What can I do to support this situation? *positive update in #7* - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 11-24-2009, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My brother and his partner got engaged last Christmas. And they are planning to get married in Iowa this coming summer. DB just told our parents about the engagement this weekend. They knew he was gay and that he was in a relationship with someone, and they like his partner. But they are being weird about them getting married. First of all, DB and his partner will be home for Christmas and that's when DB was planning on coming out to the extended family. Our parents have discouraged him from doing that because they don't want to ruin anyone's Christmas I personally think this is really disresprectful of my brother and his partner. I mean, when I got engaged, nobody discouraged me from introducing my fiance for what he was. Second of all, they are making this issue out of the word marriage. They don't want to use the word married, and couldn't seem to wrap their brains around what exactly that means for my brother simply because it's same-sex. Now I love my brother and his partner is really great! I support them completely. I'm hoping that this is going to be like when DB came out to our parents and they were weird about it at first. Not hateful and the didn't behave in some of the atrocious ways that you hear about. But they were definitely weird about it. It was kind of like the elephant in the room that you just didn't talk about. But after a while, they eased up and got to be pretty good about it. Not great... they didn't join Pflag or anything, but they have been very kind to both DB and his partner. I'm hoping it will be similar with this. In that they'll be weird about it at first, but then later they'll be okay with it. Our family is very close and DB really values his relationship with them. I really want to encourage their support of him, and I really want to do everything I can to support him myself. But I also don't want to be too pushy. It guess it just makes me really sad for my brother that our parents won't just be for him the way they were for me when I got engaged and married.

mommy to Christopher 2/29/08
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#2 of 7 Old 11-24-2009, 09:57 AM
 
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Well... first off you let them read this post
Supporting your brother, telling him how you feel and how you would hope things could go for him will make a difference for him and his partner.

Also, suporting your parents through the path to acceptance is also something you can do. Reinforce what good they do and gently question what they do that is... well questionnable ! It is difficult for people raised in a certain way of thinking to reconcile their beliefs with their feelings of love, even for their own kids. They need support too.

Most of all, keep talking
Thanks for being there for him.

Coco

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#3 of 7 Old 11-24-2009, 09:58 AM
 
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This might help for your parents... or for you to have answers to their questions

http://www.godmademegay.com/Letter.htm

Celebrating the arrival of our twins twins.gifCharlie & Chloe, born Jan 28th 2011 !

 


 

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#4 of 7 Old 11-24-2009, 11:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coco99 View Post
Most of all, keep talking
Thanks for being there for him.

Coco
i agree with coco on that. keep talking is the most important thing. you said it was like the elephant in the room - well that only works when people stay silent about it. if you talk about it, it brings light to the topic and your comfort level with your brother's marriage will make a difference when people hear you talk openly about it.

you mentioned you didn't want to be pushy - i'm not sure what that means. would talking about it be pushy? if so then you have to be pushy. this kind of topic does rock the status quo in many families and to get to the other side which is acceptance the rocking needs to happen - but not in a rude way. it helps if the rocking isn't only by your brother.

good luck and thanks for supporting your brother!

Me, DW , and DS born 7/6/10
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#5 of 7 Old 11-24-2009, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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when I say I don't want to be pushy, what I mean is that I don't want to try and force a change in their beliefs by insisting on it.

My dad talked to me a little bit about it. I consciously tried to validate his feelings and discomfort on the issue. But at the same time tried to explain where my comfort level was coming from. And I did tell him that my hope was that at some point they could be happy for DB the way they were for me when I got married. Dad's response was "Well. I'm not." And I told him that I understood his feelings and that I understood that those may always be his feelings, but that I hoped that as he got more used to the idea that he would find a way to be happy for my brother. He did say that he told DB that he loved him very much and that DB is such a blessing in his life. So, it's not a terrible starting point, and I'm hoping that the journey can be a positive one for all of us.

mommy to Christopher 2/29/08
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#6 of 7 Old 12-06-2009, 02:17 AM
 
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I think all you can do is keep supporting your brother and make it visible to your family that you are supporting him.

My parents are much like yours. My brother, on the other hand, is nothing like you. He goes out of his way to make sure my parents are not upset and refuses to realize how much he is disrespecting me and my partner by doing so. My partner and I are much more forgiving of my parents than I am of my brother. I hate how they feel, but they grew up in a different culture and I think for them even keeping me in their life after my lesbian wedding is a big step. I wish they would do more to acknowledge my marriage, but they have come a long way. My brother, on the other hand, has no excuse. I cannot get past the insensitivity of his behavior (he didn't want my wife to be a part of his wedding because it would upset my parents). It has destroyed our relationship.

All you can do is support your brother. Host family events at your home and make sure his partner is treated as any other in-law. It makes such a difference.

You seem to be doing everything that a sister can, and I'm sure your support means a lot to him.

Best wishes!
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#7 of 7 Old 12-10-2009, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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just wanted to post an update.

my parents and I had a fairly lengthy conversation about all this the other night. As I had been thinking about it over the last couple of weeks, I had decided that my role was going to be to listen and validate and to try avoiding debate and persuasion. Anyway, my dad approached the topic with me while my parents were over for dinner. Mom said, "can we please not talk about this right now?" I very gently said, "mom it's kind of a big elephant in the room and we're going to have to talk about it at some point. might as well be now." Anyway, we had a really good and what I feel like was a very positive conversation. Basically, the big issue for them is using the word "marriage." I think they are sorting through what they feel are the moral issues. Ultimately they love my brother and they like his partner. At one point, I asked my mom if she thought she'd ever be able to see him as a son-in-law. And she answered yes.

They have several concerns. One of them being that it's very likely that some extended family member will behave in a rather cruel way to him, and they don't want that for their son and his partner. I told them that I think the thing that would be most helpful to them in weathering that kind of rejection would be my and my parent's support. If they know that we've got their back, I think they'll be okay.

Anyway, my parents weren't angry or resentful or argumentative about any of it. I truly believe that they are just trying to sort through all of their issues. And they know that I've got an open ear any time they want to talk things out and they know I'm not going to try to persuade them on any position. And I think that makes them more comfortable to talk about it.

So overall, I feel much better about it all. I think that eventually, they will develop a level of comfort with my brother's homosexuality and with his soon-to-be marriage. I just saw it as such a positive step that they were willing to have such a long conversation with me about it. I honestly feel really blessed and I'm so grateful because when my brother first came out to me, I was afraid that my parents would disown him. Ultimately my parents love both of us unconditionally and I think that we are pretty lucky

mommy to Christopher 2/29/08
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