Redditor throwRA_concernedmom is a 49-year-old widow who has a 23-year-old biological son and an adopted son who is 22.
She visited the Relationship Advice subReddit when she was flabbergasted over a new development within their family unit that challenged her notion about relationships.
The Original Poster (OP) wrote:
“My bio son and adopted son are in a casual sexual relationship and I don’t know how I feel about it.”
“I adopted my second son, K, two years after I gave birth to my bio son, Q (it’s a long and irrelevant story, but I raised him as my own and love him as such).”
“K is a different race to Q so there’s never been any question that they’re not related, but for their entire childhood and adolescence they’ve been as close as if they really were. They have always dated girls and I have always assumed both boys were straight.”
“Cut to post high school.”
“K and Q are in the same university, albeit studying different degrees. Since [the virus] they’ve been staying together in their own small apartment.”
“Recently they came to sit me down (I am a widow, my husband died 7 years ago) and told me during lockdown they have entered into a sexual relationship, and wanted my blessing. Taken aback is an understatement.”
“I was shocked beyond words. My first reaction was to blurt out incest.”
“They of course rationalized it by saying they’re not biologically related, which of course is a true and valid point. But it still feels so…wrong.”
“I have no issue with the homosexual aspect of their relationship. If they had sat me down to tell me they’re both gay I’d have accepted it without question.”
“But the idea of them having a sexual relationship after being raised as legal brothers is just bizarre to me and I have no idea what to do or how to feel.”
“After they told me, I told them I needed to go to my room, as I felt faint. They left shortly afterwards and said they’d come to see me another time.”
“What do I do, Reddit?”
“I love my boys and I want to support them but this just feels too wrong.”
Strangers on the internet weighed in with their various responses.
“This whole post is weird… If they were just doing a vaguely incesty friends-with-benefits (fwb) thing, why the heck would they tell their mother?”
“I wouldn’t tell my mother about a normal fwb, let alone a semi-incestous one. So either this post is made up or your kid’s relationship is more serious than they’ve let on….”
“Cos who would risk blowing up a family just for a FWB? You’d keep that secret to yourself.” – hexidecimals
“I would consider asking that you speak to each of them individually. Then if there is any element of coercion or abuse, they have a chance to tell you.”
“If they both separately tell you they are happy then that at least is one reason for disapproval removed.” – nobelprize4shopping
“The fact they are willing to destroy a family unit for something casual is the point I’d be more pissed about.”
“You sound like you’ve been a fantastic parent who has carried the torch more so since your late husband passed.”
“To me, if there was something to this. Like deep love for another. That’s a different conversation.”
“But I don’t see how siblings could amicably resolve their differences if an argument were to occur.”
“What about all the life time events they will persevere to avoid one another ridding you of a family you deserve.”
“Honestly, I’m just really sad for you. Your 2 boys have been incredibly selfish and short sighted.”
“It’s got nout to do with homosexuality. You wouldn’t f’k your son’s boss, teacher.”
“You wouldn’t promote a relationship with your best male friend either. It’s just sh*tting literally where you eat and you are being asked to not complain about the stink of it.” – bighappychappy
“This is pretty messed up. You wouldn’t be okay with it if they were biological brothers so you shouldn’t be okay with it because they are adopted.”
“It’s incest. I think they would do well to get some counseling.” – unwritten_otter
The conversation continued among those who kept an open mind.
“The taboo against incest is almost entirely in two camps, adults abusing children in their care, and fear of genetic issues with potential offspring. Two gay men of the same age don’t have to worry about any of this.”
“However, there are questions about family dynamics. If they stop seeing each other, how will they cope with family gatherings?”
“Who will support them when they go through problems with each other? Etc.”
“However, who would be able to love your son more than their brother? They know each other in a deep meaningful way.” – Delicious_Lobster468
The OP updated her post in an edit to address a concern about her sons’ relationship.
“I understand a lot of people are asking why they’d tell me if it were just a casual relationship. From what they told me they want to be free to express affection in public, or something along those lines.”
“To be honest I was so shocked I maybe didn’t take it all in correctly (they were using a lot of foreign terminology for me). I will definitely clarify this when I speak to them individually as a few commenters have suggested.”