Being gay and in the closet can be an incredibly emotionally damaging journey for any human.
People go to such lengths as to get married and have children to avoid acknowledging their sexuality, and when it becomes impossible to hide that part of themselves any longer, they end up hurting others including themselves.
Reddit user mygaydaddy faced a really tough situation, being in the middle of his mother and his recently-out father, where he had to choose, essentially, which parent to hurt.
He went to the popular subReddit, "Am I The A**hole?" or "AITA" to see if he'd made the right decision.
"AITA for refusing to show up to my(22M[ale]) dad's gay wedding?"
Our original poster, or OP, set up the unfortunate situation where his mom caught his dad cheating on her with men.
"My parents were married for 27 years. My dad is 52 and my mom is 48. It was discovered about a year ago that my dad had been cheating on my mom for the last 4 years of their marriage with another man. "
"My dad also had hooked up with numerous order men over the course of their marriage. My mom caught him in bed with his boyfriend. My dad said he was bi and they tried to work through it."
However, this didn't work and it took a major toll on OP and his mom.
"It didn't work, as my dad was still f**king his now 24 year old boyfriend on the side and admitted he was gay."
"When I found out I cut my dad out of my life. Over the past year I have let him back in. I love him but I just can't get over what he did to my mom."
Now that time has gone on and OP's dad and boyfriend are engaged, OP was placed in a difficult situation.
"He and his boyfriend have gotten engaged and my dad wants me to be his best man. I can't bring myself to this. I feel like it'd be betrayal on some level. I told him this. He broke down, he apologized for what he did to me, my little sister, and my mom."
And OP's dad let his son in on some of his past trauma.
"He said that he's didn't want to hurt anyone with his actions. He said that he told his parents about just feelings towards men when he was my age and they flipped. They threw him out, trashed all of his belongings and treated him like less than a person."
"That even his friends dropped him once it got out that he liked men. He said that he only felt like he had a normal life if he began dating and married a woman, and he did this with my mom."
Even with this story, OP couldn't bring himself to do this.
"This story was heartbreaking but I couldn't. I want to be empathetic but I can't. He cheated on my mom for years and built a family with her knowing he wasn't into her."
"I told him I didn't care about all of that, and that I would never be his best man, and wouldn't go to the wedding. After telling my dad this, I received a very angry call from his boyfriend telling me how I'm a monster and an awful son."
But OP is in doubt that he did the right thing:
Redditors put into perspective where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH - No A**holes Here
"I don't blame you for feeling betrayed and angry. Regardless of his sexuality, he betrayed his family for years and he shouldn't expect his children to be so accepting of his new partner that he cheated with."~mikl0ser
"NTA - being gay does not entitle you to lie to and cheat on the person who agrees to bind their life to yours and who is supposed to be able to trust you more than anyone else. Your dad made some bad, selfish, extremely harmful choices."
"And maybe he would not have made those same choices if he had not been born into a society and specifically a family that unfairly punished him for something he could not help, but he was and he did, and while that suffering makes his decisions a little more understandable, it doesn't make them any less harmful or painful."
"He betrayed your mom and hurt your whole family. His own hurt does not excuse that, and your decision to not support his relationship with the man he betrayed his wife with is an entirely understandable natural consequence of his own selfish and harmful ADULT choices."
"He fully participated in creating a family, and then he tore it apart. It stands to reason that one of the children he created and then betrayed may not want to stand as best man in his wedding to his mister-ess, especially since that position traditionally represents whole-hearted support for the groom and his entry into the new marriage."
"If you feel comfortable attending as a guest, you can suggest that as a compromise, but if you don't (and you have absolutely no obligation to), then you don't have to, and you can tell his boyfriend that calling you a monster is not going to help you build any kind of positive relationship in the long term."~SWGoodToes
"There were many way he could have lived his true self and been happy. Cheating on your mother and ruining your family through selfishness was not one of them. You don't have to forgive him at all. Lots of love, and hope you're doing alright! X"~WelshAristocrat
"NTA. As an adult you get to determine how close you are with your father. As long as you are turning down the invite to the wedding because you didn't like his cheating, not because his orientation, definitely not an asshole."
"Dad is an asshole for cheating though. I get that it was hard, when he was young they did terrible things to gay men, much worse than even kicking them out or abandoning them."
"Of course he was scared and inevitably traumatized. But things are different now, and he didn't have to hurt your mom like that. Plus you could've given her some disease ( true of all cheaters.)"
"Dad's BF is obviously totally out of line, and possibly out of his mind."
"It's good that you were trying to let your dad back into your life, but I think you're still processing your emotions and your dad needs to respect that."~PartyHorse17610
Redditors are in agreement that--regardless of how heartbreaking dad's situation is--he is putting OP in a very difficult position.
"NTA. Dad's an a**hole. Boyfriend is an a**hole. He is asking too much, too soon and has proven he is as selfish as ever."
"He's sorry? He's not sorry. He's marrying the man he cheated on your mom with. He's just sorry he's stuck with the consequences."~thepinkprioress
"NTA. First of all his boyfriend should have never gotten involved. It sounds like you have no problem with his sexuality, it's really the infidelity you can't get past."
"It sounds like he may not have heard that message because he was ready to be on the defensive immediately. Maybe you can build mutual empathy with him by saying something like: "
"'Listen, what your parents did was wrong and clearly affected you. However your actions have affected me (by breaking trust, by affecting your view of relationships moving forward... etc whatever is relevant to you) and you can't expect me to just get over it.'"
"'My feelings have nothing to do with your sexuality which is not a choice and everything to do with your behaviors, which are a choice.'"
"It sounds like he has a lot of healing to do and in that, may not be a supportive parent at the moment. If you need to separate yourself until he has worked on himself that's okay too."
"If you seem up to it, joint family therapy is amazing and is worth the work if and when you're both ready to repair that relationship."~Flashy-Opinion369
"To start off, I'm a lesbian, so jot that down before thinking up a response please I've seen the other comment chains."
"If my dad cheated on my mom with a kid I went to school with I could not handle that and would probably have very little contact."
"If he wanted me at the WEDDING to a kid I went to school with I would not be able to bring myself to go, because he cheated on my mom and I just wouldn't be comfortable about my dad marrying someone my age."
"If that kid called me to yell at me about it I would tell them to date people their own age so their stepchild wouldn't be.
It's not about sexuality. It's about morality. He could have divorced her before he started seeking other relationships."
"He SHOULD have. He's to blame for the hurt in your family right now, and the strained relationships are because of a breach of trust."
"I get that being disowned for this is devastating and I've seen it happen, but the answer is not to destroy another persons trust and pass off your pain and betrayal to another person."~Feral-forest-gremlin
"I'm going to say NTA. This is a hard one because your father made life choices that he felt were necessary because of his family's reaction to who he really was."
"I understand your perspective though, you love your mom and she has to be hurting now, not to mention how confusing this would be for you and your sister."
"I think you are doing the right thing by rebuilding your relationship with your dad but he has to understand that it's going to take time and work to try and repair what's been broken."~rylobac
And that the request of being best man is just a step too far.
"NTA. Your dad was married to your mom longer than his new fiance has even been alive."
"He's only 2 years older than you, so I'm not sure what reaction he was expecting by calling you. He's your peer, so he should understand."
"If fiance's parents broke up due to cheating, I'm sure he wouldn't want to attend the affair partner wedding either.
The cheating and unsettlingly large age gap are enough regardless of sexualities involved."~SourNotesRockHardAbs
"NTA. He chose to build a life based on a lie and drag a innocent woman into it cheating on her for years and the added a child to that life as well."
"You are not an asshole for refusing to standup as a best man while he marries his affair partner that is only 2 years older than you. His affair partner is completely out of line contacting you for any reason I would block affair partner from contacting you in any way."~Hez1993
"NTA. Cheating is cheating. Lets not brush over the fact that he deceived your mum for the whole marriage by making her believe he was attracted to her and wanted to be with her."
"God knows how your poor mother must be feeling having realised that the person she was supposed to trust the most had been deceiving her their entire relationship and had used her as cover to hide his sexuality. Your dad's an arsehole."~Overlord0810
"NTA. Your father committed adultery and you have every right to be upset."
"It sucks he felt forced into the bubble of needing to be a heterosexual man and marry a woman and have kids with her because of his upbringing, but that absolutely does not excuse his cheating."
"If he felt so strongly that the marriage was no longer worth this facade he should have filed for divorce prior rather than being a massive cheat."
"Being in the LGBTQ+ community does not give him a pass for this. You don't cheat on people regardless of sexual orientation, that's just scummy."~AgressiveEarthworm
For a difficult situation, the only real remedies are time and communication.
We wish all the best to those involved.