I’m a 44-year-old man who’s been in a 20-year same-sex relationship. After many years of discussion he moved into my rented flat 18 months ago with a view to our buying a bigger place together. He’s been slow to move forward, though (he has the capital we’d need), and even pulled out of one sale saying it wasn’t a good idea after all.
He also has foul mood swings. Sometimes he comes home from work and won’t speak to me at all, then snaps when I start a conversation. We have split up several times, but something always draws us back together. Lately, though, he’s been spending a lot more time with a friend in Florida (even though we “can’t afford” to travel together). He knows I was furious about this but still posted loads of pics online of them. He even sent me a beach pic and said, “Wish you were here x”. I feel like I am being taken for a ride and friends say I should leave him, but I’d be lost without him. He’s my soulmate.
Just to add insult to injury he has suggested that this guy in Florida might move to Britain, and that he would stay at our new house, if we eventually buy one. What should I do?
Anon, via email
This man may be your “soulmate” but apart from a “wish you were here” on Facebook, I fail to see what you are getting out of this relationship. You are being a doormat and it isn’t even your house! While your boyfriend is busying frolicking in Florida I would suggest you draw a line in the sand. Make some demands. Spell out what you find unacceptable. As it stands one could be forgiven for thinking this man wants you to dump him. His behaviour suggests a complete lack of respect so I find myself asking, “where is the love?”
It might be a good idea to talk to a couples counsellor so that both of you can see why things aren’t working, without it descending into argument and name calling. You say that you’d be lost without this man; if that’s the case you must be feeling quite lost now, as you seem to be living without him already. Perhaps I am being harsh, but I urge you to seriously ask yourself what this person contributes to your life. And please hear this: do not buy property with this man! You were a young man when you met. Is this the relationship you imagined you’d be in 20 years later? Whatever happens next you must hit the refresh button.