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12 Jul 2005

Problems with gay partner's family
I have only recently (February) admitted to my family, friends and colleagues that I am gay. I'm currently 31 years old. I met my partner in January, one of the reasons for my eventual 'disclosure'. My family and friends have been incredibly accepting of my lifestyle, incl. people I thought would have major problems, like my 3 older brothers.

My partner 'came out' 2 years ago. However, since he comes from a very strict Greek upbringing - with his father enjoying a very high standing in the farming community in Limpopo, we have experienced major hassels. His psychologist sister, who is also very religious, hurts my partner terribly by refusing to let him see his nieces and nephews because of his lifestyle. This drives me crazy because we are both very mature, professional guys and don't deserve this kind of treatment. Thankfully my partner's other sister, a lawyer, accepts both of us, and we spend a lot of time with her.

The problem I have is that I cannot accompany my partner whenever he has family 'events'. There are times when he is summoned to the farm from Jo'burg for family meetings, etc. (their lives are rather complicated). This leaves me alone for the entire weekend, sometimes longer. I understand his situation and want to support him 100%, giving him and his family time to come to terms with our relationship. However, it seems, after 6 months, that this will never be.

How do I handle this situation? It seems selfish of me to demand that he choose between me and his family. I just don't know how to treat this situation. We are so suited to one another, and discuss all our problems. In fact, we have both admitted that we've change a lot for the other person, becoming more accommodating and loving (we both come from unaffectionate families).

What do I do?
Answer 348 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Sorry to hear that your partner's sister is such an incmpetently prejudiced and ignorant psychologist. I'm not sure whether much of your problem is specifically about a gay relationship, rather than about family quarrels and prejudices in general. But in any relationship, is it really unbearable for a partner to spend weekends or similar periods of time away, to deal with family business ? From the sound of his family, it may take them rather more than 6 months to come to terms with the nature of his relationship with you, but they might still come round to it.
I agree with Joel, if you love him, accept it for his sake --- he didn't seek the prejudices or conflicts in his family.
It doesn't matter that he goes to them for an occasional weekend --- what's important is that he comes back to you,.
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