The Sassy Housewife is weekly advice column on Momaha.com by Danielle Herzog. She’ll cover the adventures in housewifery — from parenting, entertaining and recipes to the interests of a been-there-done-that and somewhat-know-it-all wife. Sassy Housewife runs every Saturday. Have a question for her? Email email@example.com
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Dear Sassy Housewife,
Our 15-year-old son just told us he was gay. I have suspected for quite some time but my husband never wanted to believe me. Now my son has confirmed it and my husband is heartbroken. We both consider ourselves open-minded, but now my husband is depressed and so devastated by the news. We told our son we love him no matter what but what can I do to get my husband out of this funk?
Struggling with son’s sexuality
First of all, I want to say how happy I was to read that you told your son you loved him no matter what sexual orientation he is – that is the best thing you could have said to him. Unfortunately, there are many parents of gay children that don’t say that and you can’t believe the sadness and resentment that creates.
As for your husband, I don’t believe it’s your role to get him out of this funk. Look, I’m going to be honest with you. From the day we find out we are going to have a baby, we start planning for that child. We imagine their first steps, their first day of school, their graduation and even their weddings and future children. We have mapped out what direction we want them to go. When a child then shows you a world that you didn’t map out for them, it is challenging. It doesn’t make you anti-gay if you struggle at first with your child’s homosexuality. It’s a change that you weren’t expecting, a change that you didn’t plan for.
Give him some time. He needs to go through this process himself but with your support. Be sure you don’t tell him how to feel or what to do, he’ll figure that out. Just lead by example. Let him see you and your son just like you always are. Let him see that the family dynamic really didn’t change and that it is now time to accept a new map for your child, a map that they created for them self.
If after time that depression hasn’t lessened or passed, consider meeting with a therapist or support group. But remember one thing here – your son is a brave person and you both have obviously shown him great love and support because he felt comfortable telling you his truth. Focus on that love and your husband will see that his dream and hopes for him actually did come true.
Danielle Herzog, a married mother to two children, blogs for momaha every Wednesday. She served as a student counseling advisor in the Washington D.C. area prior to moving to Omaha. She’s currently completing her master’s degree in counseling at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
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