Dear Claudia,

My marriage of 13 years ended a few months ago when my husband moved in with another woman. I haven’t said anything about it at work, but I know I’ll have to eventually. The holidays are coming, and I’m thinking about using up my vacation to avoid the parties and the inevitable explanations I’ll have to make about where Tom is. I’d really just like to avoid all the questions; what do you suggest?

Not Ready to Talk about It

Dear Not Ready,

Wow, my friend – there are some major changes going on in your life at the moment, and it sounds to me like you’re trying to take good care of yourself in the transition.

There are lots of directions we could take your question, but at the moment I suspect it’s important just to listen to your heart; if you’re not ready to talk about the changes then don’t. And when inquiring minds need to know where Tom is, consider saying simply, “he’s not here,” and change the subject (“My but it’s dark outside tonight!”).

You’ll know when or if the time is right to confide in the people you work with; until then, take very, very good care of you.


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A co-worker of mine was in this situation not long ago. Fortunately we have a great boss who was able to help her and the team to navigate through this difficult time. My friend shared her situation with our boss, letting her know that she wasn't ready to talk about it with the rest of us yet. But she gave her permission for us to know her situation. So our boss filled us in. We understood why our friend was not her usual self and were able to give her the time she needed to be more open. This worked well for all of us and allowed us to be supportive during this major life transition.
DON'T use up your vacation time.
Tell the truth.
Tom only has one life to live and he wants to live it as an a$$hole.
That'll 'splain things. Yep, that'll do just fine.
Yeah, any of those are good too!
Whatever you do - DO NOT sacrifice your vacation time!
So what happened to Tom?
God love the little beasts.
I hope it was a$$-first.

Ladies, I've been traveling heavily this weekand thank you kindly for running the show. EXCELLENT advice, all around!

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