My son is 36 and not married. His father (my ex-husband) thinks he’s gay. I believe it’s my son’s business. Also, I’d be happy for him to have a partner he loves, if that’s so.
However, my ex thinks that it’s his right to “know the truth.” I told my ex that asking outright is rude and could cause our son to not talk to either of us.
I’ve also said that our son’s best friends are married and have kids.
Though he lives in another province, he always visits those friends and their spouses first, before seeing us even if we’re available.
So, if he is gay, he’s already demonstrating that he doesn’t want to introduce us to his “partner.”
I also ask myself and his father, what’s so great about being married? Many marriages, like ours, were unhappy within the first half-dozen years. We purposefully didn’t have another child because we both knew deep down that we’d part permanently.
Divorcing isn’t fun. Hiring a lawyer who dealt only with facts, not feelings, was upsetting. Dividing hard-earned assets (I earned more than my ex) was hard to take... yet fair, period.
Today, I’m comfortably on my own. I downsized from house to an apartment, have a community of close friends, (many also divorced), joined a book club and go on city walks.
I’m a very self-sufficient and happy single. How can I tell my son’s father to back off looking for proof that our son is gay?
Ask your ex-husband if he fears having a “gay son” is a reflection on his own manhood. It may help your telling him to back off.
Also, use real information such as from Statistics Canada:
“The married population is getting older because of the general population aging, but also because younger generations of Canadians are choosing common-law unions more. And, when they do marry, they do so at an older age than the generations that preceded them.
According to my research, these are the top 10 reasons for divorce in Canada: a financial issue, infidelity, domestic violence, psychological abuse, lack of affection, less focus on an intimate relationship, difference in personality, non-stop conflict, married at young age and addiction.
The leading cause of divorce? Communication breakdown.
You and your husband are still treading that road while divorced. You’ve focused on improving your lifestyle and relationships with friends and acquaintances.
But your ex is mired in homophobic fears regarding his son’s private life. Refuse any further conversation on this topic.
Mutual love and respect between adult children and their parents is either a wisely-developed family gene, or a missing link that’s never been found.
When my mother died, she left everything to me in her substantial will.
My brother predeceased her. His family wrongly accuse me of influencing her. She was an independent woman who decided alone.
I live in Canada. They live overseas, as did my mother, so saw her often. I’d love to communicate with them, especially my brother's grandchildren, but they’ve cut me off.
Do I try to re-communicate with them all? Would explaining things cause resentment against me?
Mother’s Divisive Will
Everyone who leaves a will for family can cause disappointing hurts or, instead, create cohesion. If some relatives are bypassed, there’s often jealous anger in others.
Your mother’s will expressed what she then believed. Say only that she made those decisions without you.
One potential outreach would be a reasonable-amount, helpful “Grandmother’s gift” for each grandchild.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the response to the man whose sister cheated on her husband who is also his best friend (April 23):
“If someone responded to me as was suggested by you “Talk to your friend, as soon as you can. Be clear that you had no inkling of your sister’s involvement with another man.”
If your friend shows you that he’s very angry, recommend that he talk to a professional therapist. Above all, stress that you still consider him your lifetime buddy.”
To me, this is a defensive answer. I would have suggested he respond as follows: “I’m so very sorry that this happened to you… I’m here for you.”
What his sister has done is not relevant and there is no need to say “I still consider you my…”. Why would that have changed? If the friend is angry, which is normal, sit with him and his anger.
Tip of the day:
An adult child’s undisclosed lifestyle is only a parent’s potential business if dangerous or coercive.