All Things Tami
If you were married a long time and close to your ex’s family and friends, chances are you got to be pretty familiar with closets full of skeletons – all those carefully hidden secrets no one wanted exposed.
In my book, Becoming Unmarried, I offer up a little insight into my ex-husband’s behavior. Let’s just say he was not very good at keeping secrets – other people’s or his own. And before the divorce, our families were very close, so many “secrets” were shared as a result of those bonds.
Fast forward to a few years ago when I found out my ex-husband was cheating; and then discovered some of those close confidantes helped him keep those secrets hidden from me – or at least they tried.
Anger, hurt, more anger. All these emotions kept running through me and at one point I thought…
You want to help him keep secrets? Well how about I expose YOURS?!?!?!
I wanted to rattle dem bones and shake them so hard that every single skeleton came spilling out onto the floor!
Want to know who has a secret bank account to make up for not having access to the family finances? Guess who has a prescription drug problem? Did you know there is a bottle of vodka hiding in the toilet tank of your spare bathroom? Sure, that joint you found belonged to your kid’s “friend.”
The closets of my ex-husband’s family and friends were so stuffed full of skeletons they resembled ossuaries. In fact, they rivaled the fabled catacombs of Paris!
Oh, the stories I could tell! Hell, I wrote a book. Why didn’t I dedicate a full chapter to those piles of bones, exposing every single secret?
I let those old bones lie for two reasons.
One, I knew there was no real benefit shaking around all those skeletons. Sure, I would have felt better in the moment. But, wow, what a way to leave things, and how many people would have gotten hurt in the process? Team Tami told me I shouldn’t have cared a whit about any of those folks. Well, that’s just not my nature. I try to follow the Wiccan Creed: Whatever you send forth comes back to you three-fold. Those secret-keepers have to face the truth eventually. As much as I’d like to think I am in tune with the Universe, it’s not my job to unleash its powers on others.
Two, I was guilty of keeping some of those secrets, too.
The biggest secret I kept hidden? My ex had a close friend who was unfaithful to his wife a number of times. I knew it and I never said anything to her. How could I be such a traitor to the sisterhood? Because it was not my secret to tell. And that very reason is also why I’m no longer angry with people who knew about my ex-husband’s affairs and didn’t tell me. Notice I said no longer angry. I was scorched earth angry at first. But once I realized the blame for those secrets was on my ex-husband, that’s where I shifted the anger. It was his fault for putting them in that terrible situation in the first place.
If you find yourself armed to the teeth with nefarious information about your ex’s inner circle, you will be tempted to go all scorched earth, too. Trust me, you’ll want to start setting up landmines that explode secrets!
But you can’t. You need to save your energy for your future adventures. I wish I had some great ideas for avoiding feelings of revenge, but I don’t. It’s OK to address those feelings, just don’t act on them. That’s about all the advice I can give.
My arsenal of dirty laundry is in one of my divorce care journals. I wrote it all down thinking I would need every salacious detail for a gossipy tell-all book I’ll write when I become famous. Ha Ha. In the end, I decided the only dirty laundry that needed to be aired was my own.
Whoever takes over my estate many decades down the road may uncover those journals and find the dusty old bone pile.
Maybe then they can write that gossipy tell-all.
A Little Tact, Please
Hey, we all disagree from time to time. But since this is my little universe, I reserve the right to remove comments that are mean-spirited or contain verbal violence. Divorce discussion can get passionate and that's okay. But let's keep it classy and help one another instead of hurting one another. For full details on how things work here, see Rules of the Game.