Normally, we say "she got married to him" and "she got divorced from him" (notice: "to" vs "from")

I don't know why people don't say "she got divorced to him".

But when we say "she got divorced from him", one thing will appear in your mind that

-Was he the one who wanted to divorce her?


We just don't know who actually wanted that or both wanted that.

Say, Mary and Tom were not happy with their marriage. However, Mary didn't want to get a divorce while Tom wanted. Tom filed for the divorce and Mary had to sign it reluctantly.

Do we say "Mary got divorced from Tom"?

  • 2
    People don't say "she got divorced to him" because the verb "to divorce" does not take the preposition "to." You will never ever ever hear a native speaker say that.
    – randomhead
    Feb 17, 2022 at 4:20
  • 4
    To follow up on what @randomhead said, "to" suggests things moving toward each other (as in a marriage) and "from" suggests things moving away from each other (as in a divorce). Unlike many English prepositions, these actually make sense! Feb 17, 2022 at 4:30

3 Answers 3



If anything, "she got divorced from him" implies that she wanted it and he did not. But that is a rather tenuous implication; for the most part it does not imply anything. It does not indicate that one, the other, both, or neither wanted the divorce to happen. All it indicates is that the divorce did happen.

"They got divorced [from each other]" makes even less of a judgement as to which party initiated the divorce.

Changing from the passive voice to the active, "she divorced him" does imply—somewhat—that she wanted the divorce and he did not, or at least he wanted it less than she did.


You get divorced from because marriage is seen as a joining together. I got married to my wife / I glued my stick to the paper. When you get divorced you are taking apart what was joined. I got divorced from my wife / I separated the stick from the paper.


The legal terminology may differ from country to country, but in the UK and most places that I'm aware of, in divorce law there is a petitioner (the one who asks the court for a divorce) and a respondent (the other party in the divorce). Historically, the petitioner is the one who has grounds for requesting the divorce (adultery, unreasonable behaviour, willful nonsupport etc). For example, if a husband cheats on his wife and there is no reconciliation, the wife would divorce her husband on the grounds of his adultery. It is not possible (in the UK at least) for a person to initiate divorce on the grounds of their own adultery. Divorce law is changing in some places - the UK is moving to allow 'no fault' divorces which would allow divorces where both parties agree it is nobody's 'fault'. But where parties don't agree to a divorce there would still need to be a petitioner and a respondent.

So, when someone says, for example, "she divorced her husband" it does sound like the woman was the petitioner with a complaint against her husband, because when 'divorced' is used as a verb it is done by someone to someone else.

Expressions like "they got divorced" or "they got a divorce" don't imply any fault, but persons used to hearing that someone was at fault may consider them to be ambiguous rather than imply there was nobody considered at fault.

Your example of "she got divorced from him" isn't really clear as to who, if anyone, initiated the divorce. At the end of the procedure, both parties are 'divorced' and arguably they both got divorced, too. I would say this is either ambiguous or the matter of who divorced who is just irrelevant to what is being said.

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