A Mom’s Letter: Her Daughter Left Husband for a Woman

sad-woman

I share with you an email from a mother (with her permission) upset up by her daughter’s actions. I hoped it might offer hope for any in a similar situation.

Dear Susan: My daughter left her husband to become a lesbian. They also have a 5-yr-old daughter. This was a shock for everyone. I love my daughter but cannot accept her lifestyle so to keep the peace we have not spoken since Christmas. My son-in-law lets me see my granddaughter which I am really grateful for. Before all of this happened my daughter changed from being a christian to an atheist. She has had no contact with any of our side of the family since she came out and doesn’t seem to care. I am most concerned for our granddaughter because she is being put into the gay lifestyle at a very young age for which she has no choice.

I went thru the whole grieving process in a very short time but am left with feeling hurt that my daughter would give up her marriage, her family, and her faith. Why can’t we feel that this is Satan working in her heart? Why shouldn’t we pray that God will intervene in her life? 

Signed,

Confused Mother

And my response…

Hello. Well, first, I am so sorry for what you are going through. I know it’s exceedingly shocking and painful — who could have predicted it? I don’t blame you for what you’re feeling.

Now, the question is, what will you do about it? What can you do?

Here’s what I know: God is at work because He’s always at work. He is working in ways we cannot see and have no idea.

What I mean by all of this is: 1. You don’t know what God is doing in your daughter’s life, 2. You have no control over it. 3. What is your job? Let me fill those out a little here.

1. She probably did not just “decide” to be a lesbian. It’s more likely that she finally decided she could no longer live that way, denying who she is. You may not believe this could be true, but it is the story I’ve heard time and again. We cannot decide it’s just not true and she should just give up all this nonsense and get her life back together – that is not ours to say. You don’t know what it’s been like for her to live a lie, pretending to be straight when she is gay, and the only way to know will be to ask her. And the only way she’ll tell you is when you have no agenda but to know her heart, period. Trust that God is doing more than you can see.

2. You cannot control it anyway. I’m glad you have grieved – that is a necessary piece for you. Just remember that grieving is not as linear as we expect. Sometimes things pop up (memories, thoughts) and we say, but I’ve already grieved that, but grief is random. A stray song or old picture may spiral your grief again. The more you can just let that be, and don’t try to stuff it back because you’ve “already grieved this,” the more authentic you can be to your own experience. (My mother died when I was 9; I grieved as a young adult, going through a whole process about it. When my third child was born — random — I wept for weeks because my mother was not there to say how beautiful she was. 😦 It still comes up unexpectedly these decades later.

3. What are you called to do? We usually think — and we’re wrongly taught in the church — that we have responsibility to “straighten people out” or “hold people accountable” — especially when it comes to our kids! Believe me, I had to learn this the hard way. Just hold your bible in your hands and say, “Everything in here is summed up in: Love God, love others.” We constantly underestimate these huge words of Jesus. You cannot direct your daughter, but you can love her even if you think she’s wrong. What about confronting people? Sometimes, that is quite necessary and helpful. But we’d better be sure we’re hearing God on that, because incalculable damage comes from “confronting people in love.” Plus, sounds like you’ve already done that. When Paul “speaks the truth in love,” he’s really reminding people who they already are in Christ! That is very different from trying to redirect their behavior. Your daughter’s already proven she’s beyond your reach, but God has her.

The prodigal son seemed out of his mind to the culture and the family, but the father (as God) let him do what was in his heart to do. The last thing to do is hinder your daughter’s personal relationship with Him by having her think His love is conditional when it’s not. She’s already withdrawn enough to say she’s an atheist. The worst thing would be to require compliance with a standard (staying with her husband).

You do not know what your daughter needs.

You be a prism of God’s love “shed abroad in your heart” (Romans 5:5). He will direct her by His plan, not yours.

These are choices only you can make, and it will be between you and God. I trust that He has you completely in His hands and you will hear His still small voice guiding you on this challenging and difficult journey.

Love,

Susan

11 thoughts on “A Mom’s Letter: Her Daughter Left Husband for a Woman

  1. Well, that’s nice to hear – that they support you! What a gift. I’m site it was a real upheaval yo o through all that.

    I will be at the GCN conference this year! I’m leading a workshop for parents – I look so forward to it. Will have my new book ready based In my blog post, To Christian Parents of Gay Children.

  2. Thanks to all those who have written to the Confused Mother. I am also a confused mother. My son left his wife of 16 years to be honest with himself. He came to visit his father, younger brother and I at the beginning of September this year to say that he had been fighting being gay for 30 years and he just couldn’t do it any longer. He was raised in a loving, Christian home; at one time was in seminary but now says he does not believe any longer. He is constantly in my prayers not only for his happiness, but also to see that God is still /always here for him. With my son’s permission I have shared my sons ‘freedom’ with my two sisters, (I come from a family of five brothers and two sisters) and my husbands only sister. I know that my sisters have shared the news with their children and one of our brothers. I also shared the news with two of my dear friends. Both are God loving ladies and have offered wonderful support to me. I tried calling my daughter-in-law to offer support, but she did not answer my phone call. I did leave her a message on Facebook and her response was ‘Thanks’. I have no idea how this must have ‘rocked her boat’, but I also know that she was aware that their marriage was not as it should be. I ask prayers for my family as this has put a strain on my marriage. I love my husband but he is not and has never been a communicator; he is not interested in talking about this lifestyle change for our son. I have tried to get him to read the ‘FreedHearts’ blog and also read the book ‘Torn’, by Justin Lee along with me, but he has refused. I ask prayers for this situation. As Susan has said; I must do what I can for myself and let God help my husband, son, daughter-in-law and any others who cannot understand God’s plan in all of this.

    • Well, I’m so sorry for the difficulty, Patsy, and I imagine many of my readers empathize and will also pray for your family. I long for a shift in the church culture, such that a gay young man or woman is able to speak up instead of taking on a marriage that is not true to them. The fallout of this all-too-common situation is painful all around. Bless your family, and thank you for sharing your heart. ❤

  3. Dear Confused Mother,
    You have taken a great step in contacting Susan, and I hope you continue to explore this. I, too, am the mother of a lesbian, but I had the advantage of suspecting before she told me where you have been blindsided. I, too, am the mother of a daughter who was raised in church, and now calls herself atheist.

    Part of what you are grieving (and Susan is right, it is not done) is the death of expectations. It is OK to feel hurt and confused, and I would encourage you to find a support group (this in addition to others) that helps you work through your feelings. I was lucky enough to have dear friend help me name my grief, and help me understand that it was not my daughter’s job to make that pain go away for me.

    Your daughter is the same as she always was, only now she is being honest with the world. She loves you. She loves her child. She probably loves her husband. She did not want to hurt anyone. She is in PAIN. She does care, even though it may not seem that way sometimes.

    I pray that you can find a way to hold her close once again, for your sake and for hers. I pray you can begin to let go of pain and needing to understand and the idea of “right/wrong”, and just love. God is there for you both, and you need each other now as much as you ever have.

    This group is here for you. I am here for you, and feel your pain. Love, healing and reconciliation are possible….just don’t give up!

    Blessings!

  4. Thank you Confused Mother and Susan! Confused Mother, thank you for your honest pain and vulnerability as you walk this journey. Susan, thank you for your wise and tender words of comfort and challenge.

    I, too, left my husband of 25 years for a woman. I have three young adult children. It was not a decision I made lightly. I tried and prayed for years and years not to be who I am. I was miserable. My marriage was miserable. My children were miserable. It has not been an easy journey for any of us. My partner and I are both committed, evangelical Christians. We love the Lord with all our heart and we love each other.

    I have been blessed to have a family, that while they may or may not agree with my decision to finally be true to myself and to be free in Christ, they love me and they love my partner. We are still a family and see each other regularly and email even more regularly.

    My adult children have seen an example of someone who tried so hard to be someone she was not and they see that I am no longer depressed, that I am no longer suicidal, and that I love life. Have they been hurt along the way? Absolutely! But dare I say that more of their hurt comes from having a mother who was depressed and at times barely functioning, then from having a mother who left their father for a woman.

    I pray that your daughter will feel God’s presence with her, for surely God is holding her and wooing her back to Himself. I also pray that God help you to be a light of love in your daughter’s life.

    God bless you as you continue on this incredible adventure and journey of life,
    Rhonda

    • Thank you so much for sharing your heart, Rhonda. Bless you. No it’s not easy, but then, what is?? I hear you about your children being hurt — my children have been hurt from my immaturity as a young mom. I mean, that’s how life is: a journey! Every single path is full of thorns. I wish you the best, my friend!

      • Thanks, Susan. Your blog is a blessing to my partner and me. We have also been to a couple of GCN’s conferences and so appreciate Justin’s ministry. Maybe we will see you at a conference one day!

        One thing I didn’t say in my earlier comment that I should have said is that my ex-husband fully supports me in being true to myself! He hurts, too, we have all grieved expectations and the loss of our nuclear family, but we are still all family in a different way. Also his parents are two of our biggest supporters.

        I have been truly blessed,
        Rhonda

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