Dear Abby | Daughter remains withdrawn after coming out to parents
Dear Abby: Our college-age daughter has been withdrawn and depressed for some time. During a recent visit, I finally asked her (again) if she was gay. She broke down and said she was.
She seems conflicted by it, relieved we didn’t disown her (she has friends whose parents dropped them), but she still seems very distant. I thought once the burden of coming out was off her shoulders she would be happier, but she barely spoke to us the last day she was here. We both told her we love her, hugged her and, although shocked by her revelation, we are trying to come to terms with her being gay.
We are not perfect but feel we are doing all we can. She still seems depressed and withdrawn. What can we do to help her? I am more upset about her shutting us out than her being gay. I have been in tears thinking our daughter dropped us and doesn’t want us around. She doesn’t want the rest of the family to know yet. This is confusing for us, too. Help! – Hurting for our Daughter
Dear Hurting: Because someone comes out to a parent does not mean that all the person’s problems magically disappear. Your daughter may suffer from chronic depression that has nothing to do with her sexual orientation. That you have encouraged her to continue with counseling is appropriate. Badgering her to come out to you may have been less so.
Dear Abby: After a year together, my boyfriend recently proposed. We plan to wed in two years. During this time, he intends to move into my home so we can save for the wedding. My parents, however, are completely against our living together before we get married.
Abby, I’m 30 years old and so is my fiance. I own my own home and my boyfriend currently rents. My parents are very traditional and may not help with the wedding if we move in together.
Do I honor my parents’ wishes or do what I feel is right for me and my fiance? – Rock and a Hard Place
Dear Rock and a Hard Place: You and your fiance are both 30, which means you are well into adulthood. Don’t you think it’s time for you both to start becoming and thinking like independent adults? By that I mean deciding which is more important to you – living your lives the way your parents want, or the way you want.