Guilt about lying to people you love?

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Joined in 2012
December 22, 2013, 20:40

Many folks within the LGBT community would be familiar with the concept of having to conceal or bend the truth to people they love when it comes to their personal lives. I am firmly within that category – my parents are devout conservative protestant Christians, and are not accepting of my sexual orientation, my relationship or my partner. My partner and I have been living together for several years now whilst keeping my parents in the dark about the true nature of our relationship. I have struggled with guilt about this in the past but I believed I had moved past that. I felt it was a problem I could not solve so would not beat myself up about it.

However, we have reached a critical point in our lives. My job is relocating to the USA, and in order for my partner to join me we will have to get married. With recent developments in Australia, we have chosen to do this in New Zealand. It is not something we would really otherwise do, as we don't consider it important to our relationship. It has all come about rather suddenly and unfortunately for me it has brought to the surface again those feelings of guilt and sadness that I cannot share this with my family.

I'm not sure what the purpose is for me writing this post – to be honest I can't see any solution. To bring my parents in to my confidence would be a major disruption to all our lives, and would be very emotionally traumatic for all involved. And after all that, I don't really think there is even a small chance they will try to accept it. How I wish there was a magic button I could press to make everything OK!

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
December 23, 2013, 07:56

Hi Chris.

Thanks for your post. I also wish that there was a magic button to make things OK for you.

Don't you think your parents suspect after living together all those years?


Ann Maree

Mother Hen
Joined in 2011
December 23, 2013, 11:26

Hi Chris,

Yes be nice if there was a magic button I would have hit it a few times 🙂

I agree with Ann Maree, is it possible your parents suspect there may be more to your personal life than you have let on. I think we all at times kind of know things we would rather not and by trying to ignore it, it's like it's not true. And people can suspect things but just don't say anything. As a parent I would be asking questions about the move to the USA, I would be asking questions about what is going on in your life, what's new etc. that is showing an interest in my childs life and part of any relationship, we share what's new to them too.

You mention your parents aren't accepting of your sexual orientation, your relationship or your partner. Does this mean they know you are Gay? Have you come out to them? Or is this an assumption you have made about them?

At the end of the day regardless of any one else's feeling, disruptions to their lives etc you have to do what is right for you. You mentioned you have pushed away your feelings of guilt of not sharing more with your parents and people you care about and now they have resurfaced. Things don't go away when we push things away, they will resurface and at some point we have to deal with them. Maybe this has resurfaced for a reason. It might be hard and cause some disruption in everyone's lives in the short term. I do however think that long term you will be free of your guilt, and not held back in the USA or in your relationship with your partner. Everything will be out in the open for people to deal with however they will. You can't keep protecting people, you can't control how people will react, or even fully know how people will react. Whether you tell your parents about living with your partner, getting married etc is up to you. Just make sure which ever option you choose is for the right reason. What's best for you 🙂

God bless I will keep you in my prayers.

Joined in 2012
December 23, 2013, 14:14

Thank you Ann Maree and Mother Hen for your kind replies. Many of your observations ring true, and are very astute.

My parents know about my sexual orientation, just not about the nature of my relationship. At some level they would be aware or have suspicions about it, no doubt. Perhaps they've chosen to ignore those feelings, or perhaps not. Sometimes I do feel like 'ripping of the bandaid' so to speak would be the right thing to do, if not necessarily the easiest. Of course doing so at a time when there is a major life change (moving to a new country) happening, makes it doubly difficult.

Mother Hen you are right about dealing with the feelings vs pushing them away. I think this time I will take more time to reflect on and pray about this, and just maybe God might show me the way to do the right thing.

Joined in 2005
January 4, 2014, 17:36


I can empathise EXACTLY what you are going through.

I remember with my first Boyfriend – we very closeted. Even a drive down Oxford street was a rare and scary event. So not only did no one know either of us were gay but virtually NO one knew we were a couple – and in fact for a while we even worked in the same office.

I remember spending a christmas in secretly tears – because he was with his family over 1000 kms away – and I was with mine and we both had to try and pretend we were happy. We would call each other and cry and then bravely face our families.

In the end – i could'nt deal with that and I started coming out to my friends, who to my shock were surprised (hey I ride motorbikes, have NO Dress sense, and hike through wildernesses on my own for relaxation – not exactly the stereotype) but totally supportive and cool. The worst reaction I got was a "we dont agree with it but we are still friends" (and nearly two decades laters those people still happily socialise with me regiularly). I did have a few church friends who said nothing but faded off quietly however Ive made many more friends than Ive lost over the years.

However – I had extremely religious parents – and I had – given my word to my sister when I came out to her – to NOT TELL THEM . They were old and she felt it would kill them.

So my life went on – that BF stayed in the closet and eventually he and I parted ways. He never forgave me for telling our mutal friends we were a couple (in fact he stopped seeing them even the ones he had introduced ME to)

I met another BF (been together now 14 years) but still couldnt tell my parents. VERY difficult because I was always very very very close to my father.

I hated it…. but I dont break my word… and although its a strain sometime life puts us in situations when there is not a perfect choice. You have to choose the best of two bad choices. (funnily enough = Im really bad at making those choices – but once I do make them – ive learnt to live with them )

Sometimes there is no right.

Oddly enough in my case – I went to visit my family (my partner and I lived interstate which helped) – and arriving in sydney – I had a 3 hour drive to see my family but I had a friend who was in distress over some events that had happened the night before so I took him with me.

While Im down there – the local nurse – who was visiting daily to change a wound dressing for my mother – a lesbian I believe – met myself and my friend.

After I was gone – she (apparently) told my father I was Gay. Apparently my friend had tweaked her Gadar and then she had looked at me closely and it had finally gone off. (NOT totally impressed she outed me to my parents actually but it worked out well in hindsight so)

So my father fumes over this for a while and eventually rings me and asks. Im a but stunned by this – but its one thing to not tell – its another to lie – which I had not done – so I answered truthfully.

well it took him about 6 months or so over which time we traded bibles and scriptures and argued hebrew and greek and science – but eventually he came to terms with it.

Hes very old now – well into his 90s but he would introduce us (my partner and I ) as his two sons, and he took the local minister on with the issue of Gay rights when he was in his late 80s and he proof read my partners Phd, He would ring and say – I dont want to talk to you – he would be calling my partner….

So Im guess the point of that LONG WINDED story is – there is time when its right to hide these things. I did – and is something all (or nearly all) of us do – certainly of my generation. Sometimes – you can be lucky like I was and you will know its right to come out. Sometimes you just have to live with it. Me, coming out of the closet was one of the things that destroyed my first relationship. Would I change it. No but that doesnt mean you arent doing the right thing by doing Just what you are doing now.

Sometimes in life there just isn't a perfect choice.

I guess the line I draw is between concealment and telling a direct lie. Mind you I could be VERY creative in what i said to not technically lie but still hide what i wanted to. However there was a line I chose not to cross. However I was probably just lucky i didnt have to. I probably would have in the right circumstances…

I do know JUST how you feel.

Eric Lee
Joined in 2011
January 5, 2014, 19:17

Hi Chris,

Thanks for sharing your concerns here! We can always share our stories and learn from each other!

It must be a frustrating experience because anger, guilt and other feelings can take over.

I think sometimes not only we need to deal and grow with our sexuality; we also hope our parents to grow. And we know it requires time– just like how God challenges us, sometimes we learn and grow instantly, sometimes may take a little while. I think it’s the same to many parents on learning about sexuality.

But I think there is always hope. There will be a right time to do some communication. And also, there are miracles.

Your message isn’t clear – are you getting married or you have married in NZ? Congratulations for that anyway. Given that you are getting married or have married without your parents’ approval anyway, how do you feel if you just share your decision with you parents? Why do you think your parents will not accept it and not grow from it but may sabotage your life? I think there are some questions you can answer to get more clarification on helping you to solve your concerns. If those concerns are troubling you, seeing a counselor for better clarification can be helpful and can take away those burdens. I'd strongly recommend that.

Anyway, let us know how you go. We're interested to know where you're at!

Have a joyful new year!

Joined in 2012
January 7, 2014, 19:39

Thank you so much ShadowBoxer and Eric for taking the time to reply. I apologise for not responding sooner – I wanted to find enough time to do so properly.


Your story resonated very strongly with me. I often think that LGBTI people who manage to overcome the struggles we face become some of the strongest people around. We must also become pragmatists and accept that nothing in life is perfect, and often there is no perfect solution to a problem. In my case circumstances have not been as kind and have found myself having to tell untruths or what you call direct lies which was the original topic of this thread. It feels pretty awful just from a standpoint of lying to someone you love and respect, and sometimes the guilt that comes with it makes you feel like you're the one in the wrong for having this sexual orientation. It takes a lot of courage to move past that. Anyhow, thank you again for your post. I found it really encouraging.


I think you speak wisely that there will be a right time for communication, and as a Christian I do believe in the saying that God works together all things for good. At the moment, I feel like the time to do that has not yet arrived. I don't honestly know what exactly my parents would do, as such, but I feel fairly certain that at this stage, initially they would not accept it and would do a great deal to try and 'help' me, as it would appear from their point of view. I don't feel I'm in a secure enough place myself to be able to deal with that. I plan to do what I have learned to do since I became an adult, which is to take it one day at a time, do what needs to be done and keep moving forward.

We are flying to New Zealand this week to get married – so much to organise, so little time! Thank you for your kind words, and a happy new year to you also.

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