I finally did it. I admitted to people, not all people, but some, that my marriage is failing. “We are going to separate for a while” may have been the toughest words to ever come out of my mouth. For the most part, those who I have told have been more than supportive. There have been a few things said to me in which I would like to discuss, though, and please know that I am not faulting those who have said them, I have said them before, too. Before I was going through this myself. Now that I have a clearer picture of what separation is really like, I can share it with you.
“What about the kids?”
Please, whatever you say, do not say this. I assure you that moms going through separations have done very little more than think about their children. Do not ever assume that someone is being selfish and only thinking of themselves when they say they are ending their marriage. A mother’s love for her children is in no way affected due to her marriage ending and trust me, she already knows that it will be harder on the kids. Now, offering to help with the kids is music to the ears!
“Fake it til you make it!”
Listen, I get the concept that sometimes things blow over. Here is the thing with this statement…..you have no idea how long she has been “faking it to make it” and the last thing a woman going through a drastic life change needs is to feel like people think that she threw in the towel at the first sign of trouble. My separation did not happen overnight, it happened over years, and while I never say never, so maybe one day things will work out for us, right now I need space to sort through my thoughts. Living in a fake marriage doesn’t do anyone any good.
“You shouldn’t be smoking.”
This in no way needs to be uttered. And believe me, I have all but screamed it from the rooftops at ladies in my situation before. What it comes down to is that, no, smoking cigarettes will in no way make the situation better, you’re right. She already knows that and most likely has no plans to become a full time smoker again, but at that moment, picking up that pack of Parliaments is the only thing keeping the tears in, so just let it go. Feel free to bring up the topic if it is still an issue in a year, which hopefully it won’t be.
For me, I have been lucky and have amazing friends in my life who have done nothing but make me feel better. Even those that have said some unnecessary phrases to me have done so with nothing but good intent. The message I hope that you take away from this is that when a woman comes to you with news of a separation or divorce please remember that she is most likely going through the hardest time of her life and needs you to support, not question her. I promise you she has questioned herself enough for the both of you.
Be a woman’s woman, take her for a vodka and a smoke! (Jokes, obviously, but it still doesn’t sound too bad.)