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New Beginnings
User Topic: What info do you give? /vent
BrokenDaisy
Member
Member # 37063
Default  Posted: 6:14 AM, August 26th (Monday)

My NB has finally started. I moved to a new city very far from the previous one at the beginning of this month. Currently I am a full time SAHM to my toddler son. I have had many different reactions to me being a single parent. I live in a very family orientated area and our country is still very conservative (i.o.w negative stereotypes about single parents) so that might be why.

I've had a few people say the following and variations of it when I say I'm divorced (Our divorce isn't final yet but I'm not going to explain that to strangers too so I have just been saying I'm divorced): "marriage used to mean something to people", "people don't work on marriages anymore they just get divorced with the first little hurdle","you young people forget marriage is sacred". I'm an introvert and shy and my (18 month old) son was with me every time someone said something like this and it has caught me off guard every single time. So far I've just mumbled some nonsense and escaped. It upsets me every single time. How dare they just assume because I am young that I threw away my marriage on a whim! I took my vows seriously. I tried to reconcile for 16 months with a SA NPD. We weren't even dating a month when he first cheated on me (I was obviously unaware of this until dday) I gave all I could to the marriage. I grew up with him for goodness sake I was totally blindsided by everything. I trusted him fully and I was a good wife. Being young had nothing to do with it! What is it with society always blaming/judging the victim? I'm sick of it. Why are people so darn rude?

However I can't say all this to strangers. It has made me reluctant to offer up that I am divorced/single mother.

What do you say to people? I've been thinking I'll give the awesome "I didn't like his girlfriends" response to the next rude person but what do I say to nice people? For example my new neighbours. They're very polite and friendly and they're bound to ask soon what is the deal. What about new potential friends? Do I just lay it all out? How much info do I give? I don't want to come across as bitter neither do I want to make people uncomfortable or want their pity bit I also want them to know it isn't my fault I'm raising my son alone.

I know I care too much about others perceptions. I just hate stereotypes and all the unfair judging I have received since this all happened (we have been very open about stbx cheating on me. No details but friends and family all know) I'm working on not letting it upset me and as soon as I can get back to IC I will discuss it there too.


Me BxW, him SA NPD WxH
1 wonderful toddler - sole legal custody to me and supervised visitation to xwh.
DDay 01/2012
10/2013 Divorced!!

Posts: 241 | Registered: Oct 2012
nowiknow23
Guide
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 7:12 AM, August 26th (Monday)

It can be tricky to address such rude comments while trying to remain friendly, and I can see that's something you are interested in doing with certain people like your neighbors.

Think about what kinds of statements you can make that are truthful, short, keep your private details private, and yet strongly push back on the parts of their statements that feel judgmental or presumptuous to you. Just a couple of suggestions that may work for you (tweak as needed) -

"marriage used to mean something to people"
I know. It's so sad that it didn't mean anything to my ex-husband.

"people don't work on marriages anymore they just get divorced with the first little hurdle"
I don't find that to be true. I know I worked very hard to keep my marriage, but it takes two.

"you young people forget marriage is sacred".
I believe marriage is sacred, but my ex-husband did not.

Best of luck on your NB!

*edited because I can't format properly before my first coffee.

[This message edited by nowiknow23 at 7:13 AM, August 26th (Monday)]


You can call me NIK

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.
- Plato


Posts: 24406 | Registered: Aug 2011
cmego
Member
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 7:15 AM, August 26th (Monday)

I did the same...packed my children up and we moved to a new city after S. I moved into a typical suburban neighborhood with mostly families. I feel like the odd man out most times.

If a stranger said that to me I'd quickly retort, "I believe in marriage too...but his girlfriend didn't." And. Walk. Away.

To the neighbors? I'd let it come out more slowly. They may or may not ask, but I'm sure they are curious. I've been here two years, and one neighbor finally came out and asked...since she sees ex here picking up the kids, and, after all, he is "so nice and friendly!".


me...BS, 43 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
Divorced

"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings


Posts: 4014 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Virginia
newnormal
Member
Member # 21925
Default  Posted: 7:19 AM, August 26th (Monday)

I live in the Bible belt, so what worked for me when my nice friends pushed my response was "I had a biblical reason". That really makes the nice church ladies never ask again and they become reeaaally supportive. I have to wonder how many of them went through what we have?


BS 43 (me)
FWH 48
D-day 9/07

Dont retreat, reload.
"Pull that knife out of your back - and sever the fuel line to that bus you got thrown under" Bufffalo


Posts: 1033 | Registered: Dec 2008
Amazonia
Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 8:01 AM, August 26th (Monday)

I used almost word for word the lines NIK gave you,


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13559 | Registered: Jul 2011
BrokenDaisy
Member
Member # 37063
Default  Posted: 8:49 AM, August 26th (Monday)

Thanks everyone! NIK those are the exact type of responses I was looking for, thank you. Such simple answers so difficult to give them. I don't know why I freeze up with strangers.

Cmego you're one of the biggest inspirations on here for me. Thank you for always responding to my threads.


Me BxW, him SA NPD WxH
1 wonderful toddler - sole legal custody to me and supervised visitation to xwh.
DDay 01/2012
10/2013 Divorced!!

Posts: 241 | Registered: Oct 2012
nowiknow23
Guide
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 8:54 AM, August 26th (Monday)

I don't know why I freeze up with strangers.
I used to get the same way - for me, it was just such an intrusion! They are WAY overstepping, and it's jarring. My brain would take a couple of minutes to kick in when faced with such rudeness. Because I'm all nice and crap and I would NEVER think to say such things to someone else.


You can call me NIK

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.
- Plato


Posts: 24406 | Registered: Aug 2011
gahurts
Member
Member # 33699
Default  Posted: 9:50 AM, August 26th (Monday)

These kinds of comments burn me up. Blame the victim. Marriage is sacred and permanent to me but what do you do when the spounse walks away from you. Twice. The second one didn't even wait until she left the M but still expects me to support her financially. Yet I'm the bad guy.

I really love that biblical response.


"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indominable will" - Mahatma Gandi

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - Aubrie


Posts: 3320 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: Georgia
Embers2Fire
Member
Member # 25557
Default  Posted: 1:01 AM, August 27th (Tuesday)

I also moved to a new city after leaving my XWH although I am not a single mother people will always ask me what brought me to this city. My standard response for strangers is "a series of unfortunate events better told over very many margaritas and we have not had enough to drink yet" and then I smile. Most people get a chuckle out of it and then drop the subject.


BS - me 49
XWH - him 48
DDay 05/08
Married 25 yrs, 2 sons 28/23
Divorced
2nd Marriage 11/1/13 livng the dream
Thanks to you I'm finally thinking about me, you know in the end the day you left was really my begnning - Kelly Clarkson

Posts: 410 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Memphis, TN
ArkLaMiss
Member
Member # 14918
Default  Posted: 1:12 AM, August 27th (Tuesday)

I would smile politely and say " my ex husband tried to kill me." Then walk away


Just HOW stupid do you think I am, exactly?

Posts: 1164 | Registered: Jun 2007
Sad in AZ
Member
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 4:25 AM, August 27th (Tuesday)

Everyone gets the same from me: "I divorced him because I didn't like his girlfriend." You get laughs from the cool people and shocked silence from everyone else. I love it.


I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Posts: 19792 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
Kajem
Member
Member # 36134
Default  Posted: 4:54 AM, August 27th (Tuesday)

I be used the same as Sad and "We had a difference in religious opinion, he thought he was God - I disagreed."

It sucks that people judge so immediately and are rude about it.

Hugs,
K


I trust you is a better compliment than I love you, because you may not trust the person you love, but you can always love the person you trust. - Unknown
Relationships are like sharing a book, it doesn't work if you're not on the same page.

Posts: 4839 | Registered: Jul 2012 | From: Florida
cmego
Member
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 6:35 AM, August 27th (Tuesday)

Cmego you're one of the biggest inspirations on here for me. Thank you for always responding to my threads.

If I can do this...you can do this! For me, it was learning to just put my head down and plow forward. I have to make my decisions based on what is best for me and my children. Period. I am in control of my life and you are in control of yours. You can do this!


me...BS, 43 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
Divorced

"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings


Posts: 4014 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Virginia
risingfromashes
Member
Member # 3903
Default  Posted: 6:54 AM, August 27th (Tuesday)

I find the "didn't like his girlfriends" response is helpful in many ways. It clearly defines the situation, stops further inquiry, and gives the message that I have moved on.

I sometimes, just to mix it up, respond with:

When we got married I thought he was going to stop dating. At least I assumed he was going to cut back!

This also takes care of things


There is life on the other side of hell.

Posts: 1585 | Registered: Mar 2004
BrokenDaisy
Member
Member # 37063
Default  Posted: 7:18 AM, August 27th (Tuesday)

Thank you everyone!


I used to get the same way - for me, it was just such an intrusion! They are WAY overstepping, and it's jarring. My brain would take a couple of minutes to kick in when faced with such rudeness. Because I'm all nice and crap and I would NEVER think to say such things to someone else.

Exactly this!

My standard response for strangers is "a series of unfortunate events better told over very many margaritas and we have not had enough to drink yet" and then I smile. Most people get a chuckle out of it and then drop the subject.

Also a good ice breaker!

If I can do this...you can do this! For me, it was learning to just put my head down and plow forward. I have to make my decisions based on what is best for me and my children. Period. I am in control of my life and you are in control of yours. You can do this!

Thanks cmego! That is pretty much my mantra these days. I am taking one little challenge at a time and it is working. I am feeling much better than that first week here and feeling lighter without the leecher of the stbx around. Just trying to keep plowing ahead one thing at a time.

I find the "didn't like his girlfriends" response is helpful in many ways. It clearly defines the situation, stops further inquiry, and gives the message that I have moved on.

Very true. That's why I like it so much. Just need to get the guts to use it next time!


Me BxW, him SA NPD WxH
1 wonderful toddler - sole legal custody to me and supervised visitation to xwh.
DDay 01/2012
10/2013 Divorced!!

Posts: 241 | Registered: Oct 2012
Topic Posts: 15