11/29/2014 05:57 pm ET Updated Jan 29, 2015

The Best Answer to Nosy Divorce Questions


As news of your divorce spreads -- and it will spread quickly and perhaps not-so-quietly throughout your workplace, community, church, friends, and family -- you will be asked invasive, intrusive, offensive, meddlinghuff and upsetting questions. And not just by well-meaning friends and family... even in a strictly-business meeting, you can share you're in the process of divorcing and the person across the table will ask nosy questions... just because they feel they can.

People love juicy gossip, so you will be quizzed by by folks who have no business asking, and not the least need to know. Because you are not your normal, tight-lipped, level-headed and discreet self right now, you may find it tempting to spill your guts and tell every scandalous tidbit. (Don't do it! Resist!) O, you might be completely offended by the inquiries but not entirely sure you're not supposed to answer, as the person asking may have a concerned look on their face.

You have a right to privacy, and a responsibility to protect your privacy (and reputation). There's no reason to tell everyone all about the ways your ex has done you wrong. There's no reason to discuss what horrible thing they did just yesterday, how they are involving the kids, withholding money, or manipulating the situation. That's your business and your business alone.

Crafting a stock answer will stop the conversation in it's tracks, while helping you maintain your sanity and keeping your stress levels in check. Try something like this:

"It's been challenge, but every day I'm getting better and better. Thank you for asking."

Then, turn the tables and ask, "How are you?" followed by, "What have you been up to?" "How are you spending the holidays?" etc.

Keep it simple. Practice ahead of time. Be ready! That way, when anyone asks you "How's it going?" or "What's the latest?" you'll be prepared to answer and then change the subject back to them.

Honorée Corder is the author of If Divorce is a Game, These are the Rules, and creator of the Divorce Transformation Coaching Program. You can learn more at