- In an anonymous letter to The Guardian, a man said he had plans to propose to his girlfriend, but all that changed when he met her parents. He realized he had slept with her father during a “bi phase.”
- A psychotherapist with The Guardian said he should leave the relationship to minimize emotional damage.
- But when INSIDER spoke with three relationship experts, all agreed communication is most important in this situation.
- They also talked about the importance of bisexuality and the idea of a more open-minded future.
While many are familiar with mother-in-law horror stories, one man is dealing with an awkward father-in-law situation.
In an anonymous letter to The Guardian, the man admitted to having had a “bi phase” before meeting his girlfriend.
“Five years ago, I went through a bi phase and used to sleep around with pretty much everyone that came along, including other men,” the letter reads. “This changed when I fell in love with my new partner, who is everything to me.”
The unidentified man even had plans to propose to his girlfriend, but it all fell apart when he finally met her parents.
“Halfway through lunch [I] realized that I had slept with her father,” the letter continues.
As if that wasn’t complicated enough, the father gave him an ultimatum.
“When my partner and her mother were away, he told me to end it with his daughter,” he wrote in the letter. “I’m obviously in love – shall I just ignore him, or tell my partner?”
Pamela Stephenson Connolly, a psychotherapist, responded to the letter, advising the man to end the relationship entirely before it got even messier.
“Walk away now, and avoid the massive pain that would otherwise be inflicted on your partner, her family, and yourself,” she wrote in The Guardian.
Although INSIDER can’t independently verify the story, we spoke with three relationship experts about bisexuality and this unusual situation. All three agreed that the man should be open and communicative with his partner before walking away.
“Disclosing a bisexual past when you’re in a heterosexual relationship is important because it’s a way of letting your partner know who you are and what you’ve done,” Bukky Kolawole, a relationship expert and clinical psychologist, told INSIDER. April Masini, another relationship expert, agreed.
“Intimacy in a relationship is about knowing each other, deeply,” she told INSIDER. “This isn’t just about sex. It’s about everything. So, until, and unless, couples are willing to be brutally honest with each other about their pasts, presents, and futures, there is no chance for deep intimacy in a relationship.”
Additionally, author and relationship expert Susan Winter said they must have an open conversation because there is a chance that the relationship may survive. She said there should be some idea of openness with his female partner, otherwise, they would not be attracted to each other.
Winter explains that this type of situation is becoming more and more common as younger demographics are becoming more open and fluid with their sexualities. In fact, almost one in every 10 self-identifying straight men have gay encounters. Of those people, 70% are married.
“As our society evolves, we are having greater freedom to understand who we really are, independent of stereotypical roles,” Winter said. “We have to have a very honest conversation about our future because marriage is not going to look like what our parents had.”
Kolawole said leaving the relationship before communicating can actually deter this open-minded future and create a dangerous cycle of sexual suppression.
“Ending the relationship because of this also maintains [or] perpetuates biphobia,” she told INSIDER, “which is what I believe maintains our society’s culture of leaving bi men with the only option of lying to their partners to feel safe and limiting their ability to show up in the world as their full selves.”