Q&A with Geoff: Should I marry a guy who thinks gay people aren’t normal?Feb 17, 2021
My boyfriend and I have been together for only a bit over a year. We have a very strong relationship and share mostly all of the same values. We have different political views, which I feel I can accept, but the conversation came up about the LGBTQ community, and my boyfriend told me he doesn’t believe that being gay or trans is normal and doesn’t want to influence our future children in any way.
He is stern on the fact that we will bring up our children to believe that being gay is not normal, and I don’t know what to do. He said that if one of our children came out as gay or trans that he would cut them out of his life completely! I don’t know how to react, especially with my sister being gay.
He believes gay people come from unstable homes and aren’t born that way, and it hurts my heart.
Your situation is a good example of why it’s important to ask good questions and be thorough in the dating process. Every marriage has plenty of unexpected surprises, so if you can identify areas of significant conflict early on, you can make a more informed decision about who you’re marrying. You’ve discovered a significant area of disagreement that not only impacts your relationship but also your extended family and future children.
Let’s talk about how you can address this challenging new discovery.
You have some serious reflection to do regarding the kind of person you want to marry. Do you want someone who is kind or someone who is cruel? Do you want someone who tries to see others as fellow humans or someone who dehumanizes those who are different than him? Do you want someone who can be open to other perspectives or someone who is forceful and adamant with his position?
Instead of reacting to the specific topics of disagreement, I suggest you pay attention to the kind of person he becomes when someone disagrees with him. While everyone has a right to their opinion about every topic, his opinion is manifesting in behaviors that have serious relational and emotional consequences for you and your hypothetical unborn children.
More important than his particular beliefs about others, his treatment of others doesn’t appear to show any compassion or consideration.
This is just one of countless areas where you or your children will likely disagree with how he sees things. Family life is full of conflicting ideas as each person grows and develops their own preferences, desires and opinions. Healthy families are constantly growing, adapting and supporting the changing needs of each individual.
Are you comfortable with him demanding compliance from a situation that hasn’t even happened yet? Do you detect any willingness to adjust and adapt to the potential challenges and conflicts that will most assuredly arise in your future family?
Even though we all have difficulty setting aside our snap judgements and uninformed reactions to those who are different than us, it’s a relief to be in the company of someone who is generous and merciful. Notice how you feel when your boyfriend harshly disagrees with others who think differently than him. It’s unlikely that this feeling will improve without some intentional work on his part to create safer conditions.
If he’s not interested in doing that work, does that change anything for you?
While it may be important for you to find someone who believes the same things as you, I believe it’s important to be with someone who is willing to learn, shows care for others and doesn’t treat any group of people as second-class citizens. I have no doubt your boyfriend has many redeeming qualities, but you have identified a particular area that, left unchallenged, will have significant consequences for your immediate and extended family.
The work of dating and engagement is to lean into these important conversations to make sure you’re working with someone who will learn and grow with you. If he fights back on this and won’t change his mind, this is important information for you to consider as you decide if he’s the one for you.
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