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I graduated, my family ignored it

Thread starter #1
I just need a safe place to vent this.

This weekend, I graduated from law school with a juris doctor degree. This is a goal I have worked toward for well over a decade since I wasn't able to attend following undergrad. I worked pretty damned hard.

Like others, our law school's graduation ceremony was not traditional this year because of COVID-19. But, we did have a virtual ceremony online. I watched it alone. No one in my family watched it with me or remotely--not even my wife. Worse, she did not let my son watch it with me either. I watched as the comments rolled by from family members of my classmates, feeling pretty invisible and un-cared for.

What makes it worse is that when I graduated from high school and from undergrad, no one acknowledged it. I couldn't attend either of those ceremonies because I didn't have the money to pay for the cap & gown and other necessary things. And no one even said congratulations. When I was finally able to go to law school, I thought that this would be the time to replace those awful memories and make something new! My wife knows how much it hurt me that no one acknowledged my prior achievements. But she did this anyway. And now she wants to act like it's no big deal. she didn't even apologize until I told her what I would have said if I were her--then she just parroted the words back to me.

I wanted my son to see that the work I did paid off, that I had accomplished something big, and that he could too one day, and I would celebrate with him. But, now I feel like if I tell him how I feel and that he missed my graduation, he will only be upset. He is 6.

I have been looking forward to this day for so long. Even more so since the COVID-19 thing, because it actually gave me something to look forward to. But, it turned out to be an awful day that I will not be able to forget.
 
#2
Congratulations on graduating and all the hard work you put in to achieve this.

I'm so sorry no one IRL shared that graduation moment with you. I can understand how that feels: really rejecting.
And it would have been a great opportunity for your child to get a sense of achievement or understanding ceremony and acknowledgement and leading by example.

Sounds like you need a frank conversation with your wife about it? It can't be undone but perhaps she needs to know how you feel and perhaps you need to understand (not agree with, bit understand, accept and then move on from) her view on it. I would be very sad if my partner didn't acknowledge this achievement with me. It is a big deal. But equally, finding resolution when there now is no turning back the clock and making it better by changing the past, is going to be necessary.

Were you able to record it so that maybe you can play it back to your wife and child?
 
Thread starter #3
Yeah, she knows how I feel. And I understand her point of view: spending an hour with me to acknowledge my graduation just wasn't as important as digging weeds out of the garden, and it was too much effort for her to plan around the time and date of my graduation. Also, she's jealous that I accomplished something, so maybe she wanted to diminish it in some way.

I'm all for resolution, but I really don't think that I should be the one putting all the work in to make that happen. I didn't do anything wrong.

I don't really want to re-watch it. Once was enough. These are, by definition, once-in-a-lifetime milestones.
 
#4
Hello and welcome :)

Congratulation to your degree, and the ones before it.

Think the kidlet would understand you got through a big thing with school, but because it was a hard day, it's better to wait for some other days, as now you're tired, as Big Things tire big people big deal? ;)

And as to your mother...

Families of origins that can't support your amazing successes, and who you are as a person to make them happen, do not deserve to be invited to them anyway.

It doesn't take away the hurt.
But it makes a difference to prioritize you, and people worth caring for and agonizing over, over them.
 
#7
It was my wife, not my mother.
:oops: My apologies. Mis-associated / Misread.

Still, if people don't support you, find the support you need with some who do.

Accomplishments deserve pride, not being wrapped in awfulness.

And it's okay if none of that applies now, or in the *foreseeable* future.
 
#8
I'm all for resolution, but I really don't think that I should be the one putting all the work in to make that happen. I didn't do anything wrong.

I
Agreed. It takes two. And,ouch, I can understand your feelings as gardening versus your graduation.
There has to be resolution though. Somehow. Otherwise this is just there. Getting bigger.
Has she said sorry at least?
 
#9
It sounds like maybe you should re-evaluate your relationship. She doesn't sound invested in you. You will need someone who is invested in your success to have a good career. Don't let their reactions spoil your huge accomplishment. You did something most people don't, and deserve a lot of congrats. I'm with @Ronin, find some supportive people.
 
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Ihavenoname

#10
Congrats on your graduation!!!!! I know the graduations are happening a bit differently due to the pandemic. I'm sorry to read that your wife and family were not supportive. Graduating law school is a huge achievement and you should be prod of yourself for all the hard work you put in, i'm sure it wasn't easy. I'n not really sure why your wife couldn't or wouldn't let your son see such a big moment, especially knowing of your history with previous events. A spouse shouldn't be jealous of your achievements but encourage and celebrate them. As Dharmagirl said above i think a re- evaluation of the relationship is in order.

Maybe you can take your son out to celebrate once things are back to a semi- normal. You. should still celebrate, change the memory
 
Thread starter #11
Well, I guess it's over now. I came home from work, and my wife had hung a sign on the porch that said "Welcome Law School Graduate." This was exactly 1 week after my graduation. There were lights hung on the porch. My son came out of the house dressed up. My wife followed. She told me that our marriage is over and she is going to move out on 8/1, which is immediately after I take the Bar Exam, which is a 3-day test I need to pass to get my license to practice law. I feel so betrayed. I can't eat, my chest hurts, and it's hard to breathe. I believe I am in a state of mild shock.
 
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#12
Oh Sugnim. I'm so incredibly sorry. That is so much to take in and such mixed messages of celebrating your achievement and then this news.
Big massive hug.
I'm not surprised you're in shock.
You'll get through all of this. You will.
 
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