Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

Dilemma: Telling the Family

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

KBeguile posted 7/7/2013 00:24 AM

First off, I realize this is all my problem. I'm just at cross-odds as to what to do about it, and would appreciate some input.

None of my extended family knows what's happened. That said, one of my relative's houses is where I originally proposed to Heart, and it is now toxic to her (understandably so). Therefore, when we have big family get-togethers there, Heart starts getting triggery to the point of an almost full-blown panic attack. So, for her sake, I never insist that she goes.

When I show up without her, though, the womenfolk tend to ask, "Where's Heart?" to which I respond with the standard, "Not feeling well." Lately (I don't know if it's busybodiness or what), a number of them have started asking things like, "Is it flu?" "Is it allergies?" and so on.

And here's my conundrum:

1. Since habitual/cover-up lying was something I did during my As, one of my boundaries has been to not lie (especially to Heart, but it extends to other areas of my life as well).
2. Since telling secrets/personal information about our M to people outside our M was one of my OTHER problems during my As, another of my boundaries has been not to inform unnecessary people about the details of our relationship.
3. Heart is concerned that her absences from family get-togethers will be seen as a sign of distancing and not wanting to be 'part of the family.'

I want to tell the truth (1), but it involves making a lot of people Heart doesn't really know or trust privy to sensitive information (2).

How do I let people know what's going on (1) without revealing too much information (2) so that no one gets the wrong impression about Heart (3)?

Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated, even though I don't expect to have to get together with my mother's family until at least Thanksgiving (which is right around antiversary time, so it will be its own difficulty)!

Unagie posted 7/7/2013 03:51 AM

What does Heart want you to do here? If she is not comfortable with others knowing then simply say she was not up to coming. If they pry tell them politely to mind their business. Curiosity is natural to some and it may just be concern they are showing or they may suspect something is up. Either way its not their business. I discuss issues with my mom because she knows of both our A's but there have been times when she'll ask me what's wrong and I tell her nothing and change the topic because she does not have to be privy to every issue we have. My brother barely knows anything anymore and my dad gets close to no info. I speak to them every week. My mom every other day. This is my immediate family and they get told to mind their business. Sometimes you need to know how to be firm with people. Sorry feel like I'm rambling. So to wrap it up tell them the truth: she wasn't up to coming.

Why? She wasn't up to coming.
But why? She wasn't up to coming.

Is she trying to distance herself from us? It has nothing to do with you. She was not up to coming.

But why? She was not up to coming.

You are not lying. She was not up to going, they don't have to know why. This is just my opinion FWIW.

RockyMtn posted 7/7/2013 07:44 AM

Unagie's got the response down right. I had an aunt (in-law, like Heart) who came to family gatherings once in a blue moon. At first, everyone would ask, "what's up?" After a few times, we all gave up and just chalked it up to her personality - and not necessarily in a bad way. Just she's private, shy, and enjoys the time alone when her husband and kids go to the extended family. We are a large, nosy family. Yours, too, may give up in due time.

Another option is to skip the family get togethers when they are at this house? Presuming you have other family get togethers elsewhere that you can participate in? Or skip them at this house just some of the time? You can call ahead and say, "Sorry, Heart and I can't come. We have a fun date planned, just the two of us." And go on a date. That way, the "distancing" isn't put on her alone...and you don't have to answer questions about her health, either. And no lying involved either.

If it is T-giving, why not go away on a long weekend alone? Or with your kids if you have them? There are lots of great resorts that do full T-giving food spreads. I realize this isn't a long-term solution but, man, if I was in this situation and my WH suggested it - wow. I would love it. And you could just do it this one year as things are still fresh and your first antiversary season (I think)?

KBeguile posted 7/7/2013 08:12 AM

I've debated this, actually. In fact, Heart insisted that I take DS this time, as there would be swimming, plus the particular family member's grandson is about DS's age (and is his favorite playmate), plus we live, like, a mile from this house. Sometimes, you just gotta do things for the DS, y'know?

But, yes. I like the approach of doing something together.

I'll definitely have to be harder. That's been something I've struggled with. I was able to leave it at the truth of "she's stressed because she's starting school soon," and that seemed to end the uncomfortable discussion.

mainlyinpain posted 7/7/2013 09:07 AM

We have family friends who invite just my husbands family to a special party every summer. I havent gone in the past eight years because it is in the same suburb as OW. I don't expect to run into her, we only live a few suburbs away anyway, but I didn't go the first year after and then every year was harder and harder esp as Iknow they ask and ask why I don't go to the point where I would be uncomfortable to go. I was debating tryng to find the strength this year but don't think I will. But I know each year has gotten harder and harder and I know I wish I could make myself go so....
Maybe get Heart to reconsider for some year. Maybe go to house with her at another time without a bunch of people there and she can see how she feels. Not sure why the house is toxic because you proposed there an OW connection or just sadness that the marriage was broken?

KBeguile posted 7/7/2013 10:03 AM

Just the sadness of the marriage.

hardlessons posted 7/7/2013 12:43 PM

Just the sadness of the marriage.

This implies the sadness is due to marriage, as if the institution had some control. Marriage is exactly what we make of it. Our choice are our own.

KBeguile posted 7/7/2013 12:58 PM

mainlyinpain said:

is there an OW connection or just sadness that the marriage was broken?

Sorry. This is what I was referring to.

20WrongsVs1 posted 7/7/2013 18:33 PM

Your topic is "Telling the Family." Does Heart want you to tell the family, or not? Whatever her wishes are: honor them.

With BH's permission, I told my parents. We usually go up north to see them in the summer, and we're not going this year b/c we need to stay home and work shit out. Instead of making up excuses, I told them about my As.

This bugged me:

So, for her sake, I never insist that she goes.

Well, how very generous and understanding of you.

So did this:

she's stressed because she's starting school soon

IMO this violates #2, unless Heart gave her express permission for you to say this.

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 ®. All Rights Reserved.