When you're going through a divorce, everyone and their mother seems to have an opinion on your split.
"Have you really thought this through?" they ask, not realizing you've spent months or years painstakingly considering all the ways it might affect your family.
"You must feel so liberated, so free," they say after you've separated, without considering that maybe -- just maybe -- you're mourning the loss of your marriage.
The truth is, you don't know what the divorce experience is truly like until you've been there yourself. HuffPost Divorce readers will tell you as much. Below, they share and debunk some of the most common misconceptions about splitting up.
1. "Non-divorced people think separating is a cake walk and you just need to get over it. It's not that easy. You're actually mourning the death of the person you loved and the relationship."
2. "Some people seem to think it's no different than breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. People who've never been married try to relate, but it's just not comparable."
3. "People love to tell you divorce is 'not an option for them,' like it's a disgrace or a bad thing. The truth is, sometimes it's the best option."
4. "One common misconception? That divorced people simply gave up too easily. This is usually said by someone who just got married or who's never been married at all."
5. "They act like you can 'catch' divorce. People avoid you like it's contagious."
6. "They think you should have stayed together and worked it out for the kids' sake. I think my kids are smarter than that. They want their parents to be happy."
7. "People worry that you're not OK after divorce. Personally, I'm better now than I was the last three years of my marriage."
8. "They think it's always someone's fault. The truth is, sometimes people just grow apart."
9. "People on the outside think it's a cause for celebration. I'm not celebrating. It isn't great. It's tragic."
10. "They think the minute the papers are signed, the worst is over and it's time to pick up and move on. You grieve like your spouse died -- only worse because you're forced to feel the pain of rejection and abandonment as well. And when your spouse dies, people surround you with love and comfort food. When your spouse leaves you, nobody even calls."
11. "A lot of people believeyou were never serious about marriage in the first place."
12. "They think you should be over it by now. Wrong, wrong, wrong."
13. "People think the divorce process is over in a matter of months. That's far from the case in my experience. It's been three years, I've lost thousands of dollars in the process, and I still don't have that piece of paper in my hands!"
14. "They forget that there's two sides to every story. The one who cries or rants loudest about the split is not always the one who's hurting the most. From my experience, the person who says the least is just doing a good job of hiding their pain."
15. "Once you're divorced, they figure you're back on the market again, just like that."
16. "They tend to believe divorced people don't grieve or feel sad or think back fondly on the good memories. People think it's all just anger and spite."