After 29 years of marriage, I asked my wife for a divorce. We had some discussions and agreed we had been living like roommates for years. We told our two adult kids a few days later. We remained friends of a sort; we continued to live in the same house and share the marital bed (as roommates) for another year before I moved out.
For close to 20 years we have had several couple-friends whom we befriended after our children became friends. A couple of months after the Discussion, our college-age daughter told me that one of our friends said, “Don’t worry. We’ll support your mom.” My daughter didn’t like that this friend was “choosing sides.” I asked my wife what she was saying to our friends. She said, “All I’ve been saying is you left the marriage and couldn’t find your way back.” I said I didn’t agree that’s what happened, but I wouldn’t control how she wanted to tell the story. When I moved out, I sent each of the couple-friends a card saying that I had moved out and both of us were fine.
Since then, none of the friends has spoken or written a word to me, with the exception of one couple I went to dinner with. They said, “I can’t believe you didn’t talk to us about your divorce. That’s very hurtful. We were very close friends.” I told them I was going to therapy and wasn’t prepared to talk about my divorce with them, but they still seemed hurt. I feel that my divorce, my loss, and my pain about it are my own to share or not to share with whomever I choose on my own timeline.