Greetings from Germany! I really like your site, you sure are a wise man! My problems aren’t easy to put in a nutshell, so this might take some time to explain, but I appreciate every advice.
It all started when I met this guy, three years ago. Yeah, I know that's a very common opening ^^. We became very good friends in no time, but he told me there's no way we could become boyfriends. Because his father doesn't like the thought of his "good" son liking other men as well, because he feels some responsibility toward his family, that kinda stuff. I should mention that he is Thai, so of course he has different moral standards, very different. But yet, after a year we became boyfriends. It kinda happened, we just get so well together I guess it was inevitable, even though we're so different in many ways (or maybe that's the reason).
My parents know that I'm gay and have no problem with it, especially since they know my boyfriend. Since he's a true paragon of courtesy even my mom gave up her fears that I might end up with the wrong person, and we sure did spend many good times together, not to mention he helps me a LOT with my extreme coyness. We went to conventions, museums, zoos, events, many places were are lots of people, which isn't quite easy for me, I tend to feel very uneasy between masses of people, but he makes me feel better. We even went to some gay pride parades, I would never done this by my own.
So, what's the problem? For one, his father. He always told me stories about his dad, so I didn't actually want to meet that man. But one night we were at a train station far away from home at 3 o'clock in the morning, and the trains just stopped. I tried to call my parents, but I didn't reach them, so we had to call for his dad. Damn, I was so afraid to meet him at last! My bf told me to act completely normal, since his dad doesn't know his son has a bf now. Then he came to pick us up, he seemed quite normal to me, but the next morning he told me his dad asked if I was mentally disabled, because I looked like a retard to him. Well, I never met the parents of one of my boyfriends or gay friends, but I sure didn't expect THAT! Then I met his dad one second time, he was getting something and I was waiting with his dad outside. His dad doesn't know much German, so I didn't expect a big talk, but then he suddenly turned away from me and went some steps away, without even looking at me anymore!
I guess you can see his dad is a very difficult person to talk to, and I gave up any hope for us to ever come out to him. He really is the perfect stereotype of an east Asian patriarch, who wants his son to be a good student, to marry a good woman and to raise good children. In addition to that he wants his son to return with him to Thailand as soon as possible, another reason why he didn't want us to become too close. And even more, he WANTS to return with his dad, and to raise an own family. Okay, I don't want children (lol) but that made me wonder why he suddenly chanced his mind and wanted to become my boyfriend. Sometimes I wonder if it's just his father’s influence, but that's the main reason our relationship doesn't seem to have such a happy future.
We did have many little fights lately, but nothing too bad since every relationship has its ups and downs, so it actually makes me feel just even more like we're a real couple by now, but you see… the bitter end is just inevitable, since he actually seems to want all the things his father wants. He's just too much of a good soul and too loyal to his old man, I guess, but it does kinda hurt to know that his father's interests are more important to him than me. I don't think he wants to hurt me, heaven forbid! But it became really hard for us recently, and I started to think, is it worth it to trudge through the last few years we have till it has to end? Because sometimes I think it's hard for him, too, that he has to hide me from his family, while my family truly loves him for everything he is, he even got to celebrate Christmas with us, and he got almost more presents than me ^^. But the next day already he was upset again, his great pessimism has always been his worst side. I just don't know how to help him, to help US.
Anything I can do?
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When Papabear was still living in Van Nuys, there were a lot of Thai families in his neighborhood and two of my best friends were from Thailand, so I am somewhat familiar with the culture. As with many Asian cultures, family is very important and the wishes of the parents are a lot more respected than they are here in the United States. This, I’m sure, you are familiar with by now.
Your boyfriend is in a difficult situation. On the one paw, he loves you (willing to bet) and he loves being with you in a relationship. On the other paw, he has been raised to respect his father’s wishes and to be an obedient son. After reading your letter a couple of times, Papabear’s inclination is to predict this: your boyfriend will enjoy his life with you as much as possible and for as long as possible, but when the time comes, he will obey his homophobic father, return to Thailand, marry, and do what his family wants. Will he be miserable? Of course he will, but that, to him, is secondary to family.
In fairness, I do not know this young man, except from what you have said here and from your insights. The mixed signals you are getting from him are the telltale signs of a soul in deep conflict between what he wants and what he believes he is obligated to do. It is certainly possible that he could overcome his feelings of duty to family and do what is best for both of you.
Hyperion, you don’t tell me about your age or living circumstances, but would I be correct that you and your Thai boyfriend are both in school now? And, when you are done with school, his father will take him back to their homeland, yes?
Here is one possibility: after your boyfriend earns his degree, would it be possible for him to obtain a work visa? If he had a terrific career opportunity in Germany and took a job there, then he could become financially independent and remain in your country and be with you. Maybe he could even convince his father that this is a great opportunity for him and that he should stay instead of going back to Thailand.
It sounds like, however, you believe he will go back to Thailand no matter what. Instead of speculating what he wants, have you sat down with him and had a heart-to-heart talk? Ask him, frankly, where he sees your relationship going. Is he just in it for the short term? Or, does he want to go the distance. You two have been together long enough that you deserve to know his intentions. Don’t let him fudge: get an answer from him, one way or the other.
If he admits it is just for the short term, then it is up to you what to do. Do you want to enjoy him while you can? Or would you consider this just a waste of your time because what you really want is a committed relationship? If the latter, it is time to go your separate ways. If the former, you will still separate but maybe have some more good memories to share.
If he says he really wants to be with you, then it is time for you to step up. Tell him that you realize he is being pressured by his father to return to Thailand and live a traditional life, but you really love him, and if he wants you to be a couple you will stand by him, support him through thick and thin to make it possible. It sounds like your family is supportive of you, so perhaps you can enlist their support as well. Tell him it is time he spoke honestly with his father, told him that he is gay, and that you will be with him every step of the way, no matter how well or badly it goes.
In the end, it is his decision what he wants to do, but the two of you need to communicate your goals and needs clearly before you take the next step.
Wishing You Luck and Love,
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