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Early in separation - what to say to people?

(16 Posts)
MissTerryLady Wed 10-Apr-19 03:31:51

Going through a separation at the moment under quite horrible circumstances (recently found out husband had cheated years back. Don’t feel I can ever forgive give him due to the nature of it).

Currently it’s just a separation though, to give me time to figure things out. It’s been a complete shock and previous to this we had 17 very happy years. We’re about 2 months into the whole thing and living apart.

Have had 2 events recently where i’ve socialised with people I haven’t met before and I have ended up talking about my life and my husband as if I’m not separated. Not lying or anything but talking about my life without any acknowledgement of the fact I’m separated. For example....

‘Yes, we have 3 kids and my husband works as a candlestick maker....’.


‘oh yes, we (my husband and I) like to go to that pub too’.

Feel a bit confused about the whole thing. It feels so good to talk about my life as if none of this shit show is happening.

I also feel overwhelmingly sad when the conversation is over because it’s a reminder of my life before I found out about his cheating (not an affair as such).

Mostly, of course, I just don’t want to discuss my personal life with anyone except close friends (and, obviously, strangers on MN), but I feel like a complete fraud.

This is hard enough with people i’ve never met but I’m really worried about similar conversations with people who know us as a couple but don’t know what’s happening.

How do people tend to handle this early in a separation?

OP’s posts: |
Hersheys Wed 10-Apr-19 03:40:50

Hi op, sorry I couldn't just read a run. I have the opinion/sense from your post that your not even sure you want to separate...or is this just because it's so new/raw?

MissTerryLady Wed 10-Apr-19 03:58:26

Yes. Not sure what I want yet. I don’t want to be without him but I also don’t want to be with someone who cheated in the manner that he did. It’s a complex decision, for sure. Details would be outing so haven’t shared them on MN.

OP’s posts: |
Hersheys Wed 10-Apr-19 04:02:45

Sending you lots of hugs, I'm sure you'll make the right decision for you and only you but take your time and make sure it is what you want either way

Hersheys Wed 10-Apr-19 04:03:08

Sending you lots of hugs, I'm sure you'll make the right decision for you and only you but take your time and make sure it is what you want either way

Hersheys Wed 10-Apr-19 04:03:35

Sending you lots of hugs, I'm sure you'll make the right decision for you and only you but take your time and make sure it is what you want either way

greatandpowerfulozma Wed 10-Apr-19 04:04:53

I separated from my husband about 6 months ago. Trouble is if you mention you’re separated in casual conversation, people then ask about it (which is fair enough) but it automatically steers the conversation down a road you don’t want it to go down.

Sometimes you just want to discuss a nice pub without the chat morphing into being about your relationship breaking down. You’re definitely not a fraud! So far I’ve found lying by omission with people who I don’t know well (e.g. people I see at baby groups) to be the only way forward.

As for telling people you do know well, so far I’ve done it in stages with different groups. What I’ve found was people have been incredibly supportive. Work cut me all sorts of slack, my friends have messaged and tried to see me more. My family have been incredible. It’s been lovely people do come out of the woodwork and support you when they know you’re having a hard time.

Big hugs from me. It’s hard but I wish you every happiness in the future x

VivaVegas Wed 10-Apr-19 06:53:42

I can relate as we have had a trial separation for 6 months and I found it really hard as like you I ended up feeling I was lying to people other than the close friends and family who knew.
Now sadly it's permanent I have started to tell people but it's still hard and I feel such a failure even though my H has behaved like and idiot and treated me very badly.
I had hoped we could sort it out and I also knew if people knew the truth they would view him badly so in a way I tried to protect him and us incase we could reconcile.
However now he has strung me along for months on top of everything else I will tell those that as what has happened.
I too have found people very supportive once they have known which had been a big help.
H doesn't like it as feels like he is being made out to be the bad guy- well that's because he has!

Blossom5 Wed 10-Apr-19 07:00:33

Just do it in your time you dont have to tell anyone anything. When I seperated after 13 years I chose to only tell close people. All the local community found out of course and some people asked me but I chose not to go out and tell anyone. People gossiped... as they do and that stung because people had such limited information they made their own up. See how the celebs do it and release a statement haha but that wasn't how I wanted to do it I almost wanted it to just glaze over. Take each day and only talk about what you want too and with who you want too. X

stucknoue Wed 10-Apr-19 10:20:50

I've told work as I need to change jobs, that's it. I want to patch things up, so I don't want to be public but I can't leave my work in the lurch

Moffa Wed 10-Apr-19 12:03:10

I’m in the same situation but I’ve decided to use the celebrity mantra ‘never complain, never explain’ to general people. I talk deeply to 3 close friends & my parents, plus a therapist, and that’s enough - I’m already boring myself with talking about it. The way I see it is we have 2 gorgeous DC, I don’t want them growing up hearing gossip that is untrue. It’s nobody’s business unless you want it to be. Do what is right for you xxx

Tiddleypops Wed 10-Apr-19 12:16:07

Reading with interest. I'm also navigating this early stage of things.
My STBXH is an alcoholic, and we live in a fairly close knit community so I'm mindful of not divulging any details at all to anyone who really doesn't need to know. But at the same time, people make assumptions that we are still together and like a PP said, it's then that I feel a bit like a fraud or I flounder around trying to change the subject.

I guess the trick is to find a phrase that just sort of puts it out there as a statement "oh, well we aren't together anymore" type thing and then have a quick follow up that closes down any feeling of obligation of the other person to ask questions and send the conversation down the wrong track. It's just done then. They know what they need to know, let's move on.

KitchenDancefloor Wed 10-Apr-19 12:30:02

I was separated from my husband for 6 months in the past. Thankfully we worked through things and have been back together, happily for several years.

I made the decision not to make the separation public knowledge because people like to gossip and I had the hope that we would get back together. It was so hard at the time and I felt deceitful but I'm so glad that I kept my mouth shut.

I only confided in a couple of very close friends and my boss at the time. Not even our children (who were toddlers then) or our siblings know about the separation.

I think it may be different if divorce is inevitable.

Anyway, it is your life and relationship and how you talk about it (or don't) is up to you alone.

thanks at this crappy time. I hope you're out the other side soon.

driftingcloud Wed 10-Apr-19 20:42:49

I'm going for the "my husband is having a crisis, is depressed and can't manage a relationship anymore" but That's bit full on if you don't know people well!

VivaVegas Thu 11-Apr-19 07:30:50

Driftingcloud that would be the perfect description for me too, sadly!

ComeOnGordon Thu 11-Apr-19 07:37:06

I think it varies what I tell people but I feel weird if I feel like I’m lying even tho it’s just like a PP poster says - the minute you say you are separated the conversation then gets dominated by that.

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