My son Jackson came out as bisexual last year, and my husband and I do not have a problem with that at all. Sexuality doesn’t matter to us, and we were just so happy he decided to open up. Jackson introduced us to Nathan about a year ago. Nathan seemed like a great guy—smart, funny, got along with everyone, and was great with Jackson—and it seemed they were very much in love. For the past year, their relationship has been going seemingly smoothly, and they are glued together whenever we visit.
But about three weeks ago now, we witnessed a rather troubling fight between them. There is no street parking outside their apartment, so we had to park a while away and walk (we were slightly early for a planned lunch outing with the boys). As we got closer, we saw Jackson and Nathan having what looked like a heated argument between them in a public street. Nathan shoved Jackson in the chest. Before my husband reached the boys, Jackson had already responded by punching Nathan in the face. It honestly looked brutal. I have never seen Jackson punch anyone before, even as a child. Nathan retaliates by punching back, and now they come to blows in the street. My husband gets the boys off each other. Nathan walks off, swearing loudly and just leaves. Jackson, obviously fuming, won’t even look at us or let me see his swollen eye, which definitely was going to bruise. He is so worked up, he just tells us he will see us later and shuts himself into the apartment and turns off his phone.
I’ve been worrying about this ever since. What if it has been a female partner my son had blown up at? A punch like that thrown like that could have seriously hurt or even killed a girl, and it would be a very worrying example of domestic violence. My son obviously has anger issues I was unaware of, and it seemed his boyfriend has them as well, suggesting that they are not a good combination.
Anyway, my son spent a week ignoring us. The only text he replied to was that he was coming to a family dinner with his brothers and their wives. Jackson then turns up with Nathan.
Holding hands, leaning into each other; I even caught them kissing passionately in the kitchen like teenagers when they thought they were alone. My husband and I were blown away, as we did not expect Nathan at the dinner, as we had just assumed we had witnessed the end of their relationship.
My husband broached it with Jackson alone, and Jackson was offended by the idea Nathan wouldn’t be invited. He told his dad that there was nothing wrong, they just had a fight and it got heated and they both lashed out. My husband told me it sounded like this wasn’t the first time they have come to blows like this and that it didn’t sound like a huge deal, so my husband definitely changed his tune to something like: “Maybe this is just more normal/accepted when two men date?” He has started to approach it from the angle that sometimes his (straight) friends can come to blows over an argument, but then shake it off and be fine with each other. I feel my husband is oversimplifying this with a “boys will be boys” mentality, and that what we saw was domestic violence.
I want to ban Nathan from the house and tell Jackson I’m not comfortable with their relationship anymore and won’t support it. My husband disagrees entirely and believes we should just ignore it and go back to when we were thinking they were this happy, perfect couple. Should I put my foot down? Or am just totally out of the loop and just trying to place my “straight relationship expectations” on my son? I love my son and am supportive of him and his sexuality, but I know next to nothing about the LGBTQ community and so from my husband’s perspective, maybe I just read the situation wrong?
— Domestic Violence Dilemma