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Advice please, awkward post-divorce social situations

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Okay I know many here are divorced, I need advice on how to handle situations where people assume I am still married, refer to my xdh as my dh especially when I have told them I am divorced. This comes up every now and again, it is usually acquaintences. I had this happen yesterday at ds's school.  So my question is, should I correct them?  I know people forget things, but I don't talk about xdh, I don't wear a wedding ring etc. I don't mention him unless someone brings him up, if I do I always call him the lo's dad, I don't call him my ex either, just because I don't like the attention it draws. But when people call him my dh, it hurts and I don't know what to do. What does everyone else do?

post #2 of 4
oh, that happens to me all the time, especially at school. I just correct the person in a gentle, casual way (oh, you mean my XH?), though they usually get super apologetic. It doesn't bother me, it's common for people to think that parents are married. I think it's an expression of how well my kids are adjusted to having divorced parents.

In fact, my youngest's teacher just yesterday asked if the kids needed support with the divorce and was shocked to know it happened over 6 years ago. he's now moving away which is causing stress for all of us, so she thought we were just getting divorced and had been together for the year+ that she's known us.
post #3 of 4

My ex and I were never married, so I've always had people not only incorrectly refer to him as my husband, but incorrectly call me "Mrs. X", when I never had that name.  Now that I'm married and raising my step-son, from my husband's previous marriage, I also have people calling me his mom, when I'm not.


Do you feel like there's a rule book about this, that you neglected to read?  Well, figuratively toss it in the recycling!  


You'll develop relationships with special teachers, or your kid's friends' parents, where it will become obvious that you should clarify that you're divorced - even if that teacher or parent spent quite some time benignly assuming you were married, before you got closer to them and corrected that.  


In most, casual relationships, it just doesn't matter.  If "Well, actually, he's my EX-husband..." springs to your lips, there's nothing wrong with saying it.  It's true.  If you just don't feel like bothering with that, OK!  


Let's say a fellow-parent at school confronts you:  "I just heard you were divorced, but when I was talking to you last week about bringing in cupcakes for the class and I referred to your husband, you didn't say anything.  Why did you let me think you were married?"

#1 - That's just never going to happen.  If it DOES, that parent is SO rude that you just shouldn't care what they think.

#2 - You have a perfectly reasonable come-back:  "Our marital status just didn't seem important enough to interrupt what you were talking about, to correct you."

post #4 of 4

Generally speaking, I try to handle it this way:


1. If it's someone who's "unimportant" (a cashier in a grocery store, a stranger in the library, or someone else who obviously isn't going to be a real part of our lives) - I simple ignore it. If they think I'm married, so what? They aren't a part of my life, and correcting them isn't likely to change the course of our conversation much. So it's easier to just let it go, finish the conversation and move on.


2. If it's someone I don't see often, but I have told them I'm divorced - I just say something along the lines of "Wow, we have been out of touch for a long time! I'm so sorry, I thought you knew that I divorced _______ 10 years ago!" That way, they don't feel I'm being mean by saying "I told you the last 5 times I saw you that we weren't married anymore" but I don't have to pretend to still be with my ex.


3. If it's a stranger or new person but they will be around (say, a teacher before we homeschooled, or someone who will be a new friend), I just politely correct them. "Their father and I are divorced. I'm a single mom." I say it politely, but clearly, and if they apologize I just tell them that none is necessary, because they didn't know.

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