Feb 2010: 5 Year Relationship and I am Still His Secret

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2010 1:35 AM GMT
    I am a guy in my early 30s and have been in a relationship with the same guy (in his early 40s) for nearly 5 years. We met one night at a social event years ago and have been together ever since. Our relationship has been a tremendous rollercoaster of highs and lows, but through it all we have never broken up or seriously considered separating. We share a very good rapport, enjoy each other’s company, and have a deep love for each other. He is 10 years my senior and I feel very much loved by him on an emotional level. He has a very good understanding of my personality and emotional make-up - unlike any other guy I have met before – and I feel completely at ease to be “me” when with him.

    THE DOWN SIDE…

    There are, however, some major problems in our relationship which we have been unable to fix and which continue to depress me and make me wonder why I am staying in this relationship. I could write an entire book about these problems but for the sake of keeping things brief I will highlight them in a few paragraphs:

    1. In the closet: My partner is still in the closet and 5 years into our relationship I have not met a single one of his relatives or close friends. He maintains a double life whereby none of these people know I even exist. Multiple times throughout the year we will argue about his closeted status with him vowing to work on coming out, but the outcome is always the same – he does nothing about it, and I remain a 5 year secret. There have been occasions when he has literally walked away from me in public because he saw someone he knew, just to avoid any kind of questioning about who I was. Whenever he goes to family events, I stay at home as though I don’t exist.

    2. Infidelity: My partner has cheated on me multiple times throughout our 5 year relationship. In the early days I would try and rationalize that all the signs of his cheating were simply me being over-anxious and reading into things. But over time the evidence of his infidelity became so powerful that it was impossible to ignore. At key points in our relationship I have confronted him about his infidelity and he has reluctantly confessed to being unfaithful multiple times. But 5 years on, he hasn’t changed his pattern and only one month back I had to confront him again about his indiscretions. Bear in mind throughout this entire period I have been 100% faithtful. We never entered into this relationship with an agreement that we could have sex outside the relationship.

    3. Our sex life is dead: My partner and I no longer have an active sex life together and it has been more than 2 years since we had meaningful sexual contact. We no longer engage in any kind of sexual touching or activity whatsoever. His stated reason for this is that he fears he is HIV+ and does not want to infect me. About a year into our relationship he told me that one of his ex-partners had tested HIV+. As such, my partner honestly thinks he has HIV based on the kind of activities he had engaged in with his ex-partner. To date, however, he has refused to get a HIV test always promising to get one but never following through. As such, we have no sex life together but as noted in point two above he has continued to maintain an active sex life with other people. The complete absence of sex in my life has led me to feel very depressed and “dead”. I am physically attractive and have never had a problem attracting guys on that level.

    THE PLUS SIDE

    So reading all of this you would very reasonably ask, why am I still with this guy?

    1. Companionship: We have spent so much time together over the last 5 years, traveled to so many countries, and been through so many different experiences, that I cannot imagine not being able to share my life with him. He has been my best friend and my primary emotional support year after year. We share many interests in common and can spend days on end doing absolutely nothing whilst still enjoying each other’s company. It’s hard to say goodbye to that.

    2. Physical affection: Despite the complete absence of sex in our relationship we remain extremely affectionate towards each other and this aspect has been one of the most powerful and enduring features of our relationship. I have never shared with anyone else the kind of emotional/physical connection I do with him. As our sex life died, our mutual affection for each other increased. This is an affection not based on physical attraction but on love.

    3. Attachment: Simply through time and sharing so much together, we have obviously developed a very strong mutual emotional attachment. Although we can spend time apart physically due to different schedules, we have not gone a day without speaking since the first few months of our relationship. He has become the daily constant in my life and mine in his. I don’t know what life would be like again without him being a central part of it.

    CONCLUSION

    In this post I have tried to balance out some of the negatives (big ones) with some of the positives in our relationship. At the end of the day, however, I remain extremely torn about this relationship. On the one hand I love him and cannot bare the idea of us breaking up. On the other hand, however, I am so overwhelmed by the effects of the problems in our relationship that I simply cannot ignore how these are negatively impacting my life and my future.

    Should I persist with this relationship hoping for change and continue to invest in our future? Or should I end it and move on, thereby making myself available for a more equitable, less emotionally damaging relationship with someone else in the future?
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Feb 02, 2010 2:18 AM GMT
    End it.
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    Feb 02, 2010 4:50 AM GMT
    Those goods were alright.

    But the bads were 9 times more powerful than the good, and I would almost say that even you know that. I would say end that relationship, and I almost never say that to anyone on this site.
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    Feb 02, 2010 4:59 AM GMT
    OM-G...

    so basically you guys are BEST FRIENDS. How sad...

    No sex, in the closet, yet is finding sex with other guys? What relationship is this? A "Best friend" one.

    Please just walk away, Will be extremely hard, but well worth it at the end. Are you planning on never having sex again?
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    Feb 02, 2010 5:05 AM GMT
    PusiKuracBre saidOM-G...

    so basically you guys are BEST FRIENDS. How sad...

    No sex, in the closet, yet is finding sex with other guys? What relationship is this? A "Best friend" one.

    Please just walk away, Will be extremely hard, but well worth it at the end. Are you planning on never having sex again?


    You are right.

    We have become like best friends who speak/relate to each other like boyfriends. But with no sex between us?!

    Of course I want a life/relationship that includes sex, and that is one of the reasons I have become so depressed about our relationship because I cannot see sex returning to it anytime soon.

    One of the reasons I posted my story is because I wanted to hear what other people who have no connection with my life think about this relationship. When you are deeply involved in something, the abnormal becomes normal over time and a sense of perspective/objectivity becomes very difficult to have.

    I also feel the burden of knowing it will be ME who ultimately takes responsibility and makes a decision about the future of this relationship because I know my partner never well. For him the status quo is tolerable (albeit it rather painful for him also). In the end though I will be the one who has to face the grief of making the tough decision because he won't do it.

    I sense on some level that ending this relationship would ultimately be in my best interests, but to date I haven't had the courage/strength to do it - the grief on the horizon has stopped me from going "there". The 5 year point, however, has led me to seriously ask: WHAT AM I DOING???
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    Feb 02, 2010 5:08 AM GMT
    My 2 cents is that the guy sounds like a jerk who has it too easy and has no incentive to change. It would really suck to walk around for 5 years as someone's dirty little secret, as he went and slept around with everything that walked. You do deserve better, don't sell yourself short, and don't give this tool any more of your emotional energy.
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    Feb 02, 2010 5:14 AM GMT
    Soulasphyxi said

    But the bads were 9 times more powerful than the good, and I would almost say that even you know that.


    Just one of those bads is very bad.

    Three is horrendous.
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    Feb 02, 2010 7:41 AM GMT
    WTF are you stupid?????? End the damned thing, gawd, how difficult is it to realise the answer to that??

    Lets not mess around here with damned frilly words and and sweet icing, your in a gawd damned relationship of his choosing and he wont leave until he finds someone better AND HE WILL.

    In this case, damn it, think better of your self, you deserve better treatment then that, but all your saying is "treat me like shit, I deserve nothing less"
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    Feb 02, 2010 12:26 PM GMT
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    Feb 02, 2010 12:45 PM GMT
    I think you should read over what you wrote and look at it from a neutral perspective. What would you tell someone in this situation to do.

    I think you've completely lost confidence in yourself through this relationship. You've also lost control over your life. It's completely in his hands. He is dictating every meaningful detail in your life and has no respect for you or your well being. The feelings of nurture you feel you are getting from him stem from him keeping control. Of having you where he wants you. He gives you what you crave the most so he can do what he wants. Those are not feelings of love.

    He will never change.

    You however can!

    You can feel good about yourself again with someone that will want to show you off to family and friends as someone that he loves and charishes and respects. Someone that will learn to understand you and nurture you. Someone that you can nurture as well.

    Gain back control over your life.

    Good luck.
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    Feb 02, 2010 12:53 PM GMT
    Timberoo saidEnd it.
    Wow...I couldnt agree more. Listen...Yes the positives are fantastic. The companionship, the understanding of each others personalities. All that you mentioned! BUT I MYSELF...HAVE ALL of these things you mentioned with a small handful of my bestest friends. This is what you have in your partner. It makes no sense to remain with a man as your partner whom you dont share intimacy with and will put you to the side in public situations. That broke my heart when I read that. You are not a door mat my friend. And as a person in his mid 40s he needs to start living his life in the realization that it is his life, not other people around him. If they cant accept him as a gay man (as a friend) then they weren't really his friend. There are also other ways to be conservative without treating you as a door mat. Time to move on, but without alienating him from your life. This is all of course just my opinion. I hope it all works out for you bud. Hugs
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2010 12:53 PM GMT
    End it.
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    Feb 02, 2010 1:02 PM GMT
    I read the three negatives and thought there was no way of coming back after them. I was right.

    End it. Find a real man.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 02, 2010 1:08 PM GMT
    Let's get something straight! He hasn't had sex with you for 2+ years because he fears infecting you with HIV, but he goes out cheating on you??


    He's not that in to you! Dude, you need to break it off and work on your self esteem.
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    Feb 02, 2010 1:18 PM GMT
    man I have to be honest and say reading your post, I thought it was me writing about my ex that I just broke up with. Except he would never admit to his infidelity even though I would catch him on the sex sites and etc on his computer!!

    Let me tell you....this will not be easy. Your love for him will remain in your heart for a long time, maybe forever...but as many people on this site have told me and other friends....YOU DESERVE BETTER.!!!!!

    There are great guys out there that are willing to give you all the positives that you have listed without all these negatives. I know what its like to go without the sexual intimacy also. It makes you feel so worthless, ugly and like no one will ever want you again.

    Man you gotta stand up for yourself and no matter what he says! No matter what strings he pulls LEAVE HIS HAIRY ASS.

    YOU CANNOT CHANGE PEOPLE....Do you understand that? HE WILL NOT CHANGE!

    Its been 5 years!! Are you going to be reposting this same post in another 5 years? I hope not....thats what changed my mind about holding on.

    I gave him 5 years, 5 years to cheat on me, say he loved me and said he would get better. If you and your relationship are not more of a priority for him to change within that amount of time....HES NOT GOING TO.


    Trust me it hurts like hell....but you deserve better and you will find it eventually. Leave him, find yourself again, love yourself again and one day you will look back on this and say Thank God I didnt waste any more time with his pathetic selfish mother fucking cheating lying ass.....

    Trust me.

  • gsh1964

    Posts: 388

    Feb 02, 2010 1:18 PM GMT
    lilTanker saidWTF are you stupid?????? End the damned thing, gawd, how difficult is it to realise the answer to that??

    Lets not mess around here with damned frilly words and and sweet icing, your in a gawd damned relationship of his choosing and he wont leave until he finds someone better AND HE WILL.

    In this case, damn it, think better of your self, you deserve better treatment then that, but all your saying is "treat me like shit, I deserve nothing less"


    I agree with lilTanker, it's not that hard to figure out.

    One thing always puzzles me about guys in the closet.... they are SO in denial. Trust me, his family already knows, they just don't want to talk about it.

    Good luck buddy icon_wink.gif
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    Feb 02, 2010 1:22 PM GMT
    Timberoo saidEnd it.


    ABSOLUTELY!!

    You are YOUR ultimate happiness! Life is too short to wait for someone to share your life and your happiness; just 'cause you love someone does not mean you're meant to be together.
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    Feb 02, 2010 1:24 PM GMT
    a1972guy said
    Timberoo saidEnd it.


    ABSOLUTELY!!

    You are YOUR ultimate happiness! Life is too short to wait for someone to share your life and your happiness; just 'cause you love someone does not mean you're meant to be together.



    wow man...I needed to hear that one myself... truer words have never been spoken!
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    Feb 02, 2010 1:32 PM GMT
    Timberoo saidEnd it.


    I second that!

    He's a dead weight now. No intimacy plus all the laundry list listed .... I think you already know the answer.

    Time to move on.

    Good luck.
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    Feb 02, 2010 1:38 PM GMT
    5 years is a long time, if u love him stick it out, weather the whole world or no one knows whats important is between u and him
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    Feb 02, 2010 1:50 PM GMT
    I'm sorry, but I think that you should end it as well. The fact that he thinks he may be HIV+ for 4 years but won't get a test???!!

    WTF WTF WTF WTF WTF WTF WTF WTF WTF

    red flags red flags red flags red flags red flags red flags

    Super sketch dude. And the fact that he sleeps around on you... damn. I realize that it is hard to give up the familiar and comfortable... when I was a little kid I cried about giving up an old toothbrush for a new one (this is a true story). It was such a comfortable tooth brush, felt good in my hand, bristles were soft... but it wasn't treating me right anymore, so letting it go was the right thing to do.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Feb 02, 2010 1:54 PM GMT
    For starters, I am hoping that you have yourself gotten an HIV test. From what you wrote, it seems like you were both having sex for two years after his possible infection.

    It's easy to say "end it" when the rest of us aren't feeling the connection that you are, but it feels completely unnatural to you. As much of a sleazebag as your boyfriend is, I'm not sure I can recommend throwing away a deep connection until all avenues have been explored.

    That being said, the biggest problem with this guy is that he's not being genuine. You can have a healthy sex life with someone who's HIV-positive. You can have a mature open relationship. And you can certainly figure out a way for him to slowly include you in his family life. But he's being dishonest about his intentions to get an HIV-test, stop cheating, and work towards coming out. He's clearly not doing any of that on his own.

    The really important question is why he's being dishonest. It could be that he's just stringing you along, or it could be that he's really paralyzed by his own fear and insecurity. Up until now, you've been letting him do whatever he wants on his timetable without any consequences. If you set the timetable, and let him know that if he doesn't get his act together, you're gone, you might at least get to the root of all this deception. At the very least, then you can have some closure - which will be well-worth the extra four months you could spend dicking around with him.
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    Feb 02, 2010 1:57 PM GMT
    Yeah.... it basically sounds to me like you are trying to validate your existence through your boyfriend, and since you're too emotionally crippled by your attachment to him, you probably won't end it.

    But you should.
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    Feb 02, 2010 2:48 PM GMT
    I am not in a relationship and dont even consider myself able to pass the kindergarten test on the issue BUT....

    Think better of yourself and dump his cheating, lying, decietful ass NOW. If for financial reasons it can't be NOW, then start your planning and vacate the situation SOON. And begin to detach yourself from him emotionally by going out with friends, finding hobbies and just staying away. Find some friends, either existing or new that you can share this nitemare with.

    You are not living a full life. Only you can break this off. Why would he break it off.

    Oh and if youre not having sex with him dont worry about his HIV status worry about yours.

    Go get tested now. There are plenty of places to get it done for free.

    Then start to plan your move away from him.

    Do you live together?
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    Feb 02, 2010 2:55 PM GMT
    I can't understand why anyone who suspected he is HIV+ would hesitate to go get tested and get started on the new meds.

    No excuse for him having sex with others - - but not you - - because he is afraid he may be positive.

    In the final analysis, you have to decide whether to go or stay. Whenever I've been in your shoes about ending or keeping a relationship, and I couldn't decide which path to choose - - - I would draw a line down the center of a page...then list reasons to stay vs. go............by the time I got to the bottom of the page - - my path was clearer.

    Good luck.