Dutiful daughter (to a point)

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I was married for six years to a philanderer. I think he was faithful for
the first year, but given how often he cheated on me later, it’s hard to
believe. He was also my employer so I was financially dependant on
him. Now I am finalizing a divorce. He dragged it out for more than
two years while we were separated. On a trip to visit my parents in
Hawaii, I was (no joke, no matter how clichéd it sounds) seated next
to the man I now live with. We have more in common than I can begin
to list and feels like the answer to all my prayers during the years of
misery. My parents refuse to understand that there was any reason for
the divorce. They have not told the rest of the family. I am supposed
to visit them again in four months and need some advice about
whether I should go or tell my parents I am not coming until they are
honest about me. Or, if I do go, what should I say to relatives before
or during the visit (because my almost fiancé will be with me)?

Dutiful daughter (to a point)

Dear Dutiful:

Your duty to your parents is real. But your duty to yourself is also real,
and in this case trumps that to your parents. I think a trip is a good
idea, you and your honey to them. But there’s some things that need
to happen before then. You need to have a candid (and probably more
than one) conversation with your folks that goes roughly: I am
divorced. I gave too big a piece of my life to a man who did not honor
me. I know you do not believe in divorce but I do, and I am far too
young to sacrifice my lives and the lives of my future children to a man
without integrity. I deserve to be happy and so do they. If you want a
real and honest relationship with me and the man I hope will be my
future husband, please be honest with the relatives before I come to
visit. Because if you do not, I will do it in person.

They wont be happy about it. But they will eventually recognize that
the revelation is inevitable. When you do show up with your fiancé
(which would certainly legitimize things for them, but should not be
the reason you get engaged), be sure you all take time for “get to
know the in-laws” time. The long distance will be an impediment, but
strong bonds will form once they see how good he is for and to you.