What do you do if your friend or family member is going through this? Many times I am asked for the best way to help and/or support that person. It may be the gay spouse who wants to be honest, or keep hiding for that matter, and it may be the straight spouse. Either way,It is a time for caring and sensitivity.
Here are a few tips.
- LISTEN. Just listen. Sometimes the person just needs to talk, vent, cry, and all that is needed is a supportive ear to hear what they have to say.
- Make no judgements. Please don't say "how could you NOT have known?" It only hurts worse to hear that. Don't make judgements about the gay spouse either. This time is confusing enough for a spouse without everyone making judgements about their decisions.
- Encourage them to be tested. In today's world, being tested is important as there is no way to know what one may have been exposed to. That in itself can be a scary and humilating experience.
- Encourage them to get information. The more correct information they have, the more empowered they will feel. You can buy them a good book that explores the subject in ways they can understand and relate to. You can find recommended reading in our Empowerment Store.
- Tell them about South Florida Connects. Or have them contact us. Help them get connected to people who really understand what they are going through and can provide support and guidance.
- Life was not meant to be this difficult...Period!