This Week in the Mercury


Friday, November 1, 2013

SL Letter of the Day: Mom and Dad's Business

Posted by Dan Savage on Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 10:29 AM

I've been reading your column since around 2008 and I just wanted to say thank you. I listened to a recent "Savage Lovecast" where you responded to the Values Voters Summit's "beware the monogomish" remark and I had a kind of epiphany. When I was around 14, I accidentally came across evidence that my father was cheating on my mother. I never told her, but about 2 years later it became clear to me that she knew though we never discussed it. For a long time I felt on some level that she was weak for not leaving him even though I love them both dearly and I'm glad to be among what seems to be a minority of people my age (27) whose parents are not divorced. Listening to your take on cheating, on being monogamish, on LTRs, and on staying together really made me think and now I see my mother's decision to stay as a show of strength and I no longer see their relationship as a lie in the way I kind of did for over a decade. And I agree with you strongly about this: just as my sex life is none of their business, theirs is none of mine—and getting over that accidentally learned tidbit about my dad has been extremely therapeutic. Thank you.

It's odd how we hold our parents/elders to different, more puritan standards than we do ourselves. I've been in relationships I labelled "monogomish" since before you started using the term in your column but I couldn't even fathom that maybe my parents were doing the same thing. Not that I want to know. I'm sex positive but I'm not that sex positive.

Grateful For All You Do

P.S. You're right, I should be out as bi to my family. I'm visiting in July and I'll come out then as doing it in person seems better than doing it by phone or via email or whatever. There, now I have to do it, I told my sex advice hero I would.

Thanks for sharing, GFAYD, and I'm glad your parents are still together. And here's hoping that your planned/overdue coming out next July—which is a long way off (you're not going home for Christmas?)—goes well.

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