All the juicy details for everyone to see… What he did, what he didn’t do, all the shifty (and shitty) maneuvers you’ve been dying to tell someone.
Maybe you’re dying to tell everyone.
Because that’s how furious you are. That’s how hurt you are. That’s how squeezed into a corner and misunderstood you feel. And you’re sick of it, over it, done feeling like the Bad Guy.
He got the friends; you got the debt.
He’s Disney Dad; you’re dishing out discipline.
He seems to have moved on like you barely existed; you’ve been changed forever.
He’s flush; you wonder when you’ll get out from under bills, bills, bills.
All the wrongs he committed? And you’re not denying you weren’t at your best either… No one has heard your side, and you just want to vent!
Think twice. Think three times. At the very least, think of your children.
If you’re still in the process of divorcing, consider that what you write and say will be read – potentially anywhere, by anyone, and even years into the future.
If the divorce is behind you, consider the effect your words will have on your kids, your employer, your future employer, your co-workers, your friends, your future dates, maybe even your mother. Do you really want to share those ugly, juicy details that reflect badly on both of you – him, by virtue of the nasty way he treated you, and you for the way you reveal your dealings?
Share, Yes… But Think First
I’m not saying not to talk or share. But I am recommending that you think twice, edit twice, wait three beats, then speak your mind.
No. It’s not easy. It’s not easy at all.
But don’t you care about how others see you? How others see us is important – to our jobs, our social lives, the smooth workings of our familial relationships.
Have I talked about and written about my marriage, my divorce, and the tumultuous years that followed?
Of course I have. And at times I have been intentionally fuzzy on details. And I did so initially under a pseudonym. Even now, I hope I did not say too much, that I did not overstep what I consider the bounds of propriety as my children may some day read what I wrote, and just as important to me – that I at least allow room for the possibility that my interpretation is not the only interpretation.
Don’t we all see situations through the veil of our fear, our anger, our personal demons? Through our bitterness? Or what will appear as being bitter to others?
Imagine reading what you just wrote (or are about to) written by a friend, an acquaintance, your boss, your own parent. Now how does it sound? Do you feel as though you’ve just been afforded an insight? Or are you mortified to read what she has just described?
Tolerance for TMI
We all have different view points on this topic, and what is too much information for me may be just right for you. At the same time, I realize there are incidents or situations I have spoken of that others would never mention. These are judgment calls, and our decisions about them will vary. The point is to consciously make a decision.
We know the Internet has reshaped our sensibilities, and encouraged us to speak more freely – which often has a positive impact. Not only for us in a cathartic or instructive way, but for others who may read our stories and learn from them.
But I’ll stick to this guideline and reminder: Be judicious in the details that you share and the way you share them. Anger and hurt can distort what we consider to be acceptable, or acceptable in a narrow context. But there are few such contexts when it comes to sharing our stories online.
All the more reason that exercising caution when sharing your dirty laundry on the Internet. Keep in mind who may be reading. Keep in mind they may be people you love.
Dan Stephens says
I can totally empathize with you. My posts are a pseudonym as my stories is what is important to everyone dealing with divorce or is about to. My personal life is NOT for everyone to know. It is a very fine line, but an important line.
This week, I told my grown sons that whatever they think, they should not go to social media to air my dirty laundry. They can express their feelings, but I am NOT going to drag my wife through the mud and the Internet. Besides, once it is out there, it is impossible to retrieve it.
Everyone needs to think before acting. Unfortunately, anger usually overrides sanity and common sense.
Thank you very much for your thoughtful post.
Snodderly James says
Wait, you’ve spoken to your grown sons about your desire to divorce their mother but, you’ve not spoken to their mother? If you did that you have already drug your wife through the mud…with the two most important people in her life. And you’ve put your son in the position of having to not only keep a secret from their mother but, also deal with your emotional issues. None of which are their job.
Forget my well wishes to you. You say everyone needs to think before acting but I don’t think you’ve learned that lesson for yourself. Shame on you!
Divorce Whirlwind says
Hi Snodderly. I didn’t get the impression that Dan said he was talking to his kids about a divorce. I think he was simply advising that they not broadcast too much about his life (or their lives) online!
And those of us who have been married know there can be challenging periods in marriage – and we may not all wind up divorcing. Many people work through their issues in marriage, which is, IMO, what we should all try to do if at all possible.
Divorce Whirlwind says
Hi Dan. Glad you got something from this post. It’s so easy to forget that the whole world is potentially reading when we write online! Wishing you the best with your situation.