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Should Father tell Son that Mother is Gay?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
A good friend of mine is looking for some advice on a situation. He has been divorced for 4 years, and has a 9 year old son. He shares 50/50 physical custody with his ex-wife. His ex-wife has had a continuing relationship (both prior to and after) with the same woman that her affair with was the trigger for the divorce.

The issue is that his ex has not yet told their son that she is gay. Her partner does frequent overnights while the child is in residence, but his son thinks they are just "sleepovers" such as he might have with a friend.

My friend is very concerned that pretty soon his son will be blindsided by his mother's sexual orientation. He's afraid that his son will say something at school to a classmate, not understanding the relationship between his mother and her partner, and then have the classmate tell him what's really going on.

Should he say anything? Any suggestions for how to have that discussion? Any suggestions for how to deal with any fall-out from the ex? I think he feels she's been lying about things for so long to her son that she's painted herself in a corner and doesn't know how to have the discussion.
post #2 of 13
That's a tough one. I think I would opt to stay out of it. I know he is concerned the child will be blindsided, but putting the child in the middle of a conflict between mom and dad (surely, mom will be mad that dad outed her) could be much more damaging. It could also potentially shatter the boy's trust in his mother. The child is not in danger. I would leave it alone.
post #3 of 13
He should express concern to the child's mother and then back off. It really would cause more harm than good, IMO to out the mother before she is ready. It could also come back to haunt him as the courts and child may see the father being vindictave. That is a tough situation.
post #4 of 13

hard to deal

I see what dad is concerned about but, That's mom's problem. I agree that any concerns like that should be voiced to the mother. Also if Dad decides he's gonna tell anyway he better seek legal help first. why? because that can open up a big can of worms that the new Liberal courts won't like.
post #5 of 13
Well, yes, but not without mom's consent.
post #6 of 13
I am going to relate a good friend of mines story...


His mom left his dad when he was nine, she was outed of the closet when he was 13. Guess what???


He grew up to be a wonderful man, well educated, well rounded, and a joy to have in my life since we were 14.. we are now almost 40. This man is now a Doctor, he just married a wonderful woman, they are planning a family, and he is by all accounts a great human. He should be the poster child for same sex families.


Maybe you should Xpost this in queer parenting.

Get over your bias against people living in "different" lifestyles. There is NO difference here between a "sleepover" with the same sex and an opposite sex sleepover.

Trust me, mom and partner are much more supported in their community, have better resources for dealing with this 'coming out' than the former spouse would have.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
I do not have an "issue" with people with an "alternative" lifestyle. I do, however, have an issue with people who commit adultery and put their spouse in the position of walking in on them in bed with another person. I do not feel that because the person commiting adultery is gay that it excuses the behavior.

I believe I should have been clearer in my original post. His ex is out -- she is out to her family (other than her son), her friends and at her workplace. Their son has been resentful and very difficult during both long-term relationships that my friend has had since the divorce (he has only introduced two serious girlfriends to his son). My understanding is that the ex does not want to deal with her son's reaction to her relationship (as he reacted to his father's) -- so essentially she is leaving her son vulnerable for her own convenience. My friend is concerned that when this situation ultimately becomes apparent the son will view not only his mother as concealing things from him (which she has done), but also his father -- leaving him with no parent in which he can feel trust.

While I agree that telling the son alone is not necessarily the right answer, I do think he needs some strategies about how not to get caught up in the mess she is likely creating. He does pay more than the mandated child support (as an extra he covers all of his son's extra-curriculars, so he could drop payment for activites for his son that are only important to the ex (hebrew lessons, violin lessons that the son hates) as some leverage.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bczmama View Post
I do not have an "issue" with people with an "alternative" lifestyle. I do, however, have an issue with people who commit adultery and put their spouse in the position of walking in on them in bed with another person. I do not feel that because the person commiting adultery is gay that it excuses the behavior.

I believe I should have been clearer in my original post. His ex is out -- she is out to her family (other than her son), her friends and at her workplace. Their son has been resentful and very difficult during both long-term relationships that my friend has had since the divorce (he has only introduced two serious girlfriends to his son). My understanding is that the ex does not want to deal with her son's reaction to her relationship (as he reacted to his father's) -- so essentially she is leaving her son vulnerable for her own convenience. My friend is concerned that when this situation ultimately becomes apparent the son will view not only his mother as concealing things from him (which she has done), but also his father -- leaving him with no parent in which he can feel trust.

While I agree that telling the son alone is not necessarily the right answer, I do think he needs some strategies about how not to get caught up in the mess she is likely creating. He does pay more than the mandated child support (as an extra he covers all of his son's extra-curriculars, so he could drop payment for activites for his son that are only important to the ex (hebrew lessons, violin lessons that the son hates) as some leverage.
I guess I just don't think it is that big a deal (in terms of shattering the child's trust in his father) that his mother hasn't told him that the person she spends significant time with is, actually, a girlfriend and possible life partner. I can imagine he will be angry at his mom, but why his dad. It really isn't his dad's place to tell him, and a 9 year old boy is certainly old enough to understand that. He may feel a little blindsided that so many people knew before he did, but he will also certainly understand that it would be wrong for these people, rather than his mother, to tell him. 9 is old.

Mom, however, certainly needs to talk to him.
post #9 of 13
IMHO absolutely not without the mom's consent. But better to stay out of this completely.
post #10 of 13
No. And if that wasn't clear, I'll put it another way...NO.

It's not your husband's place
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bczmama View Post
While I agree that telling the son alone is not necessarily the right answer, I do think he needs some strategies about how not to get caught up in the mess she is likely creating. He does pay more than the mandated child support (as an extra he covers all of his son's extra-curriculars, so he could drop payment for activites for his son that are only important to the ex (hebrew lessons, violin lessons that the son hates) as some leverage.
If he is looking for a way to not get caught up in her mess, then using anything regarding his son's activities, lessons, etc as "leverage" is not the way to go. That is manipulative and by doing that, he is trying to force the mom into coming out to the son. Be clear that he would in no way be staying out of anything by doing that. Rather, he is inserting himself into the situation even more.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by avocadolemonade View Post
IMHO absolutely not without the mom's consent. But better to stay out of this completely.
I agree
post #13 of 13
In what way would it be his business to tell this information? And should the mother reveal private sexual information about the dad to the son in exchange, e.g., "I may be gay, but he pleasures himself to pictures of Carrot Top"?

Not appropriate. I find the chances that a classmate would say anything to be veeeerrry remote, mostly because this is a lesbian relationship and let's face it, our culture (and the culture of teenage boys) is far, FAR more concerned with male homosexuality than female. Female homosexuality isn't really even on their radar except in male fantasies of two hot chicks, KWIM?

She may have been painting herself into a corner, but it's her corner and her choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bczmama View Post
A good friend of mine is looking for some advice on a situation. He has been divorced for 4 years, and has a 9 year old son. He shares 50/50 physical custody with his ex-wife. His ex-wife has had a continuing relationship (both prior to and after) with the same woman that her affair with was the trigger for the divorce.

The issue is that his ex has not yet told their son that she is gay. Her partner does frequent overnights while the child is in residence, but his son thinks they are just "sleepovers" such as he might have with a friend.

My friend is very concerned that pretty soon his son will be blindsided by his mother's sexual orientation. He's afraid that his son will say something at school to a classmate, not understanding the relationship between his mother and her partner, and then have the classmate tell him what's really going on.

Should he say anything? Any suggestions for how to have that discussion? Any suggestions for how to deal with any fall-out from the ex? I think he feels she's been lying about things for so long to her son that she's painted herself in a corner and doesn't know how to have the discussion.
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