DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I have been with my boyfriend for almost a year now and things are going really well. But it wasn’t until last week that he told me that his dad did time for attempted homicide when he was in his early twenties. The way my boyfriend told it, it was a bar fight that got out of hand and the other guy almost died from his injuries. They had been best buddies, and then one of them said or did something stupid and that was the end.
I have met his dad a few times now, and he seems like a regular guy who supports his family, goes to church, and all that. Still, I wonder if there is a violent streak or something that could come out again. My boyfriend said he has a temper, but has never again been violent, at least that he has seen.
I just don’t know how I feel about being around someone who nearly killed another person. I do not want to hurt my boyfriend’s feelings, so I haven’t said anything yet to him, but I would prefer not to go around to his dad’s house, at least until I kind of process this whole new side of his dad.
Should I say something to my boyfriend, or just keep avoiding his dad until I figure things out? --- NOT SURE ABOUT HIS DAD
DEAR NOT SURE ABOUT HIS DAD: I understand your needing time to put this newly-learned information in perspective, but if you and your boyfriend are going to make a go of it, I believe you have to be upfront with him and say what you told me — that you need to sort through a few things before you’ll be comfortable around his dad. Bear in mind, this is the same man you’ve apparently already been around and didn’t seem to have a problem with before.
Also, you should probably get used to the idea that from time to time the people you meet in life will have something in their past that they wish hadn’t happened, and that they’ve had to learn to live with and move on from. Cutting them some slack is not a bad way to go.