Divorce Etiquette: Don't Ask Me About it. It's Rude.
Apparently the state of my marriage is pretty intriguing to some women at my daughter's school. After leaving a party recently one woman I hardly know pulled me aside and inquired point blank, "So, are you guys splitsville or what?" Unbelievably, this woman is a psychotherapist. It's no secret that my husband and I separated a while back. We work very hard to keep our problems from affecting our children. We realize we are going to be grandparents together one day. We make sure to attend all school events together and we still often take the kids to dinner together as well. We even go on vacations together. Weird? Maybe, but it works for us. It seems that our ability to keep from tearing each other apart publicly, bothers some people. Another woman stopped me after our kids play date and commented, "We see you guys together all the time. What's that about?" Well, it's about behaving like grown ups while dealing with a deeply personal issue, our marriage, and frankly it's no one's business. I wish I had said that, but I didn't. Instead, I mumbled something like, "Yeah, we get along great." Then another incident occurred the other day while I sat having lunch at a table with a few other mom's for a holiday lunch. During a discussion about the housekeeper I fired recently, one woman laughed and chimed in, "What did you find her naked in your bed?" I was completely blown away by that comment. Was she just moronically insensitive or was she giving me a dig? Another woman at the table caught my eye and looked as shocked as I felt. Again, I just kept a poker face and pretty much ignored the statement.
What is wrong with these women? Why on earth do these people think my marriage or anyone's personal life is their business? It's as if they can't accept that we haven't succumbed to mud slinging and hatred for each other so they need to dig a little deeper for the juicy underbelly of the story. They need it to be ugly. I've talked about this with my husband and asked him how people have responded to our situation. He's been asked out for drinks by one mom from the nursery school and been hit on a few times, but no negative comments or inquiries have been lobbed at him. I don't think they would dare ask him, and his guy friends just don't seem to talk about it much.
Maybe, the fact that we make such an effort to continue presenting a united front is threatening to some people. Maybe they need to see the ugly fighting that is usually associated with marital separation and divorce to believe their relationship is different. I don't know why they feel so free to ask about my personal life, but it is definitely none of their business, a fact I will make very clear the next time some acquaintance makes a remark.