What to say to a friend getting divorced?


I just found out that a friend of mine is getting a divorce (not Catholic) and was wondering if you had any ideas of what to say to her. She just told me via email, but I don’t know what to reply.


"Dear Friend -

This must be a very difficult time for you. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Give me a call should you want to talk."


It depends on how you plan on responding. If it is via email, just that you were sorry and let you know if there is anything you can do to help. In person, you might have better opportunity to suggest counseling, etc. Email is really hard to get the tone understood, so better of keeping it simple, at least that is how I find email communication.
One of my sister’s is divorced, and it is so hard.


Don’t forget that getting a civil divorce is (correct me if I’m wrong) NOT a sin. It’s remarriage without an annulment that is. Just let your friend know that you’re there for them if you need them, I guess.


People going through divorce need shoulders to lean on. They also need prayers, Christian counseling, among other things. So do what you can for your friend. The initial people that one opens up to are more than likely the one’s that they rely on to get through a most difficult time.

When I went through my divorce a friend gave me a book called Transitions by Julia Cameron. I would read a little every day and was comforted that divorce, or any transition for that matter, is not the end to everything. The Devil wants us to fall flat on our face when we have a trial of this nature, and he’s good at working that angle. God will provide angels (friends) to help those in need.

A good friend is like an angel.


I read somewhere, maybe in a Focus on the Family book, an example letter from someone who had been in the wedding party years earlier writing to either the wife or husband (whoever he/she was closest to) of the separating/divorcing couple saying they had witnessed their vows in front of witnesses and God, and appealing to their faith in God and the sanctity of marriage to please keep trying to work it out.

It sounds like a good idea, but we on the outside of the troubled relationship don’t know the details of what’s going on or how much they’ve already tried to “work things out.” Is this kind of letter ever a good idea?

Honestly don’t know,


Another thing we don’t know is who is asking for the divorce. Most divorces are filed by women. So perhaps even condolences might be upsetting if this person is the one filing the divorce and WANTS it.


This is an excellent suggestion. Divorce is difficult even if you are the one filing for it.


even if someone WANTS a divorce there is usually some sadness, some grieving at least if letting go of a a relationship you dreamed would be different. Even for those that want a divorce I don’t think they would feel joy in it, at least not right away.


That’s right. As one who filed and was relieved when it was over, I can tell you that I never felt the least bit happy or joyful, I just wanted to put that mess behind me. It was kind of like having a nasty surgery on a mangled leg – painful but necessary for long-term healing, and you’ll always have a bit of a limp. People didn’t know how bad things were at home because we always put up a good front in public. When I announced that we were divorcing, a Catholic co-worker actually scolded me (!) and said that we needed to get counseling and work it out. I was still a Methodist back then, and that comment was a pretty lousy witness for the Catholic faith! What I needed to hear was more along the lines of what kage_ar suggested: “I’m sorry to hear this. This must be a very difficult time for you. I’m here if you need anything or want to talk.” And it might be nice to invite your friend to do something fun together to get her mind off things. God bless you for being a good friend during a difficult time. :thumbsup:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.