When it comes to interacting with a newly divorced pal, it's generally a good idea to keep your long-held opinions about the Big D to yourself. Unless you've been through it too, you're in the dark about what the experience is like -- and even if you are divorced, no two splits are the same.
With that in mind, we asked our readers on Facebook and Twitter to weigh in with the biggest misconceptions about divorce. Read what they had to say below and keep them in mind the next time you're inclined to armchair analyze your friend's late marriage. They've heard it all before.
1. People seem to believe that only selfish people can't stay together for the kids.
2. That we just quit and didn't try. It was a hell of a struggle for a really long time.
3. That you're flawed because you couldn't make things work. The reality for a lot of us? We're strong enough to leave a flawed, emotionally abusive relationship to provide our kids with a better example of what real love looks like.
4. That all divorces are comparable. Each one is different. Each ex is different.
5. That we didn't wait 'long enough' to start dating, as if they know the timeline for how long it takes a heart to heal.
6. A lot of people believe they're somehow better than us simply because they're still married.
7. That you have just ruined your kids' lives.
8. That since you're divorcing a narcissist and he or she is actively engaged in a nasty smear campaign, there must be something wrong with you.
9. People assume they understand what went on in your marriage, and have the right to judge your choices.
10. That both people had a say in the matter. It doesn't always take two to end a marriage.
11. For whatever reason, they believe divorce is contagious. If you lose some 'friends,' look at it this way: You're weeding out the people who weren't really friends to begin with.
12. That having your kids every other weekend must be awesome.
13. That because they supported you when you were broken into a million little pieces, they now have the right to tell you how you should live your life once you've put yourself back together.
14. They think divorce is the easy way out. It's anything but. For most of us, staying would have been the easier path to take.
15. The biggest lie non-divorced people believe about divorce? That it can't happen to them.
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