Mom kisses woman. Daughter moves out.

Q:

I am a 19 year old college student. I love my mom but hate her at the same time. She has three kids, has been married twice and all of her relationships have been with men. All my life my mother and I have been really close. Three weeks ago, I caught her kissing a woman from her work and we got in a big fight. She said that it made her happy. I am so ashamed and we haven’t talked since.

I miss her. The other day we both broke down and cried. Now she says she is not a lesbian. Yet this other woman sleeps at my house. It hurts that she has done this to my family, but hurts worse that she is a liar. I have no one to talk to because I am too embarrassed. I want my life back.

What should I do? I moved out because I know I have to respect her decision, but I don’t have to accept it. Am I wrong? Help me, please.

A:

You saw your mom kissing a woman, this woman is sleeping at your house, but your mom tells you point blank she is not a lesbian. This does not necessarily mean she is a liar.

The break down of communication could be because of you and your mom having different ideas of what the label “lesbian” means. If this is her first experience with a woman, she might see her same-sex attraction exclusive to that particular person who happens to be a woman.

Maybe your mom’s concept of a lesbian is someone who has never been with a man, so she does not see herself as a lesbian. OR — as I have seen even with many mothers who have long-term same-sex partners — she learned a stereotype a long time ago about what lesbians are like: maybe very masculine, or very sexual, or very unhappy, or whatever she believes is true for all lesbians. She could be thinking “Sure, I am attracted to this woman, but I am not like those lesbians.” Do you see the distinction?

Or it could be she does indeed know she is a lesbian, but doesn’t want you to think she is. There are so many children whose parents have avoided saying they are gay, and it usually comes from the fear that their children will abandon them. They are so afraid of what it means to be gay and how their kids will react that they would rather lie to them than lose them.

Your mom said she was with a woman who makes her happy and you moved out. Your mom loves you and misses you. Since you left because you do not like “what she has done” by being with a woman, then logic would follow that your love for her is conditional upon her not being lesbian. She is telling you what she thinks you need to hear to keep you in her life.

Try the conversation again, but avoid the word lesbian. You can talk about it in context of her feelings for this other woman. What does this woman mean to her? Are they in a relationship? If not, why is she staying over? (Oftentimes mothers in this situation say it’s to save on rent!) Let your mom know that you love her no matter what, and you want to continue to have an open and honest relationship with her. Show her that your lifelong love for her will override your temporary feelings of shame and embarrassment.

7 thoughts on “Mom kisses woman. Daughter moves out.”

  1. I have been in your mom’s shoes. First of all, after being in a hetersexual marriage for 14 years and then suddenly falling in love with a woman is not an easy transition. I really thought that I had gone off the deep end. It took time for me to come to the realization of my sexuality and accept it myself. I came out to my kids when they were 3 and 10 which I think is an easier transition for them. They’ve grown up with the situation. They are now 18 and 11. I have always asked their opinion when it came to my partner attending ball games, graduations, etc. They have always welcomed my partner because she is a part of their lives.

    Give your mom some time to adjust to her newfound lifestyle. Don’t be so quick to judge or be ashamed. It is a difficult time for her too.

  2. I truely hope that you will accept your mother for who she is no matter what her sexual preference. I realize that you are learning of your mothers feelings toward women at an age where you have already been subjected to the prejudices of society but please don’t let that interfere with you love for your mom.

    I myself am a woman with children, been married and presently live with my female partner and my children. I too do not know what to “label” myself…I don’t feel it is necessary for me to have to pick the term lesbian or bi-sexual when each persons definition can vary so much. I am fortunate that my children are young — 7 and 4. My children love me because I have loved them, protected and nurtured them, done all the things every good mother does. They see nothing wrong with mommy loving a girl and why should they…after all I have taught them to love others for who they are inside not what they look like on the outside.

    Remember all your mother has done for you in your life, the love she has given to you unconditionally and I’m sure you will do all you can to continue that relationship with your mom.

  3. I, too,am in your mother’s shoes. I feel just like your mom. I do not feel as if I am gay. I just fell in love with the woman I am with now! I was never attracted to any other women. I have always been attracted to men. I have been married 3 times and all of them failed before I ever met the woman I will spend the rest of my life with, and I do mean forever! We have 4 grown children between us. My partner told her family about us at Christmas. My mother and sister have known since the beginning of our relationship. At first, they did not like my partner.That was for about 6 months. Now they love her as much(maybe more) as they do me. We have been in our relationship for 8 years, now. Her 89 year old parents accept me and love me, so does her brother. We do not really know how our children feel, but we do know they love us. I think my child is punishing me by living with an older guy and dropping out of college. I hope she will realize she is only hurting herself. She is so beautiful and smart. Her boyfriend is a hustler and loves to start bar fights. She does not come from that kind of background. My partner and I are professional people in education. We have no secrets anymore. Give your mom a chance. I know she loves you very much, but you should want her to be happy and loved.

  4. My daughters are 16 and 18 year old girls who told me tonight that if I do not end my relationship with my partner, they will sever all ties with me. I created this problem, I raised my kids in homophobic Christianity without even realizing it. We have always had friends of all walks of life (including gay) and it was never a issue.

    I am being forced to go to my partner’s house today, and end it or not see my grandkids. (they have no kids yet, they are just saying in the future, it will not happen.) I feel everything is my fault. And when this has happened before i have retreated away from my partner.

    I just cannot handle it anymore.

    i have had councelling but this is just the most hardest thing to do in my life. the girls are very adamant about me ending it. they want their mom back (in the closet)
    I am so upset.
    Anita

    1. Tbh if my mom were gay i don’t think I could handle it. I do believe being gay is a choice. You enjoyed being with men before right? How does that magically change?

  5. While not exactly in either your mom’s shoes, or yours I may be able to offer some small pieces of advise. (In my case, my mother is straight, and I am a lesbian.)
    But where I am perhaps similar to your mom, is that nearly every female partner I’ve created a relationship with, identified as straight. We used the term “exception” as an endearment. Sort of like “The exception to the rule” My personal philosophy is that people love people, not genders. So even if you mom is in love with this other woman, it doesn’t necessarily make her a lesbian, or even bi-sexual.

    I admire that you have chosen to respect your mother’s choice but I feel that the way you chose to show that, is very misleading for your mother. Please try to recognize that your mother has not “done anything to your family” Because love cannot be helped, and it is from love that families are created. Just as you will find, you cannot help but love the ones you already love yourself.

    Perhaps the next few stepping stones would include having a gently conversation with her to discover how she truly feels about this other woman, and ways for all of you to get along. By no means should you feel like you need to call this other woman your other mother, just like I have never called any other my mother’s boyfriends ‘dad’. I simply don’t view them that way. However, there are still ways to get along, and live happily and comfortably together.

    Hope this helps
    Jamie

  6. I think that you should really be careful about what steps you take.
    Life can really test you at times. No matter what always respect your mother, after all she made your eyes open to the world out there

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