divorce · dogs · Pets · Uncategorized

Navigating Separation: 10 Things NOT to say to your friend during a Separation/Divorce

So I know this is a travel blog and yes, it’s primarily about my dog Ava, but I want to be real with my readers, the few of you that there are LOL! I am almost officially at month 4 of being separated from my husband.Never thought it would get to this point, but here I am and NO it’s not any easier.

I wanted to take a moment and address some of the mistakes I’ve had happen along the way. Not necessarily things I’ve done, but things well meaning friends and family have done or said to me. I probably would have made the same mistakes if roles had been reversed so this isn’t a blast but a “hey if you want to be encouraging or helpful DON’T DO or SAY this”. Here we go:

1) Most of you know I’m a believer, a Christian. While sending verses and encouraging messages is helpful, I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with the “God has a plan” bit. I know He has a plan, I know it’s a great plan but right now this part of the plan hurts. Somedays it’s physically painful and on those days it doesn’t feel like a great plan. It feels like one of those plans that some how went awry like a Chevy Chase National Lampoon’s Vacation plan. I know people mean this in a way to say that God will see me through all of this and that He wants good for me, but most days I wish we could have just stuck to the ORIGINAL plan which was that my husband and I stay married forever.

2) “You’ are strong. You’ve been through worse/or even better this is the second time you’ve experienced this, you should know how to handle this.” THIS IS QUITE POSSIBLY THE DUMBEST, HURTFUL THING SAID YET.  Yes, this wasn’t my first marriage. Yes, that marriage ended up in absolute disastrous flames, but it was an entirely different situation. When that ended, I was downright THANKFUL that it had. I do not feel that way about my husband right now. Yes, I know this type of hurt, but you know what it’s DIFFERENT. Do I know that I’m strong? Yes, I know, but somedays it would be nice for someone to acknowledge that somedays it’s ok not to be strong. It’s ok to breakdown and want to eat ice cream and potato chips and drink soda and cry.

3) The “girl he don’t know what he’s missing” campaign. While I get that this is meant to empower me, make me feel good about myself, most days it actually has the opposite effect. Maybe he doesn’t know what he’s missing. Maybe he isn’t missing me at all. Maybe he knows and he’s decided he doesn’t mind missing it. At any rate, I hate when people say this to me.

4) “I’m jealous. You get to start over and live YOUR life”. What’s to be jealous of? The fact that if I wanted to live “my” life is that I wouldn’t have remarried. You’re jealous of legal issues? Or maybe it’s the endless nights I spend awake trying to figure out what went wrong. Don’t tell me you are jealous of my freedom when in reality I’m a slave to the what if’s.

5) “I hate him”  Here’s the thing I can hate him, you can’t. I love him, still love him, maybe will love him for years to come. There are other ways to share your frustration with what I already know to be a frustrating situation. Instead you can say you understand it’s hard.

6) “I don’t know how you are getting through this?” GUESS WHAT ME EITHER!

7) “Let me know if you need anything”- I don’t like asking for help so if you’re offering be specific. It could be something as simple as asking me if I’d like to have dinner or chill out and see a movie. This is the vaguest statement and I will feel as if I’m burdening you because I feel like my situation is a BURDEN. It certainly is for me.

8) Who cheated? OMG guess what NEITHER OF US DID!

9) “Why did this happen?” You know what I have no idea. See above sleepless nights and what if questions. Besides do you really want to know? You are only going to get my side of the story and quite honestly it’s filled with some pretty big questions.

10) Last but not least “THERE ARE MORE FISH IN THE SEA” Do I look like the Gordon’s Fisherman? I don’t care if there are more fish in the sea. The assumption that I’ll just get over this marriage if I find another relationship is STUPID! Maybe I wanted this person! Maybe the thought of being with someone else is not only revolting but frightening and right now the feelings of LONELINESS are pretty dang high. So this doesn’t make me feel confident, or excited to meet anyone new, or even consider meeting anyone new.

 

Ok, so I’ve probably come across as a pretty ugly word at this point, but I am trying to be helpful to those who maybe know someone in the situation I am in. Really right now what I could use is a friend to spend time with, to make my life feel somewhat normal. Just getting my mind from dwelling is a welcomed break. Don’t think we have to talk about my separation, we don’t. But, don’t think it’s not ok to ask about my husband because it is. I want to know that this is real. That the loss I’m experiencing is real, but sometimes it’s ok to be able to watch Bridget Jones’s diary with a bottle of red wine and reenact the opening scene because I am all by myself and I don’t mind embracing the absurdity of it.

Maybe this will be helpful to some, maybe it will make me out as a huge jerk, either way time keeps ticking on.

 

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