Hi, Carolyn: My first cousin “Mimi” divorced her husband last year. As a divorcée myself, who hated to see a loved one go through hell unnecessarily, I reached out to her before the divorce was finalized to provide the names of marriage counselors and a few words of encouragement about trying to repair the marriage.
Where I was coming from was, my marriage wasn’t great but I think we could have worked on it, and I live with regret that I chose instead to return to single life in my late 40s. I think I was lazy. I was not implying that Mimi was being lazy, but that may have been the message that came across anyway.
What I have since learned is that Mimi’s divorce was her answer to several years of emotional abuse, which she is just starting to talk about with our family. I feel awful for inadvertently suggesting that she stay married to an abuser. I stepped in where I shouldn’t have. Should I apologize, or just mind my own business from now on? She hasn’t shared the news of the abuse with me personally. — Stepped In