I typed out a LOOONG email tonight to my mom, dad and brothers. Gave them the whole long and dirty about where we stand. They already knew about our struggle, but I hadn’t updated them much lately. And when they ask questions on the phone, I usually give a pretty quick answer and move on.
It feels so good to update the people who care about you. That’s what I’ve discovered. I talked to the wife tonight about that; her dad, stepmom and sister all know (not her mom, with whom she has an “interesting” relationship…I’ll leave it at that). She agreed that it felt good to let loved ones know what’s going on. We’ve also let a select group of friends we consider “close” in on our struggle as well, and again we agreed that it felt good to have that group of confidantes.
Why is that? In my head, the feelings come from answering questions that I presume that they’ll have. I don’t want them thinking we don’t want kids. I don’t want them thinking we’re selfish. I don’t want them thinking that our marriage isn’t rock solid. I feel comfort in answering the questions that they might never ask us to our face but might wonder behind our backs.
When people know and ask for updates, we know they care. When they tell us they prayed for us at church, we know who truly care for us. It’s a struggle not to assume those that know but DON’T ask just plain don’t care. I remind myself that some people are uncomfortable about certain topics…but if we’re truly close friends or family members, isn’t any medical problem on the table for discussion if I’ve shared that part of our life with you?
I’d be interested to hear how others approach this topic. Have you let your family/friends know? Does it make you feel better, and if so, why? And how do you handle family/friends who pretend they were never told at all?
Thanks for all of the wonderful comments so far, and super big thanks to all of the kindness expressed on Twitter. This is a great community we’ve stumbled upon, and it makes it so much easier to handle. As they say, strength in numbers…