Dealing with Holi-drama | Advice

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Dear John, I'm disappointed and not sure where else to turn for thoughts.

I'm almost as disappointed now as I was with my family's reaction to my coming out. My partner and I have been together a long time, talking years now, living together. I asked my sister, who is well aware of our situation, about bringing my partner home for the holidays with my family. She's a liberal Democrat and has sort of become my confidant in the last few years, especially as her children have started growing up. Her reaction was, "I don't think it's a good idea, might cause drama." She is mad at my partner for something he did several years ago that resulted in us both losing our jobs (we were working together) but also ended up setting us up for much better opportunities. I got over it, but apparently, she hasn't. Our relationship isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and I thought I'd finally be accepted by my family, but I suppose not.

Dear Holidrama,

In every monogamous relationship, there are only two people. No matter how much your friends or family may think they know each of you or your relationship, it is only the two of you who genuinely understand the truth that happens in the quiet of your lives together. We can forgive our partners, but it doesn't work the same for your friends and family. It can be hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube for people who love you and feel your partner hurt you. Your sister is clearly still not over it, but that doesn't mean she isn't accepting you. It just means that while you had time and the opportunity to process his mistake and forgive him, she hasn't. A fair question to your sister is, what does she need to move through this? Share with her how important it is for your partner to share in the family moments. Be honest with your sister that you're committed to this relationship and don't want to be forced to choose between your family and your partner. You and your partner can only participate in the opportunities your family allows for conversation and healing. If they don't participate, then you both must create your own life together, and they will have to live with the loss of you in their lives. I don't subscribe to family connections of obligation. If your family is not enriching your life and bringing you support, love, and joyful moments, you need to find that for yourself. You have only one life, and it's too short to wait for a fully authentic life. Have the hard talk with your sister and open the door to the opportunity for the two of them to work through his past mistakes.

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John Porter is an entrepreneur and founding partner at Oasis Asset Management. He has served as a political organizer and strategist within the Democratic Party, as well as serving as an executive board member for the Miami Yacht Club.

The advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only. Use of this column is not intended to replace or substitute any financial, medical, legal, or other professional advice.


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