Family bond vs coming-out

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2007 11:55 PM GMT
    Since I've made my coming-out, I have changed my life the way I wanted to live it... finally.

    I found a husband, that my family doesn't like...oh! what a surprise !, a work. We have a nice appartment, 4 cats, fishes... everything except a little house with white picket fences.

    My son visit us every 2 weeks for a weekend. He likes my husband and everything is fine.

    But my family, I mean my parents, my sister and my brother...they still have not adjust to my new life after 11 years...they are still acting as if nothing changed. They are ignoring my husband, never ask any questions about his welfare, nothing.

    I keep putting a distance between us and them. I just don't want them to interfere with our nice and quiet little way of life.

    I don't want to tell them that I don't want to be that close to them life anymore. I don't mind calling them on the phone once in a while but that's it, no visit and especially no questions like who's the man and who's the woman in our couple.

    They just don't get it about gay couple. So, what I want is quite simple, I want to be left alone with MY own family, no interference, period.

    I just wanted to know if, you guys, have had that same problem with your families and how you dealt with it.

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    Aug 28, 2007 1:33 AM GMT

    My immediate family didn't speak to me for a decade and a half after I came Out.

    My Sisters still don't. What family was still speaking to me was extremely wary of Iain; the easiest thing was to ignore him as if he wasn't there.

    When I met Iain I was warmly received by his family.

    My family I had to be more blunt. I told them this was who I was, that Iain was the most important person in my life and that if they wanted anything to do with me they had to acccept him as my partner and include him as a full member of the family.

    I didn't have any problems with my cousins, even my father came around (after some intervention by his girlfriend); but my sisters still won't speak to me.

    Life goes on.

    You have been given a precious, unique, gift. We are the lucky ones.

    Having said that - you seem a little defensive about talking to your family about your partner in any way; maybe that is why they don't talk about him or bring him up - they are taking their cues from you.

    The best way to make them comfortable with your partner is for him to become 'normal' to them; to be around them, interact withg them, fight with them, enjoy good times, suffer bad times, make up with them; build a history with them.

    I think you need to open a better line of communication and give them another chance.

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    Aug 28, 2007 2:16 AM GMT
    I have this to look forward to very soon - coming out, that is.

    My wife and I discussed plans for seperation. I'm relieved. We have 2 kids together and plan to be amicable in the seperation.

    The reality is that any guy who picks me, will have to pick my kids as well and accept the relationship I will have to maintain with my ex. Hopefully that isn't too much to ask. I think I still have much to offer.

    I think my family will be ok, but you never know. My sisters and I are not particularly close - who knows, maybe coming out will allow us to become closer.

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    Aug 28, 2007 3:16 AM GMT
    Well, I'm at the other end of the spectrum. My immediate family are secular libertarians. They care that I end up long term with someone who makes me happy, but man or woman, tall or short, any color, any religion, etc., all are fine so long as I'm treated with respect and kindness and I'm happy. I feel quite badly for people who have immediate families which won't accept them for being them. I just didn't want there to be the impression that all families are like those listed above in their reactions.
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    Aug 28, 2007 7:30 AM GMT
    My sister was the most liberal and accepting, my Mom loves me just the same but is maybe a little disappointed and doesn't discuss my relationships much. I talk about them anyway and she listens and have met 4 of the boyfriends I have had.

    I don't talk about it much with the rest of the family and I am OK with that. I know they still love me. I always leave the door open for my family to discuss whatever they want.

    Good Luck OHhiker! It is admirable the direction you are taking in your situation. Oh, and Children are just an added benefit for your respective partners!
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    Aug 28, 2007 11:06 AM GMT

    I've tried to give them another chance, many times since 1996 (year of my coming out).

    They met my husband twice but still, they act and talk as if he never existed. I've decided to "throw away the towel" but, they want to continue that kind of relationship with me.

    So I keep a distance between them and us. That's my way of protecting us from their interference. I leave far away from them and I like it that way. I'm not planning to return to my old neighborhood, ever.

    To me, it's like they are not part of my life anymore and I'm OK with that. I've grown and changed a lot since my coming out. I know who I am and what I want in life. But they don't seem to notice. Too bad for them.

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    Aug 28, 2007 4:00 PM GMT
    For me family bond is extrmely precious. In order to keep them, I just not going to come out to them. I mean, why should I tell them thing they dont want to hear (they probably suspected anyway). My sexuality is my own business. I am so use to all this charade and playing straight infront of my families it doesnt matter anymore. I keep my gay life and straight life apart . I never dream of introducing my bf to my families. I actually have two house one an apartment in the city , the other one a house in a suburban. I am gay in my city apartment and straight in the suburban house. Two house , two life...
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    Aug 28, 2007 4:23 PM GMT

    If you feel comfortable to live a double lifestyle, be my guest.

    My opinion on this is, that I want to be honest with everybody, true to myself and others and to me.

    Living a true life and living a false life at the same time that's absolutely not for me. I don't want to live in a lie anymore.

    If someone loves me for what I am, they will accept me for what I am. I don't care anymore for those who are having problems with homosexuality.

    But I will definitively not live in a lie to please others.
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    Aug 28, 2007 6:02 PM GMT
    Sounds like you have to be a little more direct with them, like "You never ask or mention my partner, why? It makes me feel like you don't accept me when a major part of my life is ignored." Then find out what they say. If they don't want to talk about it at all, then you're set and you can blissfully ignore them, but right now you really haven't given them a chance.

    My parents took a little bit to get used to my ex and me, but they really liked him (and he visited with them last time he was up here.) My father would usually say "Hey Mom, the guys are here" when we showed up. His family was pretty much the same way, except his mother would be wonderful to us, but then would give money to these hateful groups associated with the Catholic Church that vilified gays. Oh, what guilt and oppression will do to someone.
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    Aug 28, 2007 6:15 PM GMT
    Caporalpunition - I'm kind of curious... If this isn't too personal, what was your family bond like before you came out?

    In my case, while we were always close, coming out actually strengthened the bond with my family. It also broke the ice in the extended family, and suddenly the gay uncles were bringing significant others to various holidays and gatherings. (Grandpa has, in fact, now moved in with one of my uncles and his partner, so that they can keep a better eye on him).

    So, I probably am an example on the other extreme. With my immediate family, I have occasionally had to step back a bit and now give them a bit less information. The last time I mentioned excitedly looking forward to a date, they called me at noon the next day on speakerphone.
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    Aug 28, 2007 6:32 PM GMT
    I might have miss read your message. Did you say that your family has meet your BF twice since 1996?

    If so, why? Do you live far apart? Everytime I see my family or almost everytime, my "husband" is there. Did you get married? Was your family invited. I agree with ITJock, your family may be taken its ques from you.

    Back when I first came out to my family I expected them to take time to get use to the idea that I was gay. It took me a long time to get used to it. So it only seemed fair. I had many talks with many members of my family. Yes, the who is the man and women question. Yes, it may seem like a stupid question? But who can make them understand that better then you, the closet gay person they know.

    Now twenty years later, my family treats me and my partner as they do any of the other members of the family. Our neices and nephews all call him Uncle and I am sure some prefer him over me. But if my family treated my partner, the way you discribed, they would never see me or him again. I would never except someone, if they cannot except me.

    We need to stand up and be counted. If someone doesn't like you or treats the man you love with disrespect, how can you show them respect in return. I know two wrongs don't make a right. but I have seen friends who have to take seperate vacations at Christmas because they love there family to much to risk losing them. I never saw this as a risk. I was always willing to walk away if they didn't except me for who I am. Be strong, be yourself.
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    Aug 28, 2007 6:55 PM GMT
    I guess I am one of the few lucky people when it comes to comeing out stories and family.

    When I came out back in 98 my family was extremely supportive. My dad and I before I came out would only talk to each other if it was neccesary and never did anything together. Now we have an awsome relationship and I talk to him at least once every day. And he loves my boyfriend and we are going on a trip later this year with my dad and step mom. And my dad isnt' even a liberal. In fact he is a gun carrying, NRA member, cowboy - who works in the oil field - republican.

    The same goes with my whole family. The only bad experience that I have had is I brought a boyfriend home last christmas and my sisters husband (who I never really got along with anyways) doesn't want me staying there over night if my boyfriend is with me. They don't have any problem with me coming over. It's just the staying over night thing. My whole family except my brother in law was absolutly irate about this deal and it caused some tension over xmas. The brother in law tried talking to my dad about it thinking he would agree with him on his decision, my dad told him off for treating me like that. Other then that my family has been extremely accepting and goes out of their way to invite my boyfriend and his daughter out to visit.

    I even had my grandma buying my ex presents for his birthday and christmas. And she is even a devout Mormon.

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    Aug 28, 2007 7:47 PM GMT
    Thanks guys for your stories and comments. It helps me a lot to understand my relationship with my parents, brother and sister.

    Few years ago, I wrote a letter to my parents. In that letter, I tried to explain to them what happened to me, my coming out, why I separated from my wife, the pain I felt almost all my life, everything. I even apologized for all the pain and sadness I caused.

    I also mentionned that if they had any questions, any comments, I was open for discussion.

    I never heard a word from them following that letter. I tried to discuss it with my mother. She said that everything that was concerning homosexuality was not a subject they would like to discuss. Case closed!!!!

    She also added that they did not want to know anything about the "boyfriend thing".

    - Italmusclebtm : Concerning your question about the kind of relationship I have with my family, I'd say a choking relationship. I mean that they have their idea all made up about what is happiness and anything else is not good. So there's not much room for discussion.

    -BUCKNJ1 : We live about 3 hours drive from them. They want me to visit them but they never come to our place. We are not officially married but we did a little "homemade" ceremony with friends 8 years ago. We invited them...they said no. They just don't like him, that's all, they are kind of scared of him ?!

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    Aug 28, 2007 8:00 PM GMT

    Well - thats a bit more information isn't it?

    Some people are born asssholes; they just don't, and never will, get it.

    Love your partner, get on with your life.

    Stop worrying about the thinggs you can not change.

    Best of luck

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    Aug 28, 2007 8:07 PM GMT
    - ITJOCK : Thanks for the advice. I think that "assholes" is a bit strong to describe my family but I think that homosexuality is not, and probably never will be, a part of their lives. After 11 years, if they don't get it now, I think that they never will.

    I love my family but I'm not wasting any more energy to make them understand. Enough is enough. I tried. They have to do their part now, I've done all that I could.

    Thanks guys. I really appreciate. :-)