It’s an awful thing to break someone’s heart. A mean, cruel, horrible thing.
And the only thing that’s worse is sticking around to watch the crucifying agony of it all. But it seems that that’s the case for 7% of British adults (3.6 million people) according to the Daily Mail today.
It’s sort of comforting (and a little shocking) to me that I’m not the only one in this position.
I watched as I managed to break the 40-year-old’s heart just a little bit more today.
He’s taken to interrogating me about any people in my life he doesn’t really know. “Oh, Laurent. Is he single?”
“Ummm… yes, I think so. Ummm… why?”
“Well I think you know why,” comes the accusing retort. For the record, I’m not remotely interested in Laurent. And I’m not particularly sure that it matters if he is single or otherwise. There isn’t much excitement in my life, but I do have a client who seems to have developed a quite charming crush on me (it’s all gallantry and earnestness). The fact that he is married doesn’t seem to be here nor there.
“Anyway,” it’s my turn to retort, “You have female friends.”
“Yes, but they’re all married.”
“What about that girl in your office that you wanted to ask round because she seemed single and a bit lonely?”
“Well, er, yes, she’s single.”
Actually, that was something that used to slightly bother me about our relationship. The 40-year-old never held himself back from making friends with the other mummies at school… arranging to meet them for play-dates, taking them for rides on the back of his motorbike. I’m a modern gal and all, and he is supremely in touch with his feminine side, but it didn’t seem quite right somehow. I noticed motorbike mummy giving me sort of nervous, uncomfortable glances (she also knew it wasn’t quite right somehow too), and hell, if I offered to take the other daddies for a ride in my car, I think some eyebrows would be raised, don’t you?
Anyway, I digress completely. So 40.Y.O. keeps having little digs. Every time I pick up my computer, it’s, “Hmmmm… talking to your Facebook friends again?” or “Oh… send my regards to Yannick.” So tonight, when he rolls out the old Facebook comment I just can’t help myself and I say, “Actually, I’m going to send an email to my new boyfriend.”
And the 8-year-old pipes up, “But mummy, you don’t have a boyfriend, you have daddy.” And, it takes really quite an effort not to say, “Well, no, darling, I’m not really with daddy any more.”
You see, we haven’t ‘officially’ announced to the kids that we are splitting up. Well, 40.Y.O. did take it upon himself to unilaterally tell 8.Y.O. a few weeks ago that mummy and daddy would probably get a divorce, because he needed to vent (Really? To an eight-year-old boy? Could you be any more inappropriate)?
I was FURIOUS, and 8.Y.O. was super stressed. The stress seemed to have subsided for the most part, but the D-word still cropped up from time to time.
“Hmmm… You know what, mummy might have one of those soon.” It just popped out.
“Is that when you get a divorce?”
I don’t say anything.
So, basically, since things seem to be becoming more concrete on the divorce front, and since I (generally) believe it is much better to be straight forward and honest about things, I have a quiet word with the 8.Y.O. later.
“Um, darling, you know that mummy and daddy probably will get divorced one day.” He is distressed, but I honestly think it’s the best course of action, to let him take his time and get used to the idea while, to all intents and purposes, things remain the same for him vis-a-vis his living situation.
I had spoken to 40.Y.O. the evening before and we had agreed that it was time to be more honest with the kids and introduce them to the idea that we would separate. But perhaps I should have warned him that I was going to start being honest right then (ok, a little part of me was getting payback for his unsanctioned divorce announcement previously), because when I spoke to him immediately afterwards he was… I don’t know, crushed, cross, hurt. Because, he still can’t quite believe that this is happening, and he knows that, if I am finally willing to tell my precious babies, then it’s true. So I watch as take a hammer to someone’s heart.
It’s a terrible thing to break someone’s heart.