Staying in a bad, doomed, stressful, un-logical or cold relationship and why...?

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    Mar 29, 2008 5:47 AM GMT
    OK guys this is something that has been bogging and haunting my mind over the last couple weeks. Something that utterly confuses me. Something that my mind can't equate. I'm putting my thoughts out there to hear your thoughts and logic, hopefully I'll understand better.

    PLEASE make nice to me in your responses. Remember this is something that I don't understand. It's within my mind. Doesn't mean that my confusion or opinions are correct in these situations and thoughts.
    Here goes:

    In the last year I have met a variety of men that are in unhappy relationships. They are either always complaining, unhappy or want out completely. One of the guys says that he and his boy haven't made love in over 2 years and have been together about 4 (And I mean nothing, not even a hand job, no romantic intimacy and almost no general intimacy like holding hands, hugs or kissing). *REPEAT. No general intimacy for some of these guys. No compassion or signs of a partnership. Almost like being room mates. *Key word INTIMACY, which can mean more then sex. Another has made up his mind he is no longer happy and wants to end it. He too says that they are rarely intimate. He knows they aren't right for each other. The same story with another. He wont ever make love to his boyfriend anymore. Says hes tried to end it a few times but his boy wont let him end it. Another moved to the U.S. a couple years ago. Has a boyfriend in Brazil. It takes over 9 hours by plane. They barely see each other, and he complains he goes months on end with no sex or intimacy. When asked if he's in a relationship he says "kind of". He's not sure if he wants to keep it.

    OK so now that I have given you the basics of scenarios, I need to let you know that almost all of them I personally had crushes on or still like. 1 is just a friend. The other 3 I really liked.

    I myself was in a doomed relationship. I had a feeling it wouldn't last towards the second year mark. I knew he most likely wasn't "the one".
    When I got to the point where I said..."I'M DONE, it's over" I threw in the towel and ended it. Not just impulsively but after months of arguing and dead ends. That's when I made the decision. But when I did. I did.

    So my confusion lies in the question of "WHY do guys stay in these type of unhappy, dead end relationships?"

    Even after they say "I know hes not the one, and I'm going to end it because I'm so not happy". Or stay in it when they share nothing romantic except a bed at night.

    I'm really eager to hear your thoughts because my opinion is "Shit or get off the pot". Don't waste very precious days, months or years saying you're going to.
    -Ted
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    Mar 29, 2008 7:16 AM GMT
    hey ted,

    i really admire your ability to believe in your carefully thought out choices. it's a mark of emotional maturity that you can spare yourself and your partner the woe of a slow death. i myself have excrutiating problems with saying what i want, for fear of hurting someone's feelings. too often i make my own second, and it's one of the many reasons i've not dated since i left my last bf in oct 2006.

    my last bf was the result of an extended downward spiral - over the course of a decade i had 4 relationships, each lasting 2-2.5 years and spaced with very little time between them. all of them were horrible, each one getting progressively worse. but the last one? sheesh. he's all but cured me of wanting a ltr EVER AGAIN.

    so, why did i stay with them? to be frank: because they were familiar, and the familiar (even when it's damaging) is often easier than the fear associated with the potential for chaos inherent in the unknown (even if the unknown is compatibility and happiness). i learned about relationships from my mother, who has been married eight times. whether i like it or not, i tend to be attracted to men i can't stand, simply because they're familiar.

    i know. that sounds terrible. that's why i've put myself out of bounds. it's not healthy to seek out that which you loathe. when i'm finally able to allow myself to have meaningful attachments with meaningful people i'll reconsider. til then, it's best that i not bother.
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    Mar 29, 2008 7:21 AM GMT
    Wow..EXCELLANT Points!

    Now I can understand that.

    Routine and familiarity tend to stick together. But my question is: Did you say that you were done and knew you were going to end it, then just live day to day with the relationship even though you knew you wanted out?
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    Mar 29, 2008 7:24 AM GMT
    yes, they suffocated me, probably without even realizing how horrible i thought they were (because, as i mentioned, i thought saying nothing would preserve their feelings... such is the shortsightedness of my youth).

    with each one i knew fairly close to the beginning that i wasn't happy. i spent a very large portion of my 20's completley miserable. i'm not making the same mistake in my 30's.
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    Mar 29, 2008 8:01 AM GMT
    dancerjack saidyes, they suffocated me, probably without even realizing how horrible i thought they were (because, as i mentioned, i thought saying nothing would preserve their feelings... such is the shortsightedness of my youth).

    with each one i knew fairly close to the beginning that i wasn't happy. i spent a very large portion of my 20's completley miserable. i'm not making the same mistake in my 30's.


    fear is a powerful thing..fear of the future...fear of being om your own....will cause you to stay is a sitution (relationship) for too long. It took me a few years to realize thst I had to end a 15 year relationship...the last 5 years were not good. I had to make sure I was not running away from the slightest troubles. I had to make sure that I was not being selfish. I had to exhaust all means and possibilities of fixing proiblems. When the other peerosn was not responsive, I had to accept the pain of change and unknown. But you have to do it. You will be happier. Believe me.
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    Mar 29, 2008 8:03 AM GMT
    cthedj saidOK guys this is something that has been bogging and haunting my mind over the last couple weeks. Something that utterly confuses me. Something that my mind can't equate. I'm putting my thoughts out there to hear your thoughts and logic, hopefully I'll understand better.

    PLEASE make nice to me in your responses. Remember this is something that I don't understand. It's within my mind. Doesn't mean that my confusion or opinions are correct in these situations and thoughts.
    Here goes:

    In the last year I have met a variety of men that are in unhappy relationships. They are either always complaining, unhappy or want out completely. One of the guys says that he and his boy haven't made love in over 2 years and have been together about 4 (And I mean nothing, not even a hand job, no romantic intimacy and almost no general intimacy like holding hands, hugs or kissing). Another has made up his mind he is no longer happy and wants to end it. He too says that they are rarely intimate. He knows they aren't right for each other. The same story with another. He wont ever make love to his boyfriend anymore. Says hes tried to end it a few times but his boy wont let him end it. Another moved to the U.S. a couple years ago. Has a boyfriend in Brazil. It takes over 9 hours by plane. They barely see each other, and he complains he goes months on end with no sex or intimacy. When asked if he's in a relationship he says "kind of". He's not sure if he wants to keep it.

    OK so now that I have given you the basics of scenarios, I need to let you know that almost all of them I personally had crushes on or still like. 1 is just a friend. The other 3 I really liked.

    I myself was in a doomed relationship. I had a feeling it wouldn't last towards the second year mark. I knew he most likely wasn't "the one".
    When I got to the point where I said..."I'M DONE, it's over" I threw in the towel and ended it. Not just impulsively but after months of arguing and dead ends. That's when I made the decision. But when I did. I did.

    So my confusion lies in the question of "WHY do guys stay in these type of unhappy, dead end relationships?"

    Even after they say "I know hes not the one, and I'm going to end it because I'm so not happy". Or stay in it when they share nothing romantic except a bed at night.

    I'm really eager to hear your thoughts because my opinion is "Shit or get off the pot". Don't waste very precious days, months or years saying you're going to.

    Follow your instincts. You sound like you are on the right track.
    -Ted
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    Mar 29, 2008 8:26 AM GMT
    " I had to accept the pain of change and unknown. But you have to do it. You will be happier. Believe me."[/quote]

    That's my EXACT feelings. That's my exact suggestions to these guys! RIGHT ON MAN!

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    Mar 29, 2008 11:10 AM GMT
    Ted,

    I agree with dancerjack but you might also want to consider the motives of some of these guys. You mentioned that you liked 3 of them, did they like you as well? Sometimes guys will say stuff like that to seduce other guys. Not always consciously but it does happen.

    In some cases these guys will not leave their BF until they find someone else to be with. So you either have a guy who just wants to sleep around with other guys while staying with his primary source of security or a guy that can't be alone.

    In either case, they are probably not guys you want to get into anything long term with.
  • GQjock

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    Mar 29, 2008 12:18 PM GMT
    It comes down to the Devil you know is better than the Devil you don't know

    but however you rationalize it
    once the relationship no longer is positive for either of you ,,,it's time to cut the cord
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    Mar 29, 2008 1:03 PM GMT
    cthedj:

    Sometimes there are financial reasons. With my first bf, we owned a store and a house together. While that wasn't insurmountable (after all, I finally DID end it), it kept the relationship going long after its sell-by date had passed, because of the legal and financial difficulties of splitting up. It made me think long and hard before dumping him. And it was just as messy as you'd guess.
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    Mar 29, 2008 1:35 PM GMT
    CreyenteI agree with dancerjack but you might also want to consider the motives of some of these guys. You mentioned that you liked 3 of them, did they like you as well? Sometimes guys will say stuff like that to seduce other guys. Not always consciously but it does happen.

    I wondered the same thing, since the symptom of a faltering relationship he cites in every case is the same: loss of sexual intimacy.

    On the other hand, I think it's perfectly natural for people to take considerable time extricating themselves from a relationship. That was certainly the case in my last one, which lasted six years. I remember telling my therapist: "I want to end the relationship, but I'm not ready to do it yet." That's a very difficult space to be in, but it's also very common for many reasons.
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    Mar 29, 2008 2:07 PM GMT

    "You stay away from those relationships you homewrecker!"

    cthedji, I was moved by your concern for all the unhappy gay men in cold, dead relationships until you revealed yourself to be the wolf in sheeps clothing that straight mothers warn their gay sons about. When you said cold, dead end relationships, I expected tales of domestic abuse, infidelity, substance abuse, or emotional neglect. In all your stories it sounds like all the guys love eachother, maybe one loves one more than the other, but in all your stories, one thing is missing, sex. DO you realize that a real relationship is about more than that!? `

    Enter you, who just dumped his boyfriend, (why? you weren't extremely clear) now you've got an itch to scratch and are scoping monogamist? If someone stays with a guy he isn't banging, the logical question to ponder should be, what else are they giving eachother? Perhaps love, companionship, security...???

    Enter you, they aren't having sex so must not be happy. Why are you sticking your nose into their bedroom anyway? Here's a thought, you are single so go bother single guys, leave your partnered friends alone. FYI, sex isn't the only glue that holds a relationship together.
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    Mar 29, 2008 4:11 PM GMT
    "LOVE IS BLIND"
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    Mar 29, 2008 4:23 PM GMT
    love isn't blind, so much as it is willing to turn a blind eye, even when it shouldn't
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    Mar 29, 2008 4:24 PM GMT
    jprichva saidcthedj:

    Sometimes there are financial reasons. With my first bf, we owned a store and a house together. While that wasn't insurmountable (after all, I finally DID end it), it kept the relationship going long after its sell-by date had passed, because of the legal and financial difficulties of splitting up. It made me think long and hard before dumping him. And it was just as messy as you'd guess.



    And that was one reason I was hesitant at first with my ex. But I knew that I could make things work out financially and there was no reason to stay unhappy. Or to stay with a guy I know I didnt want to be with anymore. Good point.
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    Mar 29, 2008 4:29 PM GMT


    [quote][cite]GuiltyGear said[/cite]
    "You stay away from those relationships you homewrecker!"

    >>In all your stories it sounds like all the guys love eachother, maybe one loves one more than the other, but in all your stories, one thing is missing, sex. DO you realize that a real relationship is about more than that!? >>>`

    First off you didnt read very carefully. I didnt really just use the word "Sex". I said Intimacy. Romance. These guys are not cuddling, holding hands, making love or kissing. Nothing. You really jumped the gun. Nor this is about me getting laid. I happened to really like the guys. Im not a home wrecker, have not and will not be the other guy. These guys have all become friends to me. The one couple are very good friends, and all our friends in our circle always suggest they should end it becuase they are not happy at all and compain all the time. Another note that I added was to make nice comments back as it was my confusion and my thought blog.
    Theres no need for prejudging someone you dont know.
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    Mar 29, 2008 4:54 PM GMT
    GuiltyGear: "... Why are you sticking your nose into their bedroom anyway?..."

    I think that is way too harsh! That's not the way I interpreted cthedj's post. First, there are many guys in odd partnerships/boyfriendships who reach out to their friends in ways that suggest that they like their friends more than their boyfriends. Gay relationships are much more complex than the traditional societal view of "once you're partnered, you've got the picket fence" so nothing else is allowed.

    There was a play making its way through the Bay Area several years ago. It was actually three or four vignettes...that were very thought-provoking. In each vignette was featured a partnered relationship in which one or both of the partners was not satisfied, yet stayed in the relationship, and to compensate for what was lacking, whether sex, or intimacy or whatever, there was a reach out to a third or more persons to compensate.

    Of course, the idea was to stimulate a kind of caustic comment on "cheating" behavior at the top level, until you realized in most of the vignettes there was no cheating going on, at least in terms of sex, but compensation which enfolded a third person into a close relationship.

    It was meant to be confusing, in the same way cthedj's friends behavior confuses him. Why stay in such a partnership? Why stay and then reach out and involve a third person who is liable to become emotionally attached? There are lots of "whys", with few obvious answers. People do because there is something still there for them, and what's not there they try to get from other people.
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    Mar 29, 2008 6:29 PM GMT
    I have known straight couples that do this as well as gay, there reason though is the kids. I think a destructive relationship can damage a person's self-esteem so much they start questioning whether they can meet someone else and make it work. They fear being alone so much they would rather stick it out.

    I personally don't mind being alone and would rather end a relationship then drag it on if it is not real. My first relationship, which lasted six months, was good for about 3-4 months, then I started getting too much power and started abusing it. He had a case of "doormatitis" which made me lose my respect for him.

    I could have stuck with him because he loved me, but I realized I was turning into somebody I did not like so I ended it, with him in tears. I felt terrible, until years later I heard he had been telling people he had ended because I was "weird". No good deed goes unpunished.
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    Jun 10, 2009 1:44 PM GMT
    I suppose it all comes down to the individual, the partner, their dynamic, and a personal need fullfilled. Relationships are a tricky thing, either you have one or you don't. My point is: did you get into one over love, desire, want,or lust. These are very complicated questions that only you can answer.

    Yes I've been in many relationships, some good, some bad. Yet always learning one from the next. Not to dwell upon miss deeds or bad decisions, just to learn evey step of the way, and not to beat myself up about it.

    My last relationship was a daunting one, however I learnd more from a 12 yr relaionship than from meanial small ones. He taught me that everyone should be teated like gold.Including our enemies.

    Just food for though

    Jake
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    Jun 10, 2009 2:12 PM GMT
    dancerjack saidWhy did i stay with them? to be frank: because they were familiar, and the familiar (even when it's damaging) is often easier than the fear associated with the potential for chaos inherent in the unknown (even if the unknown is compatibility and happiness). i learned about relationships from my mother, who has been married eight times. whether i like it or not, i tend to be attracted to men i can't stand, simply because they're familiar.


    I love how this topic is a year old and it still feels new...

    But I think this was the most dead-on assessment...The first guy I kinda fell for is in one of these relationships and he was the one that seduced me, came-on strong and got me open...then I found out about the boyfriend and how "unhappy" he was in the relationship.

    But even with having another option to fall back on (me) he was still hesitant to leave his security system. They had been together for almost 3 years and it was familiar to him. Even after fights, arguments (I witnessed a couple 'text message' and Phone arguments), failed counseling, abuse and lack of sex....he was still stuck mentally and financially...He even ended up moving back in with the guy...He unhappily loved him...Just like his mother unhappily loved and stayed with his troubled father...But there were children involved in their case, there was more of a reason to "suffer and try to make it work."

    I even told him one day that "I can't compete with history and that's what you guys have."

    Oh well, I still think about the guy...he didn't break it off with me, I had to finally tell him "DO NOT CONTACT ME until you're out of your relationship" since he was basically using me to replace what was missing with his boyfriend...

    I had decided there were too many other SINGLE guys out there to stress myself over an unavailable one that would choose to do that to himself...I've had friends die at a young age so I realize that life is too short and every day is precious...


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    Aug 31, 2009 4:35 AM GMT
    ok. so this is the first topic I am responding to. (deep breath here...)

    Sometimes things happen that we are not in control of. Family issues, serious illness, crushing depression. Things that take hold of our own or our partner's situations that are unforeseeable and take time to adjust to.

    One can be very much in love with the person and the relationship they had BEFORE these issues wrapped them in a sticky mess that they haven't figured out how to navigate properly. Things one would never wish on any friend, least of all loving partner... like having to become the primary caretaker for their Alzheimer's laden father shortly after their dad was diagnosed and their mother suddenly and unexpectedly passed away.

    I watched as my partner grew more and more isolated, confused, and depressed with each new issue that arose in the care of his father. The financial burden/decisions, where to best have his dad live/cared for, etc. Coping with the sudden loss of his mom. Situations I would never want to face myself - but I, unfortunately, am now all too aware of.

    It is VERY hard to leave someone when you know how much they are suffering from things that were not their fault. From things that could happen to anyone. I am still very attracted to him, and I will always love him, but it became clear over several years that he could not find the energy or will to properly sustain our needs as a couple. Whatever issues we were having before all this occurred had been left to deepen and be 'shelved'.

    I have no blame - but it took nearly four years to realize that this may take him more time than I was willing to wait on for us to grow and move on together as a couple. I grow more comfortable with this decision daily, as I let go of and forgive the situation... but this has been far from easy. Could he have done things differently? Could I? Would it have helped us? I cannot know. Hindsight is lovely but speculative at best in such instances.

    Anyway - that's just my .02 cents. I wish you all well in your relations.
  • Webster666

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    Aug 31, 2009 5:14 AM GMT
    I went through that scenario with several boy friends until I got a job where I could afford to live alone. I've never lived with anyone since.

    For me, sex with the same person gets very boring very fast. And, if I can't stand the person anymore, I'm certainly not feeling affectionate towards them.

    I used to think that you could have a loving, affectionate relationship without sex, but I don't believe it, anymore.

  • Webster666

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    Aug 31, 2009 5:21 AM GMT
    I wonder if our parents' examples rub off on us. Probably. There weren't any loving, affectionate relationships between my parents, or both sets of my grandparents. Maybe that's why it's difficult for me...
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    Aug 31, 2009 5:34 AM GMT
    creyente saidTed,

    In some cases these guys will not leave their BF until they find someone else to be with. So you either have a guy who just wants to sleep around with other guys while staying with his primary source of security or a guy that can't be alone.

    In either case, they are probably not guys you want to get into anything long term with.


    That describes my ex of 8 years perfectly! He wanted to have his cake and eat it too.

    I unfortunately put up with it for far too long. I can't really explain why except to say that I held on to the belief that he would change.

    Each time I caught him in an affair or cheating he would VERY dramatically apologize, beg me to stay, and promise it would never happen again (we're talking suicidal dramatics and the whole nine-yards).

    Of course, that turned out to all be bull.

    Sometimes we can care about someone very much even if they aren't good for us. It's just an unfortunate matter of life.

    The world is imperfect and relationships are probably it's greatest mystery.

    It's easy to see looking in that couples are doomed, but it's very difficult to give up yourself on your partner for some people... even if they are unfaithful or uninvolved.
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    Aug 31, 2009 5:50 AM GMT
    In my experience, this is common in the gay world. Perhaps it's the dirty little secret none of us want to admit to or accept, but it's very real. Virtually every long-term gay relationship I know is sexless. Or the only way they have sex is with a third person or group. I'm not sure if there's even an answer to your question, but I can totally relate to what you are experiencing. I've witnessed it myself countless times.