Stuck between son and mother

(4 Posts)
evilartsgraduate Sat 04-May-13 09:32:36

My son (24) is bi and has a civil partnership. Unfortunately my mother, who is in her 80s and pretty much your typical Daily Mail reader (not that that is exactly an excuse, however) is having a hard time with this and has said some really tactless things (e.g. introducing his partner to her sister as his "friend" to which my son iciliy corrected 'actually, {name} is my spouse' and was pretty pissed about it in private later - he has a temper on him, not a help). She has said to me that it's "a shame" son has a male partner. I tried to protest it wasn't as they are very happy but sadly OH - who has been scrupulously polite, welcoming and appropriate to son's spouse, albeit I know he has his own reservations - tried to stop me, IMO validating mother's objections. I tackled him about it later but he handwaved it with 'well, she's entitled to her opinion and you shouldn't go on at her'. He's our son, ffs, and it was one, sharply worded objection, not a rant.

Further complications. Son's spouse was assigned male at birth and brought up male and referred to as male all the time I have known them until last year when son told me spouse was trans* and I have been trying hard since with preferred pronouns [hence what readers no doubt have noticed as written awkwardness of this post, English is wonderful but sometimes inflexible when you don't want it to be], to discuss with spouse on serious basis etc. Son has not yet discussed this with his father, though I have encouraged him to, let alone with grandma. Not sure if in her eyes this would make matters more acceptable or less tbh!

I'm getting a bit tired of feeling OH would not fundamentally support me/son/spouse if there was (heaven forbid) any kind of showdown. I only just headed one off when son was threatening to cut off contact with her because of Daily Mail reading and that arse Littlejohn's treatment of Lucy Meadows (see above re: temper). I pointed out that do that, and you speak to virtually no-one over a certain age except (some) Guardian readers.

And of course there is older sister and her perfect, 'normal' kids with opposite sex partners and gender-perfect hobbies (boys at footie, girly girl in pink doing ballet) to contend with. Mother has not openly said it but it's clear that's her preferred second generation.

Sigh. Yes, I know, it's not about me.

phoolani Sat 27-Jul-13 23:36:14

Support your son, bugger the rest of 'em! Who gives a crap as long as he's happy? Of course, if there is a show down, you'll have to choose sides, so just make sure you know which side you're on and stick to it! I know whose side I'd be on.

MumnGran Sat 27-Jul-13 23:54:05

Good grief, the woman is in her eighties.
Life may be all about the young generation - their needs, their sensitivities, their agenda's, but your mother spent the majority of her life in a world where the only meaning of 'gay was outgoing & fun!! its not really a huge surprise that she has some trouble getting her head around things, when the concept of TG was probably unknown to her until recently.

She is not being deliberately un-supportive or objectionable, she is just over 80 and typical of that age group .....its hard to deal with things which had no significance at all to their own lives ....which are almost over!

If your DS were my son, I would be having very strong words about the level of respect he was offering to a very elderly family member, and suggesting that if he has trouble knowing how to respectfully deal with this age group then he should just avoid one-to-one situations with her.

MrsFrederickWentworth Sat 27-Jul-13 23:55:55

Well, to be honest I think.you have to be pig in the middle while she is around. He needs to understand that many of that generation is intolerant hence laws not being changed sooner, but she still loves him as a grandson. She needs to realise that she can be hurtful.

But I would ignore the trans issue with her until it's obvious. And it might make her more understanding,

Or she could justify him to herself.

I know how infuriating it is to have the child who doesn't accord with family expectation. The great thing is that by 40 no one cares and some may have fallen off the rails.

Good luck.

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