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I’m Getting Divorced After Less Than a Month of Marriage — and I’m Not Telling My Gossipy Mom Why

I’m Getting Divorced After Less Than a Month of Marriage — and I’m Not Telling My Gossipy Mom Why

Ever since Jules* announced she was getting a divorce after an incredibly short marriage, her mum Sylvie* has been pressing her for information.

In an article in Slate magazine’s “Dear Prudence” advice column, a recently divorced woman explained that she had been married for less than a month but “wanted to separate” due to “irreconcilable differences.”

Divorce dilemma

“I moved in with a friend. I’m trying to find a place to live, but I wasn’t financially prepared for it and it’s hard. I know my parents and family would love to give me a place to live, help me with legal fees and take care of me, but there are certain restrictions,” Jules says.

A woman is getting a divorce and doesn’t want to tell her nosy mother. Getty photos

“My mom is the most gossipy person you could ever imagine. My cousin had an abortion: she got calls from snooty aunts within six hours. My brother’s embarrassing penis surgery, my aunt getting fired: anything goes. My dad had a fender bender: he lectured the entire extended family for weeks.”

It’s safe to say that Sylvie can’t keep a secret. The more private and personal the news, the faster it spreads.

It’s no wonder Jules wants to keep the reasons for her divorce a secret.

“The reasons I married him are idiotic to me because I am a much worse guy than I really am,” she reveals, adding that the only person who knows the details is her lawyer.

“My mom is dying to know. I get constant texts and calls saying she’s just checking up on me. She’s even sent our family to ask me for information. My brother confessed that she asked him to find out and he made me promise not to tell him so he could avoid her. I’m exhausted and sick of it, but my divorce could drag on for months. How am I going to get through this? I ignore her, end calls when the subject comes up. But I have other things to worry about and I just want her to go away.”

Woman claims her mother is an obsessive gossip. Getty photos

Advice

Prudence gave Jules clear advice—she may not be able to change who her mother is, but she can control how she responds to her pressure to gossip.

She advised: “The next time the subject comes up, you can tell her, ‘I know you’re dying to know, but the reasons for the divorce are personal and I’m not going to talk about them. Just know that this was the right choice for both of us.’ And — this is the hardest part — accept that she’s going to spend a lot of time on the phone speculating with different relatives, because that’s who she is, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

However, she also proposed another possible solution.

“An alternative, which might ultimately be even less stressful, would be to decide not to be ashamed of the reason for the breakup, to tell the truth, and to let people think what they want. If you’re already at the “I want her to leave” stage with your mom, do you really care if she thinks you’re an idiot? I can definitely see a world where she gets the few news points she wants, your family gets a group chat on the same thread where they discussed your aunt’s firing and your brother’s embarrassing surgery, and you get the financial support you need along with the freedom that comes with not caring what people might say about you.”