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AIBU? be hesitant about contacting my sister who's just revealed she's gay?

53 replies

SpiritualKnot · 05/12/2007 13:31

She's married with 3 children and is leaving him for a woman.

Feel so sorry for him, he's a really nice man. Would still feel sorry for him even if he wasn't though. Find it hard to feel sorry for my sister though, my immediate reaction was the same as my mums..couldn't she see her girlfriend on the side? Though I suspect that's what's been happening up until now.

My sister hasn't told me the circumstances, just that she's leaving him. My mum told me why she's leaving him.

It's a shock that she's gay but would be better if she wasn't married with kids, I had no idea. My mum seems upset about it all and thinks it must somehow be her fault.

She hasn't told her kids and she doesn't know that I know.

What does one do in a situation like this? Am I supposed to feel sorry for her, happy for her or what? Have been a bit tearful about it but don't really know why.


OP posts:

Piffle · 05/12/2007 13:34

she has obviously tried hard to live a heterosexual life and can do it no longer
She is being honest and although it hurts a lot of people, it is better in the long run
Would you rather her live unhappy?

I'd ring her and say, hope you're ok, everything will work out in the end


TwinklyfLightAttendant · 05/12/2007 13:35

I don't think the gay thing is the issue (my sis is 'married' to a woman and they are the happiest couple I know!) but her possible infidelity would be hard to deal with. I can understand why you're unsure what to say.


Flier · 05/12/2007 13:37

are you fairly close to your sis? I'd phone her and tell her you're upset to hear about the marriage break up, and that you're there for her if she needs you, its all you can do.
you're prob a bit tearful cos you feel that you don't know here any more [sad[, but at the end of the day she's still your sis.


motherhurdicure · 05/12/2007 13:41

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slim22 · 05/12/2007 13:42

How you feel (happy, sorry etc...) is a bit irrelevant to her and her family.

If it's hard for you to come to terms with it, imagine what it is for her who is actually going to go through the divorce, dealing with children etc....

All you can do is be supportive to all involved.

I would be really pissed off at my sister for doing this regardless of the gay factor. You are perfectly entitled to tell her what you think but in the end, you are still going to be there for her.


morningpaper · 05/12/2007 13:43

She might not be gay - she might be bisexual

Either way, she's left her husband for someone else.

You need to talk to her to find out why, and to explain that she is your sister and you love her and will support her, whatever you think of her 'choices'


SpiritualKnot · 05/12/2007 13:56

I'm close to my sister, I've just got the one. I agree that it's not to do with the gay or bisexual issue, but I feel her kids will be upset by it, they're young teenagers-all girls.

I don't know whether I should wait for her to tell me? So that she tells me about when she's ready? Or does that not happen?

Would it be better to wait until I see her at Christmas? It's very hard as I feel I can't just do the socially correct thing here, ie, phone and have a friendly chat about it all.

I really haven't got a clue!


OP posts:

PatsyCline · 05/12/2007 13:59

My DH's brother had a wife and three children and then fell in love with a man (they are still very happy together ten years later). It was a big shock for everyone, but my DH's family accepted his new partner and gave his wife and children as much support as they could. The kids have been fine and are all lovely teenagers -we were worried about the potential for bullying.

Try not to judge your sister harshly. Just be there for her.

Patsy x


littleolwinedrinkerme · 05/12/2007 14:02

Yes you ABU - she is your sister, your family and probably needs your support more than ever - ring her, hug her and help her (and her husband) through this.


Flier · 05/12/2007 14:04

SK, she'll probably be feeling awkward about telling you too. Could you phone her and tell her what your mum told you and take it from there?


Boco · 05/12/2007 14:05

It's a hard one. If it was me i think i'd text her and just say that if she needs to talk at all about anything that you'll be there for her.


harleyd · 05/12/2007 14:11

yabu, she is your sister
you shouldnt judge her
ok, so she maybe could have done things differently, she could have ended the marriage first
but you cant help falling in love with someone
im sure you want her to be happy
everybody else will deal with it in the end


ScottishMummy · 05/12/2007 14:12

she needs your support, presence, and being there.this is a keep silent, dont moralise situation (plenty other people will unfortunately do that)

breakdown of any relationships involving children and the "other" person is always going to be messy - not a gay thing - a people thing

understandably you will have your personal views/feelings on this, that is fair enough. but genuinely in the short term support, presence will be valued


madamez · 05/12/2007 14:18

Unfortunately, because there is such intense pressure on people to form heterosexual monogamous relationships, people often enter into them who would be happier not doing so. Eventually they cannot cope with shutting down a major aspect of their personalities any more, and this kind of thing happens.
Try to sympathise with your sister and be supportive. Of course it's a shock for you, but she and her family are the ones who are suffering the most and will need unquestioning friendly support.


SpiritualKnot · 05/12/2007 14:19

I don't feel I'm judging my sister, just feel awkward about it really...feel like sweeping it under the carpet as no big deal.

Thanks for that last comment Flier, I think he word "awkward" covers it for me.

I never thought of texting...I've never texted her before....

I feel like, ok marriage break up again (her second)..get on with my life. Simple stuff

Now I have to let her know it's ok that she's gay/bisexual and I understand it's inevitable that for her own happiness it had to break up?

Think I'm worried I'm going to be in floods of tears on the phone..don't want that to happen though.

Scuse my interrputed thought patterns, husband keeps coming in, he doesn't know I'm seeking advice...he's no help...he just thinks that I must be gay as well now.


OP posts:

BettySpaghetti · 05/12/2007 14:21

The decision to end her marriage is probably not a decision your sister made lightly.

Be there for her, listen to her and support her.


JingleyJen · 05/12/2007 14:23

Sorry to echo what others have said - could you perhaps call her - be up front - you don't know what to say but you love her and want her to know that. - I am not sure that you would be suggesting she kept a relationship with a man a secret.
It is going to be difficult - there may be questions you have and perhaps her waiting to tell everyone has been part of her coming to terms with things herself.
My sister is just getting divorced it has taken lots of time for her to be able to talk about things.
Be gentle treat her kindly.


FioFio · 05/12/2007 14:25

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VictorianSqualor · 05/12/2007 14:27

I have a friend whose Dad left her mum for a man after about 15years of being together. She said that although people at school made it hard for her clling her dad a 'poof/queer' etc knowing that her family all still loved him (his wife was very hurt, but ultimately understood and they are still great friends now) made it easier for her to accept.


ComeOVeneer · 05/12/2007 14:32

AM I the only one that finds it bizzare that the OP and her mother both think it better that the sister continues to have an affair rather than be honest and upfront and leave the marriage?!?!I assume you mean ignorance is bliss for the rest of the family, but what about the deceit and guilt your sister would feel?


manchita · 05/12/2007 14:35

In France it wpuld be the norm to have a lover.
Makes for very succesful marriages I hear.


VictorianSqualor · 05/12/2007 14:37

I agree comeoverneer.
I also think that if someone is gay then they should not be in a hetrosexual relationship 'for the children'.(unless of course they both know the score and are happy that way)Surely it is only fair on both the mum and dad that their partner is 100% for them, at least now Dad will be able to find someone who wants to be with him and Mum will not be living a lie.


PrettyCandles · 05/12/2007 14:39

When I think of my relationship with my brother and sister, and how I have felt over things that have happened to them or between us, then I think it boils down to "I may not agree with your choices, but you are my sister and I still love you."


lucyellensmum · 05/12/2007 14:40

ComeOveneer, no you are not the only one who thinks that, but i can sort of understand where the mother is coming from as she is most likely of a generation that finds homosexuality difficult to understand. What i find really interesting though is if her reaction had been the same if it were a man the woman was having an affair with.

I think that the OP should stick by her sister but i do completely understand how she feels re the family she is leaving behind. Its difficult to comment though as there may be reasons why the marriage wasnt working out (i feel this about when men leave too so im not biased towards the woman, stuff the sisterhood ).

I dont think the OP should be looking for the politically correct route either. I think she should tell her sister exactly what she thinks about it, find out WHY she feels she needs to leave and try to understand. If she doesnt agree then she should tell her sister that she doesnt agree but will always be there for her as she is her sister and she loves her. I rather think her sister would appreciate some straight talking instead of hiding behind PC, so waht if she is gay, she still had an affair.


FioFio · 05/12/2007 14:43

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