She’s been my best friend my entire life.
And now, she’ll be a single mom.
Her boyfriend of six years and the father of their four-year-old daughter is moving out – the catalyst – an affair he’s been having with a young co-worker. On Saturday night she called me, her voice hushed and fringing on frantic.
His moving out had been unfolding for over one week now, the details were intermittent and things were still so unclear. And up until a few hours earlier, she had hope that maybe he would come to his senses and stay.
“I need to drop off a piece of furniture, can you open your garage?”
“Of course, I’ll be out in a minute.”
After we unloaded the dresser, we walked toward my apartment. The kids were already inside playing, her daughter completely unaware of the pain ripping through her mother’s heart. Before we made it to the door she just started sobbing, “there’s someone else. He’s seeing someone else.”
Her voice broke into sobs and I grabbed her in a tight hug, the only thing I could do. I’d never seen her like this – ever. She had been working on their relationship for months and months, seeing a therapist on her own because he refused to go, doing sweet things for him, constantly optimistic that he would “feel better” soon.
I wanted to kill him, to march right over to their house and cause him some kind of pain or hurt him for breaking my best friend’s heart. Not just for breaking it but breaking her – a woman who is absolutely gorgeous inside and out, the kind of woman every woman wants as a best friend, a sister or a mother.
“You’ll be better off, you will.”
“I know. I know I will. But it hurts. It hurts so badly, I’ve never felt this way before, this angry.”
I gave her every piece of advice I could muster from reading so many of your blogs and in writing my own. But this was her… my best friend, the girl I used to play with every single day in elementary school, the teenager who gave me my first beer, the young woman who taught me how to put on my make up and the young mother who has been here for me since day one of my pregnancy and of my divorce.
And now here we were. Both of us single moms. One stronger than the other in this moment, but both just little girls grown up with our fairy tale endings completely shattered. We popped open a bottle of red wine and commiserated, just staring into each other’s eyes and shaking our heads – at a complete loss for words, a rarity.
“How am I going to tell her?”
“She’s four. She’ll bounce back,” I run off some other positive advice. All of it sounding like crap.
“She is always asking me, ‘will daddy move out like Benjamin’s daddy did?’ And I always tell her, ‘no’. What is she going to think? She’ll think I’m a liar.”
“You know what. We can not protect our kids from everything – we just can’t. And she can see that Benjamin is okay, even though his dad moved out.”
So… she’s been reading divorce guides and the how to tell your kids books. They’re all telling her what not to say, but none are telling her what she should say.
What are the words?
How do you explain to a four-year-old that mommy and daddy are breaking up, divorcing or separating?
There will be more on this later… she, obviously, has always read this blog. I just never thought she’d have to use it. Damn him. And what kind of a man – by the way – actually cheats on his family. Ugh. The worst of the worst. And what kind of women cheat with them? What is wrong with people?
To catch up with Mia’s Story:
- A Letter to the Other Woman - Mia’s awesome letter to her ex’s other woman which has made ripples through the blogosphere.
- Mia’s Story Part 1
- Mia’s Story Part 2