Q. DEAR MISS MANNERS: A good friend is getting divorced. A select few of us are very close to her, but she has decided not to tell us shes getting divorced. She has been married only a year and a half, and this divorce we heard about from her soon-to-be-ex-husband was a total shock to all of us.
By JUDITH MARTIN
Several weeks have passed, she has moved in with her parents, and we have all been together with her and she still acts like nothing is going on.
Its making us all uncomfortable, and its like an elephant in the room. Do we ask if everything is OK, or try to talk to her, or just let her tell us when it works for her?
A GENTLE READER: It is not your elephant. It is your friends, and she may be hoping that it will galumph out of the room before anyone notices it. So her friends task is to pretend they havent noticed it.
Miss Manners realizes that the chance of a reconciliation is not good. Still, it is possible, and if that happens, friends who have commiserated with one spouse will find that marital loyalty then kicks in, as well as the desire to classify the separation as a mere blip in the marriage. In that case, your pre-emptive sympathy would be held against you.
© 2013 Universal Uclick 1/30
Send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, MissManners.com, or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.