All is well in sunny Georgia and I am definitely taking advantage of the weather and all Atlanta has to offer.
Here’s where the awkwardness comes in: Being separated/divorced no matter how “bad” the marriage was; isn’t exactly something anyone wants to yell to the world…Unless you’re one of those “classy people” who throw Divorce parties.
In all seriousness I actually thought of throwing one when my divorce was pending. But I just did not see how throwing a party about my failed marriage, even if I titled it my “Independence” party (in celebration of my newfound freedom) was going to do anything for my spiritual and emotional health besides be a negative reminder. And after all, I didn’t want anyone to have any new reasons to have a negative views on marriage. I think marriage, when governed accordingly, is one of the most self-less and in turn one of the most rewarding institutions. I, in fact, loved being married and would absolutely do it again. I loved being a wife, a step-mother, a cook, a help-mate…I, just did not choose the right person to marry, for me. Nor did we (my ex spouse and I) as pre- twenty-somethings have true notions of all that marriage entailed.
Finally, I’m quite sure it would’ve included plenty of awkward moments where I ultimately would have had to discuss “What went wrong?”. No thanks, no more awkward moments please. Which brings me back to the topic at hand…
Being separated/divorced sooner or later you run into your fair share of awkward moments. Uncomfortable in the moment but some are pretty funny in hindsight. Let me share some of my “favorite”:
Seeing well-intentioned associates: How’s the married life?? 😒😒 “Good” , said through clenched teeth…slowly walks away before they inquire further, all the while thinking “Don’t these people have facebook?”. There were the few and far between moments where I actually decide to just spit it out: “I’m divorced.” In response, one person actually said to me , as they chuckled, “Wow, I’m sorry. That’s gotta be like, the shortest marriage ever.” 😶😶 Don’t even get me started on the unsolicited life advice from these associates. Thanks, but no thanks.
Changing personal id’s, SScard etc#: Thought I had successfully dodged these but moving to a new state and all required some changes. My recent trip to the DMV is what sparked this post…I don’t know what it is with aforementioned employees but literally with my marriage certificate,and divorce decree in their hand (and I’ve stated “I want to go back to my maiden name. Here’s my marriage license. Here’s my divorce decree.”) Still, each one has asked, “So you got divorced?” in a voice louder than necessary as they inquire further. “Where’s the marriage license?” Thinks to self “in your hand #%*@$!!”. “Where does it say you can go back to your maiden name?” (Flips to said page in decree) Oh, ok. One moment. (Sigh)
Employment: I didn’t find out I was divorced six months until after it was finalized, smh. So I had already started my previous position under my married name by the time those papers came in. And of course, I wanted my maiden name on everything…Name change on the job= Name tags on desk, names on phones etc that was just so much fun as I gave very short answers to everyone who inquired about my name change and even accepted congratulatory statements from people who thought I had gotten married just to avoid the awkwardness of telling them it was actually the other way around. Them: I heard you got married, congratulations!!! Me: 😑 Thank you…Not to mention I had clients who thought it was funny ( innocently so, I guess) to switch up calling me by my maiden name and married name whenever the wind blew.
I say all of this to say separation/divorce is hard enough as it is without prying questions to make awkward situations even more awkward. So, if you’re not a close friend or close relative, don’t ask such personal questions. Your intentions may be harmless but you never know what someone’s situation may be and those questions are not small talk topics. That person has the right to divulge that information, when they are good and ready to. So here are some options, instead of asking how’s the married life? Just ask, how are YOU? How’s work? School? Etc.
P.S. Even if you are a close relative/friend and are privileged with that information know that that person is trusting in you and really just needs a listening ear. No snide remarks about you “knew it” etc . Wrong time, wrong place. Less awkward moments for all of us.
Something to think about:
“Getting married is easy. Fall in love. Get a ring, tux, dress, church, say I do and it’s done…Weddings are easy. Marriage is hard. A marriage is the joining of two people and their individual desires, goals, lifestyles, and experiences. And those two people have to constantly work at balancing their individuality into a harmonious union” Excerpt from the novel “Single Girl Summer” by Deanna Kimberly Burrell