As I write this, I am being ghosted… by my husband. I’m not even kidding. My husband, to whom I've been married to since December of 2013, is ghosting me. If it weren’t such a bizarre state of affairs, I’d be crying instead of laughing.
It started a few weeks ago. My husband and I decided that we had some issues that were probably not likely to be resolved anytime soon. Because we divide our time between New York City and Paris, and he wouldn’t be joining me here until early October, when I left Paris in July, I suggested we take some time apart ― emotionally, since physically that was already happening ― to figure things out. What that meant was not calling every day, focusing on ourselves, and most importantly, he focusing on the changes he needed to make in his personal life if we were to make our relationship last.
Instead, a couple weeks later he called to say we should divorce, he’ll never be the man I want or deserve, and that was that. Despite several attempts to reach out to him, he is gone. Like, dropped off the face of the planet and blocked all my friends and I on Facebook, gone. If it weren’t happening to me, I wouldn’t believe it either.
Ghosting, in case you’ve yet to experience it or haven’t read about it, is when you just disappear from someone’s life. You don’t try to work things out, you don’t have a proper breakup, you just, as my husband has done, vanish into thin air — and basically hope the person you’re ghosting gets the hint that you never, ever want to see them again. The most famous case of ghosting was how Charlize Theron ended things with Sean Penn. Although no one is really sure what Penn might have done to deserve this type of thing, what we do know was that something in Theron made her realize that Penn wasn’t even worth a proper breakup. I guess in my situation, I am Sean Penn. Although I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve this either. Did I mention that we’re married? It’s not like we were casually dating; we were, or rather are, MARRIED.
As I go through the motions of attempting to hold it together, I’ve been trying to convince myself that I can’t possibly be the first ― nor will I be the last woman ― to experience ghosting by my husband. I like to think that there are other men in the world who prefer to ghost, as opposed to making the actual steps to divorce their wives, just so I can sleep at night. Although I would never wish this painful, strange, absurd situation on anyone, should you find yourself in my predicament, here are the six things you should do.
1. Laugh about it until it hurts.
Is laughter the best medicine? Probably not if you have stage four cancer, but in cases like this, it absolutely is. If you laugh and laugh and laugh, to the point where your stomach aches, then you don’t have the energy to cry about it.
2. Quit trying to reach out to them.
At first, I reached out to my husband on a daily basis. From angry voicemails, to long epic love letters, to texts full of our personal jokes ― that was my attempt to get him to respond. But he never did; he continues to not respond, so I realized instead I’d quit coming off as pathetic and just stop it.
3. Don’t go to his friends or family looking for input.
As much as I would love to reach out to my husband’s friends and family, and ask what the eff his problem is, I have refrained from doing so. Why? Well, for starters, it’s not fair to involve them in my problems. Secondly, I don’t know what he has said to them about me. For all I know, he could have lied to them and said I cheated on him, sold his kid for crack, and burned everything he owns. If that’s the case, then of course they’re not going to be any help, and are more than likely supporting his behavior.
4. Take the high road at all costs.
Upon realizing that my husband had blocked everyone he met through me on Facebook (sooo mature, right?), what I did notice was that he set up a Facebook page for his music. His lack of ambition was always a source of contention in our relationship, so when I saw this, I sent him a message telling him how proud I was that he was making positive steps in his career. While it went against my whole “reaching out to him” thing, I did want him to know that I saw the effort he made and, because I do still love the man who’s ghosting me, that I was really impressed by this step, albeit a baby step, but still. (No, I didn’t hear back.)
5. Do not, under any circumstances, blame yourself.
My husband, although a very sweet, caring, and loving man, has a hard time with confrontation. He doesn’t like to deal with things, and he especially doesn’t want to take the effort required to resolve things. These were traits of his that I found unappealing, but ones with which I learned to deal. However, in being ghosted, I’m now realizing that his need to avoid any and all confrontation runs even deeper than I thought. I can’t blame myself for how he chooses to deal or cope with this situation, because it’s not my fault that he is the way he is.
6. Realize you dodged a bullet.
Let’s be honest, ghosting is a horrible way to end a relationship. It shows a major lack of respect, a whole boatload of weakness on their part, and is pretty indicative of the person they really are; that person deep down that you never even knew existed. Do you want to grow old and have children with someone like this? No, probably not. So be grateful, as much as it hurts your heart that someone could be so cruel, that they let you go. In the long run, it will be for the best. There are many men in the world who will respect you enough to not act so childish when it’s time to say adieu.