Often in my couples’ counseling work with gay men, we uncover the underlying reason why the couple is having trouble feeling connected. We find the following unconscious belief in one or both members of the relationship:
If you really knew me, you wouldn’t love me.
This fear lives in the psyche of many LGBTQ people. It contributes to our hiding in our most intimate relationships.
Practically every queer kid on the planet experiences this anxiety. If your parents, grandparents, siblings, or friends knew you were not straight, they might stop loving you. That’s the fear.
Why should you open yourself to another person if your first experiences being loved were tinged with the knowledge that you might be rejected just for being your normal self?
Remember what it felt like to first realize you were gay? That you were something that the people closest to you thought was disgusting or embarrassing? That this part of you – that doesn’t go away – was basically yucky?
Even your mother, who may have adored you more than anyone on the planet, still might have said cruel things about gay people before you came out to her.