Terms of engagement
A reader hesitates to tell her homophobic family that she's marrying her girlfriend.
Dear Hot Stuff,
Me and my girl have been together for almost three years and a few months ago she asked me to be her wife! Of course I said yes!
But now comes the bit where we have to tell everyone. Friends are fine, as are some family members, even her parents but the problem is I am terrified of telling mine.
Its not like they don't get on with her or don't like her or anything, she is definitely in with the family, everyone loves her, but when I came out to them it didn't go well and me and my mother didn't get on for a long time! I have worked hard to get the relationship back and now we are close, so I am terrified that if I tell them it might all blow up in my face!!
I don't know what to do... I know it is my issue to be dealt with alone. Everyone assures me it will be just fine, but I feel sick every time I think about it and always lose my nerve. I am worried it will push me and my partner apart. I can already see that it is affecting things but I just can't do it.
Jessie from Bath
Dear Buggered from Bath,
Don't let your cheesy nickname fool you here, Buggered, you absolutely don't have to be. Your situation sounds bloody complicated to be on the inside of but from the outside it's very simple; it's about choice and action.
When I say choice, I don't mean between that of your family and your partner, but that of having what you want and assuming it or living in fear of disappointing those around you.
Strangely, the question of action is also one of choice. Do you choose inaction and risk losing your girlfriend or do you take matters into your own hands and tell your parents...? Both courses of action involve dangers. I would also suggest that the more time you take deciding, the more you may exacerbate those potential risks.
But how to decide what to do and which route to take, when faced with so many unknown possibilities?
I am certain that if I was in your position I'd be feeling rather low and pessimistic in the face of all this. But it's not only 'your' problem and you don't have to face it alone! Try the route of optimism and solidarity with your girlfriend - use her, trust her. It's exciting that your she has asked for your hand in marriage! Your parents like her! You guys have a solid future! Things can seem bleak when you're asking questions and wondering. Decide and do, and then deal with the consequences when they arise, not before they happen.
One final point is that I'm 99.9% sure that any parent feels a surge of pride at the prospect of a wedding, ideal or not... Lean on that thought when you're frightened. I wish the absolute best of luck to you both.
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