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Work with ex - how to maintain dignity after split

(7 Posts)
Ijustworemytrenchcoat Sat 08-Nov-14 12:47:34

Any advice greatly appreciated!

I have posted on here about the end of my relationship and am looking for some advice on how to deal with the questions and prying at work. I'm due to move into my new house with my son next week and up to ons I haven't told anybody at work but it will be pretty unavoidable soon.

We were together for 6 years and have worked together a few years more than that. It's a small department, not really much escape. I want to keep things factual, just let people know we have split, it wasn't working but he will still be very involved in our son's life. Not interested in mud slinging or assigning blame but, well, people will gossip. I am still teary about it. I know it is the right thing but still well up at the effect it will have on my son who adores his dad. My landlord said just in a matter of passing how it was a shame we had split so young and I cried, I don't know how I will stop myself.

I don't even know what to say: is 'it wasn't working out' ok. It doesn't really cover the complexities of how much we have tried, but I don't really want my colleagues to know how anguished I am about this. There is one particular person I am bothering myself about, she is an older woman who sticks her nose into everybody's private life despite never having had a relationship. She can be very cutting, and seems to revel in other people's misery. During a trial separation when I was still on maternity leave she got wind of it and made a comment to my ex about his family abandoning him.

I don't feel emotionally strong enough to tell her to mind her own business at the moment.

hamptoncourt Sat 08-Nov-14 12:51:48

Spruce up your cv and get yourself another job would be my advice.

If you stay how will you cope with people talking about his new GF etc?

In the meantime a dignified silence is the way to go. "I am not discussing it." Repeat repeat repeat.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 08-Nov-14 12:53:51

To kind people who mean you no harm, just say: "Yes, we've split up. It's hard to talk about right now. I'm sure you understand". Say nothing more, small smile and walk off.

To that one colleague: "And? What concern is it of yours? Mind your own business and remember that this is a workplace"... that should make the point that she can't gossip with alacrity and there will be consequences if she does. Same thing though, say your bit and walk off.

I hope you feel better soon, Ijustworemytrenchcoat. People are generally kind and will want to make you feel better, annoying as that can be.

As you still work with your ex, can you speak to him and ask him to maintain your privacy also.

Spadequeen Sat 08-Nov-14 12:54:56

Ask her if she meant to be so rude / disrespectful etc. or ask her if she meant to sound like a noisey old cow bag?

FunkyBoldRibena Sat 08-Nov-14 12:58:05

Do they all need to know? I wouldn't mention it, and if it gets out say 'Really think we need to stick to discussions about work, thanks'

Ijustworemytrenchcoat Sat 08-Nov-14 15:58:28

Getting a new job would be a very good idea! Not much going but I am thinking of applying to agencies, I just don't know if I can give up the security of a permanent post at the moment unless I absolutely know it will lead to something long term. He is looking as well, so hopefully one of us will be going soon.

I think probably even more than me he is keen to keep things as private as possible. He has had trouble with some colleagues in the past in that they have singles him out and been pretty awful to him. Neither of us would really want to give them any ammunition.

Unfortunately we're a really small team, and from a small town - everybody tends to know everybody's business. When my landlord found out where I worked she said she knew one on my colleagues. Everybody will get to know one way or the other.

daisychain01 Sat 08-Nov-14 16:07:47

Hi trenchcoat,

I believe on this one, you need management support. I would suggest you have a private official meeting with your line manager, explain your personal circumstances and that you are doing your utmost to maintain privacy and do not want to be distracted from your job responsibilities by having to discuss the matter of your marital breakup openly (because it is too emotional and hard to talk about at work).

Then ask your line manager to find a way (however they see fit) to convey the message to the people who you work with, that you do not want to discuss or be questioned on your personal situation and that they should be professional enough to respect your position, and allow you to get on with your job. Any deviation from that will be taken seriously by Management.

This takes the burden away from you at a time when you are already under massive emotional upheaval.

Take it easy and think only about you and your DS (not people at work - they are so not important!!!) flowers

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