Day 298: Sometimes I Say Stupid Things. And By “I”, I Mean You.

I’m the queen of saying stupid things.  Like last summer when I inadvertently implied that a friend was pregnant when she wasn’t and everyone congratulated her because she was “starting to show”. Or that time when I called my friend’s new boyfriend by her ex-boyfriend’s name at his own birthday party. Or yesterday, when I referred to a coworker’s daughter as a son despite the fact is a picture of the child on her desk with a bow in her hair.

It stands to reason, therefore, that karma felt compelled to taunt me after my husband and I separated a few months ago. Apparently, it was my turn to be the recipient of tactless questions and commentary. And because I prefer to think that I’m not alone in this experience, I asked my Facebook friends to chime in with their own sad tales. Here are some of my favorites:

Maybe you should try harder. (Let’s see, it’s been nearly a year, our counseling bill is higher than our mortgage payment, we’ve both lost ten pounds, and we still can’t speak to one another without tears or arguing.)

We never liked him anyway. Really? Like, you all sat around and talked about how you didn’t like him and it didn’t feel at all disloyal to me? Awesome.

So, when are you going to start dating? Um, it’s Wednesday. He moved out Saturday. I’d answer you, but I’m crying really hard and the children keep pulling on my pant leg and asking for Daddy.

You should take him for everything he’s worth. Why, that won’t make things worse at all!  Let me start emptying our bank account now. Dinner is on me.

You’ve got to fix this. Yes, yes, you’re right. Wait, how do I make a man stay when he doesn’t want to be here? And why do you want this for me?

How was your sex life? Does my separation mean we have now have no boundaries? How is your sex life?

Do you ever just look around and think, “Wow, I don’t have a family anymore. How did this happen?” Yes, thank you for letting me know that everyone else is looking at me and thinking the exact same thing. And I think it’s awesome that you think a family can only be defined by the presence of a man.

What would you do if you found out he was cheating on you with a friend? Why are you asking me that? Where were you last Saturday night? C’mere, let me smell you.

Do you think your kids will ever recover from this? No. They will probably either go to jail or live in my basement forever due to the trauma of their parents’ divorce.

If your kids could pick, who do you think they’d want to live with? Um, they’re 4 and 6 years old. Can you please not plant the seed in my head that they, in addition to their father, may not want to live with me?

_______________. (This represents silence.) You were so talking about me before I walked into this room, weren’t you?  I wonder how much of what you were saying was factually correct.

So, do you ever get lonely at night? Come here. Just stroke my hair for a minute while you’re talking to me.

What would you do if someone broke into your house when you’re alone at night? I would say, “Come here. Just stroke my hair for a minute before you kill me.”

Do you think he misses you? I’m going to go with . . . no. And it doesn’t hurt at all to admit that so feel free to ask me again and again.

Think you’ll ever get married again? Wait, you mean because the first time was so awesome? Hmm. Maybe we can wait until I’m actually divorced before wondering from where my next source of hurt and disappointment will come.

Tell me, folks, have you experienced an awkward moment while divorcing?


  1. Mer says:

    In my defense, I open every conversation with “how was your sex life?” Yes, its occasionally awkward when I call customer support at my bank, but ultimately its a great conversation starter. Usually.

    • Tara says:

      Oh, I know. You get a “pass” on this one. It was weird when you asked my parents at Dylan’s baptism, though. It was weirder when my dad answered you.

  2. Jessi says:

    My husband and I have just separated (I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before) but mostly I just get the uncomfortable silence. Which is lovely. Really. Because not talking to me and making me feel socially ostracized is exactly what I need. Or – or – I’m still getting the “So. How’s Bob?” How do you even answer that? “I don’t know.” “Fine, I hear.” “Living a where that is else.” Sucks, no matter what.

    • Tara says:

      Jessi, I’m so sorry. I think this separation/divorce goes in the ranks as “one of the worst things that’s ever happened to me”, so I have a lot of sympathy for you. Silence is hard, for sure. It always made me wonder if they were thinking about how I failed my family.

      I get, “Your husband is a doctor, right?” Well, do I say yes and imply that he’s still my husband? Or no, and then have to clarify that yes, Drew is a doctor, but we’re not together? Super uncomfortable for everyone.

  3. Johi says:

    Why can’t everyone just learn to say “That sucks. Let me buy you a drink/cake/new wardrobe.” ? Hmm? Was that so hard?

    • Tara says:

      Ha! Like, “Wow, I think this new Kate Spade bag would really make those bags under your eyes disappear” or maybe “divorce makes you look super skinny and hot”. I’d be okay with that too.

  4. Michelle says:

    OMG, Tara, I so wish that these were things you made up, but given how generally STUPID-ASS people are, I’m not surprised that they are real. But the level of cluelessness and …. in some cases pure insanity is INCREDIBLE. Wow.

    You need to start thinking of wicked comebacks to leave them gobsmacked: “How was your sex life?” “Oh, once we introduced the bondage element a few years ago, it really punched it up a notch.” SERIOUSLY????? How could someone ask this out loud???????

    • Tara says:

      I have been asked that, for sure, but some of these were comments that FB friends told me that they experienced. I think your idea about the wicked comebacks is awesome. I’ll be all, “Well, we tried, but one of us is gay and it complicates things” or something crazy like that.

      I secretly think people ask these questions to try and find out if what is going on in their marriage is the same as what was going on in mine. You know, to see if they can predict if they’ll end up divorced like me.

      • Michelle says:

        I would agree with your assessment – totally fishing, even if subconsciously, to see if something might be wrong that they don’t know about. Especially if they were taken by surprise by the announcement of your split (in that “OMG, if it could happen to THEM, it could SO happen to ME TOO!” way…..).

        Hang in there…….

  5. Liz Campbell says:

    I love this… I could think of a few stupid things people have said to me… and I was divorced AND lost my job within 6 months of each other…

  6. Renee says:

    This is awesome. EXACTLY what people have said to me. AWKWARD moments.

  7. Your Friend from the Gym says:

    Wow. I really needed to read this post (and the comments). Hmm. I’m not sure if I could handle all of that. Food for thought.

  8. “But you were both so in love!” I had to leave the country and move myself and my children somewhere where people didn’t speak English to get away from remarks like that. I was getting tired of arranging my face into a calm saintly expression when listening to people telling stories of children off the rails – “of course they were from a broken family…”

  9. lauren says:

    I just found this site, love it. I have heard oh I never heard of people getting a divorce where one was not cheating….I have a co worker insisting that we will get back together……NOPE. I have been aksed what happend?? None of your business. I have gotten, did you try to work it out? no because I wanted to uproot my 5 year olds life and forever change mine to make it harder without trying to make it better. i have been told I will start dating or when I marry again blah blah..I have been separated 2 months!!! guess the 15 years I was with him is easy come easy go…..
    As far as the broken home divorced friend said told me this. Better to be FROM a broken home then BE IN a Broken home.

  10. Amy says:

    My favorites so far: “OMG. How are you? Everyone is talking about it!” And the incredible hand-to-god it’s true, stream-of-consciousness unloaded on me a few weeks ago: “You did the right thing. It’s better to go when you’re not happy. I have one foot out the door and I’d totally leave, but then my kids would grow up to be total screw ups like all my friends who are alcoholics and drug addicts because their parents got divorced when we were kids.” Good times.

    • lauren says:

      I have one foot out the door and I’d totally leave, but then my kids would grow up to be total screw ups like all my friends who are alcoholics and drug addicts because their parents got divorced when we were kids.

      wow well wouln’t it screw you up to be in house where people hate each other?

  11. diana says:

    My husband left us on Christmas day, 5 years ago. He did wait until after the presents were opened, which I think made him feel better about the decision. At the time, my boys were 7 years old and 10 months old. I was still nursing, ridiculously sleep deprived, and trying to squeeze my Rubenesque physique into last year’s stretchy yoga pants. He disappeared for a month – no phone calls, no forwarding address, just silence. Given his background, this was unexpected. He came from a very wealthy, upstanding, responsible family, with massive homes in Aspen and Savannah and trust funds galore. The deadbeat disappearing act didn’t strike me as his style, but I guess I was exceptionally leavable. Not a word, but you get it. I finally broke down after 4 weeks had passed and called his mother. I asked if she had seen or heard from him. “Well, yes, of course,” she replied in her arid, aristocratic tone. She told me he was living in a small mountain town in Southern Colorado. “How is he?” I followed up. “Euphoric.” I will never forget that word. Euphoric. He is EUPHORIC because he is no longer with you. She followed with “happiest I’ve ever seen him in his life” or something like that. Whatever it was, it was awesome. Love the post, Tara.

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