An advice columnist over at Slate just received a question that many parents may have about their children’s relationships. The question comes from “Train Wreck Incoming,” who worries that their daughter’s bisexual boyfriend is actually gay.
“My daughter and her boyfriend are both openly bisexual,” their quandary begins. “He comes from a strict religious tradition. I grew up in this tradition too, so I’m familiar with it, and I know just how insidious the worldview is and how hard it is to throw off. It’s extremely homophobic: The only acceptable life is to be straight, marry, and have children, preferably while young.”
At first, the question to us seems to be a bit bi-phobic, making it seem like the parent believes that bisexuality isn’t really a viable sexual orientation. But next, they explain their thought process with additional detail, and we’re afraid they may actually have a point.
“Recently, I learned that they’ve never had sex,” they reveal. “My daughter’s perfectly willing but he is not. They have been together for three years. I am petrified that in the future (maybe after marriage and kids) he will realize that he’s not bisexual, he’s gay, and that he has locked himself into a life that isn’t right. I’ve seen this train wreck before and it is devastating for everyone. And here I am, her parent, so everything I might say is loaded like an atomic bomb.”
Slate answers the question basically telling the parent to stay out of it and that it’s none of their business. “I understand your concerns, but I think this is something your daughter and her boyfriend are going to have to figure out for themselves,” they respond.
“Trust your daughter and her boyfriend to make their own decisions, even their own mistakes, and take the evidence you’ve seen that they love one another at face value. If you find that these anxieties become overwhelming, I recommend seeing a therapist who can help you deal with them without trying to control and manage your daughter’s sex life.”
What do you think? What would you do if you were in the parent’s position? Would you say something to your daughter? Or let her figure it all out on her own?
Wow, Skate is kind of douchey.
There’s far too little info to make a judgement about all this…my biggest question would be “when he was in a relationship with another man, did he go 3 years or more without having sex too?”
Regardless, I do think the couple should see a therapist (not the mother). Going that long without a sexual relationship…is usually a sign of something terriblely wrong.
God I hate autocorrect….
Slate is kind of douchey.
If I were in this parent’s position, I’d mention it to her and let her proceed as she saw fit. But, I’d definitely say something.
Agreed. Maybe he wants to break it off but feels trapped.
I would too. He seems pretty cool with the idea that they’re both bi; there’s nothing wrong with him expressing concerns or advice to his daughter. She doesn’t have to follow it.
I’d hate to burst my daughter’s bubble but as a dad, I’d probably have the guy followed to see if he’s seeing a guy. If that evidence proved out I’d present the evidence and let the chips fall where they may. There is no logical reason why the guy won’t put out in three years. My sense is he’s getting it elsewhere. And I’d be hard pressed to allow a marriage that could greatly effect family members negatively if it turned out badly. Sounds like it already has people very nervous and on edge.
Sounds like the parents are automatically assuming their daughter’s boyfriend’s bisexuality is just a stepping stone to being gay. Do they wonder the same about their daughter’s bisexuality? She could just as easily dump him for another woman after getting married and making babies. The parents need to worry about getting their own misconceptions about male bisexuality in order.
I would agree with you but that whole 3 years and no sex.
That’s way too long….something is amiss.
Three years of celibacy (assuming they are monogamous) and being raised in an extremely homophobic religious tradition (my guess is Mormonism). The mother mentions witnessing the break-up of other sham marriages (which are plentiful in the Mormon church). These are sufficient warning signs IMO.
The parents didn’t come to that conclusion “automatically.”
They came to it because they know the pressure/brainwashing of the guy’s religious upbringing to fit conventional male/woman relationship molds – AND – because the couple’s not had sex in their 3yrs together.
I think the responses and “Advise” the mother was given is nonsense; if I suspected that my daughter’s partner is gay, I’d tell her, and have her talk to him. Nothing is worse than the suspicion turning out to be true and realizing that I could of saved my daughter a world of hurt.
All I know is, I wouldn’t be able to wait a week, let alone 3 years to have sex with my partner, something is wrong.
Good advice. Let your children take their own lives in their own hands. All this helicopter parenting just killing real-life experience.
She’s probably well aware of it…I have had a lot of women want to have children or marry me even though they know I am gay. Who knows what she wants in life? That is the real question.
Speak, parent, speak. Just mention it then be clear to your daughter that you’re bowing out and it’s up to her how to proceed. But unless the son and daughter have some sort of non-sexual covenant about premarital sex, it’s inconceivable that were he straight or bi that they would not have had sex even once.
Yup. Three years no sex is the smoking gun, especially since she’s open to it.
Nope. Slate is wrong on this one. Obviously, the mother knows they haven’t had sex in three years but the daughter is willing because the daughter must have told her. If so, she’s not meddling in an area that’s off-limits to her. Speak up and then step back.
Hes bisexual…same could be said to tell a guy hes dating that he might leave him for a woman..that is if hes not honest with him .the woman in this case shouldn’t be too surprised. The article states she bi too…
In what world should a parent who sees something that worries them be told not to even talk about it. IF the mother is wrong, oh well, the daughter can tell her to mind her own business.
Or her daughter, could break off all contact with her mother, she could lose her daughter, over nothing that is her affair.
Tell that to Seth Owen
Aires the Ram
Fundamentalist Organized Religion screws so many people up.
I wouldn’t get involved, but knowing what I know about their sex life, I would make sure that my daughter has thought of that possibility that he is actually gay. Then let them figure it out.
“I believe that my daughter’s boyfriend is actually gay. How do I tell her?”
Well first of all if the boy is gay or not that really isn’t any of your business? What possible difference could it make to you or her if he’s gay? If he is gay and he really cares about your daughter he will tell her himself. If he is going through an awkward time of sexual identity, leaving him alone and not outing him may be the very best thing you could possibly do. If your daughter becomes distraught with the knowledge that he’s possibly gay, counselor to be supportive, not to be judgmental.
But, above all, whatever you do think about what is best for the boyfriend, counsel your daughter to think about this gay possibility the same way. Too many think that outing a person is a trivial thing when in fact it can be very devastating if it’s not handled properly. Don’t say anything to your daughter unless it becomes an issue and let her come to you don’t you don’t be the betrayer of the boyfriend’s trust, you don’t know the conversations they have together.
Slate is the worst website imaginable. But this advice was solid. Stay out of it. No adult likes a parent meddling in their life.
The adult likes it less when she wastes 5 years on the guy, gets dumped for a man and then everybody around her says “Yeah, we all knew it”.
@DCGUY – Then the adult needs to take responsibility for her own poor decision making and the parents need to evaluate why they felt the need to add insult to the wound by saying “we knew it all along,” so, yeah, I stand by my advice of stay out of it.
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