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I am becoming obsessed with my Dad's failure to come out of the closet and I'm scaring myself.

(29 Posts)
Obsessed Sat 22-Sep-07 17:18:01

Don't know how I expect anyone to help me but I would be interested to know if anyone has any ideas about how I go about coming to terms with this as I don't seem to be able to.

I (and my mum) have suspected my Dad was gay since I was 12 (am now in 30's). Mum has now died and Dad, although seemingly living a gay life with friend who has moved into the family home, refuses to admit to us (my bros and I), that he is gay. We don't have a problem with it incidentally, we just would like it out in the open so we can all move on.

I now have definitive proof that he is gay so why does he lie about it and what am I supposed to do?

Everything feels like a sham it's awkward to visit them now, and we are worried that this other guy may have a claim on the family home, were anything to happen to Dad. AAAGH! I feel like I'm becoming a real obsessive weirdo.

beansprout Sat 22-Sep-07 17:18:46

Have you spoken to him about it?

InMyHumbleOpinion Sat 22-Sep-07 17:19:54

he is probably deeply ashamed, and doesn't wish to discuss his sexual proclivities with his offspring, which as you are on a parenting website, I am sure you understand.

beansprout Sat 22-Sep-07 17:20:36

Why should he be deeply ashamed?

LyraBelacqua Sat 22-Sep-07 17:23:52

A generational thing perhaps Beansprout. When he was growing up people were made to feel deeply ashamed of their sexuality.

InMyHumbleOpinion Sat 22-Sep-07 17:24:41

He shouldn't be, but he probably is.

Charlee Sat 22-Sep-07 17:24:45

I think all you can do is talk to him and if he still denies it present him with your proof.

If you are ok with it then tell him you are and that you just wan the truth.

LyraBelacqua Sat 22-Sep-07 17:25:02

Obsessed, why don't you just tell him you know? Would he deny it? Is it really so important that you all talk about it if you all know anyway?

newlifenewname Sat 22-Sep-07 17:25:08

Did he discuss the sex life he had with your mum with you to? It's his wealth to leave to whomever he wishes too so I can't really see how you have any need to know.I can see why it would feel better if it were out in the open though.

Obsessed Sat 22-Sep-07 17:26:04

Hi, thanks for answering, I have tried to ask him about it before but he is a very difficult person to talk to and he just gave me the 'politicians' answer - no outright denial but skirted around it.

Obsessed Sat 22-Sep-07 17:28:57

I suppose it just hurts us that we lived in fear of ever lying to him (huge punishments). I just feel that we are all being made to live a lie because of it all.

I crave a relationship with him but it's all so stilted and unnatural.

Blu Sat 22-Sep-07 17:31:09

Can you just make sure you include his 'friend' in family occasions, in a tacful welcoming way, and jus let him introduce it all by osmosis?

If he is in a longstanding relationship with the man who lives with him, then i imaginne he wuld have just the same amount of 'claim' - or right over his home, as anyone else in a live-in partnership, OR lodger, whichever applies i.e v little - but if they enter into a civilpartnership it will chaneg. As it should.

How far are you worries re this claim over the 'family home' influencing you?

Blu Sat 22-Sep-07 17:33:03

x-posted with your last post about lying.That is complicated - but maybe explains why he feels he can't talk - can't expose his double standard there.

He sounds an uptight kind of person. If you include his friend and let him know it will all be ok, maybe he will realx.

Could you write him a letter?

Obsessed Sat 22-Sep-07 17:33:22

Newlife, I agree that it is his wealth absolutely and I don't feel that I have any right to it at all (other than half of it which Mum left to us with him having a lifetime interest in it) but I dread the day when we have to confront that side of things and I know my brothers will be nasty to his friend if he has left anything to him.

I also have a feeling he will admit it all 'postmortem' IYSWIM and it breaks my heart that we can't deal with it now and have a family relationship.

Obsessed Sat 22-Sep-07 17:35:09

I have tried to welcome his 'lodger' as that is how he has been introduced to us, they come to stay together and do everything together - even my dds can see that there is more to it than meets the eye, which is awkward as well.

Desiderata Sat 22-Sep-07 17:44:53

If your father finds it difficult to discuss his sexuality, (and most parents would), then it's unlikely that he will enter into a civil partnership with another man. Therefore, one of the aspects you're worried about probably won't arise.

That said, if your father was heterosexual and met/married another woman, you would automatically be more vulnerable.

It's a tricky situation, poor thing. I really don't know what to suggest. It seems to me that you're doing all the right things ... asking him outright, welcoming the 'lodger' (bless), and trying to get some resolution within his lifetime.

But he is a man ... and gay or straight, many men find it difficult to discuss such matters, particularly with their offspring.

Just keep chipping away, in a good, constructive manner. Fingers crossed that you'll get the honesty you need in order to survive as a family.

Obsessed Sat 22-Sep-07 17:46:19

Always the voice of reason Desi - thank you honey.
I am a namechanger obviously but I thank you for your supportive words as always wink

Obsessed Sat 22-Sep-07 17:49:03

I suppose I just want the big family crisis to happen and be out in the open so I can move on. I know I should be able to say - ah it's his own business and none of mine - but I'm pent up with feeling angry on behalf of my Mum for being hoodwinked into a loveless marriage and frustrated at feeling as though I am an unwanted offspring from a marriage he regrets.

Desiderata Sat 22-Sep-07 17:52:53

You're more than welcome. Keep us posted, should a chink ever appear in your old man's armour smile

Obsessed Sat 22-Sep-07 17:58:30

I am considering writing a book about it all one day!!

Desiderata Sat 22-Sep-07 18:10:40

X-post.

I can fully understand where your emotions are right now. Yes, for your mum it was a tragedy, and I can understand your resentment.

My dad told me this story when I was 35:-

He dated my mum, the prettiest lass in Preston. Socially they were (in those days), not well matched. She was working class, he was middle. This is the late fifties/early sixties. Anyhow, he decided, one contemplative evening, that he should break off with her. She wasn't the right girl for him. Nothing to do with class, btw, just an intellectual mismatch.

So, he cycles up the lane and knocks on the door, with his speech prepared.

Mum answers the door beaming from ear to ear. She's pregnant. It's 1960, so, they get married. I've seen the photo's of my mum on her wedding day. She already looked sad. She already knew that my dad didn't love her.

The reason I'm telling you this is to put your father's perspective onto this situation. I don't know the circumstances of their marriage, but I have absolutely no doubt that he feels completed wretched about it all, as does my poor dad for breaking my mum's heart.

Your dad feels guilt, he feels confusion. He's a gay parent. He didn't embark on parenthood with his gay credentials flying from a flagpole. It just happened that way.

Does he love you? Of course he bloody well does. He's your father. Sexuality has nothing to do with parental love. There are loads of gay people out there who would do anything for a child of their own. It seems to me that your dad can have the best of both his worlds; his children and and sexuality. It also seems to me that you are doing everything you can to facilitate that.

The rest is up to him. But please, you are loved. He's your father. At the moment, you're stronger than him. So, keep doing what you're doing. It'll come good ... it will.

Obsessed Sat 22-Sep-07 18:23:50

Dad's 'lodger' is from Preston!

Thanks for your kind words - WRT to the 'love' thing, I'm really not so sure - I read his blog on a gay website blush shouldn't have done I know and he says on there that he really regrets getting married and he shouldn't have done it.

He is very 'dutiful' towards us in that he mostly remembers birthdays but other than that there is no parental affection - he never asks me how I am (have some health problems of which he is aware) or how the girls are, in fact he never picks up the phone; it's very one sided.

Desiderata Sat 22-Sep-07 18:59:43

The ties that bind, eh grin

My father is quite unemotional. He has told me many, many times that he wished he'd never married my mother.

The funny thing is, he can't see the connection that a child would make. I went through this for years ... he didn't love my mother, regrets the marriage, ergo, he can't love me. I've never told him that what he says is upsetting. But then again, when you get to a certain age, it no longer seems as pressing as it once did.

But he does love me, if not in any demonstrative way. I'm a fact of life. I am a life ... and one he helped bring into this world.

But God, how confusing for you to read his gay blogs. Fwiw, I think you're one-in-a-million.

Certain threads are black and white. I don't know if you were following newlifenewname's thread recently, but she was in a very dark place. A few MN'ers strongly advised her to go on ADs for a while, and now she's surging ahead. It's so wonderful to hear.

That's a black and white thread, in some respects. She asked for help. She got it .. she took the advice.

This is different. We're in the grey area. If I was in your situation, I would feel exactly the same way you do ... to the letter. And here's what I would do (whilst cognizant that others would disagree).

I would arrange to meet, without 'lodger'. I would tell him everything that's on your mind. If you get hysterical, so be it. If you need a drink before you do it, so be it. If you feel confused and uncertain after you've done it, so be it. If you don't speak to each other for three months afterwards ...

so be it.

Don't confuse his 'I wish I'd never got married' blog with your status. Did he say 'I wish I'd never had kids ...?' (and if he did, he means it in the sense that he's not been a good father. Not being a good parent is the cruellest thing to bear).

Sorry, long ramble. I have a reasonably crap father myself. In my mid-thirties I went through a period of giving him a very hard time for my childhood. It was the only way I could go forward. He got very angry, slammed the phone down numerous times, sighed, wished he was elsewhere, etc.

Now, we get on like a house on fire. And that's because I did set the house on fire, figuratively speaking smile

You've two choices, as I see it:-

You confront

You retreat

As this is bothering you, I would consider the first option. You've nothing to lose, and much to gain.

I hope this helps. I really do.

Obsessed Sat 22-Sep-07 20:21:39

Jesus - you have no idea how much that has helped - am sitting here with tears rolling down face (am on 2nd wine tho') - have just had a chat with dp and have come to the decision that I'm going to write him a letter explaining how I feel and asking for a relationship with him, then ask him to meet with me if he feels he can discuss it; if he can't, then he can not mention the letter and I will carry on as before - I don't want to force him into confrontations he doesn't want but, as a parent myself, part of me is clinging to the idea that deep down he wants some affection - his blog said as much, albeit in more of a homosexual connotation.

When I was a little girl we were really close and we are more alike than I admit - although am not gay wink - I know this sounds a bit slushy but I crave some parental affection and acceptance which doesn't fit into our typical 'middle class stiff upper lip' upbringing but I guess his lifestyle and emotional choices didn't either which is why we've ended up like this...

As dp has just (wisely) pointed out, I either carry on like this screwed up wishing for a relationship that doesn't exist or risk it for a biscuit and hope he feels that he can open up a bit. At the end of the day I am losing nothing.

Your story has reaffirmed my feelings so thank you so much.

Desiderata Sat 22-Sep-07 20:56:10

I know I've helped you this evening. No blush emoticons coming from me, I assure you.

Act upon it. You have a lovely, understanding dp, and you also have me.

I have a feeling I know who you are, but it doesn't matter, in the great scheme of things. It is very easy to think that your parents are infallible. They're not. Often times, they're much crapper than you.

You help him now. And talk to me if it goes pear-shaped ....

.... because I'm telling you now. Whatever happens, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

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