Se­cret di­vorce leads to drama in fam­ily

Times Standard (Eureka) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Amy Dick­in­son You can con­tact Amy Dick­in­son via email: askamy@amy­dick­in­ and fol­low her on Twit­ter @ask­ingamy.

DEAR AMY » Dur­ing our mar­riage, my ex-hus­band rarely made time for us, (although he was great with the kids when he was with them).

I would take our kids on va­ca­tions without him be­cause he al­ways had some­thing bet­ter to do.

I filed for di­vorce and moved out of his home over two years ago.

I made the de­ci­sion to do this without telling my par­ents and sib­lings be­cause I knew, even though they could see how un­happy I was, that they would not be sup­port­ive.

To this day they con­tinue to in­vite him to fam­ily hol­i­days and events, but be­come up­set with me when I refuse to at­tend.

Since leav­ing, I have had lit­tle to no con­tact with my im­me­di­ate fam­ily. Ob­vi­ously, this is very hard on me, and it is also con­fus­ing for my chil­dren.

I have at­tempted to talk to them about this and it be­comes an ar­gu­ment every time. They have told my chil­dren that I shut them out, but to me it feels like they shut me out.

I have met an amaz­ing man, and we are now plan­ning our wed­ding.

When I at­tempted to talk to my mom about wed­ding plans, her only re­sponse to my cho­sen wed­ding date was, “That’s my week­end to work.”

I strug­gle with even invit­ing my im­me­di­ate fam­ily to the wed­ding for fear that drama will be started.

I want to move on with my life and hope that my fam­ily will be a part of that, but at this point I am at a loss for what to do next. — At a Loss

DEAR AT A LOSS » You chose to leave your hus­band, but never told your par­ents or sib­lings about this mo­men­tous change. You don’t cel­e­brate hol­i­days or spe­cial oc­ca­sions with them be­cause they in­vite your ex. How­ever, your si­lence and ab­sence has left a void, and now you seem to won­der why you don’t have a re­la­tion­ship with them.

If you had cho­sen to at­tend fam­ily events, they might have stopped invit­ing your ex. In or­der to have a re­la­tion­ship, and in or­der to in­clude them in your life, you need to par­tic­i­pate in theirs.

Be­cause you seem to want some con­tact, I sug­gest that you risk a lit­tle “drama” in or­der to re-en­ter your fam­ily sys­tem. In­vite them to your wed­ding, and take this op­por­tu­nity to try to turn the page. Af­ter your wed­ding, in­vite them to your home, go to their homes when you are in­vited — en­cour­age them to get to know your new hus­band, and see if they re­spond to your open­ness by be­ing more open, them­selves.

Ob­vi­ously, if this is an over­all toxic ex­pe­ri­ence for you, you will have to make a dif­fer­ent choice, but — up un­til now you don’t seem to have tried very hard.

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