Dear Jody

By |2006-03-11T09:00:00-05:00March 11th, 2006|Uncategorized|

By Jody Valley

Can people learn from their mistakes?

Q: I have been dating a man that I thought had the potential of having a great future together. But now, I am not sure. First of all, I must tell you that integrity is very important to me. I do not believe I could ever have a serious life long relationship with someone that I don’t believe has integrity. As far as I know, “James,” has always been faithful to me, and I have never felt that I needed to worry about him when he is out without me. But now, I wonder.
My boyfriend and I were out with a group of men and it came up that James (my boyfriend) mentioned he had an affair when he was in his last, supposedly, monogamous relationship. He had never mentioned this to me. This was way before he met me, but to me, it still raises the red flag that you talk about. If he would do that in that relationship, does he have the integrity that I need to have a serious relationship with him? Everyone was just laughing as if this was the most natural thing in the world.
I think the thing that bothered me the most was that it did not seem to bother him to talk about it, or seem to find anything wrong with it. When I questioned him when we got home, he said I should not worry about it, that this was before and he is, and always has been, faithful to me. What do I do? Am I overreacting because this matters to me, or should I just forget it and trust that he does have integrity, and that I can trust him?

A: This is a tough one because my first reaction is to tell you to run and don’t look back. But then, I take a deep breath and say, maybe he has changed. Making one mistake does not mean he will make the same mistake again. (I’m assuming that you two have agreed upon a monogamous relationship.) Maybe he realizes the seriousness of what he did, and will make sure he doesn’t repeat the same behaviors again. At any rate, it sounds like the two of you need to have a heart-to-heart, and he needs to know how much this bothers you, and why. If he doesn’t express his past infidelity as a life mistakeÑone that he is committed not to repeatÑthen, I would certainly see this as a red flag.

Good deaf listener needed

Q: Jody, I am a 42 year old gay man and have been with my partner for almost 20 years. I love him with all my heart and he helps me a lot through bad times. The problem is my depression. I have a very good job with excellent benefits and two wonderful friends. They know about my depression. One time, my partner emailed a gay counselor (I do not want to use his/her name because I do not want to make them feel bad), and got a reply from that counselor. That counselor said that he could not help me and told me to try Deaf Affirmations because I am deaf. The problem is that I used to go to Deaf Affirmations a long time ago, and they were nice, but not my kind of friends because I don’t fit in their group…. I guess it is because I can talk very well, but I cannot hear at all. The cause of my depression is what happened to me almost 17 years ago, and I could not get over it.
I am still using my treadmill, or jogging five days weekly to escape my depression. I still need help, to find the right gay counselor who knows sign language, to help me to get thru my depression. I have tried some counselors before, and it did not work…. because they are too straight and I could not open up …and they do not know I am gay. Please help. Thank you for taking your time to read this.
The Unanswered

A: I understand how difficult it is to get a gay-friendly counselor who also knows sign language, as well. Hopefully, in publishing this, someone will know of a resource. Or possibly, a counselor who can fill the bill will e-mail me, and I can pass it on to you. I also have a resource for some possibilities, but I would need to know the city that you are from. I’ll pass anything on to you that comes in. Good luck and don’t give up on this.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.