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Question
Posted by: joli | 2004/02/20

Should i carry on my long term gay relationship?

I have been with my parther for well over 10 years, and we have after many business failiures, a business that seems to be growing, and much more stable than before.

The past has taken its toll on me (and him), and i feel still very insecure about the financial future. Since my partner has the stronger personality, i have always taken the backseat in final decisions, and was frustrated as i did agree with them. I have a lot more say now.

I was very young when i moved out of a secure environment to join him, and our relationship has grown to a very strong friendship, which includes our families, who are very supportive of us. All in all we live a very normal life, we do not get involved in the traditional gay activities, and have therefore also after all this time very little friends.

Due to an illness, he has been very difficult to get along with, especially after our last business failure, and has lost his enthusiasm, and charm. He is on medication, and on top of it drinks too much. (his family think so too). I have been very lenient, and let him be when he felt down, bring him coffee, make sure he is ok, look after him etc. But i have noticed that i am not getting any of this in return. I have been critizised for the most ridiculous things in the past, we fight a lot about trivial things, and our staff obviously notices our tiffs, and it always leaves us mentally exhausted.

At the beginning of this year some events just made me see that i am losing out. i am still relatively young, mid thirties, and feel like i have lost out on so many things i would have liked to have done, but did not because of the relationship.

To make things worse, i met someone by concident, we got talking, and i realised what i was missing out on! This is going around my mind all the time. He gave me attention, and he was touchy feely with me, and concerned, and shared his thoughts with me etc. We did not get to the next base, as he decided that he could not get involved with an involved man. But I know that he liked me. A wise choice on his behalf, but it has left me very disappointed, and wondering about my current relationship.

I have told my partner that although our business relationship, albeit storny at times, is strong, and our friendship no doubt is strong, i am finding it difficult to continue our personal reltaionship. He nauturally was "devestated" to use his words, and now suddenly i am getting gifts, and i am allowed to go do things by myself, and he is taking care of some of his own things now.

But i doubt this will last, and besides another very important factor is that intimacy that is missing, both mentally and physically.

My problem is, how do i shift this, so i dont hurt him, and since the business supports us, and my mom, i dont want to disolve the business. I could work with him, no problem, as mentioned, our friendship is very strong. There is some kind of family loyalty that comes to mind.

I am just so unhappy at the moment, and i cannot concentrate on my work, and i know that he is unhappy about the situation, and i wish i could just resolve it and get on with life.





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Our expert says:
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Dear joli,
If we set aside the fact that you're talking about a gay relationship, all of what you describe could apply to any married or long-term relatonship, gay or straight. And what one would recommend, in either case, would be mariage / relationship counselling. Problems often arise where there are both personal, intimate and business relatonships intertwined ; and the involvement of a FAMSA type counsellor who can be neutral but help you each to explore and understand each other's concerns, and to discover whether you can find satisfactory solutions for these. Preoccupied with dealing with the series of business problems, you may have both let the relationship side of things slide without putting specific effort into it. As one ages, one may also start to look up and look around from a relatonship you started when younger and with less long-term thinking involved, and start to feel you may have been missing something, whether or not you have actually missed anything. Think about counselling. Some gay organizations, I gather, are able to advise on gay-friendly therapists and counsellors, meaning folks who can be helpful neutrally, without having their own prejudices and hobby-horses dominating the proceedings.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: de Bruyn | 2004/02/20

I feel for you in this dilemma of yours. On one hand, your lover has been with you for a decade, but can you take the chance that his new attentions will last? And this new guy, will he wait?

Difficult, but maybe an existing relationship is worth hanging on to. You don't know, yet, how reliable this new guy is. Gays are not usually reliable, I know, I'm one and haven't had a relationship in years. I'm now too old and I'd hate for you to get into the same position. It's very lonely with nobody to share with.

Keep us informed

Reply to de Bruyn

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