I am 27 and recently split up with my partner a month back. We had been together since eight years and had been living together on/off (due to studies/work and all) for four years until I moved back to my hometown last year for work. We had earlier maintained a long distance relationship when we were falling in love but after I returned, things weren’t the same. I have a night shift and she has the regular 9-5 job. Hence communication was suffering. But there were many things going around in the past.
I had flown to meet her around 3-4 times during the last year, and she never came to meet me. And whenever we were together, we had fights over silly issues. It was the same over the phone too. The sex also suffered when we used to meet. But the main reason I broke up with her was first, I really want to come out and she doesn’t.
Second, I wasn’t happy in the relationship though I know no one can love me more than she does. We aren’t in touch now, not through social network sites or personal messages. But the real hitch is, if now I come out to my friends/family, they will automatically connect the dots and take her name (everyone knows we are BFF sorts and we went practically everywhere together) and I cannot let that happen to her. I don’t want anybody to ask her questions which she doesn’t want to isn’t prepared to answer. She particularly made me swear that I’d never mention her. Since we have so many common friends and our families know each other so well, I don’t know what to do. I have even started attending prides, protests etc and will be attending more too.
How should I be myself without letting it affect her?
Am I being too selfish to leave her just for the sake of coming out?
Have I done wrong by letting go of that person who loves me to death?
She is going through a very hard time emotionally and health wise too. Should I try to be in touch with her, knowing that it will hurt her every second that we talk, as I can’t take a step back now?
Till now none of our friends have noticed that we aren’t talking, but what about when they do come to know? What should we do then? There will be thousands of questions. It is all fucked up.
And to make the matter all the more messed up, I have a huge crush on a girl who I met during one of the protests. We chat once in a while, and I want to take a chance with her. But this is another matter altogether…
You first try and answer to the first part of my life story.
Let it be anonymous.
First of all I’m sorry to hear that you have split up and have found yourself in this situation. I wonder what those 8 years were like and how you have managed to keep that a secret from so many people for so long. I wonder whether you always knew that she didn’t want to come out and I also wonder about what changed your mind and why now? Have you both changed in those 8 years or just you and when did that change start?
What I understand from the situation is that you will probably out her one way or the other, when you decide to come out. To me it feels that there could be more behind this. Have you asked yourself these questions before and challenged your motivations?
I hear that there is still a lot of love and respect between the two of you where you really are considering her needs and she will always love you, more than anybody. Does that mean that you might be afraid that you might never find love again? It is therefore sad to hear that you are not in touch anymore, which I’m sure is really difficult for both of you. And what about your friends, how will they deal with this, currently they don’t know yet but will soon find out. Will they support both of you? Friends are really important in these situations. Make sure you keep in touch and don’t neglect them.
I understand your main issue if you come out, family and friends will automatically connect the dots. It sounds like whatever you do, there are going to be complications & consequences and one of you will end up unhappy. For example, if you come out you will out her too (so it seems at the moment), and both of you will be unhappy. If you don’t come out, you keep her safe but you will be unhappy and will resent her for this; eventually you will feel held back in life. This means in both cases you end up unhappy and miserable. I understand that this is a very difficult situation to be in and decisions will be hard to make and will have consequences for a lot of people if not taken carefully and with great consideration.
It is hard to give you some advice as to what to do, as one way or the other people will get hurt. One option would be to move to a different country and start over where nobody knows you. Knowing the Indian society, there are very few places where you can be anonymous and not bump into somebody that knows you via somebody. Or you could both agree to the same story which should free you both of the issue. I believe that the answers and decisions can be found within you but you have to go through the journey to find this within yourself, in your gut, and what feels best.
As you are attending prides and protests there is clearly something stirring in you and in a way protesting against being hidden away, not able to be yourself and having to be somebody who you are not. This is clearly causing an emotional battle inside you. It is so easy for your inner child to rebel against this and do something quite irrational and give life the finger, so to speak. Instead you are thinking about this, seeking help and reflecting about what impact your actions and decisions will have on others, especially your ex-girlfriend. For that I must give you credit as you are clearly a considerate person. I hope this will be appreciated, particularly by your ex. This indicates to me that whatever decision you make is based on facts, thoughts and emotions with clearly thought through options and decisions. I hope your ex and all others involved will be able to see this and recognise your effort in protecting the ones you love most.
You must remember that life is short and we can’t live our lives for others. Yes, we should consider them and take them along on our journeys but ultimately it is about your own happiness and satisfaction in life. There are of course also people who find their satisfaction in pleasing others and living their lives depending on how other people want them to live but my question is; how long does that really last and how satisfied are these individuals really in the long run? It sounds that your inner child is coming out slowly, which is the one that likes to play, be in love again and wants to share your uniqueness with somebody else.
I also would like you to think about what you weren’t happy with in the relationship and what are you able to learn from this? There are quite a few people that move on and fall into the same kind of relationships or routine and I hope that you can do things differently for yourself going forward. The girl you met sounds great but like you said, let’s try and sort this out first before you start a new adventure.
There is unfortunately no clear answer or decision that I can or should give you but I hope that I have been able to help you with your thought process and that this will help you along the way to make the best possible solution and way forward for everybody. I guess it’s about minimising the risk and damage but in these cases and type of decisions there will always be people who get hurt in the process, but it’s about managing the degree of pain and suffering which I believe you are already doing quite well. This comes from your heart which is a good place to start.
I hear your worries about the thousands of questions everybody will have but you will make a plan, remember only give them what they need to hear and know at the time, don’t go overboard but manage the situation, less is more.