It seems that divorce is in the air.
Numerous times over the course of the last two months, friends or acquaintances have told me that they are splitting with their spouses.
In some cases, it's easier, because either I'd already known that they were having problems, or they were close enough friends that I could ask "What the heck happened?" and get a straight answer. But then there were the others. Those with whom I've become friends through our kids, at school or on their sports teams or in dance class. Those couples where I know both members, but not close enough that I can ask what happened.
For now, I've simply gone with "I'm sorry that is happening" and focusing on asking about the kids, the custody arrangements, how we're going to manage our children's friendship in the new structure. The logistics. I've avoided asking about what happened, because realistically it isn't any of my business. If they volunteered information I'd be fine with discussing it; I'm sympathetic, and I care about them, and I want to be helpful if I can. I don't know if I can.
It's hard. It's horribly hard on them, and their kids and families. But it's also hard on those of us who are friends, yet not close friends. It's awkward. And in my own overwhelming dorkitude I'm sure I'm saying and doing the wrong things. I want to show that I care about them. I don't want to get dragged into their issues. I want to be a loving refuge for their children, but don't want to overstep any boundaries. So many people have reached out to me, shown me love and support, and nurtured me when I was going through a challenge and needed it, and I want to be able to pay it forward. This is a situation I don't know how to do, though.
What do I say? What do I do?