrahams, a writer with a PhD in psychology, answered this question from a reader in the Sunday Boston Globe.
People use stories, Miss Conduct says, to make sense of the world. If you don’t provide them with one, they will supply their own, and it might not be one of your liking.
So what do you say when someone asks you about your divorce? Respond in the form of a story. You have the chance to provide a story that you want them to repeat to others.
Miss Conduct suggests one like this:
“Who can ever explain why these things happen? We realized we wanted different things out of life [or a similarly elevated but basically accurate summary], and it just didn’t seem possible to go on as a couple. We’re still on good terms, though, and I’m doing OK.”
She says this story tells them there were causes for the divorce but even you don’t know them all, your ex is not a villain, and you are not devastated and don’t need a lot of emotional support.
What is your divorce story?