Originally Posted by Silhouette
Does anyone have experience with Christian/mid-western upbringings and how their family reacted to their other partners?
This is not about the religion. It's about the people who may judge you. Just because someone is a parent, does not by itself mean they have the ability to love anyone. Judgement, regardless of the belief or perspective of the person who is doing the judging, is not love. Judgement that is placed on someone who is genuinely living the life that works for them is not an act of loving that person. A parent who does not know how to love is a parent who does not love their children - because they don't know how to. You can't do what you don't know how to do.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to talk to the ones you are close to. See how they feel. Tell them how you feel. Give each other a reality check of who the people who may judge you really are. Make the decisions (of what to say to whom - or not) with the ones you love.
Overall, the best thing you can do for you is surround yourself with people who are supportive of who you genuinely are. Distance yourself from those who are not, regardless of who they are (parent, sibling, friend, etc). Sometimes doing this takes courage, such as distancing yourself from someone you are "supposed" to be close to. The reality and the truth is, if they judge you, they don't love you. You can't love and judge at the same time. It's either one or the other. Being "close" to someone who judges you is not possible. Trying to be close to such a person is stressful. Why bother?
I look at it this way. If someone is supportive of who I am, I embrace that support with closeness. If someone throws judgements at me, I respect that judgement by putting distance between myself and them. That distance is my way of saying: "If you don't like who I am, you don't have to be close to me". The distance I am talking about here is real. It is done with honesty. It is done peacefully - with your heart open to loving yourself as you are. It is done as an act of love for yourself, and for no other reason. It is an honest and peaceful distance. The peace comes from knowing you are doing it as an act of loving yourself.