Divorce Etiquette

I came across an interesting question from a reader recently about the proper way to acknowledge a friend’s divorce. So I decided to do some research on “Divorce Etiquette” and unsurprisingly, I came across some advice from Miss Manners herself.

The gist of her advice on how to best acknowledge a person’s divorce is to offer a simple condolence. Let’s face it, we are no strangers to how bitter and vicious divorces can be, but it’s also the death of something that once held such great promise. Isn’t that what the celebration of marriage is all about? So, a simple and quiet, “I’m sorry for your loss,” is appropriate etiquette-wise. It would be considered tacky to congratulate a newly divorced friend. However, Miss Manners also cautions you to be prepared for your friend’s response, “But I couldn’t be happier to get rid of that monster.”

If you are really certain that your friend is more than thrilled to finally be rid of that $%&#*, then consider throwing a divorce party. While I’ve never attended one, I have seen the clip of Jennifer Williams from the VH1 reality show, “Basketball Wives”, having her divorce party – complete with a divorce cake. There’s even a baker in Florida who advertises her custom divorce sweets.

So the bottom-line in divorce etiquette is to know how the person feels about the divorce event before you acknowledge it. However, if you don’t know the person’s true feelings, then an offer of condolence is the correct way to handle the situation. Let us know how you’ve handled your friends’ divorces. Have you been to any divorce parties?


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