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Old 08-25-2011, 05:59 PM   #41
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I have been reading thru this thread and I think any mother who can not except her child in these circumstances needs counseling. In my opinion no one chooses to be gay. I like the saying that life isn't about the cards you are dealt but how you play the game. Maybe there is a lesson in the situation that this mother is not seeing. She has an intellegent and successful daughter who is obviously playing the cards she was dealt. I for one would be happy that she is in an exclusive and loving relationship, happy, healthy, and (from a mother's viewpoint!) that I might have grandchildren to love. All I ever wanted was health and happiness for my children (and granchildren!). One of my grandchildren is adopted, but heck if I can remember which one. So I don't think I would really care just how they got here.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:05 PM   #42
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Most of us were raised the same way and would have agreed with her as kids or even recently. Views on the topic have changed but not for everyone.
My Dad was a sohisticated man, my mother kind of country. In middle age they had some financial and health reverses, and bought a big house cut up into small flats, except the ground floor which was a large apartment. We moved into this large flat when I was 15, and my 3 sibs down to 4, in the mid 50s

My mother was always in a dither because her tenants were, she believed, behaving immorally.(Ie bringing dates home for some naked fun.)

Like many attactive older city neighborhoods, this one drew lots of gay men. My Dad solved his problem of a nutty wife possibly messing up his business by only making new rentals to gays and lesbians. My Mom was ecstatic, because no one was any longer bringing home housemates of the opposite sex. My brother and I thought it was hysterical, both because we liked the elegant solution, and because we wondered if my Mom ever wondered where all the guys with orange hair and stuff came from.

The only time I ever experienced gay negative culture was college. But the rest of my life as far as I knew there were always lots of gays around, and they were as accepted as anyone else. Gay men seemed like anyone else, but better dressers and more polite.

I knew a number of lesbians also, as my wife was in a social group that contained many lesbians, and she set me up as a handyman for some of their household jobs. It was quite comfortable, they always gave me coffee, paid me well and unlike some heterosexual neighbors were totally uninterested in flirting with me, which made everything easier as my wife never liked me to be around women that she thought were looking for some sport.

Ha
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:24 PM   #43
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+1. I get worked up on the topic and fail to have enough empathy with people like this girl's mother. Most of us were raised the same way and would have agreed with her as kids or even recently. Views on the topic have changed but not for everyone.
I understand donheff....but let me throw this out for all of us to ponder (while I duck behind a chair ). Are we not judging the mom? Isn't that the complete opposite of what we are offering to the daughter? The right to her convictions? Doesn't the mom have this same right?

After my mom passed away, I was in church that first mothers day without my mom. I was extremely close to my mother. The female minister had presided over her funeral. Her message that sunday....was not about the "fluff of mother's day and about how wonderful mothers are...(even though we are ). The majority of her sermon was to recognize there are daughters out there that have terrible relationships with their mom, some don't have a mom and how Mothers' Day is not the same for everyone...etc...etc. It was a refreshing "other view" one doesn't get often in church. Of course we logically all know this...but how many times does a minister address something like this openly in church? As it turned out, she had a horrible relationship with her own mom.
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:39 PM   #44
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Maybe we are judging the mother for passing judgment on her own daughter. Who gives anyone the right to judge.
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:44 PM   #45
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Maybe we are judging the mother for passing judgment on her own daughter. Who gives anyone the right to judge.
Ha will be along shortly to point out passing judgement is what we do here...
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:51 PM   #46
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I was convinced that acceptance would come with time, but was not aware that things had taken a turn for the worse until my daughter emailed me and asked me not to come - the parents of both were going to meet up at their place, spend some time together it was going to be the first time that we were going to meet one another, on neutral ground, so as to speak. There was some anger and bitterness in her email, and it came as a bolt out of the blue.

I am grateful for the many responses and the cumulative wisdom that came through strongly. I wish we had an enlighted wise priest locally but as a lapsed RC, I am vaguely familiar with them but do not know them that well and frankly I personally do not have the knowledge or the church credentials to be of any help to DW.

I did discuss with DW the change of plan and the reason for the change and we had a painful discussion ( for her and for me). I did ask her to rethink her decision - my reasoning along the lines that she is our daughter, we love her and we would like to be involved with her life. I think that I can now do more good by trying to support both and make sure that both are aware that I care and love for them equally and am determined not to support the one against the other.

"Strongarm" - poor choice of words - what I meant to say was that DW will avoid making a decision about something as painful as this until she is forced to do so (don't we all) - but generally if given space and time afterwards will come to a decision, and I intend to give her that time and space and support.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:20 PM   #47
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First of all I want to say that your daughter and wife are lucky to have such an understanding father and husband. Perhaps speaking with a Social Worker or Psychologist who does not have a religious bias might help.

At this point talking to a priest might just help the division go grow deeper. It is their job to follow the teachings of the church.

I was a RC as a child then converted to the Jewish faith when I got married.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:00 AM   #48
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I think that I can now do more good by trying to support both and make sure that both are aware that I care and love for them equally and am determined not to support the one against the other.

"Strongarm" - poor choice of words - what I meant to say was that DW will avoid making a decision about something as painful as this until she is forced to do so (don't we all) - but generally if given space and time afterwards will come to a decision, and I intend to give her that time and space and support.
Sorry about the turn for the worse. Your intent sounds like the best approach. Good luck.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:57 PM   #49
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If I were the daughter I would be absolutely dissatisfied by your compromise. Daughter is trying to live the only satisfying life she can live. Wife is rejecting her over this, in favor or some totally abstact "principle". What's worse is that the principle she has adopted is from a church which openly and egregiously violates its own strictures, probably has for its entire history but certainly has during the entire postwar period.

In this situation, although one can see how wife arrived at this posture, your accepting it runs the risk of forever alienating your daughter and what's worse hurting her deeply by rejecting the core of her being, the woman she loves, and her atempt to live a self actualizing life.

On the other hand, if you can ignore your wife's stance, and completely and publically accept your daughter's, best case your wife feels marginalized and gets aboard, or perhaps realizes that your response truly reflects Christian charity and social and family reality. Worst case, at least you have treated your daughter right.

Ha
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:20 PM   #50
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If I were the daughter I would be absolutely dissatisfied by your compromise. Daughter is trying to live the only satisfying life she can live. Wife is rejecting her over this, in favor or some totally abstact "principle". What's worse is that the principle she has adopted is from a church which openly and egregiously violates its own strictures, probably has for its entire history but certainly has during the entire postwar period.
It's just possible that the principle the wife is applying is one she personally holds based upon her own belief system formed by her own interpretation of scripture or whatever else informs her belief system. It may not be that she has just adopted some abstract principle from a corrupt church. To assume so discounts the wife and her feelings in this tough situation.

And BTW, churches are made up of people. People are corrupt. They should be held accountable for egregious behavior. Higher standards should be expected but will never be fully achieved. People are fallible and imperfect to be sure. But poor human behavior does not necesarily invalidate the belief systems of the people within those churches. In fact, it is the recognition of their own 'imperfectness' that cause many people to attend church and seek God.

Ha, I'm not looking to be disagreeable with you. I generally admire your posts and would most certainly find myself at the short end of any exchange of posts. But in this case I feel the Mom is getting the shorter end on the advice offered. Her feelings are relevant and demand respect IMO.

Again, hopefully time will provide a path to reconciliation for the whole family.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:53 PM   #51
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Cato I'm truly sorry you are in the middle on this. Be on the look out for granting your daughters situation so much power that it divides you and your wife. I know you are already cognizant of that. But at the end of the day...you live with and made a commitment to your wife ..just as your daughter is now making a commitment to her life and the person she will live with. They are two separate families and the boundaries of each must be honored IMHO...as much as possible. I believe you can love and support your daughter...while...maintaining your allegiance to your wife.

I watched my older sister come between our parents. The factors at play there were greed and narcissism. She never grew up. She was 18 months old when my twin and I were born and has been greedy and jealous ever since. My other siblings and I have been hurt both emotionally and financially by her....and she has little conscience. Point is...eventually no one was happy, no one trusted anyone...etc. Keep your trust with your wife if you can while loving and supporting your daughter.
Perhaps that is old fashioned or too traditional...but if you stay in the middle..it's possible.....no one will be happy. Of course...all of this has been said without knowing all the details. Good luck Cato....
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:53 PM   #52
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Ha, I'm not looking to be disagreeable with you. I generally admire your posts and would most certainly find myself at the short end of any exchange of posts. But in this case I feel the Mom is getting the shorter end on the advice offered. Her feelings are relevant and demand respect IMO.

Again, hopefully time will provide a path to reconciliation for the whole family.
My keyboard is losing its batteries so I may have to quit before I have fully responded.

First, be assured that I am not contesting wih you. I completely see what you are saying and I respect your well spoken post. I absolutely agree that Mother's feelings must be respected, both as a practical marriage preservation tactic and as a moral stance. However, the costs of letting Mother's stance, as opposed to her feelings, effect OP and his Daughter is too great, in my opinion.

Dad is not saying, "OK, stay home, I am going to the in-law party." Daughter seems to have perceived them as a unit, so not only is Mother having her feelings respected, she is calling the tune. And she is not the one who should be calling it in this situation, for Father and Daughter's well being. And also I believe, even for the Mother's well being long term.

One's personal ethics are sometimes in conflict with the wider world, and there have been many ways to look at this! To me the social value of preserving family trumps any abstraction. But I admit that others will often look at it differently, and I expected this to be a controversial post. I only posted because I feel that there are huge long term costs and potential regret built into the way things seem to be progressing.

Also, I have seen too much of this kind of stuff- not over homosexualty, but over other "principles " that can ruin family harmony. Sometimes forever.

Ha
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:15 PM   #53
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I have been reading thru this thread and I think any mother who can not except her child in these circumstances needs counseling. In my opinion no one chooses to be gay. I like the saying that life isn't about the cards you are dealt but how you play the game. Maybe there is a lesson in the situation that this mother is not seeing. She has an intellegent and successful daughter who is obviously playing the cards she was dealt. I for one would be happy that she is in an exclusive and loving relationship, happy, healthy, and (from a mother's viewpoint!) that I might have grandchildren to love. All I ever wanted was health and happiness for my children (and granchildren!). One of my grandchildren is adopted, but heck if I can remember which one. So I don't think I would really care just how they got here.

I will agree that being in a loving relationship is better... there was a gay guy who used to be in an office two doors down from me... I don't know how often he would come in beat up by his then boyfriend (and he had a LOT of them).... I still don't know why he would pick these loser... most of the other gays I have known have tried to find a SO and not play the field...
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:06 PM   #54
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Also, I have seen too much of this king of stuff- not over homosexualty, but over other "principles " that can ruin family harmony. Sometimes forever.
This is exactly right, especially from your daughter's point of view. Principle, and judgement based on the principle.

I would let her know that I lover her 100% no matter what she decides to do with her life. I wouldn't dare try to defend my spouse in front of her to ease the situation. I would let her know I would want to be at her side when she marries. Just so you know, this is coming from someone with no children, if that makes any difference. I am trying to put myself in your daughter's shoes. That's what I would want from my parents.
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:19 PM   #55
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My keyboard is losing its batteries so I may have to quit before I have fully responded.

First, be assured that I am not contesting wih you. I completely see what you are saying and I respect your well spoken post. I absolutely agree that Mother's feelings must be respected, both as a practical marriage preservation tactic and as a moral stance. However, the costs of letting Mother's stance, as opposed to her feelings, effect OP and his Daughter is too great, in my opinion.

Dad is not saying, "OK, stay home, I am going to the in-law party." Daughter seems to have perceived them as a unit, so not only is Mother having her feelings respected, she is calling the tune. And she is not the one who should be calling it in this situation, for Father and Daughter's well being. And also I believe, even for the Mother's well being long term.

One's personal ethics are sometimes in conflict with the wider world, and there have been many ways to look at this! To me the social value of preserving family trumps any abstraction. But I admit that others will often look at it differently, and I expected this to be a controversial post. I only posted because I feel that there are huge long term costs and potential regret built into the way things seem to be progressing.

Also, I have seen too much of this kind of stuff- not over homosexualty, but over other "principles " that can ruin family harmony. Sometimes forever.

Ha
+1 Thanks Ha, I couldn't have said it better. I have been forced to live these "principles" and become estranged from family members over them.

Queenie (recovering RC)
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:47 PM   #56
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This is exactly right, especially from your daughter's point of view. Principle, and judgement based on the principle.

I would let her know that I lover her 100% no matter what she decides to do with her life. I wouldn't dare try to defend my spouse in front of her to ease the situation. I would let her know I would want to be at her side when she marries. Just so you know, this is coming from someone with no children, if that makes any difference. I am trying to put myself in your daughter's shoes. That's what I would want from my parents.
I agree completely, and I do have 2 kids. Cato, do you want to attend your daughter's dinner/ceremony, and would you go without your wife?
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:15 PM   #57
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This is tragic. Mom, dad and daughter torn apart. No good assigning blame. Everyone has their own private heatbreak. Just so very sad. Hope time heals your hearts.
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:19 PM   #58
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This is exactly right, especially from your daughter's point of view. Principle, and judgement based on the principle.

I would let her know that I lover her 100% no matter what she decides to do with her life. I wouldn't dare try to defend my spouse in front of her to ease the situation. I would let her know I would want to be at her side when she marries. Just so you know, this is coming from someone with no children, if that makes any difference. I am trying to put myself in your daughter's shoes. That's what I would want from my parents.
First, I have no children and am straight, so my observations can be discounted appropriately. But, like you, I focus on the daughter. It seems to me that she will never be fully happy, or even fully adult, so long as she continues to seek her mother's approval (or even her father's). That does not mean that she must be antagonistic or angry, but true freedom will come only when she can say "Mom, I am inviting you and Dad to my wedding and I would be happy if you were there, but I don't need or want your approval." Conversely, she must be prepared for Cato to explain that he needs to stand by his wife, regardless of his own personal feelings about the matter.

On a somewhat related note, it has always astonished me that people will put up with nonsense from their relatives that they would never tolerate from any other human being. I don't, and my family all know it, and we all get along the better for it.
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:11 AM   #59
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First, I have no children and am straight, so my observations can be discounted appropriately. But, like you, I focus on the daughter. It seems to me that she will never be fully happy, or even fully adult, so long as she continues to seek her mother's approval (or even her father's). That does not mean that she must be antagonistic or angry, but true freedom will come only when she can say "Mom, I am inviting you and Dad to my wedding and I would be happy if you were there, but I don't need or want your approval." Conversely, she must be prepared for Cato to explain that he needs to stand by his wife, regardless of his own personal feelings about the matter.
This situation is so much bigger than whether Mom and/or Dad will attend the wedding and it goes way beyond seeking approval. The truth is - it is really, really painful to believe your parents think you are a freak, perv or worse because you are gay. I don't know anyone who just shrugged their shoulders and thought, I'm an adult I don't need my parents love or approval.

I realized I was gay back in 1977. It was hell and I barely survived it. My one and only concern at the time was that my parents would disown me. I felt like I could fly my finger up to everyone else in the world, but I needed my parents support.

Cato, I don't envy the position you are in and I am really sorry you are going through this. Have you asked your wife for suggestions on how to solve this problem?

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Old 08-27-2011, 10:04 AM   #60
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This situation is so much bigger than whether Mom and/or Dad will attend the wedding and it goes way beyond seeking approval. The truth is - it is really, really painful to believe your parents think you are a freak, perv or worse because you are gay. I don't know anyone who just shrugged their shoulders and thought, I'm an adult I don't need my parents love or approval.

I realized I was gay back in 1977. It was hell and I barely survived it. My one and only concern at the time was that my parents would disown me. I felt like I could fly my finger up to everyone else in the world, but I needed my parents support.

Cato, I don't envy the position you are in and I am really sorry you are going through this. Have you asked your wife for suggestions on how to solve this problem?

-helen
I think the clue to acceptance is putting yourself in the child's place and realizing how they feel and then not wanting to add to their pain. I gained a lot of respect for my ex in the way he handled our son's being gay .He was a real guy's guy and he accepted it and welcomed my son openly .
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