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Dear Jody: Partner caught in sex sting

By | 2009-08-20T09:00:00-04:00 August 20th, 2009|Opinions|
Partner caught in sex sting

Q: I can’t tell you how upset I am, Jody. My partner, “Dan,” and I have been together for 10 and a half years. I had the shock of my life when Dan got caught in a police sex sting. I don’t want to go into what I think of those stings, but it feels like this one is more than legal trouble for my partner; it’s trouble at our home as well.
I feel like the faithful wife of some political guy who’s been caught straying in some South American country. Our friends all know about what happened to Dan. And guess what – they are more upset for Dan than they are for me. They are all into how horrible it is that gay men are targeted. Not one person has come to me to ask how bad I might feel about all this. We have been in a supposedly “committed relationship.” At least, that is what I thought.
How it usually goes when we talk to friends for the first time is that guys will say, “Oh man, you were such a victim, Dan.” And then, if they consider me at all, they look at me and expect some kind of agreement of him being this poor victim.
I not only have to deal with this betrayal and humiliation, I am part of paying for Dan’s legal fees, since we have always merged our finances. To make things worse, Dan doesn’t seem to think he’s done anything wrong. He’s totally bought into his victimhood. He’s worried that he could lose his job because his boss knows about this and has been very cool to him. He is also worried about his parents and family finding out. He goes around the house, moaning and groaning about how horrible the police are and how he’s thinking of becoming an activist because of what is happening to gay men. He has never once asked me how I feel about this situation or what I think of him for doing what he did. That really hurts a lot.
I feel so alone in all this. As I said, our friends are supporting “Poor Dan.” None of them support me or even think about me in this situation. I don’t tell my family because I’m too humiliated, and I would probably not get any sympathy anyway. They pretty much believe that this is how gay men act all the time. I worry that Dan might not have used protection and might have a disease. I don’t want to have sex with him, but he says that he needs sex to help him with his stress.
I love Dan … or loved him. I have always thought that we had a great relationship, but now I just don’t know about that. I don’t even know what my question is; I just need to get his off my chest.

The Victim’s Victim

A: If all you want to do is get this off your chest, then I hope you have. But I certainly can give you some questions that you ought to be thinking about. Like, do you and Dan ever really sit down and speak honestly? Have you ever even shouted out to him, “Hey, look over here and see me!” Dan is either an incredibly narcissistic person, or he’s playing the game of diverting all the pain to himself, hoping you won’t notice what he has done to his and your relationship – perhaps both narcissism and diversion tactics are at work here. My guess is that he thinks he has gotten away with it.
On the other hand, you haven’t confronted him. You haven’t insisted he hear and understand your feelings. Given your lack of communication with him, I’m sure you haven’t even talked about what “commitment,” in your relationship, means to you both. More than just fidelity – whether it is valued or not – commitment has to be about caring for the other person. I sure don’t see that from Dan, and I sure don’t see a backbone in your psyche. What’s with your silence in all this?
I highly recommend that if Dan won’t go to couple’s counseling, go yourself to help you deal with these issues.

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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.