When my boyfriend came out to his family, his father attacked him. That was nearly 20 years ago now.

For a long time he’d make attempts to get in contact with his siblings or his mother every couple years. They never went well. They were only willing to welcome him back into the family if he renounced his life and married a woman. He would end up having to block their phone numbers after their disappointment turned into threats and condemnation.

A few years ago, he decided he wasn’t going to contact them any more. We’d gotten married, bought a house, adopted a dog, and surrounded ourselves with a great group of friends. We had our chosen family and that was enough.

Last year he started having vague symptoms that something wasn’t right. He went to the doctor a few times before things were taken seriously. We knew something was really wrong, but weren’t surprised that his generic complaints weren’t getting him access to the tests we thought he needed.

Finally we got a diagnosis. It wasn’t a “good” one.

We thought we’d put the family issue behind us. But now we’re back to mulling it over.

Do we owe them a last chance to make amends? Does he owe himself one last opportunity to have his family’s support? Or is it just inviting trouble into our lives?

While we’re legally married, we’ve heard enough horror stories of long-estranged family members suing spouses for assets or fighting to take back POA. The potential for danger seems high.

But I know he’s always held out hope that one day down the line they would learn to accept him. There is no “one day.” It’s now or never.

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