Last week, my mother surprised me with an odd confession.
During a conversation about the summer & relatives & the like, she informed me that she had not told our extended family that I was finalizing my divorce out of concern of what my strict Roman Catholic family would think.
Now, my mom is pretty open minded for a Catholic woman. She loves my gay friends & is completely accepting of them. She has no issue with race, colour, other religions & never questioned my decision to get a divorce. But apparently, she was concerned that our relatives would be judgmental.
This is a side of divorce I’d never experienced, the fear of telling family or friends because they “wouldn’t understand” or be judgey. Most of my friends & family were thrilled to death that such a toxic influence was no longer in my life. My friends wanted to throw a party. I had one person ask me if we should work it out & once I said no, it was done. Personally, I find the whole idea that I should care what anyone thinks, especially extended relatives who never call or write, laughable. I care about the opinions of those who love me, not those who remember my name on holidays.
However, it made me realize how hard it must be for people close to their families. What if the spouse was loved by your parents & friends? Does it make the healing process harder? To the people in this situation, I commend you for having the wherewithal to do the right thing for you even when the right thing may not be popular.
My mom asked me if I wanted her to tell the relatives, even though they’d be disappointed in me. I said absolutely, their response may surprise her. Sometimes we don’t give people enough credit & they shock us with their open mindedness. After all, she is devout & accepted my decision as the right thing, why wouldn’t they? Not to mention, I don’t want to live my life with a bunch of secrets. That’s not me. I believe in honesty, I don’t want to live a life of lies and omissions. We shouldn’t have to hide who we are, who we love, what we want, to please the masses. The only way to be happy is to live your life, your way.