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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Adult Son

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  • This topic has 11 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 week, 5 days ago by Anonymousse.
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  • #1112728 Reply
    Leigh
    Guest

    My son is 35 years old and lives several states away. My husband and I went to visit last weekend and spend some time with my son and his girlfriend. On Saturday evening after dinner we all went to a movie together, the movie itself was OK but not something that I would normally enjoy. As we were leaving the theater my husband who is my son stepfather made a comment to me that he felt like the movie was gay. He was speaking to me and to me only, my son happen to walk by just as he said that and then proceeded for the next hour to spew profanities and pretty much damning my husband and I. I know that using the word gay to describe something is not approved by society. My husband and I have numerous friends that are in the LGBTQ plus community and we regularly spend time with them. Our friends continuously use the word gay to describe things be a good or bad . My son is now not speaking to my husband or myself and said we need to take our shit back to North Carolina because it is never OK to say gay to describe something and then he proceeds to tell us that he is bisexual and finds the word gay to be offensive . My son said that he knows his stepdad isn’t dumb or stupid and should know better than to use the word gay in any manner so by him doing that my son says he is now acting out of malice. Let me say this, this was the first time that my son has ever said anything about being gay lesbian trans bisexual or anything of the like but all of a sudden we are being offensive.
    This happened last Saturday, July 24 and we left to come home the next day with zero contact with my son and I still haven’t talk to him. I know that my husband meant no disrespect by using that word he was speaking to me in a private conversation he did not call anyone gay he did not look at my son and say he’s gay he was simply saying that the movie we saw was gay. I know that it is offensive to use that word to describe something negative my husband would never say it to anyone let alone my son. My son says there are consequences for my husband‘s actions so he’s drawn a line in the sand and says he will just not be around. Am I wrong for supporting my husband in this situation? I left out the part where my son cussed me out called me names during this situation. Please offer some advice, right now I’m so angry and disappointed I’m just not sure how to handle this.

    #1112729 Reply
    WhyDoWeExist?
    Guest

    Personally this seems like a slight over reaction from your son. I wonder if there is some past stuff he hasn’t dealt with and this was just the last straw. It seems to me like there is something deeper going on.

    I mean what your husband said can be offensive to some ears, and I respect that. But as you say there was no malicious behind it. It seems more like your Son was already annoyed about something else or was working his way up to confronting you too.

    #1112731 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    This sounds like a situation where there’s a lot more going on, and things finally blew up. I would reach out to your son and say you’d like to talk. Acknowledge that what your husband said was wrong, hold off on defending him, and say you were surprised at just how strongly your son reacted and you want to better understand how he’s feeling. Hear him out.

    #1112732 Reply
    Leigh
    Guest

    Hi Kate,

    We tried talking before we left Savannah, he came over we all apologized and my husband wanted to explain himself and boom it all started again. I’m just staying silent at this point. I want him to digest all of what happened and see if he comes to the realization that he over reacted. He knows we live and support him, I just want him to reach out when he is ready. Just to clarify my husband has been in my son’s life for 23 years.

    #1112733 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    Ok. Sounds like a plan.

    #1112735 Reply
    golfer.gal
    Guest

    So… whether he “means it” that way or not, or knows bunches of gay people who say it (which….I doubt, but ok) your husband publicly equated the LGBTQ+ community with a host of really bad things to the point the words were used interchangeably. He knew exactly what he was doing because he was smart enough to keep his voice down. You acknowledge you both know the meaning, you just apparently don’t care because somehow your intentions in saying something cruel aren’t cruelty. His “apology” to his LGBTQ+ son included him “trying to explain himself” i.e. defending himself for something that is pretty indefensible nowadays. You’re surprised this “started it all again” and your plan is to wait for your son to realize HE was wrong and come to you with an apology while you continue to defend your husband. Ok. Then why come to an advice site?

    #1112736 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    “we all apologized and my husband wanted to explain himself and boom it all started again”

    This right here says a lot. Why not just leave it at that when everyone apologized? What did your husband feel he still needed to explain? I’m getting vibes of cis white man feeling persecuted and needing to be right and have the last word. That’s a pain in the ass. And if he has a pattern of being like this, I can see how it would make people angry. Did your son overreact? Maybe, maybe not. People are generally willing to let something slide if the other person is genuinely apologetic and wants to understand and it’s an anomaly for them.

    #1112740 Reply
    Copa
    Participant

    Erm. Do you know who I associate with using gay as a synonym for “stupid,” “lame,” or any other negative comment having nothing to do with sexual preferences? Middle school classmates from the late 90s and early aughts. It was not uncommon in to hear people use gay that way when I was younger, even sometimes in college. I eventually stopped hearing it, but whether that’s because the people who I used to hear saying it matured or we as a society have changed or both, I’m not sure. I do know I’d be shocked to hear it now and would make all kinds of judgments about the person saying it and if I overheard it now I’d call it out.

    Your husband WAS being offensive. Who cares if this is the first time your son has mentioned his sexuality? It’s not a good look even without an LGBTQ+ son/stepson.

    So yeah, while I think your son shouldn’t have cussed you out or name called, I guess I’m making the leap that this wasn’t the first time you or your husband have done or said homophobic shit and he’d reached a boiling point.

    #1112744 Reply
    ron
    Guest

    Sounds like your husband is deep into the toxic masculinity.

    #1112748 Reply
    LisforLeslie
    Guest

    An apology with a defense isn’t an apology. Do you defend people who use the n-word or go around calling women bitches?

    “You’re right. I used the word in a negative way and that was wrong of me. While I don’t think I deserve to be yelled at for an hour, I can see this is important to you. I need to do better.”

    Now, if you’re talking about Thor Love & Thunder – it was a bit gay, but in the best way of gay.

    #1112750 Reply
    Anonymousse
    Guest

    Lord. Using “gay” as an insult, loud enough to be overheard by your son and probably others. That’s not a private conversation and it’s so offensive. You and your husband are totally in the wrong I’m sure your son reacted out of extreme hurt and anger with the things he said. He felt personally attacked. How would you like it if “Leigh” was a term for fat, ugly, bigoted women, like Karen is used?

    Apologize to your son. Your husband should apologize too, but only after you both have done some learning and start doing better. Gay was used as an insult decades ago. It’s no longer okay and hasn’t been for a VERY long time. It’s time to look in the mirror and do some reflecting on what you really value in your life.

    Is defending your husband’s use of a slur the hill to die on? To irrevocably destroy your relationship with your son? You have to think about that. Do you want to mend this, or defend the use of a slur your husband used? It’s ridiculous that you’re seriously considering this. Your son is not in the wrong.

    I’m sorry, I can tell you feel disrespected but your husband called your sons humanity into question when he said that, unbeknownst to him. That’s why most people don’t walk around using slurs, it tends to alienate people from you and make you the bad guy real quick.

    Apologize, forgive what he said and forget it right now and do better.

    Good luck!

    #1112751 Reply
    Anonymousse
    Guest

    * It was NEVER okay to use “gay” as an insult or slur!

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