By Jody Valley
Trusting the traveler
Q: I am a 33-year-old gay man. I have been in a loving, devoted (so I thought) relationship for 4 years. Kevin (not his real name) and I have talked about being monogamous ever since we got together. We both agreed that as long as we were together we would be honest with each other, even if we were just attracted to someone else. I always believed it is a sign that something is wrong with a relationship if one person starts being attracted to another person.
Kevin and I agreed that if either one of us were to be attracted to another person, we would discuss it so we could do whatever we need to do to get the relationship back on track. Well, last week, Kevin came in and confessed that he had an STD. (Not AIDS, thank God) and he admitted that he has been unfaithful to me. According to Kevin he didn’t tell me because it happened so fast. He didn’t even have time to think about it. He claims that he was at a bar, had too much to drink and the next thing he knew, he woke up in bed with this person. He says he has not seen this person since then. (Kevin travels different places for his job and this was the time that it happened.) How could I ever trust him again when he’s gone? I’d be a wreck thinking about it. I wouldn’t want to have sex with him without being tested each time he returned home. How crazy would that be?
He has begged me to forgive him and let everything get back to the way it was. I just can’t. Every time I see him, I just see a big liar. I see him, in my mind, with the guy. It just haunts me; I can’t seem to get the picture out of my head. I don’t think I can ever trust him. If he could get drunk once and do this, why wouldn’t it happen again? Not only did he put our relationship on the line, but he is playing around with our lives. This could have been AIDS, rather than a treatable disease. (Even so, I have had to go in and get tested since we have had sex since he’s had the disease. Sure enough, I have it, too.) I have told him from day one how I only want to be in safe relationships and how stupid I think it is for men to take chances. Do you think I owe it to him to give him another chance?
Betrayed and Pissed
A: Right now I think you are stuck in being angry and feeling betrayed, and I can surely understand those feelings. Give yourself some time to heal and calm down before you decide whether or not you want to give this relationship another chance. I think you need to take time to evaluate the whole relationship, not just one event of it. You might also want to evaluate Kevin’s sincerity regarding being faithful in the future. And, maybe, look at his drinking behaviors. Does he have a drinking problem? If so, perhaps his getting into treatment might make you see things differently. If you decide you do want to try to continue with it, it won’t be an easy or a fast thing to gain trust, again. You and Kevin will have a lot of work in front of you. You might want to seek couple’s counseling.
Readers: A few weeks back, a woman wrote in regarding her daughter having juvenile diabetes. The great thing about this column is the wealth of knowledge and connections our readers possess:
Dear Jody: Please put this unfortunate woman and her daughter in touch with JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). JDRF deals with situations like hers on a daily basis and will be delighted to point her in the right direction. JDRF works tirelessly to find a cure for Juvenile Onset Diabetes. They can be reached at:
Metro Detroit & SE Michigan Chapter
24359 Northwestern Highway, Suite 225
Southfield, MI 48075