I have a coworker that I am quite close with that let me know a few weeks ago that she had separated from her husband and was getting a divorce. I am quite close to her at work and consider her a friend, though I never hang out with her outside of work and have never met her husband.
I am having trouble navigating conversations with her on this topic in a moral way. She is kind of a non-practicing Protestant and doesn’t go to church but probably believes in God.
I don’t ask questions about their marriage, but what I do know is:
- She has an eating disorder. Not only did he not help her, he was actively encouraging her to lose more weight even though she is EXTREMELY thin. (Incidentally, she hasn’t identified this as a problem in her marriage but it always worried me well before I knew they had separated.)
- From what she says, he has a very controlling personality. She was expected to work outside the home, and do all of the work in the home. One day, for example, I was there when he called her while we were at work and told her she needed to go home right away and do xyz.
- Now that they are separated, he is still telling her that she needs to come home and clean his bathroom.
So far I’ve tried really hard to not say anything supporting the separation. Just let her know I’m there for her, and let her talk. But it is getting harder and harder. If she was Catholic, I could talk to her about annulments. But how do you have conversations with a Protestant about divorce in a moral way? Especially when you aren’t sure exactly how controlling/detrimental to her mental health he has been?
What do I say when she starts dating again?
Thanks for any suggestions.