Help, my boyfriend is very homophobic but a great boyfriend. Can we make it work?


by Toph_fan
Tags: boyfriend, homophobic, work
Toph_fan
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#1
Aug3-12, 12:18 PM
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My boyfriend is a great boyfriend. He constantly tells me that I'm pretty, texts me often, is affectionate, always wants to spend time with me, cares about me etc. I could have never imagined that a guy would treat me as well as he does. He makes me feel like the only girl in the world. He's also responsible and very family oriented and he plans on moving in with me when I go to graduate school. We've discussed marriage a lot and he's told me multiple times that he wants to marry me. Also, his family is wonderful towards me. They've really made an effort to make me feel like part of the family.

Here's the main problem: our ideologies are completely different. I was raised in a secular household and religion has never been a part of my life. I'm liberal, I believe in climate change, I care for the environment and I'm not homophobic. He and his family are of course the opposite. My boyfriend doesn't believe in climate change and his sister has called people concerned about the environment hippies twice now. My bf thinks that climate change is just a big lie invented to make money. Both he and his sister believe that being gay is a choice and constantly make homophobic remarks. My bf even joked once that he'd break up with me if I wasn't homophobic even though he knows that I have close gay friends. I asked him once why he thought being gay was a choice and he told me that he thinks it's just a fad. I then tried to reason with him but he just ignored me and changed the topic. Also, his sister is a young earth creationist even though she's really smart and a biology major. It just blows my mind how she can so readily disregard established scientific theories that conflict with her beliefs (such as the evidence for climate change, evolution etc). What's worse is that my boyfriend never wants to engage in friendly debates. I'm not one of those in your face debaters, I would just like to defend my position sometimes.

My mom doesn't think I'll be happy in the long run, however I think my bf is one of a kind. No guy has ever treated me this well before and I think that he will be a wonderful father. I also have already developed strong feelings for him. Also I'm almost 22 and I feel like time is passing me by. I will be entering grad school at almost 23 (I took time off after high school and I have a fall bday). It won't be long before I'm past my prime and I feel a lot of pressure to find a guy who is marriage material by then. I always read things on the internet about how women are past their prime after 25 and it makes me nervous (also, female fertility starts to decline in the late 20's). I kind of feel he's my last chance...
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Evo
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#2
Aug3-12, 12:36 PM
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You are not "past your prime" at 25! That's nonsense. Are you talking about having children? If you're healthy, even 30 years doesn't really represent any significant increase in risks.

Since you have children and you and this man seems to be polar opposites in your beliefs, you need to discuss how the children will be raised and taught now. Disputes in child rearing is a major cause of marital problems.
jackmell
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#3
Aug3-12, 12:56 PM
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Quote Quote by Toph_fan View Post
I think that he will be a wonderful father.
Then ask him to answer this riddle:

A couple, early twenties, got a one-year old and a two year old. Mom stays home all day long taking care of them while he goes to work. He comes in at 4:00p and they both give each other the same precious gift. What is it?

zoobyshoe
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#4
Aug3-12, 01:01 PM
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Help, my boyfriend is very homophobic but a great boyfriend. Can we make it work?


Quote Quote by Evo View Post
Since you have children and you and this man seems to be polar opposites in your beliefs, you need to discuss how the children will be raised and taught now. Disputes in child rearing is a major cause of marital problems.
She doesn't have children yet.
256bits
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#5
Aug3-12, 01:38 PM
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Quote Quote by jackmell View Post
Then ask him to answer this riddle:

A couple, early twenties, got a one-year old and a two year old. Mom stays home all day long taking care of them while he goes to work. He comes in at 4:00p and they both give each other the same precious gift. What is it?
Would this be similar to the 'moral of the story' from Gift of the Magi?
256bits
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#6
Aug3-12, 02:03 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
You are not "past your prime" at 25! That's nonsense. Are you talking about having children? If you're healthy, even 30 years doesn't really represent any significant increase in risks.

Since you have children and you and this man seems to be polar opposites in your beliefs, you need to discuss how the children will be raised and taught now. Disputes in child rearing is a major cause of marital problems.
Evo, that is so truthful and wise. But I wonder how in the world could she ever expect to discuss with him something so important for their future together as child rearing when he, as she has stated, does not want to engage in a friendly debate or discussion and will ignore or disregard her opinion? Would she be willing to accept that it may be his way or no way? Something she should think about is her ablity to compromise, compromise, compromise. Sorry, but I just get that feeling. If she concludes that would make her uncomfortable then perhaps her mother is also wise. But who is to really say.
physicsboard
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#7
Aug3-12, 02:23 PM
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he's not going to be a great father if your son or daughter ends up being gay.

that aside, you can make it work if you don't let his homophobia and general disregard for science bother you. he will probably also want your kids to be devout christians and they may follow his example and hate gays/science too.

personally i've never met someone worth getting up every sunday morning for, let alone cause me to willingly subjugate my own views on the rights of others as well. it's not my place to comment further.
Toph_fan
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#8
Aug3-12, 03:50 PM
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Ugh, I wrote a long reply and then my internet went off.

I'm a bit concerned about what will happen if one of our kids ends up being gay. I want my children to feel loved and supported and obviously that might not happen if they end up being gay. Also, I'm not sure that he has a general disregard for science. He just has a disregard for the science that contradicts his beliefs. He's actually getting his degree in a STEM field. I'm kind of hoping that I can change him and make him a bit more open-minded. I know it sounds naive but he really isn't an irrational person. In fact, he usually thinks analytically and he's competent at pure math. I just feel like I could make him see the light if I could appeal to his reason a bit. Actually I think the biggest problem is that he's a bit closed minded. For example, he told me that he doesn't like any literature and that the only thing he enjoyed in English was grammar. However, his grammar isn't even great. I'm no grammar whiz and I often spot grammatical errors in his writing. I just feel like if you don't like ANY literature then you must be missing something. I think that perhaps he lacks emotional intelligence. He doesn't really seem to empathize with people outside his close family of friends.
Andre
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Aug3-12, 03:58 PM
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An interesting mix of what my signature is all about.

But I would run, you will never see him better as he is now, so imagine that without the flattery in the OP.
Toph_fan
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#10
Aug3-12, 04:08 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
You are not "past your prime" at 25! That's nonsense. Are you talking about having children? If you're healthy, even 30 years doesn't really represent any significant increase in risks.

Since you have children and you and this man seems to be polar opposites in your beliefs, you need to discuss how the children will be raised and taught now. Disputes in child rearing is a major cause of marital problems.
I'm more worried about the dating field after a certain age. People always say that college is the easiest time to date. However, I've had a lot of trouble finding nice, decent looking guys here.
turbo
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Aug3-12, 04:45 PM
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Quote Quote by Toph_fan View Post
I'm more worried about the dating field after a certain age. People always say that college is the easiest time to date. However, I've had a lot of trouble finding nice, decent looking guys here.
I would recommend holding off on a commitment with someone whose religious beliefs allow him to disrespect gay people without feeling guilt. One of my most trusted friends in college was a gay man (lost him to AIDS, sadly). I would never gotten romantically involved with a woman who would disparage him to me.

Depending on your school, you may be experiencing a "meat-market" situation, so broaden your group of friends and date casually. Lots of people find their significant other in the workplace, so dating after college is definitely do-able. Also, the men you meet will likely be more mature, and probably better-suited to you if you share professional interests.

Good luck!
Ibix
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#12
Aug3-12, 05:23 PM
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An observation: he does not respect your opinions (not just doesn't share them), and does not like you to express them. He shuts you down when you try to express contrary opinions, he does not engage. This is not a man who changes.

I would say that you need to decide whether or not you can live with the man he is today. If he is not susceptible to rational argument today he will not be tomorrow, either.

You are most definitely not past your prime in your twenties. For what it is worth, most of the new parents I know (am an only-slightly-used parent myself) are mid-thirties or later (definitely a biased sample, though). Three of the six couples that I know well enough to ask met after university.

I have one slightly odd question. Why did you write 'he plans on moving in with me when I go to grad school', rather than 'we are planning to move in together when I go to grad school'?
physicsboard
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#13
Aug3-12, 07:17 PM
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To expand on a point Ibix made, I don't think he really respects you if these two statements are both true.

'My boyfriend is a great boyfriend. He constantly tells me that I'm pretty, texts me often, is affectionate, always wants to spend time with me, cares about me etc.'

'My bf even joked once that he'd break up with me if I wasn't homophobic even though he knows that I have close gay friends. I asked him once why he thought being gay was a choice and he told me that he thinks it's just a fad. I then tried to reason with him but he just ignored me and changed the topic.'

He showers you with complements and spends time with you to win you over. But when it comes to actually listening to you and respecting your views, he completely neglects you and simply makes up the difference later. Complementing you does not make him a great boyfriend. It just means he knows how to score easy points.

A good boyfriend wouldn't ever try and marginalize his girlfriends views by saying something like 'I'd dump you if you weren't homophobic.' That's controlling, insulting and demeaning. To not allow the mature discussion of any view that contradicts his own seems incredibly immature.

When I said he seemed anti-science I was referring to the 'pick and choose' approach that he and his family take. When science doesn't contradict his preexisting views, he's all for it, but as soon as any evidence that shows something in the bible isn't true, he allows emotion to rule out the evidence. This directly contradicts scientific method.

I think this guy sounds like a manipulating jerk who wants to own you, not be with you.

Obviously I am upset as I have had a close friend experience something similar. I never said anything then and regret it now. Sorry.
Toph_fan
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#14
Aug3-12, 08:57 PM
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Quote Quote by Ibix View Post
An observation: he does not respect your opinions (not just doesn't share them), and does not like you to express them. He shuts you down when you try to express contrary opinions, he does not engage. This is not a man who changes.

I would say that you need to decide whether or not you can live with the man he is today. If he is not susceptible to rational argument today he will not be tomorrow, either.

You are most definitely not past your prime in your twenties. For what it is worth, most of the new parents I know (am an only-slightly-used parent myself) are mid-thirties or later (definitely a biased sample, though). Three of the six couples that I know well enough to ask met after university.

I have one slightly odd question. Why did you write 'he plans on moving in with me when I go to grad school', rather than 'we are planning to move in together when I go to grad school'?
I said he instead of we because I am going to go somewhere to grad school and he will follow me. I appreciate the insight. I will address more of your post down below.

Quote Quote by physicsboard View Post
To expand on a point Ibix made, I don't think he really respects you if these two statements are both true.

'My boyfriend is a great boyfriend. He constantly tells me that I'm pretty, texts me often, is affectionate, always wants to spend time with me, cares about me etc.'

'My bf even joked once that he'd break up with me if I wasn't homophobic even though he knows that I have close gay friends. I asked him once why he thought being gay was a choice and he told me that he thinks it's just a fad. I then tried to reason with him but he just ignored me and changed the topic.'

He showers you with complements and spends time with you to win you over. But when it comes to actually listening to you and respecting your views, he completely neglects you and simply makes up the difference later. Complementing you does not make him a great boyfriend. It just means he knows how to score easy points.

A good boyfriend wouldn't ever try and marginalize his girlfriends views by saying something like 'I'd dump you if you weren't homophobic.' That's controlling, insulting and demeaning. To not allow the mature discussion of any view that contradicts his own seems incredibly immature.

When I said he seemed anti-science I was referring to the 'pick and choose' approach that he and his family take. When science doesn't contradict his preexisting views, he's all for it, but as soon as any evidence that shows something in the bible isn't true, he allows emotion to rule out the evidence. This directly contradicts scientific method.

I think this guy sounds like a manipulating jerk who wants to own you, not be with you.

Obviously I am upset as I have had a close friend experience something similar. I never said anything then and regret it now. Sorry.
It's hard to convey an accurate portrayal of my bf or our relationship in a few posts. He's really not overly controlling. I actually think that he might be conflict avoiding. We've never gotten into a fight and we've been together for almost a year (tbf we don't hang out very often because of school/distance). He told me he was just joking about the homophobic comment after I looked at him sternly. I think hanging out at his house makes it easier for him to share his views. Especially when he has his sister back him up. When we were at my house, my dad let out an anti-republican comment and he didn't say anything. Also, I've written about climate change on fb numerous times and he hasn't tried to debate me. My friends have also written bad things about candidates he supports and he's never commented back to them. I don't think he would try to force his views on me.

I wonder if he actually knows the extent to which I'm Liberal. I feel that I'm part of the problem because I'm way too conflict avoiding. The area I'm from is very conservative so I'm used to people with views similar to my bf and his family. In the past I've tried to avoid sharing my opinion with these people knowing the havoc it would cause. I'd either voice my views in a discrete manner or avoid the subject completely. I guess I fell into this pattern of behavior during our relationship. Part of the reason I act this way is because my mother is the complete opposite and she's put me in a lot of awkward situations in the past. In fact, we're actually estranged from most of my extended family. My parents are immigrants and I was always the loner in school and so I just hate constantly feeling isolated from the rest of society. Also, it's just hard to stand up for myself because he lives at home and we usually hang out at his house (my family lives in a small apartment) and most of his family is usually there. I would just hate to confront his whole family. I'm sure that his family might feel that I'm trying to control and corrupt him.

Also, I don't believe that his compliments are completely superfluous or that he gives them just to score points. I do think he exaggerates sometimes however I think he says those things because he truly does want to treat me well. He's a sweet guy to an extent. He's very sensitive and emotional as well which is what attracted me to him (I hate macho jock guys). I just think that he's been sheltered his whole life and is as a result a bit closed minded and indoctrinated. I don't think he's ever really questioned his beliefs and I think that doing so would severely compromise his sheltered view of life. He's closed minded, not a bad person. I do think that he probably won't change. I'm not sure whether or not I want to be with him still.
Evo
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Aug3-12, 09:09 PM
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Quote Quote by Toph_fan View Post
I said he instead of we because I am going to go somewhere to grad school and he will follow me. I appreciate the insight. I will address more of your post down below.


It's hard to convey an accurate portrayal of my bf or our relationship in a few posts. He's really not overly controlling. I actually think that he might be conflict avoiding. We've never gotten into a fight and we've been together for almost a year (tbf we don't hang out very often because of school/distance). He told me he was just joking about the homophobic comment after I looked at him sternly. I think hanging out at his house makes it easier for him to share his views. Especially when he has his sister back him up. When we were at my house, my dad let out an anti-republican comment and he didn't say anything. Also, I've written about climate change on fb numerous times and he hasn't tried to debate me. My friends have also written bad things about candidates he supports and he's never commented back to them. I don't think he would try to force his views on me.

I wonder if he actually knows the extent to which I'm Liberal. I feel that I'm part of the problem because I'm way too conflict avoiding. The area I'm from is very conservative so I'm used to people with views similar to my bf and his family. In the past I've tried to avoid sharing my opinion with these people knowing the havoc it would cause. I'd either voice my views in a discrete manner or avoid the subject completely. I guess I fell into this pattern of behavior during our relationship. Part of the reason I act this way is because my mother is the complete opposite and she's put me in a lot of awkward situations in the past. In fact, we're actually estranged from most of my extended family. My parents are immigrants and I was always the loner in school and so I just hate constantly feeling isolated from the rest of society. Also, it's just hard to stand up for myself because he lives at home and we usually hang out at his house (my family lives in a small apartment) and most of his family is usually there. I would just hate to confront his whole family. I'm sure that his family might feel that I'm trying to control and corrupt him.

Also, I don't believe that his compliments are completely superfluous or that he gives them just to score points. I do think he exaggerates sometimes however I think he says those things because he truly does want to treat me well. He's a sweet guy to an extent. He's very sensitive and emotional as well which is what attracted me to him (I hate macho jock guys). I just think that he's been sheltered his whole life and is as a result a bit closed minded and indoctrinated. I don't think he's ever really questioned his beliefs and I think that doing so would severely compromise his sheltered view of life. He's closed minded, not a bad person. I do think that he probably won't change. I'm not sure whether or not I want to be with him still.
The overly nice part really concerns me. That's exactly what controlling people do. They are super nice until they believe they have you, then it stops and what you've seen is what you get. Do not ever go into a relationship thinking you can change someone. If they are not NOW what you want, they never will be. Break it off.
Pkruse
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#16
Aug4-12, 08:42 AM
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Your letter could have been written by my wife 40 years ago. At the time I was seriously handicapped by a very sheltered and religious upbringing. I needed a few decades to get out of that and finish growing up. Thankfully she had the patience to help me through that. Now things are very good.
Ibix
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#17
Aug4-12, 10:35 AM
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Thank you for clarifying the point regarding who is planning on him moving in. I note that your description of your boyfriend has raised similar questions in Evo's and physicsboard's minds to mine, although I intended to approach slightly slower. As you say, it is difficult to sum up a person or a relationship in a few words. Still, the words you chose to describe your boyfriend provoked the same reaction in three people. Perhaps we are wrong. I would ask the following, which might help you to frame a decision.

Is he lacking in emotional intelligence, as per your second post, or sensitive, as per your last?

Why did you start this thread at this time? Not why, or why here, but why yesterday?

Pkruse describes himself as similar to your boyfriend. Perhaps he could say whether he cut off his wife when she aired views he did not agree with, or if he engaged, argued, and thought.

You said you wondered if he knows your real views. Maybe he doesn't. In that case, I think it is only fair to him to let him know, assuming you intend to take it further. That means a 'difficult conversation', I'm afraid, but perhaps better to have it now than in ten years' time. Do have it outside his home, so he does not have to play to his family. Do have it somewhere you are safe. Paranoid? Probably, but the difference between 'probably' and 'certainly' is not one you want to explore here.

Lastly, I would seriously advise against moving in with him unless you are absolutely certain that this man is the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. Plenty of people who start with that conviction lose it; if you are not certain then you are setting yourself up for a difficult breakup. Again, 'I don't want you to move in with me right now' is likely to be a difficult conversation, but bluffing and hoping is not a winning strategy for either of you.

Edit: re-reading, I sound quite cold. It is much easier to be analytical about someone else's life than your own. However, honesty with yourself and your partner is very important. I stayed in a relationship six months longer than I should have done because I did not ask myself the hard questions, and the result was a breakup that was a lot messier than it would have been if I had used my head a little bit, instead of my heart (among other organs).
jim hardy
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#18
Aug4-12, 02:06 PM
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things done out of a feeling of desperation and weakness have a habit of turniing out not so well.

he just ignored me and changed the topic.
that raised my eyebrows when i read it but i kept quiet.

my own parents were one pliable and one controlling personality.

i got a lot of insight to my own personality from Melody Beatty's book Codependent No More.

what is important is not where you two are today but what direction you will grow as a couple. Scott Peck's "Road Less Travelled" has a good chapter on love, ch 2 i think

and being 3X your age i can assure you you are barely halfway to your prime.
i know a lady who had her first child at 50 - but that IS unusual. Older parents have more patience i think.

sigh --- life: we live it forward but understand it backward.


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