The names have been changed to protect identities. I would appreciate your feedback.
I received your greeting card Friday, and quite frankly, it was depressing. Nathan told you he was gay years ago. You are aware that Nathan and I have been partners for nearly 13 years. Yet, you chose—you choose—to send Nathan and I each a card.
In such a gesture, what are you saying? It seems friendly enough. But the nefarious connotations aren’t lost on either of us. You have said, “I do not recognize the legitimacy of your relationship” more clearly in your actions than you could have said with words.
I do not wish ill for you. You would be correct if you assume that Nathan cares about you and wants you to be safe. You would be incorrect if you think that Nathan would choose his relationship with you—yes, all of you, his blood-kin over me. It is sad that you all would pose a choice to him-----no, not literally. You have not literally said it’s us or him, choose. Effectively, though, that’s the choice you are constantly putting before him. You being Crystal, his mom, and his Dad.
You may be hurt, offended, and/or confused over why Nathan chose to avoid meeting up with the Smiths over Thanksgiving. Did you consider inviting his partner? Have you ever thought how it might feel to him that you choose to minimalize the importance of his partner in his life?
To be clear, in as much as it effects me, I am not offended by the Smith’s denial of our relationship. I’m mostly neutral in my feelings toward you. I hope your life is going well. I hope you are satisfied with your choices. I hope that you and Tom are happy. But if I never saw you again my feelings are pretty much, “meh”. I don’t say that to offend you. I am merely acknowledging that I don’t know enough about you to care one way or the other.
However, I am offended by the Smith’s denial of our (MY) relationship in as much as it effects my partner. Nathan has considered distancing himself from his blood-kin. Why? Because as Don Henley says, “Sometimes love just ain’t enough”. Nathan loves you all. Exactly how much is that love worth is a question you guys are constantly flaunting before him. I suspect he is weighing the value of love against the weight of the drama.
Let me be clear, you, yes you personally, have offended Nathan and by doing so, indirectly offended me. The offense isn’t some egregious action. It is the willful dismissal of the value of Nathan and his feelings. It is hurtful that you would plan a vacation to Port Saint Joe and invite him to come if he stays in a hotel 60 miles away. It is hurtful for you to plan numerous family vacations without even inviting Nathan and his partner, yet you invite your other siblings, their children, and your parents and pay for everyone’s accommodations. It is hurtful that Nathan and his partner come to visit you and that you do not invite them to stay in your home. Nathan assumes and I concur with his assumption that your disdain probably derives from his being gay.
I would hope that were not the case. You are welcome to disabuse us of our assessments should you deem them incorrect.
Frankly, I am tired of fighting for you—you being the Smiths. Nathan has said to me on several occasions, “Maybe, I should just let it go.” And I have always pointed out that he loves his family and that they love him. But at some point, it is too heavy.
Let me relate one of the more recent interactions Nathan has had with his parents. When Nathan recently got a job in Dallas, he asked to stay with his parents while he searched for an apartment. Nathan’s parents told him that he could stay in their house. Nathan told his mom that he would be getting Netflix. When the movies arrived, Nathan’s mom took the movies to his dad. Nathan’s dad opened Nathan’s mail although the movies were clearly marked Nathan D Smith, that’s a CAPITAL D in there you know. Nathan’s mom and dad maintain that Nathan’s dad mistakenly opened TWO LETTERS. Nathan thinks it was intentional—as do I. We are all aware that Nathan and his dad have shared the same first and last name for forty years. The only difference is the middle name. I believe that Nathan’s parents are quite skilled in distinguishing between “D” and “H”.
But WAIT, THERE’s MORE! After opening Nathan’s mail, his dad confronted Nathan and said, “You haven’t changed!” His dad also reminded Nathan that “You’re going to hell.” Apparently Nathan’s dad thought Nathan was receiving porn from Netflix because one of the episode of SouthPark was entitled, “Cartman Gets an Anal Probe”. So Nathan rented a room at an extended stay and left.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S STILL MORE! So after not talking to his parent’s for the week, he received a woeful message from his mom about how, “We’ve had such a bad week. We’ve been worried about you. We just feel so bad----” At that point, I was incredulous. Really, what kind of apology is that? ----we feel bad—It’s all about them. How positively passive-aggressive. An apology recognizes one’s culpability in an action. “I’m sorry I opened your mail and then thought the worse of you” is an apology. “We feel bad” is not.
Do you really need other examples? I could provide a book. But what would that do? My intent is to communicate, not to make you feel badly. I do not want or need another how’s-the-weather relationship. You have been an important and significant part of my partner’s life. It is possible that we can grow together and be an integral part of each other’s lives for a long time. However, lives change. It is also possible that maybe the time has come to recognize that we have incompatible philosophies, wish each other the best, and move on.