Background : I recently moved to a new country and joined a new company. During multiple interviews with my boss, HR and others I was asked if I moved here alone or with my family. I told that for now I have moved here alone but my wife will follow me soon.

The truth is, we are separated (not divorced) from last 2 years and I don't see us getting back together. Now, my boss is a family oriented man, and from time-to-time shares his family plans with me casually and asks when my wife will be here so he can invite me over for a get together. He is a really good boss, and I hate it to lie to him every time he asks about my wife.

Question : How should I tell him the truth ?? Will this change his opinion about me, that I lied or hid anything from him ?

  • ...Why did you lie in the first place?
    – V2Blast
    Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 4:20

4 Answers 4


if you are comfortable with it. Perhaps pull him aside and say something like.

Im a little embarrassed to say, my wife and I are on shaky terms currently, and im not sure she will be joining us. Its a bit of a tender subject for me at the moment. However if the invite is still open, I would be delighted to come meet your family. They sound wonderful.

Hopefully he will appreciate you being open with him, and if you add the part about wanting to join him for dinner you gracefully shift the conversation away from your situation and into a more comfortable route.

  • Nobody wants a single man to come meet family. The answer is great but that part if not the way to go.
    – Fattie
    Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 18:50
  • 26
    I disagree, I , as a single man, have been invited to family dinners etc. it all comes down to how friendly you want to be with your co-workers.
    – jesse
    Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 18:58
  • 2
    @jesse While I see your point and the response generally seems appropriately, I am not sure if it's a good strategy in the longer run. It might get you invited for dinner, but the tentative nature of the answer leaves a LOT of room for follow-up questions, potentially leading to more half-truths (and in fact, lies) rather than bringing closure to the issue, which I think the OP is trying to achieve. The open-endedness of the situation also seems to incite curiosity about what's happening in the marriage, rather than put a nail in the coffin of the issue and move forward.
    – A.S
    Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 21:21
  • 2
    I love this answer. A little humility and meekness can make up for some the the worst mistakes.
    – JBH
    Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 23:39
  • 6
    @Fattie I don't think the boss is "clearly" anything. There is an adverse selection issue here: the OP only got into this dilemma because he's not good at making these calls, so who knows how much to trust his judgment of his boss' expectations. Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 0:47

You could simply say that you recently separated, sometime after your move here. You might want to add that it was unrelated to your relocation.

Your boss will never meet your wife (and hopefully nobody who knew the two of you well) so it's unlikely the actual timing of the divorce will get discovered.

After a couple more years it won't matter whatsoever so will be a non-issue. If it ever gets in the open and you are pressed to come clean, say that the divorce was still raw in your mind at the time of the hiring and you said what felt comfortable at the time. Keep in mind that the details of your personal life are nobody's business but yours.

Add that you prefer not to discuss this issue moving forward, and stick to it. Good luck!


Your boss should value you for who you are at work, not for who you are at home. You should just simply tell him how it is. Its better you are honest, because if you are not honest, for sure he got a reason to not trust you.


Well, you assumed your wife and children would follow you to the location of your new job. That's a mistake that can be made, and we are all very sorry for you that it's not working out. All, including your boss.

So when there is a good opportunity, you go to your boss with a very sad face and tell him that apparently your wife won't be coming. It's her decision, you can't force her. And you don't know yet exactly what her reasons are, but you are not optimistic.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .