Longtime gay couple may be better off not marrying
DEAR ABBY: I have been with my partner, “Harold,” for 11 years. After gay marriage passed here in Minnesota, Harold told me he didn’t want to marry me because of my credit rating. I find this insulting and humiliating. Worse, the day marriage equality passed, we were with some friends of mine, and he bluntly told them, “I don’t want to marry him because of his FICO score!” It was very embarrassing.
I have also learned that Harold has been telling anyone he knows some of my private information. What can I say to him to get him to stop revealing things about me to people we don’t know well? I have asked him plenty of times not to mention my private life to others, but he still brings up information I’d prefer others not know.
Should I end the relationship? I think in some way if I do, that I’ll be better off without him. But after 11 years and all that he’s done for me, I’d feel really sad. I’d appreciate any advice you give me. – FRUSTRATED IN MINNEAPOLIS
DEAR FRUSTRATED: I agree that after all these years you have much time and emotion invested in your relationship with Harold. Although I’m sure he has many virtues, sensitivity and discretion do not appear to be among them. It would be interesting to know if Harold would be willing to marry you if your FICO score improved, or if he’s using it as an excuse because he doesn’t want a legal commitment.
Even if the two of you did marry, you would still have a partner who lacks discretion about what should be private. If this is important to you, Harold may not be the spouse for you because he isn’t likely to change.
Couples counseling could help you decide what to do next. Inquire at your nearest gay and lesbian community center about any seminars it offers for longtime couples on this important subject. Just because people CAN marry doesn’t necessarily mean they should.
DEAR ABBY: Our son recently came to us and confessed that three years ago he’d had an affair with a married woman who had two children. He ran into her recently, and she told him she now has three children, and the most recent one – age 3 – is his daughter. She’s still married to the man she cheated on, and our son says he’s still in love with her.
We told our son that because she says the child is his doesn’t necessarily mean it is, and if her husband didn’t question the pregnancy, it’s possible the child is her husband’s. We advised our son to get a paternity test.
Our son is now so angry with us for suggesting it that he won’t speak to us. He said if we can’t support him and the woman he loves, we should stay out of his life. He said she plans to leave her husband. (It has been three weeks and she’s still there.) I think she was just trying to get our son’s attention.
Was our suggestion unreasonable? We don’t support this kind of behavior or their lack of morals. The woman’s husband is the only dad this little girl knows, and he thinks she’s his child. Our son needs to know if this is his daughter. What a mess! What do we do next?– ON THE OUTS IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR ON THE OUTS: Your suggestion to your son was not only reasonable, it was the same clearheaded advice he would have received from an attorney. What you do next is ... nothing, except letting him know you’re there for him if he needs you. This is your son’s affair, literally, and he is going to have to deal with whatever consequences are the result.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.