My parents are disappointed in me.
I desperately need some advice on how to handle this situation. I'm a 41 year old woman who has let her parents down terribly by leaving my 15-year marriage and entering into another relationship. This all came to a head late last year, and I thought we were all moving on and trying not to dwell on past hurts ... but my mom brought up this thing between us in a phone conversation today. To say that this is crushing me is an understatement.
My parents thought that my 15 year marriage was, while not perfect, certainly "fixable". They were very wrong. To my ex, it was all about winning. Life is a competition, according to him. He was emotionally crippled and did not give me the support I needed, nor was I ever encouraged by him to truly be myself. To make a long story short ... I knew quite some time ago that I would end up getting out of this bad marriage. The way it finally came about, however, is not the way I'd do it again if I could do it over. I met someone else ... and I left to be with the other man.
I am still with the other man. He is wonderful to me. He is truly supportive, my encourager, and I know that I can go to him with ANYTHING and that he and I can come to a solution to any problem that he, I, or we may be experiencing. He is definitely my soulmate.
Problem is, because of how our relationship began, AND the fact that we are "living in sin", my parents despise him. They don't even KNOW him. My dad has never even had one conversation with him, and my mom has only spoken a few words to him. They simply do not know him. But they have made up their minds that he is not a "good person".
I have always been so very close to my family. I love my parents with all my heart ... but I also love this man in my life with all my heart. I feel as though my parents are asking me to CHOOSE between having a satisfying relationship with them, or the man that it is in my life right now.
I feel like a 41 year old CHILD. I feel completely incapable of standing up to my parents. I have long looked to them for guidance, advice, etc., but now when I feel as though I DON'T need or want their input (because they are, quite frankly, WRONG), they keep giving it, unsolicited. And it's breaking my heart that they cannot accept the fact that I LOVE this man, and I have the right to CHOOSE who I am going to LOVE.
My parents are also from a very strong faith-based background, and I know that that's largely what is happening in this situation. They are drawing upon their spiritual beliefs ... and they are completely taken aback that I could find myself at a place in my life where I'm not totally sharing or following the beliefs that THEY always thought they instilled in me. Thing is though, I'm happy with my life as it is now. I don't feel as though I'm spiritually VOID in any way. I'm just not doing what mom and dad EXPECT me to do.
::sigh:: This is so very difficult. I guess I just needed to vent, but I'd also welcome any...