My lover’s pretending to have sex with his dead boyfriend
Q: Jody, I know I’m not supposed to read another person’s diary, but I did and I ‘m sorry that I did. More sorry than I could have ever imagined. The diary that I read was my boyfriend/partner’s, “Jeff.” Before I tell you what it was that I read that upset me, let me first tell you about Jeff, before he met me.
When I met Jeff, he had not been with a man in quite sometime. His former lover, “Stan,” had died of AIDS. He had not been in a relationship since Stan’s death. He told me right off that he didn’t know if he was ready for another relationship. He had just decided to start “venturing out” when I met him. He said that he needed to “play the field” and not to get seriously involved with anyone.
All that being said, he and I got involved, big time. I fell for him bad. He told me that he was in love with me. Over the next six months, I met his parents and he met mine. Both our families were happy for us. I was on top of the world! We had a ceremony, moved in together and started our happy-ever-after.
Then, I did the stupid thing; I read his diary, one day, when he was at work. I didn’t set out to do it. It was just that he left it out on his night stand. He usually puts it back in his drawer. I know that that is no excuse; it’s just that the diary was too tempting for me. I guess I was in a weak moment; believe me, I have never done this before or would do it again. To go on with it, I happened to open up to a place where he was talking about making love to me. He was writing that he still felt like he was making love to Stan, or sort of pretending, I guess, that it was Stan. He said that all of a sudden he would realize that it was me, and feel startled. He wondered when, if ever, he would see only me, not Stan. Just then, I heard Jeff come in the door. I put the diary back and haven’t touched it since, but you can imagine how upsetting that was for me.
I didn’t talk to Jeff about that as I’m too embarrassed to tell him that I was reading his diary, besides, I’m sure he would be very angry about it if I did tell him. Jody, everything has been going great with us, but I can’t get it out of my mind what he said about making love and thinking/pretending/hallucinating that I was Stan. I want him to make love to me! Ever since then, our sex isn’t what it used to be, at least not for me.
Should I bring this up to Jeff, confess what I did, and find out if he really loves me, not Stan? He tells me every day that he loves me, so why is it sex with Stan and not me?
The Ghost of Jeff
A: I would be concerned that if you tell him about reading about this in his diary, the issue might become how you invaded his privacy, not about the issue you are bringing up in this letter. I will assume here that you have learned your lesson regarding invading someone else’s privacy – if not, that’s something you need to address. I don’t see how telling him this would help your relationship. So, the issue of Jeff’s seeing you as Stan is what I will address here:
When you met Jeff, he made it very clear that he was still grieving over Stan and was not ready for a relationship. OK, so it happened anyway, but that doesn’t mean that Jeff has healed from all he went through with Jeff, and his lost love. In fact, my guess is that it will always be with him, but lessen and change over time. Look, Stan says that he loves you every day; that says a lot. (He can still feel for his loss of Jeff and love you too.)
For you to be able to keep this relationship, you will need to give him your patience, love, and space. If you can give Jeff time, then the vision of Stan – in Jeff’s head – will morph into you, if it hasn’t already. You said you had read one spot in his diary; since writing that, things may have already changed for him. Writing in a diary helps the healing process.
Have a problem? Send your letters to: “Dear Jody,” C/O Between the Lines, 20793 Farmington Road, Suite 25, Farmington, MI 48336. Or, e-mail: DearJodyValley@hotmail.com (Letters may be edited.)