General Question

Carly's avatar

What is the best thing to do in this situation?

Asked by Carly (4452 points ) December 19th, 2012

I just found out about this 5 minutes ago.

My fiancé has a best friend who is gay. This friend is planning on being his best man at our wedding as well. My fiancé‘s parents have known this person for at least ten years and they like him a lot, however, they were not aware that he was gay until yesterday. My fiancé told them over dinner, and while his mother was surprised but okay with it, his father was not. From what I know, there was a lot of yelling, and my fiancé‘s father told him that he was disappointed in both his children now that he knew he had failed in raising them with good values (my future sister-in-law had a baby 14 years ago when she was in high school).

The problem right now is that this morning my fiancé‘s father left their house, called his wife at work about 5 hours later and told her that he was leaving them. He said he was driving out to California (not exactly sure where), and that Christmas was definitely over for him. He also has a previous history of severe depression that he takes medicine for, but he didn’t take any of his prescriptions with him.

Right now I’m several states away from their family for the next two weeks, so I can’t do much about the situation except calming down my guilt-ridden fiancé. He’s worried out of his mind, and every time he’s tried calling his father’s cell phone, his father hangs up on him.

Is there anything I can suggest to him about how to handle the situation?

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17 Answers

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Has your fiance or his mother tried to call the physician who’d prescribed the medications?

KNOWITALL's avatar

Oh wow…even here in the midwest, not too many older men would leave their families because their FRIEND was gay. If it was their child maybe, but a friend, that doesn’t even make sense?!

Really what can you do? He’s an adult so all you can do is wait to see if he makes contact, or keep trying to contact him, and support your fiancee by letting him know he did nothing wrong in any way.

Seek's avatar

A-Number-One – your fiance has absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. He has a friend. His friend happens to be gay. The friend didn’t try to rape a kitten, he just is gay. The fact that fiance’s father has a problem with gay people is not at all “on” your fiance. It’s totally, 100%, Daddy’s own damn problem. And he needs to suck it up, be a grownup, and get the eff over it.

If he wants to turn his son’s wedding into the Whiny Daddy Show, uninvite him. You don’t need that kind of a buzzkill hanging over your day.

At this point, ball’s in Whiny Daddy’s court. He can be a man and come home, or he can stay away. There’s nothing anyone can do about it, since he’s clearly not open for discussing the matter.

burntbonez's avatar

He didn’t leave because his son’s friend is gay. He left for other reasons. This just gave him an excuse to get up his emotions and do what he’s been wanting to do for a while. Your fiance’s mom may know more about this, although she may not be willing to say, since it probably involves her in one way or another.

Men do this. They get all riled up and take drastic, silly actions. Sometimes they calm down after a while and come home. In rare cases, they stay away because they are just sick and tired of their old lives.

Since he is depressed, this could be a symptom of his disappointment in himself. He blames himself for failing his kids. He might say it’s their fault, but inside he is blaming himself for something he has no control over. He probably feels like the worst father ever, but he wouldn’t ever admit that. He’ll blame others for what he knows are his problems.

The thing is, that if he is seriously depressed, he could do something much worse. I have no idea how likely it is, but it is possible. So there’s a good chance he needs to be seen by a professional, or possibly hospitalized.

But you can do nothing about any of this, really. Just be prepared for when he comes home, in case he needs help.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@burntbonez I don’t know, some homophobes feel pretty strongly about this kind of thing.

marinelife's avatar

First, your fiance is not responsible for his father’s actions. Finding out his son had a gay friend is hardly enough to send a man off on a journey across country and leaving his family. It was just an excuse.

I would let some time pass before trying to contact the fathr. Let him cool off and perhaps regret his actions. He did not actually leave your fiance, his son, he left his wife. They will have to work things out on their own.

burntbonez's avatar

@KNOWITALL Well, often that is because of their secret feelings of homophilia. To tell the truth, the first thing that popped into my head is that he liked his son’s friend. Like more than he should, if he was a good Christian man. But try getting that out of him. We’ll never know.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@burntbonez I have to disagree. I have discussed this many times with the good old boys in my area who love and trust me, and it’s the sex that bothers them, not the relationship.

And of course the same argument that it’s against nature and God’s will.

My husband works with a gay man, who is a wonderful guy that we’ve known for decades. He knows him well enough to ask questions now and it’s helping a lot to change his opinions.

Education is always the answer and the only education these redneck boys get is Will & Grace, The New Normal and Bravo shows. We are failing to educate the homophobes and these kinds of things will continue until that changes or they all die off.

burntbonez's avatar

I respect your disagreement. I just have to point out that you don’t know if those good ol boys are telling you the truth about what really goes on inside their heads. There are a lot of closeted gays out there. I suspect in your neighborhood, it would be disastrous to admit to having such thoughts, even if you never did anything.

Trust me. Reacting like this can not be explained simply by the situation. There is more going on.

chyna's avatar

How soon is your wedding? I hope this blows over before then. In the meantime, you can only listen to whatever your fiance has to say. Just be there for him. I wouldn’t bad mouth his dad in any way. When/if they make up, you don’t want to have said bad things that your fiance will remember.

Bellatrix's avatar

I agree with @burntbonez that it is very likely learning your fiance’s best friend is gay is not the root cause behind your to be father-in-laws leaving. This was more likely the trigger that allowed him to take his leave of the family. Is he stressed about the wedding (costs etc.?). There may be things going on that you and your fiance are not aware of.

I also absolutely agree with @Seek_Kolinahr and @marinelife, this is not your fiance’s fault and he should feel no guilt. I know he probably won’t believe this and is too hurt and worried to be able to process this yet. All you can do is be there for him and be patient with him as he works though this. I agree with @Seek_Kolinahr that it’s up to his dad whether he attends the wedding. If he doesn’t that’s sad but there isn’t much you can do about.

My real concern would be this man’s mental state. I wonder if he is having some sort of mental health crisis. Not much you can do until he calms down enough to talk to someone who cares enough to help him.

ucme's avatar

I think daddy needs to get his priorities in order, not to mention his outdated/bigoted moral code. As others have said, he needs to grow the fuck up, simple as.

wundayatta's avatar

I would also be concerned about his mental state. I’m not sure what you can do, except offer to help him, and ask him to return home and work through the problems there. But he sounds like he is in trouble, mentally, and he may need therapy or even more help than that.

livelaughlove21's avatar

A man left his family because his son has a gay friend…

It’s pretty obvious that this is not the actual reason he left. Sounds to me like he was just waiting for an excuse.

Your fiancé has nothing to feel guilty about – this is his father’s problem, not his.

My husband’s family, and mine now that I think of it, has its fair share of crazy and/or stupid people and after 5 years of trying to please them or making excuses for them, we’ve learned our lives are much better with very limited contact between us. Unfortunately it took a $10K wedding to learn that lesson. Things are a lot less stressful when we let them handle their own problems while we handle ours.

augustlan's avatar

Wow, I’m sorry you guys are going through this. There’s probably not much you can do but to support your fiance, remind him that he did nothing wrong, and hope for the best.

Shippy's avatar

The real issue is that his dad is not well. Please don’t take to heart his actions. Hope he gets help.

Carly's avatar

thanks for all the responses! After much prayer and support, my fiance’s father came home, and things are much better in terms of the homophobic discussion.

I think @burntbonez was pretty spot with the situation, so thank you as well. :)

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