Where’s Your Husband?

Kiefer and I broke up a couple weeks before the holidays, and at first, we didn’t really tell anyone.

We already had plans to go to holiday parties, and rather than going separately and fielding the inevitable “Where’s Kiefer?” and “Where’s Thoughtsy?” we went to the parties together.

We didn’t want other people to feel awkward, and because we parted on good terms, it wasn’t awkward for us.

But that did have some snowballing effects…

Kiefer and I began talking to a couple we’d never met when Boo pulled up a chair and sat near us.

Lady: Aren’t you going to get a chair for your mom?

Boo and I exchanged looks: Do we explain that I’m not his mom? Instead, Boo just said…

Boo: Do you want a chair? You can have this one.

Because that’s how Boo and I rolled. He’s not my son. I’m not his mom. But that was ok.

A few minutes later…

Notice my ringless hand.

Notice my ringless hand.

Lady: Does your husband….

I didn’t bother correcting her because what’s the correct response in this situation?

  1. “It’s funny that you said, ‘husband.’ He’s not my husband. He’s not even my boyfriend anymore because he waited to long to become my husband.”
  2. “He’s actually my exboyfriend. We’re just pretending to still be together, so people don’t feel awkward. Do you feel awkward?”
  3. “He’s just…my boyfriend.”
  4. Don’t correct her.

Since I figured I would never see this lady again, I went with Option #4.

You know what happened? A few weeks later…I saw the couple again. Of course.

Only a few people knew that Kiefer and I broke up. Because I didn’t want to talk about it all night, I only told the truth to every third person that asked. Everyone else got vagueness, including the couple I never thought I’d see again:

Person: Where’s Kiefer?

Thoughtsy: He’s…home.

Person: With the boys?

Thoughtsy: Yessssss…. He’s home with the boys.

Person: Tell him I said hi!

So when I start dating, I’ll probably run into this couple yet again. And she’ll probably ask where my husband is and scare off my date. Or she’ll think I’m a whore. 

The other day at the doctor’s office I ran into a friend’s daughters.

Thoughtsy: Hi! How are you?

Daughter #1: Good. You? Daughter #2, you remember Kiefer’s wife, right?

Le sigh. 


About thoughtsappear

I eat lots of sugar. It's the only way to keep up with my new baby and to outrun zombies. View all posts by thoughtsappear

43 responses to “Where’s Your Husband?

  • ryoko861

    I’m with you, just let it roll. Explaining just leads to more questions and sympathy, and I hate sympathy.

  • Nikitaland

    Ohhhh Thoughtsy, I’ve been in that same situation before and I used to get all pissy when people would say “your husband” and such. I just wanted to jump out of my skin screaming. NOOOOOO, he is NOT my husband because HE doesn’t want to get married…..is that good enough for you!!!!? At this point, I just ignore it because it won’t change anything anyways, screaming didn’t work, and ignoring it doesn’t work either, so life just goes on. Oh well, but I hear ya and know exactly what you mean.

  • Carl D'Agostino

    Been through this too. But better than finding a new partner is having the ex find a new partner.Mutual relief, I think.

  • Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

    I suck at explaining weird personal situations that are abruptly thrust into the social spotlight. My responses are always the verbal version of eye-rolling. You are very gracious Thoughtsy! Brownie points (which will indeed earn you brownies)

  • Just Me With . . .

    Yeah, been there. I don’t correct unless it’s someone I think I’m going to run into often or who might run into my ex-husband and his new wife. I had to tell the Deli lady in “Why Did You Get Divorced” http://wp.me/p1sXPw-E1 Yeah, I hear ya. Most of the time I let it go, sometimes I have to say something that discourages further discussion. And it’s been years and it still happens. Such is life. Sigh.

  • Erica

    Awkward confession here: I hesitated on hitting the ‘Like’ button or not for this post. Obviously I want to hit ‘like’ to show solidarity for my blog buddy, but it feels kind of wrong, like I am getting enjoyment from a sucky situation, ya know? Anyway, I am sending you good thoughts! And who cares what random couple thinks!

  • hiddinsight

    Oh Geez. It must feel a teensy weensy bit better that you can be freaking hilarious about it. Sometimes it’s all you have…

  • El Guapo

    I’m pretty sure when it comes up, you’ll handle yourself with your usual grace and elan.
    But keep a pop-tart in your bag, just in case you need it.

  • bevchen

    This is what I dread most about splitting up with my boyfriend. I’ll have to move out… and then we’ll have to tell people! Awkward much. You handled it very well, I think.

  • k

    You handled the situation correctly, just remember it’s your personal business, so you have the right to pick and choose what you tell others. Keep your chin up, it’ll get easier (or that’s what everyone keeps telling me..) =)

  • Tori Nelson

    You’re so nice, Thoughtsy. I have a tendency to dump all my awkward all over the place. You were seriously courteous. Also, I agree whole heartedly with Hippie Cahier. Ice cream always helps!

  • Deborah the Closet Monster

    I used to explain that Anthony’s not my husband, but that led to some truly horrific conversations. After those first few failed correction efforts, I let the comments roll by because it’s so much less obnoxious for everyone . . .

  • Brittany

    I have recently realized that I am at the age where everyone thinks that I should be married. I am 23 for gods sake!! WTF!? Everywhere I go with my boyfriend…”husband husband husband.” Not to say I don’t want to be married to him someday, but calm down society stop the assumptions and look at my hand dammit! (Not that that’s always a correct indicator..but it helps!)

  • Linda Medrano

    It could be worse. They could be asking you “Where’s your son, Kiefer?”.

  • Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd

    Someone who doesn’t know you well enough to know he’s not your husband doesn’t deserve to be one of the first people you tell. I hate that kind of assuming.

  • Choc Chip Uru

    Just roll with it my friend, who needs to explain such a situation to basic strangers despite fate annoyingly throwing them your way!

    Choc Chip Uru

  • Kitten Thunder's Girl

    Similarly, I used to be grouped with a female friend of mine and everywhere I went people asked where Michelle was. I have no problem with the idea of being in a gay couple – except that we weren’t dating, we were just friends. And we couldn’t give gifts separately. Michelle was way more polite about bringing wine to parties and I totally got the credit – “The wine is from Girl and Michelle.”

    And then the tides turned when I started dating The Boy. Now I have to do all the presents and he gets the credit.

    Also, I walked a neighborhood for a young politician once. I’m pretty sure that whole are voted for him because they thought his cute little wife was charming.

    Assumptions. Everyone is pushing for everyone else’s happy ending.

  • UndercoverL

    Thoughtzarella! I do the *le sigh* too! We are just the same! I thank Pepe Le Pew every time I *le sigh.*

    I respect your level-headedness about the break-up. I imagine it was a really hard thing to keep your wits and patience when you were in pain, but you did a great job of showing what a strong woman you are. If you run into that lady again, as soon as she leaves do that “crazy person” thing where you whirl your finger around your ear and then point at her. No explanation necessary.

  • rumpydog

    I’m sorry to hear this…. I hope this is the best for both of you.

  • omawarisan

    She’ll think you’re a whore?!? Are those old bats still following you? For Christ’s sake lady, there’s nothing wrong with that dress.

  • Connor @ MyNameisConnor.com

    That sucks dude. I just broke up with my girlfriend. . . two weeks after moving to another city for her. It was also mutual (it takes two to train wreck), but now I’m dealing with, “Didn’t you move there specifically for her. . .”
    “Well, yeah, but it wasn’t working so why drag it out?”
    “Oh man, that’s just awful, are you guys okay? Is it alright? I mean, are you moving again? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?”

    I think I’ll blame it on TV drama. I’m okay, she’s okay, but everyone else seems so sure that this to end like a Shakespeare tragedy with every but the lamenting narrator in a pile of bodies on the floor. . . but hey, at least I’m not battling snowballing rumors that we were married 😉

    • thoughtsappear

      Kiefer and I’s breakup wasn’t mutual, but I think people forget that even though I was the “breaker,” it’s still hard.

      Our breakup has been drama-free, which is nice. I’m glad yours is, too!

      I hope you like the new city!

  • monicastangledweb

    Thoughtsy, you’re stronger than most of us. I applaud you for how you’re handling this and being so considerate of other people’s feelings. As long as your true to yourself, so be it. We’re with you all the way!

  • Laura

    Hugs. There’s always the possibility that hilarity will ensue when Kiefer runs into that couple and answers their question with “What? We were never married. What made you think that?”

  • countingducks

    This is so painful in a way, it almost reads like a comedy. The truth will normally come out, but you hope you have managed to leave town by the time it does. I’ve been in situations like this myself

  • B

    Next time just say he’s tied up in the basement. That should shut people up.

  • marinasleeps

    Ok…. what this post says to me is you need to come visit me in Old El Paso. I will feed you great delicacies, fill you up with pop tarts and yogurt and we can assault people about the right amount of sprinkles that SHOULD be applied. Then we throw sticks at all the married couples roller blading down the park.

  • sars!

    I’ve been with my “not-husband” for over 4 years now. I have been marriend and am in no rush to do it again, however, boyfriend sounds silly to me. So I’ve taken to introing him as the nh. People sometimes ask but more ofthen than not, just think they heard bf (they don’t sound the same at ALL).

    I’m sorry your bf turned into nf. It’s never easy, but it can only get better.

  • Go Jules Go

    Oh man, that’s rough. I would have done the same thing.

    And by the by, that is a lovely hand, and I know the right guy’s gonna put a ring on it!

  • Redneckprincess

    Breaking up sucks…so does explaining it to everyone…good luck honey!

  • pearlsandprose

    You’re not obligated to explain to anyone. Just let yourself get through all this.
    Hope Boo and Radley are doing OK.

  • Victoria-writes

    Totally sympathise with you, so hard having to tell people. I think if you see her again just pretend you don’t recognise her or shout out “stop stalking me” and she’ll get the message 🙂 Seriously though, good luck hun!

  • cooper

    So sorry for the breakup. Not the easiest time of year for that – but seems to happen quite a bit.

    Option 5: “My husband? I thought he was your husband!”

  • stephanie

    Ugh. That’s tough. Break-ups are bad enough on their own…adding in awkward social interactions makes it even worse. 😦

  • Bonnie

    Oh, Thoughtsy. I’ve been out of the blog-reading loop for a while, just selfishly jotting down my own notes. I had no idea about this. When I read what you wrote about never arguing, and when you did it was only about commitment issues, I can so relate with that. 😦 Sending you big hugs and wonderful wishes for the Springtime. Yeah… Springtime. A new beginning at it’s finest. xo

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