A friend of mine just read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Committed,” which covers the history of marriage and her own doubts about leaping into a new marriage after going through a messy divorce. Gilbert, of course, is the woman who wrote “Eat, Pray, Love” about her experiences traveling after her marriage ended.
In “Committed,” Gilbert makes this point. If a friend or loved one is planning a second wedding, strike the phrase “this time” from your vocabulary. There is no need to remind the bride or groom that this isn’t his or her first trip down the aisle. It’s best to simply wish them well and not pass judgment on whether or not this is a repeat performance. Bringing up their ex or reminiscing about their last wedding is bad form.
Gilbert also mentions a moment during her divorce in which she told an acquaintance that she and her husband had split. The woman responded by saying she was happily married and would never get divorced. That’s great for her, but it was a rude, self-righteous comment to make. As Gilbert noted, it was an “accomplishment that hadn’t yet been accomplished.” The woman needn’t have shared that sentiment out loud.
According to psychologists, going through a divorce is one of the most traumatic, anxiety-inducing experiences a person can face. Why dump on someone who has already endured all that?