Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mother in Law & a Cousin Knows All

I am growing weary of sitting down with our loved ones and telling our story, again and again. We made a trip to Hubby's mom's house on Thursday, May 3rd, and told her everything. Since she knew we were there to have a discussion mid-week, she was suspicious of what it may be about. We don't generally just show up without our kids in the evening. She sat down across from us and said, "Are you moving?" We said we weren't and then I started to wonder if that would be easier for her.

We told our story and made sure to stress a couple of key points. 1) This isn't Kim's fault. It has been well documented on this blog and we had decided definitively last spring to divorce. 2) Hubby was aware of my relationship since the beginning and gave his blessing.

Of course we realize it's technically still infidelity on my part. That's something I will have to answer to God about. But I do believe that having Hubby's support, encouragement and blessing to go ahead with my relationship with Kim is an important factor. If nothing else, he and I (and Kim) feel much better about the situation than if we were secretive about it. We have found peace in this situation and will continue to move forward with our plans.

Hubby's mom was kind and loving. She said she had suspected it for a while but had hoped it wouldn't happen. She also said that a year ago during Christmas break, when we told her I am gay, she kept thinking that it would be best if I were to just divorce her son. She wanted him to be able to live more happily than what I could provide. But as time went on she ignored those feelings and thought we'd be fine. It didn't seem to shock her, which is good, but she did cry with us. She said she still loves me and that she wants the kids to know that she's there for them. We're all worried about the kids. I'm glad their support system continues to grow.

At one point she asked if we had planned to tell Hubby's cousin. We are very close to her and she's been like a sister to H. I told my MIL that she's definitely one I'd like to sit down and talk with but I wasn't sure what her reaction would be. I had already talked to her daughter a while ago and she knows everything, and she wasn't sure how her mom would handle the news. My MIL ended up calling her over to visit with us. Unfortunately she hadn't heard any of the news until that night. We first said, "We're in the process of getting a divorce." Her face fell. After talking a few minutes about that I said, "It's because I'm gay." Her entire countenance fell. And then I told her the part that seems to be the hardest for most people, "I have a girlfriend." She had a lot to ask and say and advise. She has three kids and their father is gay. It was a painful divorce for her and he hasn't been the nicest person since. She also remarried several years ago to a man who ended up being quite the jerk. She has been put through hell in her young life, so she had a lot of experience to draw on. Not all of her ideas were acceptable to me, but I listened graciously as no one else has had the desire to have a conversation with us about all of it. I assume all sorts of people will have all sorts of ideas. I can take what I like and leave the rest. I've never done any of this and I'm looking for the best way to get through all of it.

None of us have decided how to let the rest of the family know. Hubby's cousin said that it's not her place to tell anyone else but she thought they might wonder and start asking questions. I said, "We're not up for a major conversation like this with everyone. It's too exhausting and we just can't do it! So if you'd like to tell other family members that would be fine, in fact we would appreciate it." She mentioned that she might confirm that we're getting divorced but that's all. I still can't decide if it's because she thinks we should hide the fact I'm gay and that I have a partner, or what. We told her that we're done hiding and our desire is to just have it all over with. We no longer want to keep secrets and be careful and I especially am tired of living two lives.

At one point H's cousin said, "Well, I'm still going to invite you to family gatherings. I hope that's okay." Of course my tears turned into sobs. She also said that at times she might get angry with me and want to shake me, but at that time she'll tell me that she needs to say what's on her mind and we can go from there. She and I have a great relationship and I know she loves me dearly, so anything she would like to share with me out of frustration is just fine. I just appreciate the fact that she has a desire to understand and continue dialogue. I honestly haven't experienced that with any other family member yet. It's refreshing.

All in all, the night went well. I am pleasantly surprised with the outcome and support we still seem to enjoy. Just tonight we went to a BBQ at their house and everyone was the same as they've always been. It's a relief!

By the way, it turns out that my MIL feels our divorce is a better alternative to us moving far away. That made me happy. Also, the next day she took Hubby out for lunch and requested that he ask me for her mother's diamond ring. She was extremely worried that it would offend me, but I understand. She's just trying to process all of it and she has no idea what things will really look like in the future. I am not offended and I will get her the ring as soon as possible. I am honored to have worn it for so many years. It will be saved for my own daughter, and it's fine that my MIL wants to be the one to keep a hold of it.

My mother and step dad are both really sick, so I haven't been to see them. Hopefully next week, as I'm anxious to have it all out in the open. That sounded bad. I'm ALSO anxious for them to feel well. Until then...

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