ten don'ts and one do in dealing with separated or divorced people

I am growing so very weary of the dramatics that surround people who make a show of knowing everything about something when they know absofrickenluty nothing at all.… so this was written for them… 

This is a list of ten Don’ts and one Do for those of you who have never been abandoned by your spouse but may know someone who has…

No doubt this list would work in any situation – though maybe that’s just the wee bit of pride I have left talking.  Or maybe I’m just in one hell of a serious Clark W. Griswold Jr. Don’t Piss Me Off Art! frame of mind - because I think everyone should understand the art of conversation/communication, and so few really do...

On with the list: 

Ten Don't s and One Do When Dealing With Separated/Divorced People 

1.  Don’t tell someone you know how it feels to be living alone for the first time ever because your spouse is always outside, in the barn, watching tv, working on a hobby…  excuse me, but doesn’t that mean you still have a spouse?

2.  Don’t ask how someone feels and then respond to their heartfelt turmoil with a four paragraph story about why you are too busy to respond properly - and then never bother to respond at all…

3.  Don’t spend time explaining to someone why certain people can’t live without a mate after you have just been told their ex is showing off a replacement a few short months after their marriage has legally ended…  stick a knife in and twist it why don’t ya?

4.  Don’t tell someone to call if there is anything they need if you are only going to spend time telling them why you are not available when they finally gain enough courage to ask…

5.  Don’t offer advice in the form of an order…  (any sentence with “YOU NEED TO” in it is an order) If you don’t live in their house, pay their bills or live their life; you got no clue and you got no right.

6.  Don’t tell someone who just poured their heart out to you that their spouse would have never done that – obviously they did and it took a tremendous amount of courage to share that secret with you.

    On the other hand;  

7.   Don’t simply believe what you hear.  There are always two sides to every story but in this situation only one of those stories will be completely true – care enough to look for, and at, the truth.    

8.   Don’t assume someone’s grieving is ever over – assume instead that YOU just got tired of listening.

9.   Don’t say you know how it is, you understand how it feels, or ever EVER offer advice unless you have been there in the same exact form.  Meaning; if you are the one who abandoned your spouse you know jack $*** about  how it feels to be abandoned so keep your mouth shut.
     In the same respect;

10.   Don’t play the ever so lovely; “My situation was far worse than yours because…” card… the object is always to GIVE support not GET support.

And, finally the ONE and only Do:

1.   LISTEN. FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES. AND, unless you are opening it to validate someone’s feelings or offer genuine support, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.