This may and could very well be controversial. But I think it is super important.
I recently had a good conversation with someone about how much one shares about their separation to others. It sparked in me this want to share my thoughts because our views actually differed. She was saying that vagueness is fine. That even those close to you do not have the right to know why and knowing isn't their business. While I can see the validity in that opinion, I think it depends on who you are talking to. And most people I feel suffer in silence.
So, while I see the validity in that opinion, and there is a very fine balance as to what is considered TMI (too much information), and what is explanation that is wanted or needed by those close to you.
Just as when you ask council (talk to friends and family) in regards to getting married in the first place, I feel the same can hold true when you are going through a separation. In some ways, it is just as if not more important during a separation or divorce. Sometimes there are bigger factors at play. Kids. Home. Custody. You name it.
Finding out a way to tell your kids in a kid friendly way too is a whole other battle that is hard to figure out (and I personally am going to have a hard time with this). My sister gave me great advise though not to say "we don't love each other anymore" because that means the kids can see their value as conditional and whether they feel loved or not comes into play. Which of course, would not be true.
When we got married, I can't believe how many noses appeared in my business and how many different opinions, thoughts and ideals were thrown in. How many felt it was good, bad, indifferent. It was a more confusing time in terms of me being able to sort out what one person felt versus what I felt and what was real. Especially when you compare it to now.
Now that I am separated, the opposite applies and instead of noses appearing- they may snear and turn the other way and pretend they don't care but will secretly judge. It seems only right to me that they know what I would like to call, "the surface why." The core reasons why the separation is happening.
Maybe they can have sage advise on where to go to from here. How to heal from it. How it can work out. I don't know. But "the surface why" I feel is important both for the freeing aspect of it for those involved, so there is no hiding secrets or feeling we have to justify but simply hold ourselves accountable to that the reasons we are separating as legitimate and that we aren't 'chickening out'. Which trust me, is absolutely far from the truth for us.
But think about it-- sometimes one person airs it, and does so out of anger, hurt, deceit, whatever it may be. BUT some do it to HEAL THEMSELVES and their relationships with others.
Transparency, not TMI, is important. Think about it-- how can you move on otherwise?
Let me go even further into it.
Describe it from my point of view that I know many have struggled with and maybe this is you right now.
* You feel that no matter what, you will lose family when you tell them.
* You feel that no matter how you tried, you are responsible for the other person's actions because you couldn't fix them (and that is what other people are going to expect on your side).
* You feel that no matter how much you tried to change their feelings towards you, you can't.
* You feel that if you did more around the house, they wouldn't be so upset
* You feel that you brought out the core issues in the other person causing it
* You feel because you weren't perfect, it is automatically your fault
Sound a little off the wall right? But it is seriously what can go through your mind when you are separating.
"If I just did..."
"If I just had..."
"If I were just good enough..."
Fuck all that.
Took me over 30 years to come to that three word conclusion but there you have it.
YOU are good enough.
There is someone out there for you! Period.
Every person has something to work on. We are all work in progress'.
At the end of the day, when you are married, it takes two to tango, but if one person isn't into the dance no more, you reach where one person is dancing (aka trying to make it work) and the other is not. Whether something small or big or in between caused the dance to stop is different for every marriage.
No one in at the core a bad person- so while I will say there is fault in each marriage and usually leans one way, doesn't mean that person is necessarily a bad person- just a person with bad (possibly very bad) choices. Or maybe I am still delusional and trying to work it out.
Why is sharing (accountability) so important?
If 100% honest, open, and willing...
If you tell someone why you are separating, it is like a world opens up.
1. You can be more FREE, I am no longer alone or lonely (even while single)
2. You can talk to others about it (small talk or deep and meaningful)
3. You can move on!
4. You can love yourself better when your heart doesn't feel it is hiding a secret
5. You can be sure the reason for your separation is valid
This meaning that a good friend will call you out if you are being petty about why you are separating but honestly I haven't met a separated couple yet that gave an invalid reason because when they shared it, whether big or small, it was REAL.
6. You will know that others will judge rightfully why you are separated
You can't guarantee it, but they will at least know and not chastise you over it
7. You will be able to stop worrying that you will lose friends and or family over it
If they know the reason, they can't start making up stories to go with it and put blame where it is not owed.
8. You can know that you are being honest
Honesty is the best policy. It is and can be ugly and uncomfortable, but it is necessary for having real relationships in this world.
9. You can focus on how you screwed up (we all do, small or big) and work on it
Let's be honest, we all have a hand in relationship issues, no matter how weighted it is. Your issues could be smaller or bigger hand in it. Nothing is truly balanced in terms of whose fault it is when it comes to separation- very rare. But when you acknowledge what screw ups are in the marriage and what you did, you can work on it to not carry it into the next relationship you have. Super important.
10. You will heal from it by sharing instead of always worrying, wondering, what others think or worse off, dig yourself in a deep depression that you have a hard time getting out of without medication or professional help (nothing wrong with getting professional help but you don't want to dive into a deep depression over feeling like you are hiding secrets from yourself or others that are close to you). It is toxic- which is likely what got you to the place you are, correct?
Think of it as a cleansing. You are cleansing yourself of the toxicity and part of that is sharing with the group of friends and family you have, the real reasons for your separation. This doesn't mean you necessarily air your shit on Facebook.
For example, I changed my status from married to separated but I did not announce it. Nobody honestly cares that much for me to post that. When I am ready, instead of publicly changing my status, I will actually write something here- like a PR release for my general friends and then go to those closer to me and actually pick up that old-fashioned thing called a cell phone and call them. Talk to them.
Another part in sharing is not bashing anyone. Writing something that can hurt someone in a deep way, is not something that fixes the problem either. Sometimes the reasons for separation are so deep and bad that it could scare the person and possibly change them for the rest of their life if you shared. Think about it if were you. Would I have a right to? I guess. But if it were me, I would want mercy. So I am going to show that back- whether they deserve it or not-- because it keeps toxicity out of it. So have that conversation over the phone or in private chat if you can.