T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 35470
posted 11-26-2007 10:00 PM
My mother should not have a right to be more uncomfortable about this than I am.
My girlfriend of seven months is not out to her mother. She's not coming out to her mother until she's out of the house (next fall.) This has been made abundantly clear, and for extremely obvious reasons- her mother would put her under house arrest, and possibly keep her home for college, and there's some mild concern for my girlfriend's physical safety concerning her father. (Not in general. But he's scary-bigoted on this subject and has a bit of a temper, so she'd rather be safe than sorry). I understand all of this. I'm okay with this. I've even talked to her about escape plans, me being present for the coming-out or in town or just prepared on the day to get back home as soon as possible. As she gets more comfortable with her own sexuality, she's come out to our friends at her own pace, and although I came out to my family on my own time, I've let her call the shots with friends who might or might not interact with her parents. Here's the problem. As a case study, I was home for Thanksgiving, and my grandparents were staying with us. They don't know that I'm bi; they dont' know that I'm dating this girl who has been introduced to them when she was a friend-friend. I asked my parents for advice on coming out to them 1) because they've expressed some comfort with queerness in general and in anecdotes of extended family on the other side, and 2) because I would be spending a lot of time with my girlfriend over break, and they would wonder. I ask my dad for advice (they're his parents), and he has no advice: and then he asks me if I'm going to tell them about her mother too. And then he brings up the killer point: "Do you have a right to ask them to keep that secret for you? To lie to her mother if they meet her?" This made me really uncomfortable,and I ended up not coming out to them (my girlfriend and I ended up having other safe places to hang out over break, so it worked out.) But my mother hears this conversation, and later she brings it up in discussion to illustrate her point that she feels uncomfortable with my girlfriend not being out to her mother. WTF??? Okay, so we've gone over this before. My mother knows all of this history for her parents. I have told her a million times that I am all right with it. But for some reason, my mother feels like this is unfair to me, and that my girlfriend is somehow a bad person for making me deal with this. There's unfairness all around in this relationship; I went away to college, knowing that I would be dependent on my parents or occasional roundabout friend trips to get home. We're working out some rather unbalanced sexual-dynamic issues. I've pushed her too hard sometimes to be more open; she has to deal with my family knowing all about her, without her being aware at first (my mother pried this information out of me before I was ready). All in all, this is a small price to pay, and one with a time limit. If we can deal with all of our other issues, this is small to me. I understand that my mother feels the same sort of feelings that my dad pointed out; I shouldn't have asked her to keep this secret for me. (Although, I didn't really ask her; see "prying information out of me" comment above. And I was afraid that she would tell my girlfriend's mother, and had backup plans and strategies laid out in case of such an event, but she kept the secret on her own.) But why does she get to feel like I'm being wronged in this situation if I have absolutely no problems with waiting? [ 11-26-2007, 10:04 PM: Message edited by: Windy-La Raindrop ]
Member # 5375
posted 11-28-2007 02:08 AM
You know, it is unfair. It sounds like you and your girlfriend have accepted the situation for what it is, have taken all the steps you can to make it workable, and are in general dealing with it quite nicely. Unfortunately, you can't force others to do the same.
In this case, your mom is your mom and as such is probably more concerned about you and your feelings than your girlfriend and hers. Is it possible she just doesn't want you to have to go through the stress of keeping a secret like this or the potential consequences when your girlfriend does come out (or is outed)? While it does sound like she could be trying harder to work with you and your partner on this, try to cut her some slack if she's acting this way out of concern for you. One point where I find myself agreeing with your father: I don't think it is fair to ask people to keep a secret like this. It's pretty taboo to interfere with the way other people raise their children and -- right or wrong -- that's what you're asking in this situation. Given that it sounds like your parents forced you to confide in them, it's the least they can do but that doesn't apply to your grandparents. Coming out to them is your call, but confiding in them about your girlfriend and asking them to keep it quiet is asking a lot. I'm sorry your parents are adding more stress to what already sounds like a difficult situation. My best advice it to try and remember that they're likely acting out of love and concern for you, no matter what the end result is. Try to keep the lines of communication open and remind yourself that this is a temporary situation and you'll get through it. [ 11-28-2007, 02:11 AM: Message edited by: -Jill ]