Go Back   SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information > Special-Interest Groups > GLBTQ in Recovery
Forgot Password? Join Us!
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Arcade Mark Forums Read Chat Room [1]


Welcome to the Sober Recovery Community

Already registered? Login above ---^
OR
To take advantage of all Posting, Chatting, Gaming, and all the features available at SoberRecovery, join the over 100,000 current members, and become a member of our supportive community today! Ads will no longer appear on the forums, once you register.



Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-12-2013, 10:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
Life the gift of recovery!
 
nandm's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Home is where the heart is
Posts: 7,025
Parnter not out at work

Ok, I just need to vent a bit and ask if anyone has any experience to share. It isn't like I am going to go drink or leave my partner over this but sometimes to be quite frank it hurts. This is nothing that I have not discussed with my partner and she is well aware of my feelings only to be honest when I discuss it with her I am careful to not come across angry or let too much hurt show simply because I don't want to guilt her into doing something she is not comfortable with. I feel each person should be only as out as they feel safe being out. So that said here is the situation.

My partner is not out at work. I am out in all aspects of my life. Granted I currently do not work so in some ways it is easier for me to be out and if I did work I am not certain how out I would be in the workplace. That would depend solely on how safe the work environment was to being out. We are out to our friends, family, and neighbors as well as the AA meeting we attend for the most part. I say for the most part because I don't walk up to someone when meet them and say "hi, I am xxxx and I am a lesbian." I simply introduce myself and if someone asks about my relationship I am honest about it. My partner though does not feel safe being out at work although she works with and knows several lesbians and gay men who work within the company. She is not even out with them except for one lesbian. She is more open with the fact that she is a recovering alcoholic than the fact that she is a lesbian. Her company is quite inclusive, in fact it allows her to cover me on her insurance. So to be honest I don't feel that the work environment is an unsafe one for her to be out in.

So there are several work parties that she feels obligated to go to and for obvious reasons since she is not out I am not welcome to come even though these events include spouses. Also several people in her department want to go snowboarding and have invited her to go. Obviously I am not invited since she would have to explain me. I want to give her the freedom and respect that she gives me to be who I am so I do not want to push her to be out if she is not comfortable with that but I can not change the fact that it does hurt to know that I am left out. It feels like she is ashamed of me. I realize that is not the case but since she is not out she is ashamed of something either me, being gay, or whatever. She went to one of these parties tonight. She did not stay long only long enough to eat and make an appearance but it doesn't change how it leaves me feeling. I don't want to be such a baby about this. I don't want it to hurt our relationship but unfortunately since it hurts me it does put a stress on our relationship. I don't know how to let it go and just get over it.

Any thoughts or experience to share? No leaving her is not an option. We have been together nearly 12 years now. I do love her and I am not willing to let something like this tear us apart. Our relationship is quite good other than this minor thing. There will always be bumps in the road of relationships and this is just a bump. I just would like to hear some other experiences and perspectives.
__________________
NOTE: All BB quotes are from the 1st Edition of the Big Book
Depression is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of being too strong for too long.
nandm is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to nandm For This Useful Post:
Lyoness (01-22-2013)
Old 01-12-2013, 10:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 
janiebluebird's Avatar
 

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Northeast
Posts: 440
Blog Entries: 2
Do you mind me asking what state you live in? You have been together for 12 years, so I take it that your partner is not newly "out" and still coming into herself. I honestly think it sounds more like a self-esteem issue that she has with herself. When I was a little younger and less sure of myself I feared being out to people who I didn't know, especially at work because it was a professional environment and I didn't want anyone to have anything against me- and I live in New York, which leans pretty liberally. The older I get, the more I realize that it is important to be who I am, even if it feels uncomfortable at times. That is both for me, and for other people (to learn, to grow).

What does she tell her co-workers when they ask about her love life? Not telling them takes away from her quality of life (i.e. not being about to have you participate in anything, when all of them get to bring their significant others), and it also makes her relationships with her co-works less fulfilling (can't share a huge part of her life). I doubt it has anything to do with you, and mostly to do with her cowardice really. Life is too short - I hope she can find a way to live her own truth.
janiebluebird is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to janiebluebird For This Useful Post:
Lyoness (01-22-2013), nandm (01-13-2013)
Old 01-12-2013, 11:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
Life the gift of recovery!
 
nandm's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Home is where the heart is
Posts: 7,025
We live in Oregon. Where we live is quite liberal in fact we are just a few minutes from Washington where marriage equality just passed in the last election.

I do think you are right about it being more related to a self esteem issue on her part. She is quite shy in many ways and is not what one could call a social butterfly. I don't think she really talks much about her personal life at work as she is very much all business there so the subject of her love life probably doesn't come up. If it did I am sure she would find a way to change the subject rather than answer directly.

I do agree that life is too short.. honesty and living ones own truth is much better for ones soul. The old saying "what others think of me is none of my business" is probably one she would do well to take to heart.
__________________
NOTE: All BB quotes are from the 1st Edition of the Big Book
Depression is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of being too strong for too long.
nandm is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to nandm For This Useful Post:
Lyoness (01-22-2013)
Old 01-13-2013, 07:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
Contented
 
catallus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 124
Hi nandm,

Yes, honesty and living one's own truth is much better for one's soul, and 'what others think of me is none of my business' is a great attitude, but....
it could be self-esteem
it could be fear
or maybe your partner really does keep her personal life separate from her business life. You stated she goes to these parties and stays long enough to be seen - sometimes these work parties are "mandatory" and she must appear; so she makes her appearance and leaves. It is important for some people to go to work just to work - and not bring their home life to work or their work life home.

I can understand your feelings though. Your feelings are real and must be addressed before they turn into deeper shades of resentment. Is there any way you can sit and talk with your partner and just ask her what her feelings are on the whole melding of one's work and personal life? Let her know you are not adding pressure or demanding anything, you are just trying to understand.

You have both been together 12 years - you are being aware of her feelings on this matter; I believe she would want to be aware of your feelings also - without her getting the feeling you are demanding anything.
__________________
With the GIFT of recovery...The sky's the limit...
catallus is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to catallus For This Useful Post:
Lyoness (01-22-2013), nandm (01-13-2013), vegibean (01-13-2013)
Old 01-13-2013, 11:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
Life the gift of recovery!
 
nandm's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Home is where the heart is
Posts: 7,025
Quote:
Originally Posted by catallus View Post
I can understand your feelings though. Your feelings are real and must be addressed before they turn into deeper shades of resentment. Is there any way you can sit and talk with your partner and just ask her what her feelings are on the whole melding of one's work and personal life? Let her know you are not adding pressure or demanding anything, you are just trying to understand.

You have both been together 12 years - you are being aware of her feelings on this matter; I believe she would want to be aware of your feelings also - without her getting the feeling you are demanding anything.
We have discussed this several times lately and the end result is the same that we wind up having to agree to disagree and respect each others right to be out to the degree we feel safe being out. The logical side of me gets this it is the emotional side that can't seem to come to terms with it. It isn't even like I can't trust her or something because that is definitely not the case. It is just that I am not sure how to get past this emotion that keeps coming up that feels like she won't come out at work because she is ashamed of me when I know that it is not me she is ashamed of rather it is being gay.

She came out late in life and even after all these years still struggles with the stigma that comes with being gay. She was also abused as a child which affected her self confidence and esteem. She is afraid people will talk behind her back which to me is silly because I am sure people already do. People gossip in the workplace. I know for her it is a self esteem thing. If she had more confidence in herself she would not be so afraid to be out at work as she would care less about what others thought about her but confidence and self esteem comes from the inside it is not something others can give to a person.

I know I can not change her I guess what I am asking is what can I do to help ease my emotional response to all this. Talking with her helped somewhat but because I have to be careful to not push her into coming out if she is not comfortable I am not able to express fully how much this hurts. Maybe I am just being too needy here I don't know.
__________________
NOTE: All BB quotes are from the 1st Edition of the Big Book
Depression is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of being too strong for too long.
nandm is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to nandm For This Useful Post:
Lyoness (01-22-2013)
Old 01-13-2013, 12:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
vegibean's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: SE and then South some more
Posts: 2,649
I'm a big LGBT supporter, and where I work we all are, and we have two gay men (not partners) who work there. One is our lead therapist and the other is one of our best resident managers.

I'm the HR person, I was so thrilled to be able to tell the lead therapist that he could now add his partner to his medical insurance for just over $300 a month, he was thrilled too.

I met a few gay girlfriends in treatment, have written papers about it while doing my school work for Psychology, and I know more and more people are becoming more accepting and the ones that are, even the straight people look at them and say "you're an idiot!"

Have you two tried going to see a therapist who specializes in gay couples and their issues?

My next question, is what kind of company does she work for?

No matter what, someone is going to be an idiot and probably make a stupid remark (because there's always one in the bunch), but I bet most people would be supportive.

I hope she can work through it because I'm sure it hurts you, it would hurt me to have my heterosexual partner not to want to include me, so that part I totally get.

Is there a LGBT community, group around you all that even you can go talk to?

Good luck nandm. :ghug3
__________________
"When you're green, you grow, when you're ripe, you rot. Don't stop learning." ~ Unknown
vegibean is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to vegibean For This Useful Post:
Lyoness (01-22-2013), nandm (01-13-2013)
Old 01-13-2013, 12:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
 

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: "I'm not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost ..."
Posts: 4,311
I don't think you are being needy per se. I would not feel good if I was not included or not openly acknowledged. I think this is probably going to continue to be a big issue between you if not dealt with. It's not likely to just go away on it's own. I would think it would be important for her to work through this because compartmentalizing like that doesn't feel good. I'm just speaking from own experience, but keeping everything separate is hard work. It requires one to be dishonest by omission. It's hard to maintain and eventually takes a toll. I would second seeing a counselor. It would seem resolution to this might require lots of time, patience, and compromise on both ends.
soberlicious is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to soberlicious For This Useful Post:
Lyoness (01-22-2013), nandm (01-13-2013), Pixienottipsy (01-13-2013)
Old 01-22-2013, 03:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
Night owl
 
Lyoness's Avatar
 

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Orion spur of the Milky Way galaxy
Posts: 1,698
Blog Entries: 1
I agree that this could become a bigger and bigger issue for both of you--as individuals and as a couple. It's important that you both feel safe and heard and accepted.

I can understand being afraid or not ready to come out. I came out fairly late at 36 and the main reason it took so long was because of childhood abuse., Like so many of us I felt deeply threatened if I were to come out even though as a child I would say things like I wanted to marry my best friend--and get very strange looks. It was logical to me!I worked in healthcare and was surrounded by lesbians but just wasn't ready to come out. I felt almost pressured to because they all knew and were just waiting for me to. I wanted to but had to go at my own pace. I'm guessing something similar is happening for your partner and there might be a deep fear she still harbors about being a lesbian.

I have friends who have been partners for over 30 years and one of them didn't come out to her family for 20 years. I asked how the out partner could deal with being essentially discounted. She somehow felt she could accept her girlfriend's fears and didn't force her. I think the "less out" partner also has deep fears but as she's aged she's become more relaxed.

There is a tremendous amount of acceptance in their relationship, a desire to grow individually and as a couple. Is that something you feel in your relationship? Maybe counseling could help each of you feel heard, safe and seen because your feelings are equally important.
Lyoness is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Lyoness For This Useful Post:
nandm (01-22-2013)
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:24 PM.


 
National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers
 
Drug Rehab | Best Treatment Center | Detox Center | Residential Treatment Center
Cocaine/Crack Treatment | Alcohol Rehab | Heroin/Oxycontin Treatment Center | Crystal Meth Treatment | Marijuana Treatment | Methadone Treatment | Suboxone Treatment
 
Local Treatment Resources and Events
 
Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | DC | Delaware
Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine
Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire
New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island
South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennesee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming

© 2013 Internet Brands. | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Health Disclaimer
A proud member of the SoberRecovery® Network of Addiction and Recovery Websites