Niecy Nash's family didn't want her to get divorced.
The 'Claws' star filed to end her eight-year marriage to second husband Jay Tucker in December, two months after they split, and she's admitted the situation was made more painful by the fact her relatives insisted she had no real reason to walk away from the relationship.
Speaking at Essence's Black Women in Hollywood awards luncheon on Thursday (06.02.20), she tearfully said: "There was a huge myth that I inherited from the women in my family which is, 'You are nothing without a man. Get one, keep one, no matter what -- blind, cripple, crazy, married or lazy -- get one, baby girl, because they will validate you!'
"When I owned we were better friends than life partners, my family was quick to say, 'But you all look so good together.' And, 'Well, if the man ain't beating you, what you leaving for?'
"The one that made me laugh the most was an ode to him being attractive. [They said,] 'Well, you never had to put a sack on his head to sleep with him.'
"And I replied, 'What about my happiness?' The untethering from my family's beliefs, the internet's expectations and my marriage ending caused me so much pain.
"Pain is putting things in necessary order. You've got to acknowledge how you feel. Trust that it is so much easier to walk in your shoes than it is run towards a lie."
The 49-year-old star urged people to live their "best life" and stand by their "truth.
She added: "This long line of women that I come from had never been taught what choosing themselves looks like.
"You've got to own the part you play. I encourage you to walk in your truth, live your trauma and live your best damn life."
And Niecy - who has children Dominic, Donielle and Dia with first husband Don Nash - is proud to be setting a good example to her children.
She added: "I am the most grateful because I now know myself much better than before.
"I let my daughters watch me walk through the whole thing. Because I want them to get up every single day and choose themselves.
"I realise I did right when my daughter said to me, 'I am so proud of you, and I want to be just like you when I grow up.' [My] generational curse is broken!"