Thanks for sharing all this...your situation certainly has it's complications.
Originally Posted by redevil
How do we help those people close to us come to terms with this? We aren't asking them to understand and welcome it with open arms, rather accept that we are adults who have made a choice and are happier for it. We aren't asking them to agree with the choice that we have made just respect our family for being just that. This is our family, not theirs. Understanding and Love is something that we practice, not just preach to our children.
I'm not sure I have too much to offer here...seeing as I have yet to explain the situation to anyone in my family....regardless of our estimation of their acceptance.
However one thing comes to mind, something I learned from my mother. She came back one year from visiting her parents...and it turned out she had had a row with her mother. She was getting a lot of passive-aggressiveness from my grandmother (very uncharacteristic) and decided to confront her about it.
It turned out that Grandma was angry about my mom getting pregnant out of wedlock... (I was in my teens at the time, so she'd been carrying this around for a while)
My Mom had been petrified about telling Grandma at the time it happened, because her older brother had got his gf pregnant out of wedlock a few years earlier, and Grandma was *pissed* at him for it and let him know it in no uncertain terms. Yet when my Mom broke the news that she herself was pregnant, there was no such reaction. She never understood why.
My grandmother told her that she was her daughter, and she had to love and protect her daughter no matter what she did.
I don't recall my Mom's exact words in response, but she basically, in no uncertain terms called *Bullshit!*.
"You don't *NEED* to love anyone, even your daughter, and if you decide you don't want to love me anymore, then fine." (paraphrasing more than a bit, since it's a couple decades since I've heard the story)
Apparently it shocked a bit of sense into grandma, that her daughter was willing to say "F-off" and drop out of her life forever based on that, and spent the next while trying to make it up to Mom. There was no schism, or falling out, and the family carried on as usual.
I guess sometimes family needs to hear the hard truth, and realize what they stand to lose by holding onto ideals/dogma/convention/etc....rather than the people.