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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Support Groups » In a delicate quandry.

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Author Topic: In a delicate quandry.
Shoeless
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Member # 13108

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I'm sitting at home right now, watching ESPN, thinking about the class I have in 5 hours, thinking about how poorly the Packers are doing this year, thinking about how I really need to get a job, just thinking and thinking. These however are not feeling very important.

I've been with my girlfriend, Deborah, for over two years now. I love her, she loves me. She occasionally (read: rather frequently) brings up the idea of marriage. I always tell her pretty much the same thing. We're too young (I being 19, her being 20) and we aren't in the right position in our life to make such a decision. She really loves me, to the point where I'm afraid she might be a little obsessive sometimes. She's not very independant, and her immediate family just left the country. I'm pretty much all she has for support. There's just one itty-bitty problem.

I'm gay.

I know I need to tell her. I know the sooner I do it the better. But I can't. I can't bring myself to hurt her. I do love her, but not in the same way that she loves me. The last thing I want to do is break her heart. We've been on the brink of a breakup a couple times and she always completely falls apart. I can't bring myself to tell her what I'm sure she would view as basically the worst news of her life. I know I need to. I can't do it. I've even considered sacrificing my personal liberation to just make sure she is happy for the rest of her life, but I know that's unreasonable. I likewise couldn't stand forcing her to live a life of blind deception.

I really don't know how to get myself prepared to do what I need to do. I'm so afraid that when it happens, she'll be too upset to let me support her, and she doesn't really have anyone else to turn to. She's so emotional, that I honestly would fear for her physical well-being.

I'm sorry if I'm rambling, this is as far as I can get from stream of conciousness without betraying the reality of it.

I don't really know what I'm asking, or what I'm expecting in response. I just need some help. I'm completely lost.


Posts: 5 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Before I say anything else...

... know that it sounds like, for someone in an incredibly difficult situation, you're both thinking clearly and being a wonderful, caring person. And that deserves props.

No matter WHAT the conflict, things are always far more difficult to manage with a partner when they are dependent and when they don't have a support network outside their relationship. That's such an integral and necessary part of a healthy, happy life AND a healthy romantic relationship, and all too many people fall into a trap of either forgetting that, or thinking that unnecessary.

All of what you're saying here has merit: the longer you wait on this, the more it hurts you BOTH, and the BOTH of you deserve a life of honesty and integrity, where you're true to who you know yourself to be.

In terms of preparing for this, might you consider taking some steps -- and helping her to -- to expand your social circle? Now, how you do that depends on what you're ready for per your own coming out. For instance, socializing with another couple or two you're friends with could help, but then, if she does develop a bond, when you do come out with this, she may tell any of those people, so there's that to consider, as I don't know what you're ready for. Another option would be to see about some couples counseling: to get a counselor for the both of you to ease you through this. You could tell her -- and this is the truth -- that you are concerned about being able to work through conflicts because of her lack of support and the dependency. If you can find a way to work that, I'd encourage you to do so.

Another option is your family, if they're around. Is she at all close to any of them, and are you ready to come out to them? Just some ideas.

It's unfortunate, really, that our culture places romantic love at a default top tier for all relationships: from the sounds of things, you have a long-term relationship which is loving, mostly based in friendship, and which does have the possibility of remaining that way. However, things being what they are, you're right -- she's not likely to see it that way, and likely to see it as a loss and a failure of some sort. But with some extra support, I'm betting that effect can be greatly diminished.

So, let's spend some time hashing options and ideas out here, and see what we can't do.

In the meantime, hang in there: you're clearly a good, caring guy, and it sounds like you are up to dealing with this as best as one possibly can. We've seen this scenario a few times at Scarleteen over the years, and in the queer community, I can't tell you how many times I've seen it or heard tales from those who have been through it, so you're not alone here. That said, let's also think this through with support for YOU in mind, too, because chances are that you'll need some as well.

------------------
Heather Corinna
Editor & Founder, Scarleteen
ST blog • about Heather & Scarleteen
"You have to love women who are brave enough to do things so big in a world where women are supposed to be so small." - Andrea Dworkin


Posts: 68164 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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