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To tell my family????

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showmetheway posted 9/12/2013 01:30 AM

Ever since D-Day in June 2009, I have kept my marriage problems from my family (family being parents, my brother and SIL). How I have managed to do this, I really don't know as there have been so many times when I have been absolutely dying inside, but somehow managed to put on a front when I've been with them. So they believe my H is wonderful and that I should consider myself very fortunate.

I have done this as I wanted a chance to try and work things out without feeling any pressure from family. I didn't want to feel any prejudice on their part toward my H, I didn't want the emotional burden that it would put on them (and in turn myself) as I know they would go into overdrive if they thought that I was in any sort of difficulty (worry, wanting to help, anxiety about me and my health - they've been there before with me.)

But what has it done? It has turned ME into the dishonest one, living a false life. I hate not being truthful with my family - it's all wrong - and, in a way, it's added yet another cruel twist into my whole story, another factor that confuses me, screws my mind and makes this whole messy tangled up web even harder to find my way out of.
It's so hard - my H's A came at a time when my parents suddenly decided that with their advancing years and after 50 years marriage and years of not really going away on holidays, that they were going to spend their hard-saved cash and enjoy themselves. There was no way I could tell them when I found out about my H's A because they had booked on a cruise to NY which was SO SPECIAL to them. If they had known, they would either have cancelled it completely or, even if they had gone, it would have been ruined because I know they would have been worried sick about me.

So I didn't tell them. As soon as they had done that, they started planning a big trip to Australia and NZ with my brother and SIL - again, a once in a lifetime event for them. How could I throw a spanner in the works?

And there's never been a good time to tell them. They come back from holiday full of happiness and the joys of their trip so I don't want to hit them with the devastating fact that their beloved daughter's marriage is on the rocks. Then, they're no sooner planning their next trip - and it's been like this for the last 4 years!!!

Then this year, it was my dad's 80th, so more celebrations and yet more special trips planned.

My parents have spent years picking up the pieces from the fallouts of my previous relationships. I figured that in their stage of life, they're entitled to have some fun without the worry of some family crisis.

But sometimes I think, if only they knew... Have I done them a disservice???

PLEASE give me your thoughts/advice.

[This message edited by showmetheway at 1:34 AM, September 12th (Thursday)]

Hope2B posted 9/12/2013 02:32 AM

You don't have to tell anyone anything.

You're very compassionate to keep this to yourself so as to not spoil your parents Golden Years by having them worry and be upset about you and how you are doing. I'm guessing if you tell your brother and SIL, they will disclose to your parents.

You're in your 50s and have been dealing with this since 2009, yes? You are certainly old enough to have some coping skills just because of the years you've spent on the planet, and that's what you've been doing by keeping this quiet. I also understand by your words that it twists you up inside to keep this "secret."

I understand that family support, and connection in the good times and the bad, is invaluable, and I understand how you feel less than transparent by keeping this from your family. You are protecting them, even though your parents may not want or need protecting, and I understand this.

Many of us walk the line between disclosing and not disclosing. Once you say something, you cannot retract it.

I think the question becomes why do you want to disclose now and what would you, personally, get out of it? If you are feeling particularly vulnerable and want your mom and dad and no one else will do, that's understandable.

If your parents, and your bro and SIL knew, what do you think would happen? What would you WANT to happen? What would be in it for you, that you need, that only they can satisfy??

It's difficult pretending all is fine. It's difficult being an actress all the time, living a lie but it's also difficult knowing your information will forever change your parents, your brother and SIL, and their relationship with your husband.

The flip side of this is, of course, that your parents etc might say you didn't even give them a chance to be there for you. It's a difficult place to be, and I don't know the answer, but I'm holding a good thought for you. You are not alone.

[This message edited by Hope2B at 2:36 AM, September 12th (Thursday)]

showmetheway posted 9/12/2013 07:35 AM

Thank you for your reply, Hope. It's just good to know that someone understands my dilemma and my reasoning.

Once you say something, you cannot retract it.

Exactly! I have always felt deep down that the day I tell my family will be the day I finally admit defeat, that the marriage will be over, there will be no going back. So, although there have been many many times when I have wanted to confide, when I have yearned for their support, I have always known that to tell my parents would signal the end. It would be pivotal.

So that, and the fact that I wanted them to enjoy 'their time' are the reasons.

Maybe if this had all happened at a time when their lives were not so full, or when they were a few years younger, I wouldn't have hung on for so long. (Ironically, IT DID happen, when my first marriage fell apart ) That time, I tried to keep things together, had a good job and tried to handle things on my own, only to have a complete breakdown which resulted in me losing my job and having to ask my parents if I could go back home and live with them. It threw their lives into turmoil, they were brilliant, but didn't really know how to cope with the situation. I'm sure it was really hard on them. I'm sure, if I told them the truth about the state of my life now, they would be thrown into turmoil again. And they worry so dreadfully.

But, I think I'm feeling that I can't keep doing this. I think I know deep down that this is never going to work out, too much damage has been done. So am I getting to the stage now, where I want to be true to myself, admit that the marriage is damaged beyond repair - and find solace and comfort in my true family....

Skye posted 9/12/2013 07:54 AM

I think you did yourself a disservice. I did the same thing. Wearing a happy mask gets very heavy.

My child was getting married 3 months after d-day in my wedding gown. Could I tell? I don't think so. I have no regrets that I didn't ruin her day.

But it has been many years (14 this month) that I've been living a lie to the world. It has been very hard on me.

As the years went on, I realized explaining was going to be so hard. I wonder if I'll go to my grave with my secret or one day I will just have had it and tell the world that my husband destroyed me a long time ago.

For newbies, I would always recommend telling. Not the world, but your mom and dad if you have a good relationship with them.

eta: My family thinks my husband is a saint and they believe he believes I am the best thing in the world and they adore him for loving me so much.

[This message edited by Skye at 7:55 AM, September 12th (Thursday)]

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