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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5806
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I am re-married to a very heterosexual man. weve been married

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I am re-married to a very heterosexual man. we've been married for 9yrs. My son who is 18 years old is gay. He has talked to me only one time about this. When I approach him about it he gets angry and defensive. My husband and my son do not get along, they really never have gotten along. My son gets very angry with my husband. My husband knows about my sons orientation, my son does not know he knows. My son is always upset with me. He has lot of anger and I dont know what to do to help him. I know a lot of his feeling are from him being gay and in the closet, not able to express himself. I love my my son more then words can express and I accept him not matter what. I dont know where to turn. Im worried about him.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

If your son has been angry for a while, he could be clinically depressed. Many people who feel trapped and unable to express themselves as they want to turn those feelings onto other things outside themselves and become angry at others and the world in general.

It sounds like you have made a good effort to get your son into counseling. However, if he refuses to go, it may indicate that he either does not recognize how strong his anger and possible depression is, or he sees it but is unwilling to get help. People who refuse therapy are usually fearful of what they feel. They do not want to face it. Talking about feelings makes them feel vulnerable and scared. This may be why your son is refusing to talk to a therapist.

It could also be that your son does not feel ready to talk to someone about his feelings. In that case, you may need to gently encourage him to talk to someone, even if it is not a therapist. He needs to find a way to allow himself to express these feelings. You can also suggest he start a journal or express his feelings through other means such as art, music and physical activity can also help your son express himself.

When you son becomes angry with you, you may want to try a few things to defuse the situation. It helps to say something like "I am sorry you feel so upset" then leave the situation and go into another room. Your son has a right to express his anger, but only in constructive ways. If he is becoming angry without cause and expressing his feelings by becoming angry at you or your husband without cause, then he needs to learn that that is not ok to do. By giving him a neutral response and leaving the situation, you let your son deal with his own anger and not take it out on you.

And if your son is unwilling to go to therapy, you and your husband may want to go without him. The stress of coping with an adult child who is always angry with you and upset can become very stressful and affect you in ways that you are not aware of. By talking to a therapist, you can not only find ways to deal with the stress but also how you can respond to your son.

You can also learn more about anger and how to help your son. Here are some resources to help:

Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft

Beyond Anger: A Guide for Men: How to Free Yourself from the Grip of Anger and Get More Out of Life by Thomas J. Harbin

I hope this has helped you,

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I will talk to my husband about seeing a counselor. We will need to do something, I cant sit here and wait for something to bad to happen.


Last night after the football game my son parked on the grass. My husband got out of our car and told him not to park on the grass to move his car and park where he's been told to park in the past. My son did not see our car and backed into it. My son got out of the car and said "really?". My husband thought he said it to him and walked over to him and my son clossed the door and locked the door to his truck. My son would not unlock the door. My husband said..."if you wont open the door you wont be able to leave" and proceeded to try and let the air out of his tire. I got out of our car and got mad at both of them. I told Zac to get out of the truck that it was an accident. My husband became mad at me and went in the house. My son stayed in his truck saying he hated my husband. He finally came in after staying outside awhile. My husband sent me a text the next day saying how upset he was with me that I dont back him up.


This stuff happens a lot and its very frustrating. I try to keep peace in the house but am failing at it miserably.

It sounds like your son is projecting his feelings out on everyone but himself. It may help you to stay out of any future arguments between your son and husband since it forces you to take sides and that is not fair to you.

It's good you will consider counseling for you and your husband. That will help you both find ways to respond to your son so you don't get caught up in his anger. He needs to own that anger himself and not put it on you or your husband.


Can I help you any further?

If you found my answers helpful, may I please request that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Do you know of any good resources for young gay men? I would like to read something then share the book with my son. I ordered Beyond Anger tonight, thank you for the suggestion. When Im done reading Beyond Anger do you think I could have my son read it? He is 18, actually he just had a birthday this month. He is a senior in high school.

Although he may make his sexual orientation part of his issues, you may want to keep focus on his emotions rather than his sexuality. When there are emotional needs such as your son's anger, they need to be resolved first before the impact on other issues can be addressed. Here is another book that may help him:

The Anger Trap: Free Yourself from the Frustrations that Sabotage Your Life by Les
and Frank Minirth

Sharing these books with him can help him learn more about why he feels as he does and how he can address it.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX ordered that book as well.


Will I be able to contact you again? Id like to keep in touch. I feel like contacting you via email will be helpful. Im glad to hear that I should hold off on talking to my son about being gay and to stick with the issue of his feelings. I just wish I knew what to say when he's quick to answer in a rude manner. Just being around him can be upsetting. If I try and talk to him he's like "what do you want now" kinda stuff.


I just want him to find peace in his heart. I hope these books shed some light. I hope they get here soon....cant wait to start reading!!


Also, just a little side note, my son was diagnosed with ADHD in the 1st grade. I took him off his medication due to him not being able to sleep at night and not having an appetite. I stopped his medication in the 5th grade. It has been a challenge but we made it to his senior year. He is on a IEP for learning disabilities in math and reading comprehension and is no longer requiring services and has passed all state tests.


Also, my son has mentioned to me in the past that he feels the need to blink his eyes and twitch his head. I told him he's okay not to worry about it. But Kate, he does blink his eyes and twitch his head some. Its not significant but I do notice it. I don't say anything to him because I feel if I do, it will get worse. I guess I'm concerned it may be touretts syndrome. This is not a big concern but it is something he is experiencing.


In high school my son is a cheerleader and is GREAT at it. He's wanting to cheer at the collegiate level and has the talent to do so. He has a lot going for him, I just need help keeping him on track. It was much easier when he was little :)

Yes, it would be great to talk with you again. Just start a new question and put "Kate" at the beginning so other experts know you want to speak with me. I am happy to help with anything you want to ask. Just be sure to rate any new answer so we can continue working.

It would be good to mention the tics your son has to his doctor. It could be medically based and that should be ruled out before any emotional disorder is considered. If your son does not allow you to talk to his doctor, it is ok to let the doctor know via phone. The doctor may not be able to talk with you because of your son's wishes, but he will still get the information he needs to help your son.