For context, I’ve (26M) been with my boyfriend (27M) for seven years. He comes from a big family with many siblings but we don’t get to see them very often because everyone has such busy lives.
Some months ago, his parents started planning a family vacation to which we, his brothers/sisters, their partners, and children were all invited so we could all see each other and have a good time. When he first told me about this vacation I was very excited as I had never been to this particular destination.
I was looking forward to seeing his family. His parents have always been really kind to me and treated me like a son. But, last week my boyfriend and I were having dinner and I had noticed that he was acting a bit off, so I asked him what was wrong. He told me that it’s probably for the best that I don’t go with them on this vacation. I was confused, asking him to elaborate.
He told me about a conversation he had earlier with one of his brothers who expressed concern about a gay couple being around and “influencing” his children that would be there. As far as I’m aware, it’s only this specific brother that’s uncomfortable with it and the rest of the family has no idea.
I was honestly lost for words. Saddened and disappointed by the blatant homophobia and fear mongering I would never have expected from one of his family members who seemed so accepting for all these years.
My boyfriend told me he’s still going on the trip without me because he’s family, it’s not a big deal, some people just have the wrong idea about “guys like us”, it’s just the way it is, that later we’ll go somewhere just the two of us. He leaves tomorrow. I guess I just feel really sad and alone right now. Any advice on how to deal with this?
If my family excluded my partner of 7 yrs on a trip, I would not go!
I agree. Frankly, I really don’t want him to go on this trip. I would have thought he would defend me against this bigotry as I would for him if the roles were reversed.
lol show him this thread and check his passive a**.
If my family said my partner wasn't invited, I wouldn't go. I kinda question your boyfriend's long-term commitment to be on your side. If he's valuing a vacation over your relationship, that's a red flag--especially if it's as serious as a 7-year long relationship would be. Imagine the other life events that might happen where he sides against you...
Yeah, that really worries me. We’ve been talking about marriage and other things and now this has got me feeling like he’ll just pack up and leave me whenever he feels like it.
Thanks to everyone who left advice and support on my original post. I felt so sad and alone in that moment and your support has meant so much to me. I read and agreed with a majority of your comments, it really opened my eyes to what was going on. I apologize for not being able to respond to every comment, though I did read all of them and it helped me decide what to do moving forward.
After everything that happened I decided to reach out to my boyfriend's parents to let them know what was going on. They were very apologetic and apparently had no idea about any of this. They assured me they definitely want me there and would talk to the brother to see what's up.
I made it clear however that I was no longer comfortable going on this vacation and they were very understanding. I honestly did not want to be there under the insane narrative that was suggested.
My boyfriend and I then sat down to talk before he left. I was really angry that he didn't defend me or even himself from his brother's blatant homophobia. He became defensive and told me it's not about me but about the children, that he doesn't want to cause any friction within the family by not going.
I told him that if he feels comfortable going on that trip and leaving me here, I would not be here when he returns. He went on to tell me that I'm overreacting about the whole thing and I can't argue with how other people want to parent their children.
This was a big red flag to me. It almost felt like I was talking to a straight person who doesn't understand what we as gays deal with. It was a gut punch knowing all of his straight siblings and their partners were allowed to be there with no fear of "influencing" any children. The rhetoric was insane to me regardless, what if any of those children turn out to be gay?
I didn't have any representation of that growing up, wish I did. It's not like we would be there being intimate in front of everybody or something. We were literally just going to be spending time with all of the family and relaxing.
I felt like something was missing though, like I didn't have the full story. So I pressed him for more. After some back and fourth I eventually got it out of him that the reason he's being like this is "in case you and I don't work out and I've just created a bad relationship with my family over nothing."
So I asked him if he had doubts about our relationship to which he said he doesn't and I'm the love of his life, and while he doesn't agree with his brother at all he doesn't want to cut him off entirely.I genuinely felt like I was talking to a different person. This is the same man who cut off homophobic friends in the past, but he draws the line at family.
In fact, I had to cut out some of my own family who weren't supportive of our relationship years ago. To have my boyfriend tell me I wasn't enough for him to defend our relationship was very hurtful. At the least he could have said if I wasn't invited he wouldn't be going either. It just felt so spineless to me.
We've had a happy, heathy relationship for seven years with a great intimacy life and nothing but love and amazing memories with each other. We really grew up with each other. I've been with him since I was 19. Just days ago, we were talking about marriage, moving and being together for the rest of our lives.
In the end, he decided he was going on the vacation. After he left, I texted him that I will not be treated like this and we're done, his sh*t will be waiting outside for him when he returns. He can have fun "influencing" his brother's children by simply being himself. Since then, he's completely changed his tune, blowing up my phone, apologizing and offering to come home early.
Ultimately, what did the relationship in for me was the uncertainty of the future. I felt so disrespected and dehumanized by the whole thing. I've tried to understand his perspective but I just don't. I couldn't imagine doing something like that to him. It felt like he wasn't on my side anymore, that our relationship and commitment meant nothing to him.
Honestly, it hurts right now but I'll be fine. I kinda feel stupid, like I wasted seven years of my life with this person who doesn't even care about or respect me. I'm staying with a friend right now and doing my best to get through this.
I understand some people don’t agree with my decision. It wasn’t an easy one to make. I did and still do love my now ex-BF very much. For me, it felt like the right call. Him walking out was a deal breaker for me. It felt like he just didn’t care about me or our relationship anymore. Take care everyone.
Don't feel like you wasted seven years. Look at this as a learning experience. I know it sounds cliche but it is. I'm sorry your bf didn't have the balls to stand up for you and the relationship. Like you said in your first post it'd be different if you two just started dating and not being invited.
But honestly, seven years is a good while to know each other, create memories and be part of each other's families. It takes a bigger person to stand up for themselves and you did that. I'm proud of you. It's sometimes not easy. Take some time for yourself. Maybe see if your bestie wants to go on a holiday and let your hair down, when you are ready for it.
Thank you. I'm trying my best to see it that way. Making the decision was really hard but I did feel in the end it was the right one. Actually funnily enough my friend suggested that we go on a holiday together lol, I guess that would be nice some time.
Can't believe commenters thought OP gave up too quick. His partner dismissed and minimized his feelings every time. He said exactly what would happen if his partner went on that trip, he tried to talk about it and express his hurt multiple times. If someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
I know I’m a nobody on the internet but I am very proud of you for standing up for yourself. Life is hard and sad and lonely and I know how difficult it can be to advocate for yourself when it comes to losing someone you love over it, but your self respect is incredible important as well so good for you.
In the end maybe he will make it up to you maybe he will change, or maybe this will be the heartbreak of your life. But you got to stand by your ideals and you can always be proud of who you are. And someone like that, like you will surely be able to find someone who truly appreciates your worth <3