When your friends break up, and you didn't see it coming

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    Sep 03, 2013 1:43 PM GMT
    Found out unexpectedly over a Labor visit that a gay couple we know has broken up. We didn't have a clue they were having problems, after being partners for years and owning homes together, an apparently stable couple you never saw having disagreements, always happy & pleasant.

    And we had just spent the holidays with them in New Hampshire, guests of another couple who told us this news yesterday (Mon), all 6 of us having stayed in the same house. In fact, this is the couple that took my RJ main pic in Vermont, kissing my partner! And I took theirs kissing in the same spot, too. I have vids of them opening their presents from us on Christmas morning, alongside my husband, and of us opening theirs.

    We've all had dinner at each other's homes, all gone out countless times, part of our gay "inner circle" of friends. A circle of about a dozen couples where no one has ever broken up before, several legally married, some together upwards of 30 years, and these guys around 10. This is how close we've been, and yet we didn't suspect a thing was wrong.

    So I'm kinda depressed about it today. Only one of them came into town over the weekend, to check on their Florida home here, and he flew back to Georgia this morning. I'm not sure how soon we'll get to know the details, as the situation yesterday when we learned of it required quiet discretion.

    And we like them both, hope we remain in touch, and aren't made to choose sides. Have you experienced friends breaking up? Did you remain friendly with both, or have to choose one? Or maybe one was a cheater or otherwise the bad guy, making it easy to remain loyal to the other.

    I can't believe they simply lost interest in living together, it must have been some specific incident, but it may be days before I learn what it was. Strangely enough, in 18 years being out this is a new experience for me, among my immediate friends in LTRs. Perhaps it's more common than I realize, and I've simply been spared until now. icon_sad.gif
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Sep 03, 2013 4:00 PM GMT
    I've certainly experienced this in my circle of straight friends. You never know what's going on inside a marriage. I think everyone on this planet is weird, in some way or another. The only ones who aren't weird are the ones you don't know. If you knew them well, well they'd be as weird as you or me. Same with couples. My partner is weird. I just happen to like his weird-ness. I hope he likes mine. Maybe falling out of love is no longer loving that about your partner. Sadly, when couples do break up, you usually do end up having to choose. And sometimes it is the cheater that you actually like the best. Again, who knows what happened to drive him to cheat? You really can't judge because you will never really know what happened. I try to stay neutral when this happens and let them both know I care and am sorry. Then who remains in your life and who doesn't just seems to work itself out. Good luck! It actually can feel a bit like a death when this happens.
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    Sep 03, 2013 4:44 PM GMT
    One clue I've gotten lately is when married friends sign up for certain dating sites that spam everyone in their mail directory, "Join your friend AAA at XXX.com!" icon_rolleyes.gificon_redface.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_redface.gif
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    Sep 03, 2013 4:56 PM GMT
    Destinharbor saidThen who remains in your life and who doesn't just seems to work itself out. Good luck! It actually can feel a bit like a death when this happens.

    Yes, it does feel like a death. The death of a couple we knew, how we knew them as being together. I realize it's selfish on my part, but when couples break up, do they ever consider how this will affect their friends?

    Like the argument when couples with young children split - should there be a consideration about the kids? I dunno, sometimes we entangle our lives with others, and when that happens, do we still have total latitude to do as WE want, and not as others may want? Are we bound by outside obligations, that may weigh against our own wishes?

    An interesting conundrum.
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    Sep 03, 2013 6:00 PM GMT
    The trick is y dnt choose sides, stay neutral, through out. Even if the other was a cheater, u will neva know what was the reason behind it. Right now u need to step back and let them come to you if they need help. Until then there is nothing u can do. hope they forgive each other.
    Side note: i always though that u got your profile pic from an internet, im glad to find out that is actually a real couple. Give me hope for the future
  • MikemikeMike

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    Sep 03, 2013 6:01 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    Destinharbor saidThen who remains in your life and who doesn't just seems to work itself out. Good luck! It actually can feel a bit like a death when this happens.

    Yes, it does feel like a death. The death of a couple we knew, how we knew them as being together. I realize it's selfish on my part, but when couples break up, do they ever consider how this will affect their friends?

    Like the argument when couples with young children split - should there be a consideration about the kids? I dunno, sometimes we entangle our lives with others, and when that happens, do we still have total latitude to do as WE want, and not as others may want? Are we bound by outside obligations, that may weigh against our own wishes?

    An interesting conundrum.


    How it will affect their friends?? That is being selfish. Just be there for them both individually and don't be the spy for either. Zero drama is always the best choice.
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    Sep 03, 2013 7:31 PM GMT
    MikemikeMike said
    How it will affect their friends?? That is being selfish. Just be there for them both individually and don't be the spy for either. Zero drama is always the best choice.

    We would never be a spy. In fact, I'm on the iPad at a bar, and my husband just went to a place a few doors down for a late take-out snack. I'm alone right now.

    And with him is a single friend of ours who was here last night. Who made a very strong connection with our friend we're talking about here. He claims they didn't have sex after we left last night, but are really into each other, stayed out until 3 AM.

    OK, we told him we are cool with that, if those guys really have broken up. But talk about divided loyalties! This is more complicated than I revealed in my OP. I hate gay drama, but sometimes it seeks you out. icon_sad.gif
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    Sep 03, 2013 7:35 PM GMT
    An oddly beautiful break up song......it really gets the angst, and NOT the hatred. Coincidentally it was when James Taylor and Carly Simon were breaking up.


    [url][/url]
  • Destinharbor

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    Sep 03, 2013 8:42 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    MikemikeMike said
    How it will affect their friends?? That is being selfish. Just be there for them both individually and don't be the spy for either. Zero drama is always the best choice.

    We would never be a spy. In fact, I'm on the iPad at a bar, and my husband just went to a place a few doors down for a late take-out snack. I'm alone right now.

    And with him is a single friend of ours who was here last night. Who made a very strong connection with our friend we're talking about here. He claims they didn't have sex after we left last night, but are really into each other, stayed out until 3 AM.

    OK, we told him we are cool with that, if those guys really have broken up. But talk about divided loyalties! This is more complicated than I revealed in my OP. I hate gay drama, but sometimes it seeks you out. icon_sad.gif

    I'd bet a nickel they have been having an affair for a while. I used to not think that way, but it seems every time I hear something like that, it turns out there is much more to it than they want you to think. Maybe not. I mean it is possible your recently separated friend just needed a friendly ear, so they talked until 3, but my cynical self, the one who has been disappointed too many times, is now suspicious. Still, best to think the best of others and be disappointed than live life expecting the worst.
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    Sep 04, 2013 2:35 AM GMT
    When we got together our circle of friends and acquaintances had few couples.Over the past 3 years many have coupled up.Many of these are middle age men with guys 18 years younger.I don't see a future for most of these but who knows.It would be very sad to see long time friends break up.From my end...Ruben and I are together 3 years this month.I can't imagine breaking up after 10 years.I would be devastated and it would seem like such a waste.Your friends are lucky to have such compassionate friends.Ryan and Ruben.
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    Sep 04, 2013 2:42 AM GMT
    The best thing about it is you get to go drinking with one or the other and watch them go throught the grieving process in a matter of hours! Hey! What are friends for if not a cheap therapist and shoulder to cry on?
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    Sep 04, 2013 2:42 AM GMT
    I recall when my ex (wife) and I were deciding our fate after I came out we joked (needed laughter) that we should open the windows and scream at each other because no one would believe we were divorcing. We didn't open the windows or shout and no one could believe it. No one saw it coming. Sometimes there are deep secrets and even after over 20 years, they come out.
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    Sep 04, 2013 2:58 PM GMT
    Destinharbor said
    I'd bet a nickel they have been having an affair for a while. I used to not think that way, but it seems every time I hear something like that, it turns out there is much more to it than they want you to think. Maybe not. I mean it is possible your recently separated friend just needed a friendly ear, so they talked until 3, but my cynical self, the one who has been disappointed too many times, is now suspicious. Still, best to think the best of others and be disappointed than live life expecting the worst.

    I understand your cynicism, because those things do happen. But here's why I think not in this case -

    Our Georgia friend and his ex-partner were only here part of the year, their other home near Atlanta. While our single friend was mostly living in NYC, also with a second home here in Wilton Manors, FL. He only sold his NYC home to be a Florida full-timer 2 months ago.

    So I don't believe the two of them ever met before, not here at the same time. And in fact I introduced them myself on Monday, and if they were shamming then they're both very good actors.

    The question remains in my mind whether this former couple had been cheating. I heard from another source last night that they had been drifting apart for some time, but clueless me never suspected it. As I said, we spent this Christmas & New Years with them in New Hampshire, they certainly gave no indication that relations were strained. But I'm still trying to learn more.
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    Sep 04, 2013 3:23 PM GMT
    My bf and I have been together over 11 years...the last year really rough and we've decided to part ways. Its all been very amicable and we've made a list of who gets what, how it will work etc.

    The funny thing is, I've started telling close friends and they're always shocked and had no idea. I'm not sure why people would assume you can always tell if a couple is having problems - unless they normally dry hump each other in public and suddenly become less affectionate lol.
  • Destinharbor

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    Sep 04, 2013 3:53 PM GMT
    uoft23 saidMy bf and I have been together over 11 years...the last year really rough and we've decided to part ways. Its all been very amicable and we've made a list of who gets what, how it will work etc.

    The funny thing is, I've started telling close friends and they're always shocked and had no idea. I'm not sure why people would assume you can always tell if a couple is having problems - unless they normally dry hump each other in public and suddenly become less affectionate lol.

    Well I guess if you think you know a couple very well, and especially if you spend a lot of time with them, you just naturally think you'd sense some tension, or lack of affection. Not always true, though, I guess, because some couples aren't normally demonstrative and if the breakup is reasonably amicable, you might not, as in your case. On the other hand, sometimes the breakup happens quickly over an event. And BANG, it's over. When my partner and I were first together, I warned him about speculating if we were through every time we had a fight. I specifically asked him to never ask me that question. Some day I might say "Yes" in anger and regret it later. I offered that he could break up with me any time he wanted but never, ever, do it with the expectation that I'd run after him and we'd fall in some dreamy makeup scene. I might just be mad. For the moment. Never risk the greater good over momentary anger.
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    Sep 04, 2013 4:02 PM GMT
    Destinharbor said
    uoft23 saidMy bf and I have been together over 11 years...the last year really rough and we've decided to part ways. Its all been very amicable and we've made a list of who gets what, how it will work etc.

    The funny thing is, I've started telling close friends and they're always shocked and had no idea. I'm not sure why people would assume you can always tell if a couple is having problems - unless they normally dry hump each other in public and suddenly become less affectionate lol.

    Well I guess if you think you know a couple very well, and especially if you spend a lot of time with them, you just naturally think you'd sense some tension, or lack of affection. Not always true, though, I guess, because some couples aren't normally demonstrative and if the breakup is reasonably amicable, you might not, as in your case. On the other hand, sometimes the breakup happens quickly over an event. And BANG, it's over. When my partner and I were first together, I warned him about speculating if we were through every time we had a fight. I specifically asked him to never ask me that question. Some day I might say "Yes" in anger and regret it later. I offered that he could break up with me any time he wanted but never, ever, do it with the expectation that I'd run after him and we'd fall in some dreamy makeup scene. I might just be mad. For the moment. Never risk the greater good over momentary anger.


    See, I think thats why I would assume *most* long term relationship break ups are somewhat unseen by friends and family. Every couple has fights but they don't always result in breakups.

    I think after a few years together you learn to accept that reality and the actual break up comes not from a fight, but months or years of exhaustion of trying to fix a particular problem. That isn't as apparent because its a slow process.

    Of course there are the couples that just are explosive and leave it all out for everyone to watch. Great entertainment but terrible at parties.
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    Sep 04, 2013 7:20 PM GMT
    ART_DECO saidIn fact, I'm on the iPad at a bar,


    At a bar at 3pm? Drowning one's sorrows in alcohol is definitely not the answer.
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    Sep 04, 2013 7:33 PM GMT
    Aristoshark saidIn my experience, there's no such thing as remaining close to both. Either you pick a side


    I might have to fight you on that one..
    I've done it more than once and successfully..

    Couples can be vindictive in a separation at times..

    My lines..

    "I'm too old to be dragged around"..
    "You wanna drag me around?".."Buy me a car!"..

    You are no longer together..it's not about "you two!"

    (my moment to shine)



  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Sep 06, 2013 5:08 AM GMT
    Destinharbor said
    ART_DECO said
    MikemikeMike said
    How it will affect their friends?? That is being selfish. Just be there for them both individually and don't be the spy for either. Zero drama is always the best choice.

    We would never be a spy. In fact, I'm on the iPad at a bar, and my husband just went to a place a few doors down for a late take-out snack. I'm alone right now.

    And with him is a single friend of ours who was here last night. Who made a very strong connection with our friend we're talking about here. He claims they didn't have sex after we left last night, but are really into each other, stayed out until 3 AM.

    OK, we told him we are cool with that, if those guys really have broken up. But talk about divided loyalties! This is more complicated than I revealed in my OP. I hate gay drama, but sometimes it seeks you out. icon_sad.gif

    I'd bet a nickel they have been having an affair for a while. I used to not think that way, but it seems every time I hear something like that, it turns out there is much more to it than they want you to think. Maybe not. I mean it is possible your recently separated friend just needed a friendly ear, so they talked until 3, but my cynical self, the one who has been disappointed too many times, is now suspicious. Still, best to think the best of others and be disappointed than live life expecting the worst.



    reason #26 to always wear a condom. Your monogamous b/f or husband might cheat and no sex is worth an std or HIV.
    3 am? they had sex!

    Avoid drama like the plague!!!!!!!!!icon_idea.gificon_idea.gificon_idea.gif
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    Sep 06, 2013 5:17 AM GMT
    Not to downplay your emotions - but Ive dealt with it and been around breakups and divorces for years. I know 3 close couples who divorced after less than 10 years of marriage

    I cant believe that in such a long time you didn't deal with this before. I think youve been blessed to not have to deal with it sooner. My circle of friends has changed several times due to these break ups. Its hard but you eventually will get over it.
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    Sep 06, 2013 5:32 AM GMT
    sweatwrestle saidNot to downplay your emotions - but Ive dealt with it and been around breakups and divorces for years. I know 3 close couples who divorced after less than 10 years of marriage

    I cant believe that in such a long time you didn't deal with this before. I think youve been blessed to not have to deal with it sooner. My circle of friends has changed several times due to these break ups. Its hard but you eventually will get over it.

    Honestly - this is kinda my response. I hope you and your friends feel better sooner than later, but I've gone through LOTS of these. It's an unfortunate part of life. But life does go on. We adapt. If you love them both you will all be friends. Don't worry about what hasn't yet happened.