Carolyn Hax: her future ex-husband talks badly about her divorce

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Adapted from an online discussion.

Dear Caroline: My future ex-husband is a coward who lies, tells everyone, and posts on social media claiming our divorce is “devastating” and “heartbreaking” when none of it is true. It is he who no longer loves me. After 27 years together he sat me down and said he wanted an open marriage because he’s not attracted to women my age, i.e. his age, even though I stayed fit and he didn’t.

I have more self-esteem than that, so I filed for divorce. I don’t need his money and buy it back from our house. I moved him into the guest room, and I can’t wait for him to move out completely. In the meantime, I have tried to preserve my dignity and protect our adult children by refusing to discuss the details of our divorce.

But now I have to hear him lie to our sons that he is miserable. I wish I could say it didn’t affect me, but I feel unwanted and unwanted, and I notice every sag and gray hair like I never have before. I’m being made to look like the bad guy when I’m actually the injured one. Should I close her [sheet] down telling everyone the real story of our breakup? I want to but I’m afraid I’ll regret airing the dirty laundry later.

The injured part: He’s not lying, of course. He is lying in the bed he’s made (I can use “literally” here, correctly!), but that doesn’t mean he’s not truly miserable, devastated, torn apart. The misery of the bed maker is in a way the whole point of the adage. He wanted his stable, happy marital home and the freedom to pack younger girls. Whoops…

You beautifully and rightfully handed him his [butt cheeks], gift wrapped. It not only relieves you of having to explain anything to anyone, because either the world will see through it just fine on its own, or enough time will pass that it doesn’t matter , but also makes all the sagging and gray hair around you. gorgeous. The agency is beautiful. Congratulations.

· You can defend yourself without being explicit. “He made it clear he wanted something different, and I didn’t want to get married on those terms.” And if they rush you for details, say, “It’s between the two of us.” There’s a lot of power in speaking your truth, whether they believe you or not.

· You can say something thought-provoking, such as, “I hope one of my kids would withhold judgment if they weren’t sure they knew all the details.”

· It doesn’t take much to say honestly and simply that, yes, you were shocked when he wanted out of the type of marriage you promised yourself. Presumably, your vows were understood as an endorsement of monogamy at the time, right?

· It seems entirely appropriate to say, “He wanted an open marriage, and I didn’t. So I filed for divorce. True and short and does not really invite questions.

· Just because you’ve decided not to tell your kids doesn’t mean you can’t talk to a good therapist or trusted friend and properly explain what’s going on.

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