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Wed Feb 7 9:55 am  #1


How do we tell our Son that his Dad is gay?

Hi all,
My first post here. So bear with me. After 21 years of marriage my husband has come out to me that he is gay. We have recently been attending couples therapy (he revealed that he was molested by a man at 13, had a very harsh childhood- both parents died when he was 13 and 15, older siblings left the house during this time). We both still love each other but his needs sexually are not with me.  He has and is going to individual therapy(anxiety and depression due to this), for what was over 35 years of squashing these feelings down about how he really is attracted to men. 
We have a 20 yr old son who lives at home (is in college) and is dependent on us (we feel that he is immature for his age-he has ADHD) whom we haven't told yet but will be.  I think he can handle it but do we tell him everything or just that we maybe be separating and possibly divorcing. Then I think he would he would want to know the reason why so he would need to know it was because his dad is gay. I think he's open to this type of lifestyleand come to understand it but I don't know this for sure.. But then again boys internalize and don t express their feelings (Liam is kinda this way).  I want to do this the best possible way. I am so worried how this is going to impact him emotionally and what it will do to him in regards to college and will his grades just plummet or what. I love him dearly as does my husband and we both want the best for him and both will continue to support him no matter what.

His dad wants to remain in his life and really wants to continue our deep friendship that we have had and what was the basis of our marriage.

This has only just happened a couple weeks ago. So there is a lot of unknown and raw feelings.  We both are continuing our therapy individually and as a couple.He has spoken of a open marriage but I just don't know if I can do it. I want to as to keep some stability, stay in our house, continue our lifestyles but at what cost?

Do we tell him now or wait?

Any advice on what and how to say this to our son would be so so appreciated.
 

 

Wed Feb 7 1:19 pm  #2


Re: How do we tell our Son that his Dad is gay?

Hi, I hope you don't mind, I'm going to shorten your name, so Hi Dol,

two weeks?  yes you're in shock - and likely to find that the shock is only going to increase over the next little while.  

so mainly advice is look after yourself, drink plenty of water and rest as much as you can.  be kind to yourself at all times.

The way i see it, we all got a brain of our own - we need it to make sense of ourselves.    

So this is what I think - yes getting good grades, this matters, but in every other regard it is sooner the better - I guess it is a question of looking at how well he is doing now and could it actually help him to know the truth of his family now or would it be better to wait til after graduation because maybe he would struggle.   and then you're going to have to wonder about if that is going to be a better time to tell him anyway.  don't know - only you can make the call and my guess is you will make a good call.

In an ideal world you would be able to get his father to be a part of telling him by being there, but letting you do the telling.  That way your son is getting the information from both parents, and it is coming in a simple and straightforward way. 

wishing you all the best, don't forget to look after yourself, Lily

 

 

Wed Feb 7 1:36 pm  #3


Re: How do we tell our Son that his Dad is gay?

My sentiments are like Lily's.   

I think the sooner the better.  I think it should be a joint conversation with all parties.  I think the news should be given factually and straight.  He will appreciate the honesty.  If not given the honest answer, he will resent the lies later on when he finds out the truth. 

Even at age 20 he needs to be told that it's not his fault.  Nothing he could do would change anything.  Your relationships with him will remain unchanged regardless of what happens between the two parents. 

I'm sure you won't.. but take care not to put him in the middle in any way.  It sounds like you are your spouse are getting along right now.  I hope that remains.  But if things go sour make sure you don't let him get in the middle.  No taking sides or trying to keep the peace, etc..   


Welcome to our group dream.  I hope we can help you get through this. 


-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 

 
 

Wed Feb 7 1:46 pm  #4


Re: How do we tell our Son that his Dad is gay?

Thanks for the responses! I know deep in my heart that sooner is better.. I honestly don't know how it will affect him in school.. I wish I had insight on how that would go. I want whats best for him as does my husband.
It's just one of the worst convos to have with your child.. Next to a death.. So part of this is dread, and the other part is fear on him having a really negative reaction.. I always fear the worse.

I really had and am having a bad reaction to the news.. My anxiety is thru the roof. Just physically ill, blood pressure up..I have never ever had to take antidepressants until now. I am 4 days in on 50mg. Last day and today I noticed my anxiety and mood has improved.. The one thing I dont want to happen is to gain weight! I am taking Zoloft.  Blood pressure feels better too.
 

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Wed Feb 7 2:44 pm  #5


Re: How do we tell our Son that his Dad is gay?

You are in a state of shock and it is really crass of your husband to be talking about an "open marriage".  Don't agree to this or anything else until you are thinking a lot more clearly than you possibly can be now. I suspect that what he has in mind is that he would be free to step outside the marriage while you would be expected to wait at home. Would it just be your shared secret - a closet for two? How thoughtful.

Your son needs to know that his father is gay and that you are considering what YOU want to do after this shocking revelation. My sons were college-age (1 in and 1 out) and I made it up to my husband to tell them because he had told me he was gay and wanted a divorce. I figured they could grill him as much as they wanted and I was not going to buffer it or be a constraint on their questions.

Most posters however advise against this because he can spin it as much as he wants.With my husband he apparently told one that I knew it going into the marriage but my son knew that that was highly unlikely knowing me and confirmed his doubts by asking me afterwards. This son also asked me if we couldn't just stay together (we'd had separate bedrooms for years) and I simply said that wasn't fair to me. He had no answer to that.

It is possible that your son already has suspicions. One of mine found gay porn on the family computer years before and was sure that it was not his brother's because he had a girlfriend: it had to be  Your husband may get careless now that his secret is out with you. .

I think that the separation is hard and a parent being in a relationship with anyone else during this time makes it harder. I found that it was really important that I stay the adult in the room because as soon as my husband moved out it was all about him.  I had to be there for my sons and they in turn were very protective of me.

It sounds as if you are doing what you need to do to take care of yourself. It will not be easy but it will get better.
 

 

Wed Feb 7 3:04 pm  #6


Re: How do we tell our Son that his Dad is gay?

Abby wrote:

You are in a state of shock and it is really crass of your husband to be talking about an "open marriage".  Don't agree to this or anything else until you are thinking a lot more clearly than you possibly can be now. I suspect that what he has in mind is that he would be free to step outside the marriage while you would be expected to wait at home. Would it just be your shared secret - a closet for two? How thoughtful.

Your son needs to know that his father is gay and that you are considering what YOU want to do after this shocking revelation. My sons were college-age (1 in and 1 out) and I made it up to my husband to tell them because he had told me he was gay and wanted a divorce. I figured they could grill him as much as they wanted and I was not going to buffer it or be a constraint on their questions.

Most posters however advise against this because he can spin it as much as he wants.With my husband he apparently told one that I knew it going into the marriage but my son knew that that was highly unlikely knowing me and confirmed his doubts by asking me afterwards. This son also asked me if we couldn't just stay together (we'd had separate bedrooms for years) and I simply said that wasn't fair to me. He had no answer to that.

It is possible that your son already has suspicions. One of mine found gay porn on the family computer years before and was sure that it was not his brother's because he had a girlfriend: it had to be  Your husband may get careless now that his secret is out with you. .

I think that the separation is hard and a parent being in a relationship with anyone else during this time makes it harder. I found that it was really important that I stay the adult in the room because as soon as my husband moved out it was all about him.  I had to be there for my sons and they in turn were very protective of me.

It sounds as if you are doing what you need to do to take care of yourself. It will not be easy but it will get better.
 

Thanks Abby!
As to not agreeing to anything right now is true and I won't I have just been wavering back and forth about it recently. Really torn.. He is being very empathetic towards me and we are getting along fine. He is coming out to alot of his close friends. So its not a shared secret.  He has a close support network due to his being sober for 23 years. He works thru and confides in them.He is being as upfront and open with me as possible. I believe and have faith this will end in a good way and that we will remain friends. He understands that I am not in a good place as is he is not too right now. There are no immediate plans to move out on his part (depends on when we go thru separation). We will continue to go to therapy.  We will both sit down with my son soon.

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