After 17 years of marriage my husband and I got divorced. You may also want to read “Weathering the Storms of Divorce.” That period was the darkest and most painful time in my life and the last thing I wanted was for people to be gossiping about us – wishful thinking. I assumed people were gossiping before but it was when my husband and I legally separated that the gossiping escalated and sadly the people who talked about us were not just strangers; some were other church members, families and friends.
If only it were true that “stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” The things people said were brutal and fabricated and sometimes came from the mouth of people I thought were my friends. Since I was not able to stop the gossiping I had no choice but to learn how to cope. Below are some of the steps I took to handle the gossiping while weathering the storms of my divorce.
I was very careful not to talk to many people about my marital problems. I confided only in close families and friends. My decision to do so were base on the fact that I felt ashamed, we were taught at one of the churches we attended that married couples should not discuss their relationship with others and I didn’t want my ex husband to look badly in the eyes of others. Unfortunately, he did not reciprocate and helped to fuel the gossiping, especially about me.
Honestly, I had to fight to restrain myself from making a public statement on social media to defend my truth but I realized there was no point in waging war on every front. I had to choose my battle wisely. I found solace in the fact that the people who mattered to me know the truth.
I also on purpose avoided talking to people who thought it was their God given duty to tell me everything that people were saying and about what they saw my ex doing. I could not afford to feed my soul with all that negativity as I was already too emotionally drained. I accepted that not everyone is for me and are going to believe what they want regardless.
Finally, I surrounded myself with sincere friends, kept my focus and allowed time to reveal truth. I can honestly say that I have seen God vindicated me as time passed. I will admit it was not always easy. There were times I felt like just crawling in a hole and hide but my obligations dictated otherwise. So in spite of how I felt I made sure to carry myself well not only in the way I dressed but in the way I conducted myself.
My advice to anyone who may be faced with a similar situation is; no matter how tempting, do not wash your dirty linen in public. The more you try to defend yourself is the more you feed into the gossiping. Be still and give it time. Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.