Judgment Call – By Cara Potapshyn Meyers
I have a chip on my shoulder that I would like to remove. It happens to parallel one of our other Blogger’s blogs, by Laura Houston. In her blog, she was appalled that mere acquaintances or even strangers have no qualms about walking right up to you and giving you advice on how to parent your own child. Completely unsolicited advice. From people you hardly know. I wholeheartedly agreed with Laura’s blog. But I want to take it a step further.
I am not even divorced yet, and already people who I hardly know are saying to me, “You’ll find someone wonderful one day. You are such a pretty lady and so intelligent and so lovely. You’ll find the right person one day.” Who said I want to have any more relationships at all in my future?? And although they are certainly well meaning, I haven’t even gotten through the grieving part of this trauma. Do I really want to jump into a relationship when I can still barely fathom that my marriage is coming to its demise??
I consider it rude to make assumptions about others regarding very personal matters. For example, people who walk up to a pregnant woman, who has two little boys with her, and these relative strangers say, “Gee, you must be hoping for a girl next.” Who are these people to make a judgment call like that??
There is even an extremely lovely older woman I know, who has a son going through a divorce, who wants to “have the two of you meet sometime.” I don’t want to meet anyone! I want to get my son and myself through this tragedy and try our best to establish a new life! I don’t need any other complications in my life. My plate is full, thank you very much.
I must say that none of my close friends have made statements of this type, and I sincerely appreciate their support and understanding without unsolicited advice. Hearing from acquaintances, “Oh, you MUST get out and mingle with the world! You’ll never know who you’ll meet!,” just doesn’t help my current emotional state. I wear my wedding band on my right hand, because I really like it and want to continue to use it. But the other day, at the train station, this completely uninteresting man kept trying to conjure up a conversation with me, all the while glancing at my left hand. At one point I slipped the ring from my right hand to my left and casually brushed my hair with my left hand. Our conversation came to a dead halt. At least the ring is useful in those types of situations.
What I really want to convey to the world is to please think twice before giving unsolicited advice. Whether it is parenting, pregnancy, miscarriage, divorce or any other very personal matter. It makes the receiver uncomfortable at best. It makes them feel as if they have to justify their actions at worst. And honestly, it is just plain rude and unnecessary.
Forty-eight percent of marriages end in divorce. I NEVER thought I would fall into that statistic, but I will. It would be nice for others to just offer a simple, “I’m sorry,” and change the subject. After all, would I ask you what color underwear you are wearing??