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Newest Member: BallofAnxiety

Divorce/Separation :
What do you tell everyone else?

Topic is Sleeping.

 doublerainbow (original poster member #82239) posted at 2:53 AM on Sunday, November 6th, 2022

OK, so family knows about WH’s A (or will know soon if we’re talking extended family), friends know, and we’re working on telling DD. There should be a term for D-day for the kids.

I have a large social circle so WH’s disgusting A is quickly becoming more public by the day (hour?). And I feel unapologetically vindicated knowing that…especially compared to WH’s lack of friends.

My question is: what do you tell all the other randoms in your life? For people who - out of sincere caring or just plain old curiosity - ask why you are divorced / separated? For instance:

1. Co-workers. I literally know hundreds of people through my career. A few dozen actually came to our wedding and I consider myself close with a handful of them. No one at work knows yet but as soon as one person knows it will spread like wildfire.

2. Parents of DD’s classmates or friends (present and future). Scene: talking to another mom at school drop off and sharing that I am separated / D. What do I say if / when she asks "oh can I ask why?"?

3. Random friends. Including friends of friends

or new people I meet at some social gathering. Saying something like "it just didn’t work out" or "we had many issues" sounds lame and I sure as hell am not about to protect WH’s reputation bc his A is literally THE reason we are D.

Ideas? Anyone went through this?

I’ll add that I am mega awkward in these types of conversations (not that I’ve had experience with them). Meaning I can’t take silence and usually ramble on. I’m not sure providing all the sordid details of A is the right way to go either.

So far I’ve come up with "He had an A". Is that mic too big to drop / will it break someone’s toe? How many jaws do I need to scrape off the floor with that line?

[This message edited by doublerainbow at 2:54 AM, Sunday, November 6th]

Me: BS (38) Him: WS (45)D-Day (Jan 2022), going through D. 1 DD age 4. Just want to know there’s light at the end of this mess.

posts: 52   ·   registered: Oct. 26th, 2022   ·   location: West Coast
id 8763884

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 3:01 AM on Sunday, November 6th, 2022

Tell them you didn't care for his girlfriend, so you divorced him.

posts: 5042   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8763886

Shehawk ( member #68741) posted at 4:26 AM on Sunday, November 6th, 2022

I can't recommend this approach but for the most part I tell people the elevator pitch (short concise) version of the truth. I basically say I caught him in a secret second life and divorced him.

If I did not have to live in polite society I would say something much more raw like I got tired of him (having unprotected sex with strangers and risking my life) when we had a one woman one man monogamous marital agreement. But that is way too raw for everyday conversation.

I say beware tho that not everyone thinks cheating is wrong. And lots of people victim blame. So letting on that I was cheated on has led to people saying some pretty mean stuff to me like that it must have been my fault in some way (victim blame much?)

Prior to dday I had his back and would have taken a bullet for wh. Now I don't seek to harm him but I do tell the factual if sanitized truth if asked. And I do not go out of my way to protect his reputation.

"It's a slow fade...when you give yourself away" so don't do it!

posts: 1163   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2018   ·   location: VA
id 8763896

BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 7:51 AM on Sunday, November 6th, 2022

I found that fewer people asked me about it than I expected. Divorce is so common that people don’t really question it anymore. But when it did come up, I would just respond that I didn’t like his girlfriend or her husband and kids and that generally took care of the problem.

[This message edited by BearlyBreathing at 5:11 PM, Sunday, November 6th]

Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 5221   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8763898

leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 8:12 AM on Sunday, November 6th, 2022

A family member who went through infidelity said XWH preferred his women in quantity rather than quality.

Share what you're comfortable sharing. You don't owe anybody an expo because it really isn't any of their business.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 1689   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8763899

Losttransport ( member #39409) posted at 10:04 AM on Sunday, November 6th, 2022

I live in a smallish town, and have been here for almost 20 years. Our children went to school here and were in all kinds of extra curriculars, we both worked locally and so we know a lot of people here.

I didn’t tell anyone outside of a few friends after DDay because we were reconciling. Or at least that’s what I thought we were doing. All that came to a stop when he left.

Now? When anyone asks about him? I say, that loser? Yeah, he cheated on me with his girlfriend from high school and moved in with her, so I’m divorcing him. Most people can’t believe it at first. It’s probably indelicate, as far as explanations goes, but I don’t care. My daughter told me that she told someone that her dad was a whore that left his family to go bang his old girlfriend and as far as she’s concerned, he’s dead to her.

While I’m in total agreement with her, my toned down version is usually better accepted!

Me: BS-50
Hubby: WS-50
OW: his high school girlfriend
Affair started last November
3 DD, 1 DS all grown
Time heals all wounds-I do not agree.

posts: 132   ·   registered: May. 31st, 2013   ·   location: Texas
id 8763903

ZDZD ( new member #80814) posted at 9:08 PM on Sunday, November 6th, 2022

Infidelity is a touchy subject and it's rampant - according to various studies, around 40% of couples experience infidelity, so it's a high chance that the ones you tell have some experience, either direct or with extended family.

I'd be strategic about it - what do you aim to achieve with a given person or group?

- Do you need that person/group to achieve your financial/career goals? I wouldn't generally bring it up unless someone asks "how is your WH". You can tell you are getting divorced after you couldn't overcome your difficulties. Colleagues can sympathise with the divorce issues, but they don't generally care. I told everyone at work about my D because my productivity dropped a lot for a few months, and I wanted to be transparent about it. I haven't told anyone about A simply because I don't see any gain for myself.

- With friends, it may be a great filter to understand who are really there for you and who are just passing by. If they value you, they will support you. If they value their opinions more, you will know not to associate with them much.

- If you wish to build a closer emotional bond with someone, you tell them as it is, without badmouthing. They will either open up and become closer, or shut you off. Either way, you'll know.

You have a large social circle, so you must be a generally happy person. People like happy people. You'll be OK anyway.

[This message edited by ZDZD at 3:55 PM, Monday, November 7th]

Me: the BH
Her: the xWW
Married for 10y, 2 children
AP, OBS close friends of many years
Currently divorcing.

posts: 39   ·   registered: Sep. 1st, 2022
id 8763977

LostInHisFog ( member #78503) posted at 4:29 AM on Monday, November 7th, 2022

I had a big fear over this but it turns out there are far less nosey/curious people than I thought. Most of the time when I had to say ‘we’ve separated/ we’re divorcing/ I’m divorced’ I got ‘oh, I’m sorry. Are you ok?’ far more than ‘why?/ what happened?’. When I was asked why I just kept it light ‘I wasn’t cool with him dating’, because those outside my circle of good friends didn’t need to know how ugly it got, how extreme the impact his cheating had, so I kept it light and stuck to the truth. No one ever victim shamed me, no one asked me to elaborate and I felt proud I didn’t lie about the reason.

[This message edited by LostInHisFog at 4:30 AM, Monday, November 7th]

They can make as many promises as they want, but if they don't put action behind it, it doesn't mean anything.

I edit because I'm fluent in typo & autocorrect hates me.

posts: 300   ·   registered: Mar. 14th, 2021
id 8764036

hcsv ( member #51813) posted at 12:33 PM on Monday, November 7th, 2022

After 40 years together, 35 of them married, I said when asked, After 40 years together, he had an affair, he wasnt the man I thought he was."

After 40 years, ex turned into someone I didnt know and couldnt trust anymore. Divorced. 1/17

posts: 750   ·   registered: Feb. 14th, 2016
id 8764053

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 7:56 PM on Monday, November 7th, 2022

I think it's a good idea to prepare a one line explanation and a one line refusal to answer follow-up questions.

I agree that there's no reason to hide the reason for separation or D. I also see no reason to discuss details unless you want to.

To what extent is shame prompting your question? I think you'll find that most people will sympathize with you.

I know I always assumed that an A was caused, usually, by problems in the M, but when the first friend confessed that his W cheated, my immediate internal response was that she did it because of her own problems.

Getting rid of the shame that comes along with being betrayed (but shouldn't) is one of the more difficult tasks in healing. Admitting the reason for S/D is one way of processing the shame out of one's body.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 28204   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8764135

 doublerainbow (original poster member #82239) posted at 3:56 AM on Sunday, December 4th, 2022

ZDZD. I was happy before, I doubt I am now. Anger fuels a lot of my days and fog creeps into others. Just trying to find more good / happy hours in a day than before. Good point about how common infidelity is, after having shared my story with a couple people I was shocked to discover how many divorced for the same reason. So far no friends have left me. What I am concerned about is him telling people lies about why we are separated or worse him putting me in a negative light, or hell, say I was the one that cheated.

sisoon Interesting question. I never thought shame was driving my desire to spill the beans but after having mulled over it I can see now that a part of me is worried about what people would think of me and most importantly DD. Would people think the cheating is my fault? WH clearly affaired down (which I now realize after reading through SI forums), but I can imagine him spinning lies and playing the victim especially when he tells his own circle. I do think like you say telling people will help process the shame that I know I have deep down. I’m most worried about DD and whether she would be ashamed for having a lying pos of a cheating bastard for a father. She has a perfectionist personality and I can see this traumatizing her.

It sounds like most agree with telling a readers digest version of the truth…time to script an elevator speech.

Did people ever get tired of telling the true story? I’m at the point where I feel tired and sort of relive all the D-Day feelings all over again with every new person that finds out.

[This message edited by doublerainbow at 3:57 AM, Sunday, December 4th]

Me: BS (38) Him: WS (45)D-Day (Jan 2022), going through D. 1 DD age 4. Just want to know there’s light at the end of this mess.

posts: 52   ·   registered: Oct. 26th, 2022   ·   location: West Coast
id 8768036

leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 5:52 AM on Sunday, December 4th, 2022

People important to me know the real story. Other people get the elevator pitch. It's not really any of their business.

At first, it took me realizing that I needed to be more conscious of what I said. I practiced giving my elevator speech. If not, I would flood and everything would come out. Not what I wanted to happen in front of the Doritos display at the grocery store.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 1689   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8768054

hurtbs ( member #10866) posted at 3:55 PM on Sunday, December 4th, 2022

Those close to me know what happened. Everyone else, I just say "sometimes relationships don't work out." I don't need everyone in my business.

Me - 40 something. WXH DDay 2006, Divorced 2012
WBF DDay #1 9/2022 #2 11/2022

posts: 15760   ·   registered: Jun. 1st, 2006   ·   location: So Cal
id 8768091

ZDZD ( new member #80814) posted at 8:12 PM on Sunday, December 4th, 2022

doublerainbow As we go through the trauma, our story also changes.

Here's what I was telling MYSELF:
v0 (until Oct 2021) - I don't mind R if my W gets her act together
v1 (until Mar 2022) - I moved out because my W wanted to D, and my patience was over
v2 (until July 2022) - I moved out because I could not stand her behaviour towards our friend (OBS) and because she kept blaming me for her A and failures in our M. I don't want to be married to someone whose integrity is conditional and who puts her desires above everyone.
v3 - current - I don't want to spend my life filling someone's broken tank of self-esteem, then being blamed, cheated and betrayed if it runs empty. I am a happy person with a lot of love to give, and I want to associate with happy people who like to give. Due to my principles of loyalty, I could never leave. Infidelity was a wake-up call that set me back on my path, and I am curious what it brings.

As you see, it becomes less about my xWW and her actions and more about my own direction.
What happened to you was unfair, you are angry and deeply hurt. Maybe there's shame that you are one of those divorcees, that you somehow weren't good enough etc. You'll need to work through that. But put in perspective, you just lost your self-definition of a wife and family member. You still have everything and everyone you hold dear. Why do you care what someone tells to his buddies? So before you tell everyone, what are you telling yourself? :)

Me: the BH
Her: the xWW
Married for 10y, 2 children
AP, OBS close friends of many years
Currently divorcing.

posts: 39   ·   registered: Sep. 1st, 2022
id 8768124

Solarchick ( member #80222) posted at 8:46 PM on Thursday, December 8th, 2022

When it was fresh, I used to tell people that his girlfriend complained that I was interfering in their relationship. I did have a few people act shocked that I admitted to being cheated on. I asked them why, after all, I wasn't the one that participated in disgusting, abusive behavior in the marriage.

Now whenever it comes up, I tell people that he was never faithful to me, throughout the entire relationship and marriage. He's a broken person.

Oddly, after my latest divorce, nobody has asked me why. And it was an amicable split with no infidelity on either side. It's like people can just tell by the way we share the news.

Me: BW, 56, two awesome grown sons. Remarried in 2010. That lasted 11 years.
WXH: Not even a blip on my radar anymore. I'm glad he's messing up the OW's life now and leaving me alone.
D (with cause) in 2004.

posts: 153   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2022   ·   location: Charleston, SC
id 8768700
Topic is Sleeping.
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