Gay Father Worries if PDA With Husband Would Be 'Damaging' to Young Son Who Recently Moved In

@hellomikee via Twenty20

dadys holding hands
@hellomikee via Twenty20

Families are made in a multitude of ways, and every family has a story. Ones that stray from the mainstream "nuclear" version aren't any less valid, but they can be tough to navigate with little to no references.

One father, who is in a same-sex marriage, is facing a "dilemma" of sorts now that he has his 8-year-old son living with them.

  • The dad begins by explaining that he never had a full relationship with his son's mother. The son lived with her until he was 8, and then moved in. 

    "At first I didn't even know how to tell him that I'm married, let alone married to a man," the dad confessed. "On one hand I want to normalize it in his eyes, but on the other hand I feel like showing even the slightest bit of affection for my husband in front of my son would be unacceptable and it would be like exposing him to something that's too much for him. So at this point I'm too scared to even hold my husband's hand in front of him. Which probably is just as bad as being too open with it?"

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  • Firstly, please let us grab all the tissues. 

    To even have to worry about something like this is so heartbreaking. In the comments of the Reddit thread the father started, he elaborated a little on why he worries:

    "I guess i just have this deep rooted shame, cause my family wasn't exactly pro LGBT. So, I'm afraid that my son will end up being ashamed or even disgusted with me."

  • People stepped up to reassure him with some really heartfelt pieces of advice. 

    "My wife and I are a same sex couple," offered one parent. "We are as affectionate as any other couple. We don't have sex or even make out in front of the kids but we'll give each other a quick kiss and we'll cuddle on the couch or in bed. It's no different than straight families. It's important to me that my kids see an example of a loving relationship."

  • Mostly everyone agreed that showing kids a loving relationship is more beneficial than anything. 

    "I'm so sorry about your experience with your own family," consoled one reader. "I'm in a male-female marriage, so take my advice with a cup of salt, but I think the more kids (and people in general) see same-sex relationships as the same as opposite-sex relationships, the better it will be. So hold hands, kiss, snuggle, speak lovingly to each other. Don't make out in front of your kids, have sex in front of them, or paw at each other. But I think it's good for kids to see what healthy, loving, romantic adult relationships look like!"

    "That's really all I want," the dad replied. "For my son to have a good example of what a healthy relationship is about and that same sex relationships aren't that much different from opposite sex relationships."
  • The dad also clarified that his son has no issues with him being gay or married to a man, and it was something they addressed before he moved in.

    "He's just a really sweet, smart and understanding kid," the dad wrote. "And I guess I love him so much that I'm afraid of being a bad example for him. But I know for a fact that being overprotective never has a good impact on kids. So all in all, just talking to him about it is the most reasonable option."

  • One straight parent did have a warning: Kids are grossed out by PDA in general, especially by parents.

    "Me and my wife will hold hands, cuddle, hug, kiss, and playfully smack each other’s butts, all in front of the kids," one dad shared. "I think that’s as far as we go. I can’t see myself not doing those things if I was gay. And honestly? My 10 year old daughter still says 'ewww' if we kiss in front of her.

    "So don’t let it get to you if he thinks it’s gross," the dad continued. "Cause even if you were kissing a woman he would say 'eww.' It’s cause you’re his dad and parent PDA is gross to kids but they need to see a little of it in my opinion."